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Have no clue about electric smoothtops

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Even after reading peoples experiences on the board, I am still confused about soothtop electric stove. i have always cooked on electric coils and I like it ( I have a gas = KABOOM fear ). We redid our kitchen and needed to replace got our old stove - a 40" coil - kenmore. It could have been replaced but I didn't trust the change in quality I expect after 40+ years. We downscaled to a standard 30". Picked the top rated coil top (I know thats not saying much) from Consumer Reports. It was really cheaply made. When the broiler was on high or the oven at 450 the stove top got too hot. It was over 220 ! I worried of its safety. I often cook with my granddaughters and need a safe top. So its going back.

Now I need to decide on a 30" smoothtop and whether induction or not. Money wise I can't afford high end but can get a mid-range price. I worry about using my cast iron, or large pans - like for sterilizing jars for canning, or high heat for searing, or long cooking times. Can I do and use all those on a smoothtop like on a coil ?.

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  1. when we moved to our current home we moved from a coil to a smooth top electric stove. I have not noticed any differences between them with regards to your concerns. I think the smooth top is easier to clean.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jujuthomas

      really? I hate hate hate cleaning the glass top. I'm not the only cook in this house but I seem to be the only one that cleans the stove and let me tell you stuff sticks on that thing like it's welded on and those special cleaning solutions are useless.

      1. re: rasputina

        This might work for you. When I "solder spills" to my glass cooktop, I scrape them off with a razor blade, then polish them with a ceramic cook top cleaner OR I have also made a paste out of Barkeeper's Friend, and it works too. For regular daily cleaning, I never bother with a sponge and soapy water because it always leaves streaks, whether I do it or the housekeeper does it. I have to assume it does that for most people too. So I just clean the cooktop and the granite counters around it with Windex and paper towels. Streak free and shiny clean!

        1. re: rasputina

          There are three things about keeping a glass-top range clean. 1) Do not EVER let stuff stay on there. Clean it off NOW. The more you cook a spill, the more impossible it gets to remove. 2) Keep a single-edged razor blade handy. It will remove just about everything. 3) Then, after you have scraped off as much goo as you can, use a stove-top cleaner. I like Cerama-brite.These are the Three Commandments. But the greatest of these is the razor blade.

          1. re: rasputina

            yep, i hated cleaning the coil range. with this one, I wipe down frequently then - as Caroline and Querencia do - I use a razor blade scraper that I keep in the drawer next to the stove on those baked on spills. i clean occasionally with the stove-top cleaner stuff.

            All that aside, when I redo this kitchen I will most likely install a gas stove.

        2. Yes you can do everything with a smoothtop that you can do with coil, with an improved transfer in energy to your food rather than to the environment.

          Based on the fact that you mentioned broiler, you're talking about a range. There are fewer options for induction ranges than for ceramic heat but there are some which are still reasonably priced.

          Induction you can consider if you already have a lot of cookware that is induction-capable. If you have a lot of mixed pieces that you use a lot, go back to heat. I would consider induction a safer top than ceramic but that's just me.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wattacetti

            I bought a pricey radiant glass cooktop because I didn't want to give up my copper pots and pans. Idiot me! I bought the portable induction unit because I wanted to see if I had made a mistake... Boy, did I! I fell in love with it and have been using it for almost all of my stove top cooking ever since, but not just because induction made a noticeable dent in my electric bill! I'm hooked on its responsiveness. But for anyone who is interested in keeping their electric bills manageable in the future as prices increase, I highly recommend induction.

            As for your current pots and pans and whether they will work with induction, grab a magnet off of your refrigerator door (assuming it's not stainless steel) and test which of your current cookware it will stick to. To work on induction, the cookware must be ferrous. Many "stainless steels"' are non-ferrous (a magnet will not stick to them), but there is some old stainless steel around that works fine on induction. To my huge surprise, I have a forty year old stainless steel mixing bowl with a flat bottom that now doubles as a cooking vessel on my induction unit!

