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New Flat Top Electric Stove

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I'm going to buy a new stove to replace an old electric coil stove. I have opted for a flat top electric, don't have gas (damn) and the cost of the induction stoves is too high. I have done some reading and have a few questions. From what I've read cleaning flat tops can be problematic. Food spills and then gets cooked on hard. Have you had this and what was your solution? I have also read that controlling heat can be an issue, especially low heat. And lastly, the time it takes to get up to temp. It seems this was a bigger problem in older models, but not so much any more. Anyone experience this?

Thanks,
jb

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  1. I have a flat top electric stove and honestly, I really dislike it.

    I have cracked the top twice. My own fault as our spices are above the stovetop and twice, I openned the door and containers have fallen out onto the top, breaking it. Once, it was a very light weight plastic container and I could not believe it broke the top. (The second time, it was a full jar of honey and I was not surprise it broke the top.)

    I definately have a problem with controlling the low heat. For example, the other night I made shrimp in a curry sauce. I wanted to keep it covered on low while I tended to other dishes. Turning the burner down to Lo simply did not work, I could not get the temp low enough to stop the sauce from bubbling. I couldn't shift the pan because I was using the other burners.

    I don't find cleaning to be much of a problem. If I need to tackle a particularly stubborn, cooked on spills, I use a bit of Bon Ami or Barkeeper's Friend and a non-scratch scrubby pad. My top is black and to get it super shiny, I do need to use the recommended cleaner. I am too lazy to do this.

    My top is about 4 years old, a Jenn Air, and it does take a long time to boil water for pasta. If it matters, my cookware is All-Clad stainless.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cleobeach

      This cracking issue is bothering me. I read on e-how that it's not recommended to do canning on a flat top as it might be too much weight and heat and cause cracking. What about a big pot of stock?

      Thanks,
      jb

      1. re: JuniorBalloon

        I do a lot of heavy duty cooking (big pots, big quantities, long cooking times) and I have never had a problem with large stock pot cooking. My breakage came from flying objects....grrrrr......

        I don't can so I can't offer an option on that potential breakage issue.

        I hate to be totally negative on the cooktop as I know it can be annoying when people dump on someone else's choices. At the time, I thought it was the best choice for us. We did a half-way kitchen spruce up and didn't want to run in a gas line.

        My non-cooking husband thought the flat glass tops were the greatest thing since sliced bread and insisted upon getting one. I wish I would have stood my ground and got one of those electric tops where the burners are just flat metal disks (as opposed to coils)

        It cost for new glass for the first break was $400 or so. I am not replacing the most current break. I will live with it until we remodel the entire kitchen.

    2. We have used an Amana flat-top for ten years. We have never damaged the top (cereal boxes over the stove). It does take a little longer for the burners to heat up when compared to conventional electric stoves but not by much.

      Your cookware does need to have a flat bottom so some of the old aluminum saucepans and sauté pans needed to be replaced. We also can't use the huge blue enameled canning pot but because the bottom isn't perfectly flat, it was made that way, and not necessarily because of the weight. We don't can huge quantities of tomatoes in quart jars anymore anyway. We have used a full 12 quart stockpot without any problems however.

      If there was only one thing I would change with stove it would be to have 2 large burners in the front nstead of one in from and one in back. A engineer must have designed this stove and not a cook because nothing taller than a sauté pan fits on the large, rear burner because of the panel with the control buttons at the back of the stove protrudes a little over the cooking surface.

      Although I too would prefer a gas or induction stove the flat-top is much better than a coil-electric simply for cleanup. BKF and a 3M Scotchbrite pad and some of the ceramic top cleaner for the lighter spills makes it easy to keep clean.

      1. We also have a Jenn Air about 5 years old. I hate it with a passion.

        We haven't had a problem with dried food, but once, someone left something on a burner that wasn't completely cool and the bright blue text from the plastic melted onto the cooktop. We used a special razor blade recommended by JA to scrape it off. It wasn't difficult and I imagine the same could be used for food.

        Having said that, the downdraft is a piece of crap. The stove takes forever to heat up and cool down. Boiling water is impossible in under 15 minutes. Also, controlling the heat is near impossible--it's beyond difficult to keep liquids at a constant simmer, or even a constant boil.

        I dream of the day it goes to the big cooktop in the sky...or the day I move.

