One of the most used appliances in most people’s kitchens are their stoves, but the use frequency can vary from person to person. Additionally, the type of stove you pick out will also depend on your kitchen’s style. No matter if you’re someone who loves the more traditional four-burner gas stove or a trendy homeowner who wants a modern type of stove with digital touch controls and a griddle, we have something for everyone.
You’ll be able to look through the brief descriptions of 21 types of stoves to find the one that is going to serve your needs the best. This way, you’ll get a lasting appliance that will look and work wonderfully for years after you purchase it.
A Brief History of Types of Stoves
Did you know that cooktops have a very long history? The earliest version of this appliance dates back to the Indus Valley over 4,000 years ago, and it spread to eastern Asia. For the next 1,000 years, they gained popularity throughout Japan around 500 CE, and they were called the kamado. In Europe, types of stoves didn’t get used until the Age of Enlightenment’s end when Benjamin Thompson introduced the concept of a kitchen range with a cooktop attached.
Electric and gas types of stoves were introduced in the 19th century on a separate basis. Induction cooktops were one of the latest inventions in the early 20th century, but they didn’t gain popularity in the United States straight away. It was very popular throughout Asia and Europe in the 1970s, and it wasn’t until the 1980s that it caught on in the United States.
Since technology keeps advancing, it’s not surprising that stoves and cooktops evolve right along with it, and this gives you dozens of choices when you’re upgrading these appliances. Stove by rhodesj / CC BY 2.0
How to Choose the Best Stovetop
When you renovate your kitchen, you could find yourself faced with the decision on what type of countertops or floors to buy, or you could even decide whether or not you need more cabinets. Out of each of these decisions, shopping for the type of stove that is going to fit the best is a critical step in the remodel process. You’ll need to figure out if you have the correct structure in place to have an overhead vent or if your home supports an electric or gas stove. The 21 options below will give you a good idea on what’s available.
1. Automatic Re-Ignition
Every once in a while, anyone who has used a gas type of stove will have the flame to the burner go out. This can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’re right in the middle of cooking a meal and you don’t notice straight away that the flame went out. If this has happened to you before and you want reassurance that this won’t be a problem for you going forward, then you’ll want to buy a type of stove that offers an automatic re-ignition feature.
This feature does exactly what the name implies. If the flame for your burner should happen to go out for whatever reason while you’re using it, this type of stove will automatically re-ignite the burner to ensure that you don’t have any difficulties or frustration when you cook.
2. Ceramic Induction
This type of stove uses magnetic currents to heat up the cookware. These stoves tend to heat quickly, are easy to clean, and they’re very easy to get precision control. These benefits make this stove a level up when you compare them to more traditional electric or gas models. Other characteristics of this type of stove that set it apart from other models are the fact that they let you cook with a high consistency level and very quickly.
The heat on the stovetop itself will adjust to the size of your pan or pot to allow your food to cook in roughly 50% of the time it would take you to cook the same items on an electric or gas stove. It’s a specialized technology that gives you much greater consistency with the final result of anything you choose to cook on it.
Any type of stove that has coil surfaces is usually more cost-effective than other options, but it’s always best to do a little research when you’re going to buy a new appliance before making your final choice. Coil tops have a spiral pattern that gets heated using an electrical wire.
When they heat up, you’ll notice that they put off an orange glow. You can also easily control your temperature settings by using the correct knob for your burner. The drip pans are also cheap to replace if you ever need to. This is a type of stove to heavily consider if you find yourself cooking a lot because they’re relatively easy to clean. You can buy them online or in popular houseware stores.
4. Continuous Grates
Any continuous gas cooktop comes with the option of having grates running all across the top. This gives your kitchen a very attractive and professional look and feel. However, when you want to clean the cooktop, you’ll have to deal with heavier and bulkier grates to try and move. However, most people who pick out this stove type do so because they’re willing to deal with the minor inconvenience due to how professional it looks.
Having grates covering your whole stovetop is a very high-end and professional look, and many people are willing to have this option, even if they’re heavier and harder to move. Stove Top by HomeSpot HQ / CC BY 2.0
5. Copper Burners
Copper burners give you a very pretty design aesthetic on any electric type of stove. Using these burners adds to your stove’s overall look while helping to diffuse the heat on your stovetop so that your meals stay at a steady temperature. These features make this type of burner great for cooking sensitive items like pasta or dessert and simmering foods. Copper works to transfer heat much quicker than other types of metal, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on your food. They also work as effective cooling plates once you turn the heat off.
