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Range Top vs. Cooktop: An Exploration in Models

by Albert Lee Appliance

As far as kitchen packages go, cooking appliances offer the most flexibility in terms of installation, configuration, and fuel or power types. Whether you admire the clean look of a glass-top stove, prefer to opt into energy savings with induction cooking power, or have always wanted to cook weekend breakfasts in the middle of your kitchen island, the culinary world is your oyster.

While there is much to gain from the 2-in-1 setup of a classic kitchen range, range tops and cooktops add a layer of customization, gifting you the choice of installing a built-in oven separately from your cooking elements.

And when it comes to reaping the benefits of a separately installed cooking surface, it’s a range top vs. cooktop showdown. Here is how both culinary titans duel it out.

Range Top vs. Cooktop: What are the Differences?

At first glance, both cooking appliances seem identical, as neither feature an oven. With that said, their greatest differences lie in their control features and how they are installed.

A range top often has similar dimensions as a full range (sans oven), which allows you to install it so that it sits just above the counter or cabinetry in your kitchen.

A cooktop allows for this installation and more. Unlike a range top, a cooktop has its controls on top of the cooking surface—as opposed to in front. Visually speaking, this configuration provides counterspace on all four sides of the appliance.

Range Tops

In addition to these key differences, a range top offers the following unique benefits:

  • Sturdier construction to handle heavy-handed use (accidents happen)
  • Controls and knobs in the front of the appliance (so that you can easily manage multiple pots and pans)
  • More surface space for cooking
  • Can slide within your countertop in a space that is cut to fit it

Gas Range Tops

Favored by professional chefs, gas cooking appliances allow better control, enabling instant changes in heat while cooking since a flame doesn’t need much time to warm up or cool down. This is not the case with electric cooking elements or stove coils.

Our best-selling gas model, the luxurious Wolf 36" Pro-Style Gas Rangetop (SRT366), maximizes your cooking power with six innovative dual-stacked, sealed burners. The dual-stacked design of each burner has two distinct flame-port tiers: one that delivers high heat for boiling and melting and another that breathes the merest flame for simmering.

The continuous cast-iron grates make for easy movement of pots and pans. And the red control knobs, a Wolf signature, will surely elicit gasps from your guests. “Is that—?” Yes. Yes, it is.

Electric Range Tops

Don’t count electric range tops out of the running just yet. With most electric models providing a smooth-top stove surface, you can flip vegetables, stir sauces, and toss in the seasoning with confidence that any spills and sloshes can be wiped away with ease—no vigorous scrubbing required.

Another point in this appliance’s favor is that electric cooking elements do not generate a lot of ambient heat, unlike gas burners, which usually warm up the kitchen to an uncomfortable degree. With an electric range top, you can rest assured this area stays cool.

And unless your kitchen is already equipped with wiring for a gas cooking appliance, it is less expensive to install an electric range top. Unlike their gas counterparts, electric range tops are available in a broader spectrum of prices so that you can score the best option for your budget.


In the other corner, cooktops offer these unique benefits when contrasted against range tops:

  • Available in induction power options
  • Take up less space
  • Controls and knobs are on top of the appliance (for an increased level of safety around children)
  • Can be installed in your countertop so the entire unit sits on top

Gas Cooktops

When it comes to mid-range gas models, GE Profile gas cooktops smoke the competition—and sear, simmer, boil, and melt it for good measure.

The GE Profile Series 36" Stainless Steel Built-In Gas Cooktop (PGP9036SLSS) displays edge-to-edge grates and 3-in-1 burners that are equipped to handle accelerated boiling and gentle simmering. The optional integrated cooktop griddle eliminates the need for extra cookware, allowing you to enjoy pancakes and grilled cheeses fresh off your cooktop.

And hey, just because it’s got cast-iron cooking elements, that doesn’t mean this gas cooktop is any less modern. Lending a sleek appearance, its white LED backlit knobs also let you know which burners are on.

Electric Cooktops

What if you can power your cooktop from your phone without getting up from the couch? With a Samsung electric cooktop, the future is now.

To be fair, smart cooking appliances can be fueled by gas, electric, and induction cooking power—but with a Samsung 30" Electric Cooktop (NZ30K6330RS), you’ll find the ultimate peace of mind, as you can turn on, power off, preheat, adjust temperature controls, set timers, and remotely monitor dinner from your smartphone.

Generally speaking, electric cooktops can come with coil or radiant cooktop elements. The former is a more affordable option upon initial purchase and in terms of maintenance, should you need repairs. Meanwhile, you get what you pay for when it comes to smooth-top models, as these tend to cool down faster and make easy work out of post-dinner cleanup.

Induction Cooktops

Finally, we have induction cooktops. A sub-type version of an electric cooktop, induction models transfer heat electromagnetically into specially conductive cookware with virtually no trace of heat on the induction elements themselves. These appliances are safer to operate since there’s no radiant heat and residual heat dissipates quickly.

Plus, due to the technology involved, induction cooking operates more economically, with virtually no heat wasted. If you’ve got a few bucks to spare, we think an induction cooktop is a worthy purchase.

In terms of product recommendations, Samsung reigns supreme once more.

The Samsung 36" Induction Cooktop (NZ36K7880US, NZ36K7880UG) allows you to choose between a removable magnetic knob or touch controls so that you can do everything your way. WiFi connectivity and Bluetooth options are available in this Samsung induction cooktop, as well as eye-pleasing Virtual Flame LED surface lights that shine onto pans to give the visual of gas cooking—but, all the while, you’re using the precision of induction.

Product Comparisons: Albert Lee’s Best-Selling Cooktops

Take a look at what key features our best-selling cooktops offer across fuel and power types:

Product Attributes
Gas Cooktop: KitchenAid (KCGD506GSS)

Electric Cooktop: LG (LCE3010SB)

Induction Cooktop: GE Café (CHP95302MSS)
MSRP $2,099.99 $999.00 $2,229.99
Dimensions (in.) Flexible; 6.59 H x 30–36 W x 19.69 D 4 H x 30.84 W x 21.5 D 4.38 H x 29.85  W x 20.88 D
Number of Cooking Elements/Burners 5 sealed burners 5 radiant cooktop elements 4 induction elements
Control Type Knobs Electronic Touch Glide Touch
Control Location Right Side Front Center Front Center
Auto Shut-Off? No Yes Yes
Warm Function? No Yes  Yes
Timer? No No Yes
Safety Features N/A Child Lock; Hot Surface Indicator; Auto Shut Off Surface Element “ON’; Setting Level Indicators

Bonus: Wall Ovens

When you invest in a range top or cooktop, don’t forget to check out our catalog of name-brand wall ovens that you can install anywhere in your kitchen:

Let Us Help You

For any questions related to our catalog of cooking appliances, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly experts at Albert Lee Appliance. Build the kitchen of your dreams today! Call our visit us at any of our Puget Sound locations.