        2 Replies
        1. re: E_M

          I take comfort in the fact I am not alone :)

          I didn't even mention our downdraft as I thought it was just a fluke that ours barely works.

          Our old Jenn Air was awesome. It was in the house when we bought it so it was at least 15 years old. Granted, it sounded like a jet engine but boy was it powerful.

          Fast foward to the replacement - I ran the installer out twice as I was convinced there was something wrong with the downdraft. The old one worked so well.

          no, no, no he says, it is just fine and showed me all the stupid little tests involving a piece of card stock. Sure enough, it passed the "tests' but is truly a piece of crap.

          1. re: cleobeach

            Is this a vent in that draws the smoke outside? We have a hood. My mother has a vent in the center of her burners that is supposed to draw smoke. If you cook without it on the smoke alarms go off.

            This is all good info.

            Thanks,
            jb

        2. So far the best recommendation is to not buy a JennAir flat-top electric stovetop.

          1 Reply
          1. re: John E.

            HATED, HATED, HATED, The Jenn Aire glass cooktop. Not that I would have liked any glass cooktop, coming from a gas range. I launched that sucker when we tore out the kitchen. Just fired up the new Dacor pro range (dual fuel). What a blessing to be cooking on gas again.

          2. Remodeled my kitchen a year ago and said goodbye to my 42" Frigidaire electric range for a modern Whirlpool flat-top. I really was afraid of the flat-top, too, as I had seen others that were all scratched and gross looking. Was told that as long as I took the time to keep it clean, and used the right tools, it would be fine. It's been a year, and I do like it. It heats up and boils water much faster than my old electric coils. I haven't had a problem w/ low heat. I do find cleaning to be more work than the old coil stove (although, when you think about it, most of the gunk of boil-overs,etc., on a coil stove ends up underneath the coils where you don't see it unless you lift the top, and how many of us do that more than once a year?) A bottle of flat-top cleaner and a pad came with it. I usually just spray and wipe w/ Glass Plus, but if something gets stuck on, I use the recommended cleaner and pad, or also a flat plastic scraper-thing that I got from Pampered Chef. The trick is to not use tools that will scratch the surface. So far, so good. Still shiny!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Quint41

              I use an old toothbrush with Cerama Bryte to clean my glass top and it works beautifully. I'm more annoyed with the fingerprints on the stainless steel!

            2. By the way, my first replacement stove was a GE Flat-top. Despite it being highly rated, I hated the oven! The relay switch clicks so loudly and so constantly that it was annoying me to no end. I could hear it over the TV in the next room, I could hear it click from the other end of the house! I returned it and got the Whirlpool. Before buying GE, you should inquire if they have changed that awful noisy relay switch!

              1. I have a GE profile flat top with a downdraft, and I like it pretty well. I am speaking as someone who has lived in 17 different dwellings over the past 25 years, and cooked on a huge variety of stoves. This is my second ceramic cooktop, and it is about 5 years old (the age of the house). I've been cooking on it for 2 years. And the two years before that, I was in a different house, but also had a ceramic cooktop on a range. Can't remember the brand on that one, and I don't know how old it was. So overall, I've been using a flat top for 4 years now. I haven't had any problem with breakage. The current cooktop heats faster than any electric stove I've had, but not as fast a powerful gas burner. It does low heat/simmering quite well.

                The downdraft works better than the two downdrafts I've had in the past on gas stoves. That said, there are a lot of factors at work in how well a downdraft will work, and in general, they will never work as well as a good hood (one that actually vents, and doesn't just blow air back in your face).

                To me, the big plus with the flat top is that it is easy to clean, and provides steady, even heat. The downside is that the burners stay hot for quite a while after you turn them off. My one complaint about the GE that I have is that it only has one large burner. I would prefer to have a hood and have more space for another burner.

                The one I have looks like this:
                http://www.us-appliance.com/pp989dnbb...

                1. We haven't had one, but two of our daughters have and collectively we all hate them with a passion and would never buy one. They are extremely slow to heat and cool. There are certian things that you just can't cook on them because of the temperatue control issues. There are other things you shouldn't cook on them because of the tendency to stick and burn on, sugar will fuse with the cook top. The wife and girls were making candy on one and just a small drop got on the stove top, it took days to get it off, I know, I'm the grunt that scowered until I was almost numb. A tech told me that one woman set a sugar coated spoon down on the stove top and it's still there, permantly bonded to the top.