            I do have stainless steel induction friendly cookware, but I try to use my cast iron whenever possible because cast iron on induction is MAGIC...! It is so much more responsive on induction than it is on standard electric or gas, it's like a whole new ballgame! There is a lot less chance of burning myself with the induction unit than when I cook on my smooth-top radiant electric. Induction heats the pan, it does not pass radiant heat through the glass the pan sits on. As a result, if something boils over, I can wipe it up easily, or if I'm cooking something that will spatter a lot and may boil over, I can cover the induction unit with paper towels and put my pan on top of them and it will still cook identically. I am not saying the spot on the cooktop where the pan makes contact will not get hot. It does, just the same way a glass top table will get hot if you set something hot on it. But it only gets hot where the contact points are.

            If safety and economy are issues, induction is your very best choice!

            1. re: Caroline1

              Caring for my disabled brother that accidently set his clothing on fire once, I purchased a smooth top range for safety reasons. I was not especially happy w/length of time my pans took to heat up and discovered different type pans have made all the difference in the world. I love the way the Infinity pans at Heritage Mint work. Heat up quickly, heavy bottoms, non stick. Always have trouble accessing the Heritage Mint website, so I have ordered another set of cast Aluminum heavy weight pans on way and will give an update of how well they work on my cooktop after I receive them.

          2. Modern gas appliances are very safe. The KABOOM fear is really unfounded if you are using competent licensed installers.

            When I had my house built I insisted on gas and loved it. In my new place gas was a kitchen requirement for me. I really like the ease of use of that lovely blue flame.

            The only thing I would consider besides gas is INDUCTION. With your granddaughters, the safety of induction might be a worthwhile consideration. The cooktop itself won't get hot, only the pans which is nice even for adults like myself.

            1. I have used cast iron pans on a glass-topped cooktop for many years. I too was concerned enough about this issue at first that I gave several old CI pans away! But I gathered some more, and started in with them. I never had a problem.

              I don't know about sterilizing jars on the cooktop. You should check the mfg.'s website before purchasing, I think. Or talk to a knowledgeable sales person. (I wouldn't buy this at a big box store.) But I don't see why it would not work.

              You cannot use a round bottomed wok on a glass topped cooktop. You will get better results with flat bottomed pans. If you have old stainless or aluminum that has warped, you might want to replace those pieces. The newer stainless pans do not warp the way older ones did.

              I would prefer gas myself, but my fate seems to be to use the glass topped cooktops. They aren't bad at all. I had no trouble going from coil, to cast iron, to glass topped cooktop. You won't either.

              For an induction cooktop or range, expect to pay more. You might also have to replace some pots, especially if they are aluminum or if they are stainless bottomed. Supposed to be a great way to cook. Out of my price range, although I understand they've come down in price a bit.

              Good luck. You deserve a great range.

              1. You can't use a typical, old style canning kettle on a glass top range, but they do make canning kettles now that are suitable for such.

                I have experienced a couple of current era glass top electric ranges and IMO they seemed exceptionally junky. IME with similarly priced gas ranges, you get a much better product for the money, but even if you can get over your irrational fear of gas, it's probably wouldn't be a direct swap. Presumably you would have the added expense of having a gas line installed.

                If gas were out of the question, it would have to be induction for me, no question. And I agree that induction would address your safety concerns better than anything else. Personally, I would do ANYTHING to avoid a residential electric range of any type other than induction.

                7 Replies
                1. re: splatgirl

                  How you are defining old style canning kettle? You mean those enameled aluminum ones? I personally use a 20 qt aluminum stock pot for my BWB canning without issue on my glass top but it's not induction. I've also used my 23qt aluminum pressure canner without issue.

                  1. re: rasputina

                    I have limited firsthand experience with this, but generally I understand it to mean kettles with a non-flat bottom. Honestly, the first time I heard this I thought it was nonsense, but I'd never owned a smooth top so ?? But I do recall a catering job where I was trying to use a pressure cooker kettle with a non-flat bottom on the client's smooth top and it was like trying to heat something with a light bulb--it never happened.
                    Anyway, here is the most informative bit I could find on the net:
                    http://www.pickyourown.org/cannings4g...

