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Electric cooktops?

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I am planning on getting a new cooktop for our kitchen. Gas is not an option so that means I need to go electric or induction. I am not wild about going with an induction cooktop because it will require me to replace my entire collection of cookware.

The electric cooktop I have at present is a coil model. These seem to have fallen out of favor, being replaced by the flat electric cooktops. This flat electric cooktop used to heat up very slowly and was prone to scratching. What are folks experiences with the modern versions of this cooktop? How is the heat up time? How do they stand up to use? Does anyone know of any places to get reviews of these types of cooktops?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. I have had a GE Profile for three years and love it. I used it quite a bit. It has bridge burners and burners can be resized for different pots. It heats up really fast and has a built-in downdraft ventilation. It wasn't my first choice -- I wanted the Dacor with the slide controls, but that was 1/2" too large once pop-up ventilation was included, so I settled. I was so disapppointed that gas was not an option, but I really like this cooktop. Get black. White is crazy. And learn to use a true cooktop cleaner once in a while to get anything burned on, off. (Weiman's).

    I feel very differently about electric now that I have this cooktop. The old coil model I found in my house was spotty in terms of heating, and shot sparks out on a few occasions. That was enough for me.

    I use cast iron, enameled cast iron (Le Creuset) with and without "bottoms" (meaning, there is enamel on the bottom that matches the sides) and stainless steel cookware all the time. Just try not to drag heavy LC pots over it -- that can't be good.

    The look is sleek. I'd recommend it in a heartbeat.

    1. i have electric flat top in my cottage since i figured it would look good, i wouldnt be cooking all that much. its by maytag. i hate it. there are two ways to cook on it overheating or under. very inconvenient and i regularly burn stuff on it because of the inconsistencies. i would never recommend this brand but not sure of the flat top itself too. i wish i had put in gas. but like i mentioned before thought this was a nice looking cook top.

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodwich

        We just bought a Whirlpool ceramic flat top about 6 months ago and I love it. It heats up immediately, the heat is evenly distributed and makes such a difference in my cooking. It does require some TLC though in keeping it clean but that's okay. I use a paper towel and the cleanser that is specific for cooktops. No problem and worth the extra effort. It sparkles.

      2. Thermador makes a an induction cooktop that uses their radiant-induction hybrid heating sytsem which doesn't require all-magnetic cookware.
        http://www.3luxe.com/best_ofs/Cook_To...

        All the benefits of induction, w/o new pans

        2 Replies
        1. re: bworp

          Thanks all for your suggestions.

          The Thermador radiant-induction top seems very interesting. I will have to check into that a bit more.

          1. re: tritium

            The Thermador cooktop bworp linked to is not some new heating system, it's just two regular electric radiant heating elements and two induction elements in the same cooktop. Your (non induction-compatible) cookware would not work on two of its burners.

            Do you have a lot of money invested in your cookware? Have you ever cooked on induction? Just wondering. Induction is also very energy-efficient, about twice as good as standard electric.

        2. Good coil models are often better than the more expensive stuff!

          I've played with induction, and it's amazing when it works at its best. Under ideal conditions, a large pot of water boiled in under a minute. But cookware is very tricky. I had stainless steel to which magnets held fast that didn't work at all. I also had a pan that worked perfectly, though a magnet wouldn't stick.

          Flattops are also tricky. If you cookware isn't reasonably heavy and very flat, you get poor contact and poor cooking.

          The Thermador system sounds interesting and you could also investigate halogen (which heats and cools quickly, almost like gas).

          Unfortunately, there aren't many objective ratings of these things. You could try Consumer Reports and consumersearch.com

          1. I know this almost a year late, but want other people searching to hear my side as well. INDUCTION COOKING IS THE BOMB. We went w/ the Kitchen Aid and I will never (hopefully) live in a place that has traditional electric or gas. The technology is unbelieveable and I am shocked it hasn't taken off yet. I guess the big downside is upfront cost. It is two to three times more expensive unless you are willing to look and yes, you have to use pans that have metal in them, but the extra cost is well worth the time saved and the cooking experience!!! BTW, we bought the All Clad Stainless package around Christmas so were able to get a fairly decent deal on the new cookware as we had pretty cheap stuff that wouldn't work. There are absolutely no hot spots and when keeping stuff warm, it does just that. I love turning it on for my friends and puting a klenex on the stove top, then putting a big pot of cold water on it and timing how long it takes to reach full boil. They Freak that the klenex does not start on fire and the water boils in less than a minute. Way, way worth the $$, especially if you shop and can do the upgrade yourself to save a little coin.