                  If you don't really cook on one, they are great, but if you cook a variety of specialty things where temperature control and speed to temperature is important, some sauces, glazes, candy, etc., then these are not for you.

                  1. Some people here seem to have misunderstood the OP. The point here should not be an attempt to talk them out of buying a flat-top, that decision has already been made. How about some pointers n what to look out for without all the negativity?

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: John E.

                      I appreciate your sentiment John, but I'm ok with the negativity and not 100% certain I'll get a flat top. I have cooked on a coil electric for ten years and it has worked fine, so I'd at least know what I'd be getting. I don't know enough about the induction stoves to know if it's worth the extra money, but it's possible I could go that route. We have propane and although it's probably the most expensive option (running the gas line to the kitchen) that's still in the mix as well. Though I haven't looked at the cost of cooking on propane. It's not cheap as a source of heat.

                      In researching on CR I have found a GE flat top stove that is highly rated and the reviews all say it heats quickly and simmers well, which are my main two criteria.

                      All comments are welcome.

                      Thanks,
                      jb

                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                        The slightest hope to steer you to induction! Yay! I'm sure every single one of actual induction user here will tell you how they can't live without it. If money is an issue and if your current stove isn't currently broken, I would say wait. I started looking for mine about 2 years ago. Although my specific model appreciated in price over time, many others have come down and there are a few more players in the field.

                        It heats up fast (hot water for tea in 30s anyone?) and simmers great. Zero to minimum cleanup and maintenance. Unbeatable temperature control.

                        Read up on induction. There're plenty of discussions here in this forum. The science, the myth, the good, the ugly. See if there's a local showroom that you can go to and potentially try cooking on one of them.

                        It is worth every single penny.

                        1. re: cutipie721

                          After reading about induction it is intersting. This was the best model/price that I found, Samsung FTQ307NWGX at $1499.00. I would have to expand the budget to include this, but from what I've read the heat responds much like gas. Instant up and down. I have mostly magnetic pots and pans so that's not an issue, but I did read where someone had a pan whose diameter was larger than the burner and it wouldn't work. With another pan they have that was just at the limit the burner would cut out intermittantly. Is this a problem with induction or this model?

                          Thanks,
                          jb

                          1. re: JuniorBalloon

                            I don't experience any of the problems you mentioned on mine. I don't have this model so I can't give you any specifics.

                            There is a pan minimum size limit though. Your cookware must be above a certain size so that the magnetic mechanism can detect your pan. I have one 7", two 8", and one 11" rings on my cooktop. The smallest pot I can use is a 4" wide one, and it must go on top of the 7" ring. The minimum size requirement for the other burners are different.

                            I don't have any ridiculously small pots so I don't see it as a shortcoming. Though I remember someone here gave up because his/her favorite coffee pot doesn't reach the min requirement. I think of it as a safety feature instead. God forbid you're wearing a bracelet with magnetic closure and you're resting your wrist on one of the burners and somehow the stove got turned on, you'll be glad your wrist is not 4" wide.

                            If you have any oddly shaped cookware - heart shaped le-creuset, square grill pan, oval dutch ovens. You're probably used to only heating the center of the pan with an electric coil. With induction, the whole surface gets evenly heated.

                            You should always match the size of your pan to the size of the burner to get the max benefit of it. But just to make it clear, I have no issues using a bigger pan on a small ring. I don't know if that issue is specific to Samsung or not.

                            You should also check your power input before committing. Some units require 50 amp which you may or may not already have.

                            I also didn't realize that you were looking for a freestanding range. There're really not that many to choose from (4 ranges vs 25 cooktops in Sears). The Samsung seems to have quite a few annoying and QC problems according to the reviews, which may or may not be relevant to you (like the burner positions). If I were limited to range-style only and <$1500 to spend, I'd probably give up on induction for now because I am pretty much limited to one single model. Yes, this is coming from someone who would die if forced to go backwards and cook on gas or electric again.

                            1. re: JuniorBalloon

                              JuniorBaloon: "I did read where someone had a pan whose diameter was larger than the burner and it wouldn't work. With another pan they have that was just at the limit the burner would cut out intermittantly. Is this a problem with induction or this model?"