6. Digital Touch Controls
Offering intuitive management with fast response times, this type of stove allows you to manage the temperature to precise degrees. With just a light touch of your finger, you can instantly and easily change your cooking temperature to suit different dishes or cooking methods to keep everything consistent. This is a great option to have for people who are in a hurry or who want to have the latest technology in their homes. If a person has problems turning or grasping knobs, this could be a viable choice.
7. Downdraft Extractor
If you don’t like how installing a fan or range hood looks over your type of stove, you may want to install a downdraft extractor cooktop. These models come with a ventilation system that gets built right into the stove itself so you don’t have to worry about dealing with a bulky hood to help extract the smoke and steam that you produce when you cook.
There is also a smaller vent along the back of your stove or in between your burners that sucks any steam you generate away from the pans or pots to prevent it from rising to the ceiling in your kitchen. This removes the need to have a bulky range hood installed that can take up a large amount of space and be distracting. Also, it’ll free up space above your stove to store your pots and pans or install more cabinets.
Additionally, you can choose a downdraft extractor on electric and gas cooktops, but you might need to have a ventilation system installed like you would with a regular range hood or fan.
8. Dual Burners
If you only have a small space in your kitchen for a type of stove and you don’t have a larger family to worry about cooking for, this option with dual heating elements could be a nice choice. This pick is going to be significantly smaller than a traditional model, and it’s great if you have a cramped space. However, it’ll take some creativity to make sure that you can create full meals with only two burners. They’re also a nice choice if you have a main stove in your kitchen and you want a secondary cooking surface.
Electric types of stoves are extremely popular, very cost-effective, and they’re easier to find. This makes them a solid choice for anyone who is appliance shopping for a stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, and more and has a stricter budget to adhere to. They also have the huge benefit of being easy to clean, including the models that come with a smooth top and the ones that come with coils.
You won’t need an ignitor to help heat up your stove because the heating element will start to turn up as soon as you switch it on. However, it does heat up slower than a gas model. Also, adjusting the temperature on this type of stove can be more difficult because it has a slower response time. A lot of families who have smaller children prefer to have this stove because there isn’t any open flame to be a danger to the kids. They’re easy to install and very efficient too.
Some of the issues that you may encounter with this stove type is that if you pick this model and then lose power at your home, you won’t be able to cook on the cooktop like you could with a gas model. Also, some electric models mean that you have to be careful with which cookware you use to avoid damaging, scratching, or shattering your cooktop if you’re not very careful as you work.
10. Five Burners
If you’re looking for a little additional room on your cooktop but you don’t have a huge amount of space in the kitchen to install a huge cooktop, you could choose a model that comes with five burners. This type of stove has an extra burner that can really make a difference in your cooking experience by giving you a little extra space to heat up ingredients. Generally speaking, this type of stove is usually an induction or gas model, and it’s very difficult to find an electric model.
11. Four Burners
Most people decide to go with a type of stove that has four heating elements or burners on it. This is the most common size available, and this means that you’re spoiled for choice when you start to shop. For the average family, four burners will give you enough space to cook while allowing you to create tasty meals without any hassles.
Choosing a gas type of stove to have in your kitchen offers a range of benefits. First, they’re extremely fast when it comes to heating up, and they give you instant heat because they have very powerful flames on them. Also, you get next-level control over your temperature when you’re cooking with very quick response times when you want to raise or lower the temperature. This means you get precision control so you don’t have to worry about scorching or burning your zucchini or vegetables. The temperature changes are immediate, and you can quickly cool down or heat up the pan or pot you’re using.
When you switch the gas cooktop off, you’ll notice that it cools down very quickly. This is ideal if you have smaller children around the house that you’re worried about touching the stove.
Because of how the burners get designed on this type of stove, you can use any cookware you like without worrying about causing damage. You’ll need both gas and electricity to use this trove, and if you don’t have gas already accessible at your home, then you’ll have to call in professionals to dig a gas line and pipe it in. If you lose power, you can still cook with this cooktop, but you’ll have to use a match to light the burners.
Ventilation is also very important with this cooktop in your kitchen because you want to ensure that no hazardous fumes build up after you cook. This is a slightly more expensive model than an electric one, but since they use a less expensive fuel source, they usually work to save you money in the long run.
13. Knob Controls
Intuitive and fast temperature control when you’re cooking is the key to getting a great meal, and this is easy to achieve when you have this control system in place. They usually have numbers on the knobs that indicate temperature, so you can easily turn them to get the level you need to properly cook your food. Also, the knobs are usually removable to make cleaning quick and easy if you spill something on them.