                    1. re: splatgirl

                      Yea, I wasn't sure because I've never used those enamel pots they sell as BWB canners so I don't know what the bottoms are like.

                      I will say I use my Emile Henry tagine that has feet on my glass top without any problems, except that I had to turn the burner down to the absolute lowest it would go and still be on to keep it cooking low. But then I hate this stove so I refuse to baby it LOL. I know it says not to use pots with feet but oh well. If it dies I will rejoice.

                      1. re: rasputina

                        My Hot Point electric coil cook top is well over 40 years old and still going strong. But I know the day is soon coming when it will die on me. We have a gas line to the house, but would have to have one run to the kitchen if I want to cook with gas. My concerns with gas is cleaning the stove and being able to turn the burner down low enough to simmer. My daughter cooks with gas and she says she cannot turn hers down low enough to just warm or simmer something. Then there is a small worry about gas leaks and the kaboom thing. I am more comfortable with gas since we use it for heat now.
                        The thing that attract me most to gas, is that I could cook even if the electricity went out.
                        I also think they look cool. Most of the cooks on TV use them, so I figure they must be preferred by them.
                        I know I don't want glass/smooth top. My MIL has one, and I don't like to cook on it.

                        1. re: dixiegal

                          Cooking when the electricity is out is a real benefit to many. In Alabama and Oklahoma. Without a gas grill we would have been building a fire pit to burn downed limbs to heat our food many time each year.

                          My mom just installed a new electric cooktop but, already has plans to put a pot hanger in the gas fireplace. She looses electricity a lot in winter so, while her food won't spoil she can't eat a frozen block of vegetables either.

                          1. re: Sid Post

                            I live in an all-electric house, but when there is a power failure, I cook with gas. I have a wonderful gas "hotplate" (runs on butane canisters) that may already have celebrated its silver jubilee! Besides using it during power failures, it's my weapon of choice when making risottos. And it does a really low and slow simmer for tagines. I have had it and used it even when I lived in a condo with a gas stove. Even the expensive models aren't that expensive, and if you buy the butane from a restaurant supply house, they're cheap. What could be better than that?

                          2. re: dixiegal

                            I think you will find the simmer or very low heat function much improved on current generation gas ranges, especially if you shop with that in mind. Worst case, a flame tamer is an effective method of mitigating this problem on any range.
                            WRT gas oven function with a power outage--investigate this before assuming it will work. As far as I know, all current gen gas appliances use an electronic ignitor vs. a standing pilot like the old days. So yes, you'll still have gas, but on the cooktop you will have to manually light the burners and I'm not sure about the oven working at all. It wouldn't surprise me if there's some kind of safety on the oven that would keep gas from flowing in the event that the ignitor became non functional.

                  2. I have a ceramic top now. It was not my choice though. I've canned on it, both BWB and pressure canned. I do use both bare cast iron and enameled cast iron pans on it. Frankly I hate the thing. I do less stovetop cooking than usual since we moved into this house because of how much I hate it. I'd rather have coils, if I had to have electric. Although gas it first choice. For my house, if I was replacing the stove, I wouldn't buy induction. I'd say 90% of my pans are magnetic since they are either cast iron or All-Clad D5 which is induction capable but I love cooking with my clay pots also. And frankly if I was putting in a new stove it would be gas even if I had to run the line from another part of the house to do it.

                    25 Replies
                    1. re: rasputina

                      I agree completely w rasputina on all points. I have a high end glass top, it's dreadful & awful and after a couple of years I am almost ready for sabatage! Not only all the disadvantages already mentioned but how on high heat it cycles on and off and I can never keep 2 heavy pans at constant temps for cooking tortillas. It is an unpleasant challenge for certain types of cooking.
                      I'm dreaming of a gas stove...........