                              The latter. We have had two induction cooktops, different makers, and neither exhibited the behavior that you described. The two cooktops did have different logic from each other, also. For instance, our former Jenn-Air would beep quite loudly when we lifted the pan off the burner (such as to tip it so that the oil poured onto one side of the pan would spread to cover the entire bottom), while our LG blinks a light silently. Our Jenn-Air ran its under-surface cooling fan continuously, even after all the burners were turned off, until the "hot surface" light (for areas of the cooktop on which hot pots had been sitting) extinguished, while the cooling fan of the LG shuts off immediately when the last burner is turned off, even wheh the hot surface light stays on. However, neither the Jenn-Air nor the LG has ever been very fussy about the size of pot or pan on the burner as long as there was SOME magnetic pan, 6" or so or larger, on the burner.

                              1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                JB: "...I did read where someone had a pan whose diameter was larger than the burner and it wouldn't work."

                                If by 'work' you mean heat the pan, then yes, a larger diameter pan on a smaller induction hob will work. If however you meant 'works well', then you need to be a little more wary, depending on what your pans are made of and how they are constructed. For example, you will find that a large diameter CI skillet or DO on a small, inexpensive induction hob will hotspot and be a LOT cooler at the edges than you might want.

                            2. re: JuniorBalloon

                              Ok, it seemed like there were posts attempting to talk you out of the flat top. As I said, we have had good luck with ours with the exception that I noted. When the thing goes on the fritz, I'll seriously consider running a gas line to the stove area since we have natural gas and it's not too far to run the line. I just wish they would have done it when the home was built because then it probably could have been done for about $100 in parts and labor.

                          2. Hi, JB:

                            I have one much like this one, a 30" radiant 4-burner by Frigidaire in my beach house: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12...

                            It is my first flat-top, and I have to say I like it. IMO, it heats up faster than a coil, although it takes awhile to cool down (When I need to stop, I just take the pan off the burner, and I rarely use all 4, so it's easy). With one exception, I've had no "low temperature maintenance" problems, and I make a lot of stocks. The one exception is that the left-rear burner cannot be turned down as low as the other 3--despite the same dial indication.

                            Radiants can be a little strange until you get used to them winking on and off.

                            As to the surface, it stayed pretty pristine with very little care for the first 3 years or so. It's still about 95% new-looking. The "burners" on mine are marked with speckles, not solid circles, and after a few years the speckling has worn through/scraped off in a couple of places. Other than that, the surface is still very nice and smooth.

                            Are you a neat freak? If you are, and if you MUST have your black flat-top look pristine, you really have to polish it, rather than just wipe it down. After about a month, I just wiped it down and polished 1-2x/year.

                            A good deal at <$500. Heck, I've spent more on a pan!

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              "Are you a neat freak?" My wife would laugh her head off at this. Decidedly not. And she is the saint that does the clean up. I have read about the winking on and off issue. Seems wierd, but you say you just get used to it?

                              jb

                              1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                JB: Yeah, you get used to it winking on and off. Between the glass cooktop, the pan, and the contents, it totally moderates the on-off thing.

                              2. re: kaleokahu

                                I checked out your link out of curiosity. We have a cabin in northern Minnesota which I suppose would be comparable to you having a beach house except that our stove looks like this:

                                http://www.goodtimestove.com/store/p/...

                                1. re: John E.

                                  John E: You're cruel and heartless (and lucky). I wish I had one of those. I keep waiting to find a larger, institutional woodstove... Maybe some day.

                                  You like the Stewart?

                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                    Ours isn't actually a Stewart. I just used that as a photo (how does one insert a photo here?). I don't remember the make and model of our wood/gas combination stove. Its not yet hooked up. It's in original condition and we got it for $200. We built an addition and haven't moved our kitchen yet. My oldest brother (he doesn't cook) was opposed to this stove. He volunteered to buy a new gas stove. My other brother (cooks mostly BBQ) is excited about the stove like I am.

                                    1. re: John E.

                                      John E.: I'm still jealous. If you get a chance, I'd like to know how thick the cast iron stovetop is. Thanks.

                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                        It will be a while. Right now there is three feet of snow on our 200 yard long driveway and we sold our snowmobiles years ago so we don't go up here in the dead of winter.

                                        1. re: John E.

                                          John E.: No problem, just "zombie" the thread if you think about it. Maybe you'll have some cooking experience with it by then, too.