14. LED Display
Having a LED display on your type of stove comes with several benefits. You can easily set a time for when you cook or bake to ensure that you don’t burn your items. You can also keep a close eye on the time if you have other commitments once you finish cooking that you need to meet.
Depending on the options available in your area, you can also set the correct temperature for the broiler and oven if you need to. The only downside is that you’ll have to set the clock or timer manually each time you use it. This can be frustrating if you’re in a hurry or if you forgot to set it when you originally started cooking or baking.
15. Overhead Hood
When you cook, you typically release a decent amount of steam and smoke into the air around your kitchen. It’s very important that you remove this to help keep your kitchen air clean and safe to breathe, and it’ll also help to ensure that you don’t have any issues with your kitchen getting too hot or setting off your fire alarm. If you’re in an outdoor kitchen, this isn’t as big of a deal.
Some people like the look that the overhead hood brings to the same, and it’s a great way to ensure that you stay safe as you cook because it’ll thoroughly remove all of the smoke and steam from the vicinity while you cook instead of leaving it lingering around. If the type of stove doesn’t come with a downdraft extractor, then you have to make sure that you have space in the hood to install a fan to pull the steam and smoke up and out the hood.
You can choose from a range of different sizes and styles, so it’s easy to find the one that is going to be a good match for your style and kitchen decor. No matter if you want an overhead hood that is the main focal point in the kitchen or something that blends in will be your choice, but you do need it to safely remove smoke and steam from the area.
Portable types of stoves can come in handy if you’re catering events like community gatherings, weddings, or if you’re trying to cook a meal in a tiny apartment. The portable stovetop is a lightweight option that is easy to pack. It gives you the option of being able to have a hot meal instead of microwaved, reheated leftovers. For safety reasons, you should go with an electrical portable type of stove that can shut off by itself and regulate the temperature.
17. Six Burners
If you want to get a professional-level cooking experience, you’ll want to choose a type of stove that has six burners. This gives you more than enough room for cooking, and it’s a solid choice if you have a big family or do a lot of entertaining. When you purchase a stove this large, you’ll want to make sure that your kitchen itself is big enough. They tend to be a lot bigger than ones that come with four standard burners. You don’t want it to look out of place in the kitchen.
A smooth type of stove uses coils to heat the burners, but the coils are under the surface. This can be expensive to replace the ceramic or glass surface if it cracks or shatters. If this happens, you’ll have to go through an appliance repair service, and this can eat into your home extension or remodel project budget very quickly.
This type of stove can look very sleek and stylish, but it also takes much longer for your pans or pots to heat up since the coils don’t come into direct contact with the pan or pot’s surface. The biggest advantages of this stove is that it’s extremely easy to clean them, and they cool down much faster once you switch them off. The smooth surface lets you clean across it without worrying about food particles or debris falling inside the coils. The ceramic or glass surface has coil separation too, and this causes it to cool down much faster once it’s off.
19. Speed Heat
If you go out and buy a type of stove with a speed heat element, you’ll get faster cooking times. Speed heating systems let you heat up anything from cooking pasta to boiling water efficiently and quickly. The knobs on this setup let you transition between high and low heat temperatures without skipping a beat.
20. Stovetop Griddles
Some cooktops come with a griddle built right into the design that makes it very easy to fry eggs, quesadillas, pancakes, and other items as you cook. When you’re looking at this type of stove with a griddle, you want to make sure that it gives you enough heating elements and space to move around so you don’t feel boxed in.
The griddles are preferable to using a removable griddle pan that you put across your cooktop because they heat up very quickly and evenly across the whole surface. Since they’re built right into your cooktop and not a piece of cookware you sit on the stove, you won’t have to worry about damaging or scratching your heating elements on the stove when you use it.
Finally, busy cooks who want to be able to keep an eye on their meal but don’t want to have to stand and watch the stove all afternoon should consider getting a type of stove that has Wi-Fi capabilities. This stove can sync right with your app that you download onto your tablet or phone, and you can monitor your meal’s progression from other areas of the house. You can monitor the heat levels of each burner and make sure that you’re not overcooking anything. This is also great for families who have smaller children to make sure that the kids aren’t trying to use the stove by themselves.
We’ve outlined 21 types of stoves for you to consider when you’re going to upgrade your appliances and purchase a new one. Carefully considering your options will help ensure that you get a model that will match your needs and have all of the features to make mealtimes a breeze.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.