Gas stovetop installed in a modern kitchen

What are the parts of a stovetop?

There are several parts of your standalone cooktop or range stovetop that work together so you can get dinner on the table for your family. Cooktop parts vary depending on whether you have a gas, electric or induction model, but generally stoves have grates, burners, knobs and drip bowls or covers. 

Use the following guide to learn more about the parts of a stovetop, their functions and other frequently asked cooktop questions.

Aerial view of a gas and electric stovetop Aerial view of a gas and electric stovetop

5 parts of a cooktop

Understanding the common parts and features of a cooktop can help you make the right decision when choosing one for your kitchen. Read on below to learn more about different stovetop parts.

Stovetop burner

1. Burners

Regardless of the type of heating element a cooktop uses, every cooktop has burners. Though specifics vary by model, stovetops typically have at least 4 burners located on the top of the stove. Gas cooktops have burners that utilize an open flame to heat your pots and pans, while electric and induction burners use heated metal coils or electromagnetic heating elements under a glass plate.

Cooktop grates

2. Grates

Grates are designed to securely hold cookware above the flame of a burner at precise heights to ensure good burner performance. Gas stovetop grates are commonly made of cast iron or other heat-safe metals, while electric and induction cooktops don’t have grates. Instead, the heating element of an electric cooktop is housed beneath a smooth ceramic-glass surface.

Cooktop drip bowls

3. Drip bowls

Drip bowls or pans are designed to catch spills, leaks and splatters to protect your burners from the messes of cooking. These pans sit below the burners and can usually be removed for cleaning or replacement. Glass-top stoves typically do not have drip bowls.

Stovetop knobs

4. Knobs

The knobs on your cooktop are typically located either on top of the cooktop, next to or below the burners. These knobs help you control the temperature of your stovetop’s heating elements with a quick push and twisting motion, igniting gas burners or activating electric coils.

Some models feature tap activated buttons instead of control knobs which can create a streamlined, minimal look.

Griddle stovetop accessory

5. Accessories

Depending on the make and model of your cooktop, your appliance may feature accessories like an additional burner, griddle burners or grill burners.

Whirlpool® electric range in a light blue kitchen Whirlpool® electric range in a light blue kitchen

Is a stove the same as a cooktop?

Though they are occasionally conflated, stoves or ranges differ from stovetops or cooktops. The word stove typically is used to describe an appliance that encompasses both a cooktop and oven. Cooktops only include 2–5 burners on its surface and no oven component.

Why is my stovetop not working or heating up?

There can be a few causes for a stovetop that doesn’t heat up, including a malfunctioning burner, poor gas supply, user error or a malfunctioning heating element. The best way to find the cause and resolve the problem is to schedule a service with a licensed technician.

With gas cooktops, the burners ports may have gotten clogged with crumbs or other food debris. This can be resolved by clearing the clog with a straight pin, needle or small-gauge wire.

Tip:

Use the correct size burner for the pot or pan you are using. Pots should not overlap the burner by more than 1/2 inch.

Use flat bottom pans and put a cover or lid on the pot when boiling water.

Person placing grates back on a gas cooktop Person placing grates back on a gas cooktop

How do I replace my stove burner?

The instructions for replacing a stove burner vary by cooktop type and the brand of cooktop you own. Consult your product manual for specific instructions and be sure to only replace malfunctioning burners with compatible parts.

How long does a cooktop last?

The lifespan of your cooktop can vary depending on the make and model as well as how well you keep up with the necessary maintenance. Always follow the maintenance instructions provided in the product manual for your stovetop.

Replacement stovetop parts

Whirlpool brand offers replacement parts for stoves like burner drip bowls designed to fit specific models. If you need assistance finding a replacement part that matches your appliance, you can contact customer service to help you find the right one. If you need help troubleshooting a problem with your cooktop or finding and installing the right replacement part, be sure to schedule an appointment with a licensed technician.

Explore Whirlpool® cooktops

No matter your style or choice of fuel source, Whirlpool brand has a cooktop to match nearly any kitchen. Whether you choose gas, electric or induction technology, you can find stovetops with innovative features and controls like select models with the SpeedHeat Burner or  FlexHeat Dual Radiant Element.

Learn more about cooktops with Whirlpool brand

Gold home heartbeat logo over image of a tablet with Whirlpool blog page displayed in the background

home heartbeat

Ready for more tips, home hacks and appliance guides?

Was this article helpful? Pass it on