Cooktops dos and don’ts
Thinking about getting a new cooktop? – here are a few quick dos and don’ts for your new appliance.
- Keep the cooktop clean using the correct cleaning products. This is especially true for ceramic and induction cooktops – if you use the wrong product, you could permanently scratch the surface. Specific ceramic cooktop cleaning products are readily available in the supermarket. Never use an abrasive cleaning product.
- Wipe up spills immediately; spills on hot surfaces can be difficult to remove if allowed to dry.
- Buy good-quality pans with flat, smooth bottoms that won’t scratch your cooktop. If you are using an induction cooktop, you need to buy pots and pans that are suitable for induction. They need to be made of a ferrous (iron-containing) metal or alloy, such as steel. You cannot use non-ferrous metals, for example aluminium and copper. Most new pans you buy will state if they are suitable, but a quick check is to use a small magnet to test if the pan is magnetic. If it is, it will work on an induction cooktop.
Most new induction pans you buy will state if they are suitable, but a quick check is to use a small magnet to test if the pan is magnetic.
- Remove trivets and covers on gas cooktops when cleaning.
- Always use a professional to install a cooktop.
- Take some time to learn the features of your cooktop. Induction heats up very fast, so get used to food and liquids getting to temperature quickly to avoid boil-overs and burnt dinners! Start on lower heat settings until you get used to the power.
- Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
- Use a rangehood, especially if you have a gas cooktop, as this will remove any potentially harmful gases and particles from your kitchen.
- Don’t use any cookware with a rough base that might scratch the cooktop surface.
- Don’t slide or drag pots around as this can also cause scratching.
- Don’t place utensils on the cooktop as they could leave sticky residue or melt if they are plastic.
- Don’t place hot trays or bakeware from the oven on to a ceramic cooktop – this can cause the surface to crack.
- Don’t drop heavy items on to the cooktop.
- Don’t use small pots on large elements/burners. For gas cooktops, flames should not extend past the edge of the pot/pan.
- Don’t leave a cooktop in use unattended, especially gas. Some induction and ceramic tops have pause functions to allow this, but it’s still advisable to turn off if you are leaving your kitchen for a longer period of time.