                      1. re: ElsieB

                        Electric coils cycle on and off too. If you want a constant "on", you need a gas burner.

                        Frankly, I had never liked the cheap smooth tops I had found in vacation rentals either, but really only because they usually came outfitted with cheap, warped pans supplied by the owner. All it takes is one person to put water in an aluminum or steel pan when it is hot, right off the burner, and they all warp.

                        I found aging coils in this house when I moved here, and they weren't heating evenly and two actually sparked, so I went with a high end ceramic. I really like it, and find the "hate" comments a little perplexing. I would prefer gas because that is what I am most used to, but this cooktop has not interfered with me being able to put out some great meals using a double CI grill, assorted pans both clad and disk bottom, copper, LC, and anodized aluminum. The only thing I wish it could do better was crank out higher heat for my wok, but that is a function of this model. It is much, much easier to clean, IMO.

                      2. re: rasputina

                        I am now cooking on coils in my temporary digs. I find it much the same as cooking on glass, except the coils are less hot. I am getting an old glass cooktop in my next house, and I've heated pots of water on it with no problem. Everything heated up well. I've not done actual cooking on it. What is it about the smoothtop that you don't like?

                        If there is a fatal flaw I want to know before I replace the cooktop I am getting with the recent house purchase. Its an older Kenmore, and it hasn't been maintained well.

                        1. re: sueatmo

                          The wattage of your temporary coils is less then what you remember from your other appliances.

                          If you want a smooth cooktop, go induction. Forgetting about energy consumption benefits, it is more responsive and heats faster. If you don't mind the additional cleaning burden, smooth cooktops are a good way to go. Boil overs and grease splatters that aren't cleaned up promptly may make you regret you choice. If you are a clean freak, the streaks and such from a smooth cooktop can drive you crazy.

                          1. re: Sid Post

                            What streaks? I clean mine with Windex and paper towels. It wouldn't DARE streak! '-)

                            1. re: Sid Post

                              What streaks? My old glasstop cleaned up well, and more easily than any coil stove I ever messed with.

                              Not everyone can go induction. I wish people would stop telling everyone to go induction. If I could, I'd go gas. I certainly can't go induction.

                              I'm a little miffed about the comment "is less than what you remember from your other appliance." Yes of course, and I assure you I'm doing more than remembering. Med heat on my glasstop was the same as medium high minus one notch down on the dial on the coil
                              stove.

                              I asked what the fatal flaw is, and you simply expressed a preference for an expensive cook top not everyone can afford.

                              1. re: sueatmo

                                In Europe, I cooked on an induction cooktop. Every time I wiped it up, it streaked. It did cook very nice though. Compared to the other cooktop options at the time, it was by far the best "sealed cooktop".

                                In terms of being "miffed", a 110V hot plate will not match a decent 230V cooktop, stove, range, etc. My sister and mother both have or had sealed electric cooktops and they were nowhere close to the induction unit I cooked on. You might not like what I have to say but, it is factual based on my personal experience.

                                In terms of cost, if you shop for equivalent quality, the induction will still cost you more but not that much more. Now comparing a big box store electric cooktop against an entry level induction you do have a point. However, when I compared the equivalent "standard" cooktop to the same induction unit, it was within a few hundred dollars when I did the comparison.

                                If your budget won't break a ~$1K, then induction is obviously out. If you are shopping the Jenn-Aire, KitchenAid, GE, etc. premium units, then induction really isn't that much of a stretch.

                                Fatal flaws for the smooth top cooktops, include having truly flat pans for even heating and no spinning, and to me the clean up with either streaking for a quick wipe up or scraping off burned on stuff.

                                1. re: Sid Post

                                  You are entitled to your opinion. But I catch a whiff of condescension in your answer. If I am being too sensitive then I apologize.

                                  I don't consider possible streaking or fairly easy cleanup fatal flaws. No matter what your heat source, you will have some cleanup. Perhaps induction is easier to clean. At any rate I'd rather have a top of the line glass topped cooktop than an entry level induction. And, I don't really want to have to replace a lot of my somewhat older stainless pans.