                              3. I've used an Amana built in glass top for about 11 years. I have never had problems with heavy pots. I use iron skillets, a large pasta pot filled with water, an iron stovetop grill, and a pressure cooker on it. My controls are on the side, not in the back. My big beef is that the burners are too close to each other. Many times I have to nudge pans around to get them to fit properly. But the cooktop cooks well. I notice that the heat is held well, without a lot of cooling and then heating. The burner does cycle, but the food seems to be heating steadily. I noticed on a newer GE that I have cooked on recently that the burner did not seem to hold the temp well. Further, the med heat that I use all the time for cooking almost everything, was more like a med low on the GE.

                                I'd check Consumer Reports. The buyers guide has top rated cooktops and stoves. Who know if Amana would be the correct choice today?

                                1. I’ve had a flat top electric for a number of years now and have been reasonably happy with it. Temperature control isn’t that much of a problem other than you can’t go from a high temp to a low one very quickly. Since I rarely seem to be using more than two burners at a time, this hasn’t been a significant problem.

                                  The main problem with mine is that the oven temperature control is way out of calibration so I have to use an oven thermometer to assure that I’m at the correct temp. I discovered this after overcooking and burning a number of items.

                                  A word of caution, we noticed a circular crack in the center of the stove top one day. My wife and I blamed each other for dropping a can or bottle on it from the overhead cabinets. It wasn’t until much later that we found the probable cause. We were watching “Jon & Kate Plus 8” (I know, I’m embarrassed to admit it.) and Kate had a shattered glass stovetop. The cause of which was placing a hot lid on the surface of the stovetop. Apparently, moisture laden air under the lid forms a seal with the top. As it cools the air contracts and forms a vacuum. The vacuum is strong enough to crack the glass to relieve the pressure. The moral of the story is don’t place a hot lid on the stovetop while you’re cooking.

                                  1. We did our kitchen remodel 12 (!) years ago now and also did not have gas and so wound up with a ceramic/smooth top electric (no induction at the time). I still want gas, but I have no real complaints about my stove. It's frigidaire, with an electric convection over. I think the oven is great. My two front burners can either be large or small (that is, I can heat a small circle or a large circle) so more flexibility. My friend has a smooth top with a bridge between front and back burners that you can turn on, which is great for heating roasting pans or anything else that needs 2 burners--even the gap is heated. My stove comes with a "warm and serve zone," which is an area between the two back burners that can be set to warm, which is a nice touch.

                                    I use all regular pots and pans--all-clad, calphalon, le creuset, cheaper stuff. I have canned successfully. my canner overhangs the burner circle, so it does take a long time to heat, but everything else seems to take a normal time for electric. I find very good heat control and have no problem simmering--or it's the same as on any stove/electric.

                                    my mom in law had a much older glass top and I hated it--she could only use special pots, etc. but I do recommend smooth tops in general. like any appliance, I think you do better with the better (read more expensive) brands (and it doesn't sound like I would buy a Jenn Air!).

                                    good luck.

                                    1. I suppose I've been lucky with mine (knock on wood fast).
                                      I've got a flat glass cooktop. I needed to replace an old coiltop where burners had shorted out. Being an older home, mine is a larger odd size which usually means custom order. I lucked into one in the Sears Scratch and Dent room. Someone had ordered it and didn't need it. They marked it down like 30% and stuck it in there.

                                      I've had it for 11 years now.

                                      It has 5 burners and a bridge in between two.
                                      the front right is a dual size. I can use it as a small, or flip a switch and it becomes a large burner.
                                      The right back is smaller.
                                      The middle back is smaller.
                                      The two left are medium but there is a bridge you can turn on between them making them one long oval burner, which is great for oval LC or a griddle.

                                      I know glass cooktops aren't the method of choice, but I've been lucky and happy with mine so far.

                                      It has some scratches from over the years.. but it gets used.
                                      No cracks.
                                      I try not to drag things around on it.. but it's not babied.

                                      As far as things getting baked onto it.. it happens.
                                      Use a plastic scraper, try and get them up as fast as possible.
                                      If not.. use some glass top cleaner and let it sit for a bit.
                                      Sometimes I just use windex when it's cool.

                                      Like I said, it's not babied, but it's held up well and I hope it continues to as I don't see a remodel of the kitchen in my future any time soon and replacing it is not something I want to budget for right now.

