Electric cooktop suggestions

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Am replacing an electric cooktop (exposed burner element type). Wife is considering the smooth top type.
What are the pros and cons of the smooth top over the open burner type?
(Going gas is not an option in this case - it Must be electric).
Bob-tx
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Bob-tx wrote:

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wrote:

One big factor is that if you crack the top of one of the smooth top stoves, you might as well buy a new stove. At least for the moderate cost stove that is. On the ones I've seen, the cooktop has to be replaced as a single unit that costs like $250 or so. A friend bought a new stove for about $325 on sale for a vacation house he rents out. (not a good idea) Within a couple months a renter cracked it. Looking online, with shipping, it was close to $300 for the replacement top. On the plus side, even with a quarter size ding and a long crack, 2 years later it still working.
Could still be fine though depending on who uses it and how careful they will be.
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--------------------------------------------
I've been using a Sears brand glass top stove for eight years. I even have a microwave oven over the top of it.
No problems so far. Just be careful not to drop anything heavy on the glass top and read the manufactures warnings and directions.
Great stove.
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wrote:

If you get a glass top, get a black one. The white ones are tough to keep white
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Smooth tops have problems with cracking, which is expensive to fix. Smooth tops are necessarily brittle and so won't take the abuse that a ductile coil burner structure will. I also don't like the heat response of typical smooth tops.
You cannot use a canner or a griddle on a typical smooth tops. If something boils over or spills on a coil burner, you can easily clean out or replace the drip pan, and the coil itself is self-cleaning. On a smooth top, you'll have to get out a razor blade to clean off crud.
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The wife has had both [she tipped a KitchenAid mixer on the first, shattering the top] and really likes the kind with "touch controls" and no knobs. More expensive.
I agree that sold white is probably harder to keep looking good.

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wrote:

If white I suggest all new cookware. Any pan "seasoning" tends to transfer rather easily and is not easy to remove.
We got ours at 25% of retail and wouldn't have another if they were 3 for a dime, 6 for a quarter. -----
- gpsman
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My wife would not go back to exposed coils, she is very enthusiastic about her Sears Kenmore smoothtop. It is a little slower than a coil type electric cooking element, but soo much easier to keep clean. It is also a great place to put things during the rest of the day that might otherwise roll off a smooth countertop as the edges are raised 1/4 inch.
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Same answer as the last time you asked. Go to propane.
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Bob-tx wrote:

    I have a flat surface range, and I like it. It is black, so it does not have the problem keeping it clean that others have stated. It does require flat pots and pans, and it does retain the heat longer than other ranges. This being said, it certainly has an advantage with regard to keeping it clean and appearance. I suspect a real chef would prefer a gas range over an electric one, but since I do less cooking than that of a large family, it suits me fine. Good luck.
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"Bob-tx" wrote

Pro's, they tend to look spiffy. I stretched for another one and can't find it.
Con's - Much harder to clean a spill if it bakes in at all. Easy to damage surface when trying. - Often a favorite pan or so can never be used on it (my best cast iron for example) - Somewhat fragile, leading to chips or cracks - Expensive to repair (pretty much replace) - Pots leave marks, the time you 'save' wiping gets used scouring pot bottoms - Slower to heat, lower final heat (this may be dated info and newer models may be better)
Reality is the usefullness tends to degrade fast with a person who *loves* to cook and and is more interested in performance than looks. Seen any cooking shows? You won't find any glass tops at all in them. Electric and gas (both slightly different but both work well).
Now, if most of the time you folks are just reheating a soup, or boiling a few veggies etc, glass top is ok. If using it to put up canned goods, make jellies/jams, or any of the other assorted things some of us really enjoy doing, you will find a glass top 'looks spiffy' and after a month, you will wish to hell you had a regular stove top again. That big pot of tomato sauce, perking slowly all day to perfection? Nope. Not as efficient as a regular burner for that.
I had a fortunately *short* 4 month time when I had a temporary place with one of those glass top units. With no experince with them at first, I thought it looked really neat and liked the idea. The honeymoon ended in less than a week in my case. I was really glad to move by the end of that 4 months to a place with a real stovetop.
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Cooking precision varies per model/brand. Our old Amana was perhaps not as efficient as a regular burner. Our new Bosch w/touch controls is vastly superior for high heat cooking or slow simmering. Of course, nothing beats gas but in Hawaii electric rules.

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On Thu 19 Nov 2009 05:24:36p, cshenk told us...

Clearly we've had different experiences, Carol, and I couldn't disagree more. In 3 different houses I have had 3 different smoothtop ranges and loved all 3. The first was a Frigidaire, the second a GE, and the present one a Whirlpool.
Cleaning methods are obviously different for these ranges, but done properly is neither more time consuming nor more difficult.
I will agree that "proper" cookware is necessary for best results. I use both heavy stainless steel and Le Creuset enameled cast iron, as well as a few Pyrex pieces.
IME, the heating/cooling responsiveness is far better than an open coil electric range. I have never liked nor wanted a gas range.
My last two ranges have had variable size elements, as well as true simmer and "keep warm" settings.
In short, I couldn't be happier with any other type of range. Although, could I afford it, I would be interested in trying an induction cooktop. All my current cookware would work with that, too.
--

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Wayne Boatwright wrote:

I use my cast iron cookware on it every day. I don't always clean it daily and do have to scrape with the razor blade which came with it. However, I do feel I can clean it better than I could clean my coil range and even with cleaning once a month or so it looks like new even though it is 10+ years old.
Jane
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On Fri, 20 Nov 2009 07:43:03 -0500, Jane Yeoman

I have never needed a razor blade to clean mine. I try to wipe things up before they turn to charcoal but a scotch brite seems to do the trick.
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"Wayne Boatwright" wrote

Yes, very different experiences. It may have to do with how we both use the stove top but withough an involved discussion that goes all the way to the recipe level, I can't tell for sure what is different. "Now, if most of the time you folks are just reheating a soup, or boiling a few veggies etc, glass top is ok." was credence to the difference in usage levels we may have.
We don't know what Bob-tx's wife does. No, I am not saying you just reheat cnas, but there might be a usage level difference combined with my experience with earlier versions of this sort of range.
A side tale: When I was 19, I made a trip to Oskaloosa Iowa to visit a friend. Glass tops were in their infancy and Sara's Mom was really happy with it. I don't recall clearly why, but we decided to have chili for dinner. She was shocked to find i knew how and no cans were needed other than perhaps canned tomatoes. I managed to make it work, but on those 1980 or so circa versions, it was problematic. Fast forward to 1995 with a 'supposed' state of the art model. It *was* much better and i can only assume 14 years later they are better yet.
So, I am happy that you are happy, but Bob-tx asked for the general input on pro's and cons. If his wife has set ways, and cooks using the stovetop alot (not just reheating stuff or frying some bacon and eggs), she may not like the 'adaption' even if the units no longer have the flaws of the earlier ones.
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Maybe she could find a friend who has a fairly new smooth cooktop and try cooking a meal on it to confirm like/dislike before soending the $$ $.
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Thanks to all for your input. I printed it all off and gave it to my wife. After digesting it, she decided to stay with the open coil element. She only cooks for the two of us now, but enjoys cooking and has a variety of recipies and frequently tries new ones.
She is just a bit concerned that she wouldn't like the smooth top, but would be stuck with it from now on - possibly for the rest of her life.
Thanks again for all the input.
Bob-tx
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Probably a good decision. The smooth tops look better, but they have too many restrictions and potential problems that coils do not have.
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