                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                    Just for the record, ALL induction cook tops, entry level or otherwise, are glass topped.

                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      OK, but to differentiate induction from the other, how would you describe it?

                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                        Induction heats a ferrous pan using magnetic fields, the "other" kind heats a pan with radiant heat, which will also heat any available air space around it. Induction does not do that. Induction is far more efficient than ANY radiant cooktop. I made the BIG BIG BIG mistake of staying with a radiant glass cooktop because I didn't want to give up my copper pots and pans. So now I have a $1,000+ radiant electric smoothtop for my $80.00 Max Burton induction hot plate to sit on while I do my cooking on it, and the copper stays in the cabinet. I will eventually go with a built-in induction cooktop, but it would have been so much smarter and cheaper to have gone with induction in the first place, and the hell with the copper! Learn from other's mistakes! It can save you BIG bucks!

                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                          I meant to ask, if the term "glasstop or smoothtop cooktop" could describe either induction or "radiant heat glasstop or smoothtop," what would be the correct term for the latter. "Radiant heat" could apply to a coil stove or cooktop?

                                          I do think that using "smooth top" or "glass top" when speaking about both sorts of cooktops or ranges, does not cause confusion.

                                          Well, phooey, about not using the copper! You could easily have continued to use it though. You couldn't have known that you would stop. Surely you don't do all your cooking on one burner?

                                          When the time comes to replace this cooktop which came with the house we bought, I'll look into induction. But I would have to give up several pots, which would then have to be replaced. So those replacement costs could add up. On the other hand, I do have other induction capable cookware.

                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                            Hi, sueatmo:

                                            Don't feel bad, these terms are fuzzy. So yes, "glasstop" can (I know you're shocked) cover anything with... a glass top, induction or radiant. Confusing the matter even further, not all non-induction glasstops are directly radiant.

                                            "Smoothtop" is even more imprecise. I have a 1910 smoothtop, but it's a cast iron woodstove. French placques in steel are smooth too, and there are some fancy gas tops now rendered in Ceran that are essentially 2-dimensional.

                                            Conventional coils heat through both conduction and radiation. And "radiants" almost always heat by conduction as well as radiation. On the completely opaque radiant tops, what's happening is that the radiant element is heating the glass, which then mostly conducts the heat to the pan, whereas the halogen elements on transparent (to infrared) tops mostly radiate.

                                            Aloha,
                                            Kaleo

                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                              In my frame of reference, "glass top" and "smoothtop" describe the surface of a unit. Add a qualifier like "radiant" or "induction" and you have clear communication.

                                              The thing with copper pans and induction cooking is that they are not compatible on any induction cooking instrument available within the United States. That broader spectrum induction is only and exclusively available in Japan, and may not be taken out of that country. Since I live in the United States, cooking on induction with copper pots and pans is not a cuttent option.

                                              Cooking on one burner is (surprisingly) not all that difficult. On the very rare occasion when i choose to cook something on the radiant cooktop it is a major underscoring of how great induction is. Radiant is miserably slow! Slow and expensive, to be exact. In other words, cooking on induction is a continuing and ongoing savings, cooking with non-induction friendly pots and pans is not. It's all about the bottom line. AND preference. I love induction!

                                            2. re: Caroline1

                                              Hi, Car:

                                              Your copper doesn't have to stay in the cabinet. The induction top of your dreams is right there! If you have a batterie of good copper, it should be worth thousands of dollars. I say sell your copper if you don't use it. You know where to find me. Win-win?

                                              Aloha,
                                              Kaleo

                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                hmmm... I don't know who my kids would kill first; you or me? Let's not go there... But thanks for the offer. '-)

                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                  Hi, Car:

                                                  Tell you what... I'll trade you the unused LC cast iron in my cupboard for the copper in yours. I hear it works marvelously on induction. Easy solution to just trade "mistakes".