                                      1. Let me not be among the group to discourage you. I was disappointed too, to learn that running gas to my new cooktop (old coils found at the house had to go) was going to involve jack-hammering and ripping up my hardwood floor. So, I looked for different models of flat top, and ended up with a GE Profile with adjustable size burners and a bridge. I had wanted a Dacor with slide controls, but it was about 1/2" too big and not worth the trouble and money to accommodate it. In retrospect, I have heard nothing but good things about the GE Profile and some complaints about slide controls, so maybe it worked out for the best. That was seven years ago.

                                        I cook a lot. I cook complicated foods using a variety of methods including woks, indoor grilling, deep frying and more traditional stove top methods. Once you realized that you need to use pots with absolutely flat surfaces, with the exception of the wok, the results for me are the same as with gas, and in fact, I think the temperature control may even be similar. Everyone talks about how gas is "responsive", but they are neglecting to mention how those big heavy burners or spiders retain a ton of heat that dissipates slowly. I know, because I used to cook with gas stoves for most of my life. The flat top cools down, to me, at a similar rate, so I don't see a difference. The cleanup is very, very easy, and the surface actually can double as a light duty counter surface when not in use (caution required not to scratch it or accidentally turn on a burner). My only complaint, and I had this with my last Jenn Air gas range, is that I need a bigger output burner to really use my wok as intended. A flat bottomed-wok works a little differently from the traditional shape, but I think that a higher BTU output would have helped with that. I even use a double cast iron grill on my cooktop -- no issues. So, don't be discouraged. I thought I would hate it, and I did actually hate coils, but this cooktop is great.

                                        To be fair, I have never experienced cracking, as other posters have mentioned, and low heat control may be a function of the model rather than the technology, since I have it. I don't store anything over the stove because I don't want greasy items to clean, so nothing can fall on it to crack it. I would actually consider using this range again, and I recommend it. Get black, not white. It always looks cleaner, and you should also get a real cooktop cleaner for those stubborn burnt-on stains. Just avoid raw aluminum, which can make small metal shavings stick around on the surface for a few weeks, and avoid dragging heavy rough things across the top, and you will be fine. In fact, you will be much happier than with coils. I really can't say if I would have been happier with gas, now that I have used this, because its performance is excellent. You may be able to find a model with a higher output burner out there today.

                                        My only real complaint is that I think I need better ventilation than the built-in downdraft. That is because I tend to cook the smokiest, smelliest foods, I suppose -- but for most people, it will be more than adequate.

                                        Good luck and don't be discouraged. I have been in your shoes before.

                                        1. Here in the UK these single induction units are available for about $80:

                                          http://www.alfresia.co.uk/minky--elec...

                                          Maybe it's worth getting one and trying induction out? You would then have it as an extra appliance when needed, no matter what you end up going for. We often lend ours to friends for larger gatherings or for when their kitchens are being replaced.

                                          1. I've used a Whirlpool Ceran top since 1995. I've also used a GE glass top over the past couple years occasionally. Prior to that I used a Caloric gas stove for a long time.

                                            The sole pro I can think of is that they look nice when clean and not being used.

                                            The cons are far greater: Heat control is more difficult. Cleaning time is far greater than gas. As others have mentioned flat cookware is a must, the GE is so slippery that pans will spin and slide at a mere touch with many pans. I have yet to break a cook top but that fear is always there. I don't like the cycling of the heat. The owners manual of the Whirlpool says to set the setting to high initially and then set to desired temp. That is a nuisance and a half unless you plan to stand there with a gun type thermometer.

                                            Cleaning: As many have said the best results seem to come from using the expensive cream cleaners which are used similar to waxing a car. Rub in, dry to haze and then remove. Stuck food can be removed with a razor blade scrapper held flat against the surface. Eventually the surface is going to wear. It doesn't have to be scratches but over time the top surface will wear.

                                            A stove is certainly an investment and something that people who like to cook use nearly everyday. Disliking something for years isn't fun. I'd really look for someone with a glass/ceramic flat top that would be kind and let you try it out a few times first before making a choice that you may hate for years. Otherwise I would head towards gas or induction or even the older styles of electric. With the older styles of electrics at least you can move a pan around without worrying about damage.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: SanityRemoved

                                              I want to thank everyone for there input. After weighing all the issues I'm going with a flat top from GE, model # JB700DNWW. It's highly rated by Consumer Reports (I'm aware they are not the end all be all source) and after reading reviews, people who liked it said it heated quickly and maintained good low heat.

