Cooktop vs Rangetop: What’s The Difference?

by on June 4, 2015

in Appliances Reviews,Tips & How To's

One question I often get from customers looking for a new cooktop is “What is the difference between a cooktop and rangetop?” I am to happy to have experienced Sales Professional Chuck Dellaria guest blog and answer that common question:

There are a number of differences between the two that are important to understand in order to decide which is best for you. The most common size rangetop or cooktop is 30″ or 36″. Although there are plenty of brands that make a 12″ and up to 48″ range/cooktops for the home. This of course will depend on your counter space and how much of it you need to use for cooking. The rangetop is almost always gas (natural or propane), while the cooktop can be gas, electric or induction. So, what’s the difference between the two?

A cooktop, also referred to as a drop-in cooktop, is placed in a cutout in the countertop with countertop completely surrounding it. You could have knobs or touch controls that are positioned on the top of the counter as well. Families with children may feel more comfortable with the cooktops since the controls are on the top of the counter where it is more difficult for children to play with the knobs. Other advantages of the drop-in cooktop is that it gives you more cabinet space, and a glass cooktop is much easier to clean. At the same time, you are limited with your cooking area on a cooktop.

Jenn-Air 36" Gas Cooktop JGC7636BP

A rangetop or pro rangetop on the other hand is built into the countertop and the cabinet. It extends from the rear of the counter to the front of the counter. This type of product is deeper and also takes up more of the cabinet space. The knobs are in front of the unit like the knobs on a range. For these reasons, you get more cooking surface area on a rangetop than a cooktop. Another advantage of the rangetop is that it has higher BTU output and also has more flexibility as you can set each burner to as low as a simmer to high heat. With a rangetop you can also get different cooking surfaces like a grill or griddle.

Wolf 48" Sealed Burner Rangetop SRT484CG

For many of these reasons, the rangetop often attracts the chef because of many of the pro features and flexibility. If you do a lot of cooking, a 48″ sealed burner range top, like Wolf’s SRT484CG model is a great option. This model, for example, offers the grill and griddle which will cook anything from the perfect steak to amazing pancakes. The grates on this rangetop are also porcelain coated cast iron that are continuous, meaning you could slide your pots and pans around without lifting them, just like on an electric or induction cooktop. The drip pan for this model also helps make it easier to clean.

As you can see, both cooktops and rangetops have their advantages, depending on what your needs are in the kitchen. The choice really just comes down to understanding the differences between the two and deciding which is the best fit for you.



For two decades, sales associate Chuck Dellaria has been assisting customers and sharing his extensive knowledge of appliances. With his level of experience, Chuck has an amazing memory of prices and rebates. He is also respected by the building trade and has built a loyal following of customers that can vouch for his knowledge, expertise, and service. Contact Chuck at chuck@mrsgs.com or 609-882-1444.


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