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Electric cooktop recommendations?


Joe Frickin' Friday

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Joe Frickin' Friday

We currently have an electric cooktop with "traditional" exposed-coil burners. Tired of the struggle to clean all of the various surfaces, we're now interested in a glass/smooth electric cooktop.

 

Consumer reports ranks This Kenmore model (#42739) as a best buy. Anyone have any experience with this model, good or bad?

 

Any other recommendations?

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My inlaws went this route about 5 years ago. I cannot comment on the specific model you site but this smooth surface is infinitely easier to clean.

 

P.S. Do you have mojolevers and mojoblocks in stock? Please send a PM. Thanks.

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Look into an induction cooktop if you're going to be doing a lot of cooking. True, there are "strings" attached (such as using the right kind of cooking pot) and they're more expensive, but if I was going that route, I'd personally seriously consider one.

 

I can't help you much as I really prefer gas cooktops to electric.

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We went the same direction 8 years ago and have been happy with the Kenmore choice. We have the same cook top on a oven range unit. The clean up is quick work but a special ceramic top cleaner is used for burnt on stuff. The unit cleans up looking like new every time.

 

One nice thing about Kenmore is replacement parts are easy to come by and easy to change out when needed.

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I'm going to go against the grain here (hah! ain't that the first time...) and say, I don't like the smooth surface induction(?) cooktops one damn bit.

 

We really like to cook and it's pretty much a second hobby for us, so we pay more attention to things like "how well can I control the temperature" rather than "how does it look" or "how easy it is to clean".

 

Gas really is by far the best way to go, no electric cooktop will ever come even close.

But between the electric ones, as ugly or low-tech as the coil types are, I'd still take that any day before the smooth top.

 

Two main reasons for me are:

- I have many nice pots and pans that simply don't seem to work together with the induction cooktop. What am I supposed to do, discard the nice pots I'm used to and simply by new (worse) ones...

- It "feels" like these cookptops have very little "thermal mass" or sheer power. At first it takes long time to get the heat up (vs. gas) but then it keeps rising to crazy hot if you have a small & light dish cooking on it. I'm not very good at explaining this.

It just seems difficult to control the cooking temperature as I'd want. This makes the cooking less fun.

 

--

Mikko

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I have used a smoothtop Kenmore-not that model, of course-for over 10 years and I like it okay. It is better than the coil that it replaced, but not nearly as good as gas would be.

 

If I had it to do over again, I would pay to run a gas line to my kitchen and get a dual fuel unit (electric oven, gas cooktop). Eventually that is what I will do, when it comes time to replace this unit.

 

I will say that the my smoothtop is even worse than my old coil top in terms of speed of temperature response. It takes the smoothtop longer to heat up fully, or cool down fully, than my old coiltop did.

 

I rather wish that mine had at least one induction element, for all that I would have to replace a few pots and pans that are not induction ready.

 

On the smoothtop, you have to be really careful about banging around with pots and pans, which I don't find to be a huge problem. You also have to be very, very careful when using big cast iron pots-and I have some large-ish ones. So far, I have not had any problems with that, but I am extremely careful. I do have a couple of burn marks that cannot be cleaned off of my largest element; however, those come from a long canning session (I spilled some hot jelly on the stove and it melted under the canner and burned onto the burner) and is not something that everyone is likely to face.

 

Overall, I have been happy with the unit and, if I was interested in keeping the smoothtop, would buy another Kenmore based on my experience.

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Look into an induction cooktop if you're going to be doing a lot of cooking. True, there are "strings" attached (such as using the right kind of cooking pot) and they're more expensive, but if I was going that route, I'd personally seriously consider one.

 

I can't help you much as I really prefer gas cooktops to electric.

 

Mitch, seriously look into induction. It has a few very nice features:

 

1) The induction system heats ONLY the pan, not the cooktop itself. Nothing burns onto the cooktop. You can remove the pan, and place your hand right on the cooktop, subject to a very short time to let the heat from the pan disburse.

 

2) it is near 100% efficient, there is no wasted heat because you're only heating the pan, not a grate, not the air around the pan etc......

 

3) Boils water very, very quickly. Faster than gas.

 

4) INSTANT heat control, just like gas.

 

 

The down sides are:

 

1) You need magnetic cookware.

 

2) The cooktops are around $1500.

 

 

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I have gas in my house. Hopefully that counts for some points. :Cool:

 

But I think Mitch has a big 12-3 wire sticking out of the wall, and needs to connect to that.

 

 

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We currently have an electric cooktop with "traditional" exposed-coil burners. Tired of the struggle to clean all of the various surfaces, we're now interested in a glass/smooth electric cooktop.

 

Consumer reports ranks This Kenmore model (#42739) as a best buy. Anyone have any experience with this model, good or bad?

 

Any other recommendations?

 

 

Mithch, I am in the same boat, I got a Jenn-Air cooktop and when I looked to replace it, I noticed all units I was considering where deeper than the JA and would not have had enough depth on top of the range, which is below it.

In other word, if you are short for space (depth) make sure the new unit fits in, plus minus some clearance.

 

Just saying

 

p.s. I have actually abondened my search for a replacement unit and am considering rebuilding the 15 year old JA, but spare parts are hard to get and expensive.