                                                  Aloha,
                                                  Kaleo

                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                    Are you trying to give me a hernia at my tender age????? '-)

                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                      Now, Car, weight-bearing resistance training is especially good for young women such as yourself. As is having a strapping young scullery man to move things about.

                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                        Good thinking! I like your style.

                                2. re: sueatmo

                                  OK, I'm asking again. What is wrong with glass smooth top cooktops or ranges? Is a particular brand? My older Amana cooked well. Cleaned up well. I didn't like the configuration of burners, but it cooked well.

                                  If you had a recent bad experience with a glass smoothtop, please share. If you've had a good experience, please share. I hear so much bad mouthing of this type of range/cooktop, but I almost never hear why it is so bad.

                                  I really, really don't want a Jenn Aire. You would be amazed how many were installed in the eighties though. Even later than that in this neck of the woods. They were considered very upscale.

                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                    Hi,sueatmo:

                                    Really, IMO, there 's nothing wrong with resistive and radiant smoothtops. They are not super-responsive on the up side, and quite slow on the downside, but they tend to be even and dependable. Considering how terribly UNresponsive most people's cookware is, they shouldn't complain about this aspect. If you need fast downward response, move the pan, I say.

                                    I have a radiant Frigidaire smoothtop in my beach house. It, too, works well with the foregoing caveats. Its hobs cycle on and off, but I've never been bothered with any difference in result with any dish or difference in cookware. I don't like cleaning it past about 85% of being perfect; I even tolerate the dreaded steaks!

                                    Aloha,
                                    Kaleo

                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                      Kaleo has a good point. I like the responsiveness of Induction cooking and the ease of use of gas even though it is a little less responsive with heavy cast iron grates. I do have good cookware that is responsive and I'm not shy about replacing pots and pans that don't work for me.

                                      Coils, discs, resistive and radiant tops all work to cook food. They way you cook can be very different depending on what food you cook and what you cook it in. I guess I'm spoiled at this point because I really dislike the responsiveness of the disc "hot plate" burners in my Mother's Jenn-Aire and various hot plates I have used, not to mention archaic coil stoves. They do cook well enough, just not the way I WANT TO COOK.

                                      With smooth cooktops:
                                      1) Make sure your pans are flat. Pans that are not flat or expand when heated will spin on a smooth cooktop and will heat unevenly.
                                      2) Clean up can be a problem or no concern depending on how often and how you do or don't clean your smooth cooktop.
                                      3) If you are lifting pans that are too heavy for you, you can set them down hard and break a smooth cooktop. Scratching could be a problem if you "drag" your too heavy pan off the heat (if in doubt, look at the bottom of a small and large enameled cast iron piece for drag marks on the bottom).

                                    2. re: sueatmo

                                      I really like my glass top range. what I don't like are those useless (for me) little burners. Oh, and the fact that one of my large burners does not simmer well. for that burner, low = off. :( very inconvenient.

                                      1. re: jujuthomas

                                        One of the things I considered doing when was doing my kitchen-makeover was to install an in-line row of four or five single unit built in induction burners. I still might do that when I win the lottery. The advantage is no reaching across burners. Ever! Everything is on a front burner It has a lot of potential. There were two things that slowed me and made me make the mistake I did by going with a radiant glass cooktop instead of induction. The company I wanted to get my single burner units from went out of business just as I was about to write up my order. Their single units were gorgeous! They looked like -- and probably were -- hand painted Mexican tiles set flush into the counter. The other inhibiting factor was the cost of having my granite contractor cut all of those holes for all of those single units. <sigh> Maybe someday... Anyone have a guaranteed winning lottery number they'd like to pass my way? Much appreciated! '-)

                                3. Hi, chowmel:

                                  If you like electric coils, and the current crop is rinky-dink, there are surprisingly large numbers of restored and underused coil dreadnoughts out there. Just another option, especially if electronic displays and controls aren't for you.

