The earliest stoves were nothing more than slabs of rock over a fire, but today’s cook has a number of choices when shopping for a kitchen stove. From traditional wood-burning stoves to state-of-the-art induction stoves, the selection of stove kitchen ideas is wider than ever before. Consumers can choose their fuel, temperature control, purchase price, features, and even operating costs. After sorting through all the options, the cook can bring home the perfect kitchen stove for her lifestyle.
Function of Stove Kitchen Ideas
Kitchen stoves are the flat cooking elements on which pots and pans are placed and heated to cook food. Some are part of a combination unit with an enclosed oven, but the stove top may stand alone. Originally, the stove top was simply a way to balance a cooking vessel over the fire, but modern stoves interact with the cookware directly. Kitchen stoves may be as small as a single heating element or as large as the cook demands, although four heating elements are most common. Stoves are distinguished by how quickly they can perform common tasks, such as boiling water, how rapidly they reflect temperature adjustments, and how easily they can be cleaned.
6 Picture Gallery: Stove Kitchen Ideas
The Types of Stove Kitchen Ideas
Wood-Burning Stoves – Wood-burning cooking stoves may bring to mind old Westerns, but some people still use them today. Cooking on a wood-burning stove takes practice, since there is little or no control over the temperature. However, the fuel is inexpensive and readily available in most areas and the stove can help heat the whole house. As more and more people choose to live “off the grid,” traditional tools like wood- burning stoves are in demand again.
– Whether the coils are exposed or covered in smooth glass, electric kitchen stoves are found in homes everywhere. Electric stoves are the least expensive to buy, starting at less than $300. They require only an adequate power source and minimal carpentry to install. Cooks do not have quite as much control over temperature with electric coils as with other heating elements, and electric stoves can be slightly more expensive to operate than other stoves. However, the low cost, ease of use and easy clean-up of electric kitchen stoves make them a popular home appliance.
– Gas kitchen stoves burn either natural gas or propane. Natural gas is an optional utility in some areas and can be piped into the home. Propane can be delivered to a private tank and restocked as needed. A gas stove can cost a bit more than an electric stove, but operating costs are low once everything is installed. Gas stoves give the cook superior temperature control, and will work even during power outages. The heavy grates can be challenging to clean, but sealed burners make cleaning easier.
– Induction kitchen stoves heat the cooking vessel directly using magnetism. They are expensive but are extremely efficient to own and operate. Because the pot or pan is heated directly, very little heat or energy is lost to the air. The cook has all of the temperature control of a gas stove, but no risk of being burned, since there is no flame on an induction stove. The kitchen stove itself remains cool to the touch, making induction stoves safe even in households with small children. Induction stoves only work with ferrous cookware, but both stainless steel and cast iron are readily available.
Added Options of Stove Kitchen Ideas
Stoves come with optional features, including smooth-top cooktops, which have become common in most medium-to-high-priced models. They allow you to easily clean the stovetop without having to work around coiled burners. You can also find stoves with computerized controls, different numbers and sizes of burners, easily controllable broilers and built-in extras, such as grills, flattop griddles or even a wok. You will also need to decide on a built-in cooktop or oven or a stand-alone range and whether you want a simple range hood or one with a built-in microwave oven.
Home cooks have a long list of options when choosing a new stove. Choices include electric, gas and induction models, which differ in appearance, price and performance. The setup of your kitchen, the power source and your budget likely will guide your decision before you ever cook a meal with your new stove kitchen ideas.