                                              From all the reading I've done there seems to be a tremendous variablilty from make to make and even model to model in regards to these last two factors. Either that or everyones idea of "heats quickly" and "good low heat" is as variable as people themselves. As for cleaning I'll be surprised if the flat top is any more work to clean and keep nice looking than the coil range we have. It seems that no matter how well you clean the area around the coil, in a few weeks the ugly brown, cooked-on ring is back.

                                              Cost wise Induction, while seductive, is just too expensive. I can almost buy two of these GE's for the price of one of the lowest end induction models. We're heading off today to appliance stores to kick some tires and hopefully lay down some cash.

                                              Thanks,
                                              jb

                                              1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                May I recommend you bring a kettle with water so that you can test yourself among the different stoves.

                                                1. re: E_M

                                                  This would be a good test, but none of the ranges are hooked up to electric. The deed is done and the range will be delivered on Feb 3rd. I'll deffinitely post thoughts after I've used it for a while. Looking forward to turning on a burner and having it heat up without needing to jiggle it.

                                                  jb

                                                  1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                    JB - I am very interested to know how the oven relay switch sounds on your new GE. I am not sure if that's the same model GE that I returned to the store. I found the relay switch clicking to be obnoxiously loud, and the warmer the oven got, the more frequently the click (talking like every 30 seconds or so), to the point where it was audible over the TV. The salesman though I was nuts (maybe I am!), but it was something that I just could not tolerate hearing for several years. I always wondered if it was just that particular range that had an issue, or the model, or the brand. (The store was unwilling to explore those questions.) Thanks!

                                            2. I bring news from the front---have had this kind of stove for 20 years. Easy to clean if you don't let goo sit there and burn. Keep a single-edged razor blade handy and use it to scrape up stuff. For regular cleaning I use Ceramabryte. When you take a lid off a pot, set it down so that it's partly on the edge and air can get up under it---once, setting down a steamy damp lid I got such a suction that the whole stove top cracked all the way across and I had to replace it. Another problem is that certain pans won't sit flat and will rock & roll their way off the burner. No problem controlling heat. Great advantage in small kitchen is that top provides extra counter space when not in use. But main thing is DO NOT let spills stay there and harden---get them off ASAP. Overall, ease of cleaning is best feature.

                                              1. I have a GE Profile flat electric cooktop. I did not choose it, it came with the house. We don't have gas in the area, so unless we install a propane tank, electric it is.

                                                I hate it. I find it very hard to control the heat. I don't, however, think it takes too long to heat up. I actually think it heats up fast and then it's hard to control the temperature. I have one burner with the dual sized rings for smaller or larger pots on the front right, 2 medium sized burners on the left (connected with a bridge if needed) and a smaller one behind the dual one.

                                                I was in a local cookware store a few months back buying a new non-stick frying pan and when I was telling the guy how much I hate my stove, he recommended one of these SimmerMats. It diffuses the heat and makes simmering something, like chili or bolognese, more manageable. It helps somewhat, but I still wish I had a gas stove.

                                                http://www.simmermat.com/

                                                I don't, however, find my cooktop hard to clean. If something spills, I don't leave it for long, so I guess that makes it easier to clean up. And another plus, maybe the only one, is that I find it heats up quickly which makes boiling water for pasta very easy.

                                                1. JB, could you please provide some feedback on your GE JB700DNWW? I am considering the same and would like to know your opinions on it having used it for the past few months. Thanks!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: SydneytoWaco

                                                    Absolutely. I give it a thumbs up. It is different cooking on a flat top than on a traditional coil burners. Heating up does take a bit longer. Boiling water takes another couple of minutes. I had to get used to the burners winking off and then coming back on. Again only really affects the period where the pan is getting warmed up. Once hot it was like cooking on any electric stove. One thing I really like is being able to put half the pan on the burner and have the pan still be flat. It's a great way to push things off to the side and add other ingredients, like tomato paste and anchovys, and let that cook a bit before incorporating it with the rest of the ingredients. I guess that would be true of any flat top.

                                                    After 6 months of cooking I have no complaints.

                                                    jb