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No experience with the Kenmore, but we had 2 GE ranges with radiant cooktops over a span of 14 years and never had a problem with them. I really doubt you'll be disappointed. I'm not a foodie or a chef, but I do like food and I do most of the cooking in our household, and these cooktops were more than satisfactory for my needs. I dropped pots, pans, a 9x13 Pyrex baking dish and various other things on them without causing any damage. Most spills clean up easily with a ceramic cleaner (available at most grocery stores) and a razor blade. You can flour it and roll out dough on it, and it will clean up easily. When you're not using it, the flat surface can come in handy as temporary counter space for stuff that you'd never consider putting near a conventional electric cooktop. Pretty darn practical, IMO.

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Mitch, seriously look into induction. It has a few very nice features:

 

1) The induction system heats ONLY the pan, not the cooktop itself. Nothing burns onto the cooktop. You can remove the pan, and place your hand right on the cooktop, subject to a very short time to let the heat from the pan disburse.

 

2) it is near 100% efficient, there is no wasted heat because you're only heating the pan, not a grate, not the air around the pan etc......

 

3) Boils water very, very quickly. Faster than gas.

 

4) INSTANT heat control, just like gas.

 

 

The down sides are:

 

1) You need magnetic cookware.

 

2) The cooktops are around $1500.

 

 

I think I'm going to look into this as well. It has definitely got my interest

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You've already received this same advice...but.... We have one of the GE Profile models. One of the smooth electric surfaces sounded like a great idea to us too until we owned one. If I could do it over again I would've had a gas cooktop installed instead.

Cons: Not as easy to keep clean as one would hope. It's very easy for it to look "not clean". It can be scratched and there's no way to fix it if it happens. I cringe every time a guest puts something down on it.

Pros: It looks nice... when it's perfectly clean.

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It has a few very nice features:

 

1) The induction system heats ONLY the pan, not the cooktop itself. Nothing burns onto the cooktop. You can remove the pan, and place your hand right on the cooktop, subject to a very short time to let the heat from the pan disburse.

 

2) it is near 100% efficient, there is no wasted heat because you're only heating the pan, not a grate, not the air around the pan etc......

 

3) Boils water very, very quickly. Faster than gas.

 

4) INSTANT heat control, just like gas.

 

 

We must be talking about some different technologies here, not just different brands because that pretty much describes exactly what our smooth-top cooker does NOT do.

 

--

Mikko

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It has a few very nice features:

 

1) The induction system heats ONLY the pan, not the cooktop itself. Nothing burns onto the cooktop. You can remove the pan, and place your hand right on the cooktop, subject to a very short time to let the heat from the pan disburse.

 

2) it is near 100% efficient, there is no wasted heat because you're only heating the pan, not a grate, not the air around the pan etc......

 

3) Boils water very, very quickly. Faster than gas.

 

4) INSTANT heat control, just like gas.

 

 

We must be talking about some different technologies here, not just different brands because that pretty much describes exactly what our smooth-top cooker does NOT do.

 

You are. Art is describing induction (electro-magnetic) cooktops vs. radiant heat (typically halogen) smooth-surface cooktops.

 

Stack 'em all up, including gas, and induction reigns supreme. It's faster, generally more adjustable (a low heat covers the entire pan - great for you sauciers), easier and safer than everything else, and everyone's house is already wired for it. OK, it's pricey, and you need to throw out all that cool aluminum cookware you got for your wedding. Other than that, induction is the bees knees in all of cookdom. Except for hardwood charcoal, that is. :/

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Unhofliche_Gesundheit

thanks for the opportunity to let us tell you how to spend your money! yes get a gas stove - they only cost a bit more - as money is no object (hehe) we wont bother to warn you about the other 'small' costs (have to run in the gas supply - i have natural gas furnace so 200$ for the extension to the gas line. if you dont have gas now in your house your guess is as good as mine - maybe say 1000$?. You;ll need a big range hood say 800$ , oh and modify you cabinets to maintain the required distances for safety - 0-1000$ say).

i had to give up on the dream of a gas stove myself - i will be moving eventually & not everyone loves them - so you might not get your money back when you leave - might even discourage some buyers. a lot of money for the extra functionality for a couple of years.

 

as far as i can tell from consumers reports does not make a huge difference which brand of white goods you buy. you may wish to subscribe on line to consumer reports as part of your info finding phase- i think on-line subscription is cheapest bang for buck to get their opinion (rather than print media magazine where you have to wait a year for them to look at stoves you can review everything they have on line *now* - i think). i ended up with 'fridgidaire professional' (not really professional - just a bit better)

 

with regards to coil or smoothtop - once you go shopping you will see coils are very last millenium. if you are going to spend the money dont bother getting coil - just keep the one you have.

 

with regards to induction - there are pros and cons. consumers reports looks at them. based on what they said i decided not to get one as cost a lot more bucks and was getting new fridge (and old dishwasher needed to be changed to stainless to match)

i spent a bit more on the stove to get unit with precise digital controls - i am happy that did so.

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Joe Frickin' Friday

Well, considering everything - opinions/experience here, Consumer Reports, and other stuff, we went ahead and got the Kenmore I mentioned in my OP. Cooked on it for the first time last night; performance seems comparable to our old traditional electric. Plus it looks good: all-black, smooth, and very low, surface is proud of the countertop by only 1/4".

 

I've used gas stoves before, and while I appreciate the rapid controllability, I can't stand the way it heats the bajeezus out of the kitchen when you're cooking for a long time, especially in summer. And the burners are just as tedious to clean as a traditional electric.

 

Induction would seem to combine the best of both worlds - easy cleaning AND rapid/fine controllability - but the idea of restricting myself to a narrow selection of compatible pots and pans was unattractive.

 

Anyway, so far so good with the Kenmore; thanks to all who responded.

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