                                  Aloha,
                                  Kaleo

                                  1. We have a JennAir smooth top. I hate it and regret the purchase almost daily. The top has cracked twice. I replaced it the first time but am living with the crack for now because I would like to get a new unit.

                                    Aside from the downdraft not working properly, my main complaint is that the burners can't be turned down low enough to simmer, let alone keep something warm.

                                    this was purchased from a locally owned store and repeated visits by the installer haven't solved the problem

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: cleobeach

                                      And I had 4! bosch glass top stoves delivered and opened to reveal badly cracked tops - and I (stupidly stupidly) kept the 5th one and still hate it 4 years later. It hasn't cracked it still works to the best of its ability, which is poor.

                                      1. re: ElsieB

                                        My first memories of JennAir go back to the seventies when they introduced their innovative "cassette" burners that could be interchanged at the cook's will. I wanted one soooo bad. Thirty or so years later, my son and his wife had a JennAir gas cooktop installed in their first home. Since they both worked at the time, one of my "housewarming gifts" was to cook a pot roast dinner for them in the new kitchen. If ever there was a kitchen nightmare, that JennAir gas cooktop was it! The trivets that the pans sat on were small and stuck up about two inches above the surface of the cooktop and counter tops, which were flush. While browning the pot roast, when I turned it over, my very large Le Creuset oval baker went shooting off the trivet, across the countertop and landed on the floor! No, it did not break. Yay, Le Creuset! And the rather heavy pot roast was left dangling from the end of my cooking fork (thank goodness I had forgotten to bring tongs to the newlywed kitchen!), and was saved.

                                        The next day my son and I called JennAir, and their local supplier, and provided a "critique." I was a practicing interior designer and interior design instructor at the time, and lectured my classes on THINKING before BUYING! JennAir admitted the problem, but basically told my son they understood his buyer's remorse, but the cooktop was built that way when he bought it. I ended the discussion by explaining to them that, as the manufacturer, they were liable for the poor design, NOT their customers. So if anyone reading this is considering buying a JennAr product, CAVEAT EMPTOR! IMO, too many bad designs are brought to market in a company''s quests for the almighty dollar. What a shame.

                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                          Eh, I had a new Jenn-Air that came with the house about 5 years ago and it was one of the best stoves I've ever cooked on. It was gas with grates contiguous grates and 6 burners including a simmer one. I still miss that stove as I'm stuck with the crappy glass top at the moment.

                                      2. re: cleobeach

                                        Have you discussed the safety issue of cooking on it cracked with a reputable repair or install person? I think that there is a risk from water from a spill getting into the electronics and causing shocks. If you need an excuse to justify replacing the whole unit, there ya go.

                                        1. re: rasputina

                                          LOL! Maybe I should stop beating myself up over my stupid choice to stay with my copper pots and pans. crack the damned radiant cooktop, and buy the induction my heart longs for... Rasputina, you ARE indeed an inspiration....! '-)

                                      3. WHAT is the weight range one can put on a smooth-top.

                                        I am thinking about induction for my vacay home.

                                        I tend to not *baby* it when I'm dropping a casserole, dutch over on the gas grates.
                                        And or, will the top take a filled HEAVY brim of a brewing stockpot ?

                                        Surely the glass does have limitations on weight - localized weight ?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: chefwong

                                          If there are limitations, I've never met them. I've used stock pots as large as 10 (more?) gallons with no creaking or groaning from my glass cooktop. However, I did not fill it to the max. Each gallon of water weighs in at 8.3 pounds, and Muscle Queen I am NOT...! But I don't know how well mine would hold up if I slammed heavy pans down on it. I do use a lot of cast iron on a daily basis, and so far I'm still scratch free after six or seven years. But my general attitude is that if I want to cater from my kitchen, it will be to people, and not my cooktop! If it gets a nick or dent, that's life. But I hope the glass never breaks...!

                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                            I wouldn't say I slam them.....but after a long hard day of X and then cooking and such, and I do a quick rinse of the 6 quart holding it by the handle, I don't really BABY it when I put it back on the grate. THIS alone, I don't know if I can deal with on slowly putting it on the glass cooktop even though I LOVE the benefits of the induction.

                                            And yes, if I'm making stock, it's generally in the 12 or 16 and it's generally close to the brim.

                                            1. re: chefwong

                                              Being the tricky soul that I am, I would read every word the manufacturer says about the induction cook top I'm considering, and if there is NO warning about heavy pots, I'd proceed with caution, but I wouldn't shy away from my own personal cooking norms. If the top breaks then, I'd be talking to an attorney...!!!! '-)

                                              Just to be on the safe side, I'd make a call to the manufacturer asking all of the questions I could think of, recording the discussion and filing it for the future. Couldn't hurt!

                                        2. A few additional comments about glass top. 1) We once set a hot steamy lid on ours and it created a suction that cracked the top from one end to the other---$300 to replace it. So set a lid down along the edge so air can get under it and no suction forms. 2) If your kitchen is tiny, a la condo, the flat top provides extra counter space when you're not cooking---as for example to make sandwiches on. 3) Round bottom pans like Revere copper-bottom saucepans tend to walk. But the ease of cleaning is worth any caveats.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Querencia

                                            I've experienced the suction effect as well, but never that severely. I just slid the lid off the edge.

                                            1. re: Querencia

                                              Exact same thing happened to me. I'd meant to place it partially on the counter but it slid down onto the cooktop. Immediately tried to pick up the lid and it was suctioned down. Ten seconds later there was an enormous pop and almost a crater that ran front to back. Luckily it was still under warranty or would have been $500 to replace. I so wish for gas but I'd have to have a line run to my kitchen.

                                            2. I'll admit I haven't read all the responses, but I can tell you one thing you cannot do on a smooth top electric, you can't make candy as well as with a regular coil top or gass top. My wife and daughters make candy every year after Thanksgiving, for Christmas. They have been doing this for years (>20), my wife has made English Toffy for probably 30 years and my mother made it before her with the same recipe. In all that time and all those attempts, the only time they had bad batches and were not able to make a successful batch was on a glass top cooktop. Maybe it's the heat transfer, but it was very bad and they never try to do that on a glass top since. Also, some of the sugar mix got on the glass and almost never came off. I asked about that at an appliance store and was told of a story where someone set down a spoon covered in sugar and it permanately bonded to the top. Although one daughter has one as it was what was in her new house, she can't wait to rid herself of the beast. The rest of us are on gas or would use a coil top if we had to.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: mikie

                                                Interesting. I'll certainly remember never to set a spoonful of sugar down on the cooktop.

                                                I am stuck with a glasstop in my "new" house. It isn't perfectly smooth. But if I keep cleaning it, I think I can get it almost perfect. I am really impressed with the options (a real simmer option on three burners) and the solid feel of the burner controls. I sort of look forward to putting this thing through its paces.

                                                Also there is a bit more room between burners than on my old stove. Unfortunately it resembles a black hole in the countertop!

                                              2. I don't have the specs in front of me, but I did some research on weight ratings of the glass after seeing this thread - as I am in the planning stages of redoing my vacay home with a induction top.

                                                The specs are quite revealing. If I recall , it was 50 lbs per 2 burners on a standard CI grate.
                                                For a 30" Glass top, the TOTAL combined weight was 38 lbs and for a 36" Glass Top, the Total combine weight was 58 lbs. There was some rough blurbage on MAX load on a isolated burner location, but I did not pay much attention to it after see the ~ MAX LOAD~ numbers.

                                                1. Thanks for all the interesting posts. I bit the bullet and bought an electrolux induction range. I enjoy cooking on it. I haven't had time to make preserves yet so don't know how that will go. My preserving pan wasn't magnetic and I need a new one. I read you could cover the top with newspaper or paper towel and help with cleanup (thinking of future sugary cooking) and it certainly cooks right through it. I haven't successfully seared a steak, it was a little steamy - always something to work on !