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New Glass Top Electric Range - Need New Pans?

THoey1963 Oct 12, 2012 01:06 PM

It was finally time and we decided to replace our aging coiled electric range with a new model. After some online review reading and looking in a couple stores, we decided on the following GE Premier:

http://www.homedepot.com/Appliances-C...

So far, it seems nice, but it has been a busy week for me and I haven't cooked on it much. But, the wife has used it several times and is unhappy with the glass cook top and marks. I am thinking this is due to the pots and pans that she has, especially those she uses when cooking her Korean dishes. Some of these pans are fairly old and heavily stained on the bottom.

I have used the Cermabrite and the yellow scrub pad and have been able to remove all the marks, but she is not liking the amount of work it takes to clean the stove after every use.

I am looking for suggestions as to how to prevent the marks. I would think first step would be to use some oven cleaner, etc, on the bottom of the old pans to get them sparkling new. Any other ideas or suggestions?

  1. John E. Nov 18, 2012 08:13 PM

    We have used a glass/ceramic stove for more than 12 years and havt not experienced what you have described. We had to get rid of any pan that did not have a fkat bottom. We had to stop uaing some vintage (early 1950s) aluminum sauce pans that my mother received as a gift from her brother in 1952. The bottoms were no longer flat. We also had to stop using a couple of aluminum fry pans that were warped. We do have stainless steel pqns with flat bottoms that are discolored from use. They work fine. We just use the cleaner that is made for the ceramic cooktop and have not had a problem. (I would prefer gas, but we're waiting for this range to die. My wife likes the flat top. Maybe we'll comoromise on induction).

    1. d
      dtremit Nov 18, 2012 10:21 AM

      Out of curiosity, does anyone have suggestions for getting long-baked-on crud off a black smoothtop? Mine came with the apartment and has baked on rings around the burners that I've never had any luck with -- have tried special cleaners, to no avail. I'm not losing sleep over it, as I'll eventually replace the thing with induction, but if there's something I'm missing I'd love to know.

      12 Replies
      1. re: dtremit
        c
        CanadaGirl Nov 18, 2012 10:40 AM

        Vileda makes a product called a "Scrunge" that is designed for glass cooktops. Apparently they are only available in Canada, but if you and I are not country-mates, perhaps you can find an online source. Somebody's got to have them on eBay!

        1. re: CanadaGirl
          d
          dtremit Nov 18, 2012 05:45 PM

          I'm in Boston, but I have a good friend who's Canadian -- I may be able to have him bring one back for me at Christmastime. Thanks for the tip!

          I have had a little luck with razor blades, but my hands hurt long before I make meaningful progress. Need to get some sort of blade holder.

          1. re: dtremit
            jmcarthur8 Nov 18, 2012 05:52 PM

            Here's what you need:

             
            1. re: jmcarthur8
              s
              sueatmo Nov 19, 2012 08:01 PM

              I plead ignorance about this. What is it? A razor blade holder? And how do you use a razor blade in this situation? I confess I am scared to use one. I'm afraid I'll cut myself bad.

              1. re: sueatmo
                jmcarthur8 Nov 20, 2012 02:00 AM

                Yes, that's exactly what it is. The blade slips into the bottom section. This is for a single edge blade. That, and the holder, are found at a hardware store. Are you familiar with this type of blade?

                1. re: jmcarthur8
                  p
                  pine time Nov 24, 2012 01:37 PM

                  I heavily "cream" my ceramic cooktop with Weiman brand "Ceran Glass Ceramic Cooktop" creme. Let it sit awhile, then use the above pictured razor blade. Polish like crazy with paper towels. Afterwards, the surface is perfect and slick as a whistle.

                  1. re: jmcarthur8
                    s
                    sueatmo Nov 24, 2012 03:03 PM

                    No, I don't think so. I've seen single blade razor blades, but never used one. I can't imagine how you would use on a glass cooktop, although many people here recommend them.

                    1. re: sueatmo
                      c
                      CanadaGirl Nov 24, 2012 04:09 PM

                      You're not going to cut yourself, as the holder keeps your fingers a safe distance from the blade. You hold it at an angle to the cooktop and scrape off dried gunk. As long as the edge of the blade, not the corners, is touching the stove it is perfectly safe for the stove.

                      1. re: sueatmo
                        k
                        kaleokahu Nov 24, 2012 08:11 PM

                        Hi, sueatmo:

                        Don't be afraid. Keep a low angle and a flat edge, and it's easy as pie.

                        Is your concern scratching the glass or cutting yourself?

                        Aloha,
                        Kaleo

            2. re: dtremit
              c
              carbondiamond Nov 18, 2012 11:15 AM

              I had the same problem when I moved in to my current house. The former owners were dirty! I removed the baked on crud by soaking the rings with wet kitchen towels then scraping with a razor blade, followed by lots of glass top cleanser and rinsing. It took a few different attempts before it all came off but cooking improved once the pots could finally rest on the glass cooktop. Good luck cleaning!

              1. re: dtremit
                jmcarthur8 Nov 18, 2012 05:00 PM

                A single edge razor blade is the best cleaning tool you can find for a smoothtop range. Just be careful not to dig in at an angle.

                1. re: dtremit
                  juliejulez Nov 19, 2012 09:35 AM

                  Get a large bowl and fill with hot water and add dish soap. Soak a towel/rag (whatever's big enough to cover the stovetop mostly) in the soapy water. Then, sprinkle the stove top generously with baking soda. Then cover it with the wet towel and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then remove the towel, wiping as you go. Repeat as needed.

                  I moved into my BF's house and he wasn't a very good housekeeper, so I used the above method a few times to get the glass top stove pretty clean.

                2. e
                  emu48 Nov 18, 2012 12:05 AM

                  Best solution is to get a refund on the range and buy anything but a glass-topped one. They're a pain to keep clean. They scratch. They break. They heat in strange ways. I've never owned one but have used a bunch of them. Hated them all.

                  1. THoey1963 Nov 17, 2012 11:44 PM

                    Sorry, kinda forgot about this thread after we took the stove back and ordered a new coil top. Now, wife is very happy. Me? Not so much, but I'll live. I will say it heats up much faster (top and bottom), so that is a plus.

                    If we ever move, next house will have gas...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: THoey1963
                      c
                      cutipie721 Nov 19, 2012 11:22 AM

                      Aww... too late in this conversation. I personally have and love induction cooking. There's virtually no cleaning involved. Just slide some newspaper underneath the pan and your stove will be protected from any kind of marks. Of course do that with caution and with common sense.

                      Not all glass-top is evil. Oh well.

                      1. re: cutipie721
                        BobB Nov 24, 2012 12:58 PM

                        Another induction addict here. I set my cast iron pans on paper towels to cook, but I don't bother when using lighter smooth-bottomed pans.

                    2. THoey1963 Nov 1, 2012 01:47 PM

                      Well, we have had it about 3 weeks now and the wife still hates it. She wants to take it back and get the classic coil style. Keeping it clean is her main reason, and slower heating times is second. I tend to agree with her on the heating times. As to the cleaning, I don't have the issue she has, but then again, I clean as I go, and she waits until she is finished. I volunteered to clean the top once a day after she has used it.

                      I get the feeling we will be returning it soon, but I dread going back to the coils. I hope they are better constructed now so that they are level. With our old one, you could crack an egg on one side of the pans and it would slide to the other...

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: THoey1963
                        r
                        rasputina Nov 1, 2012 01:51 PM

                        I'm with your wife, I'd rather have coils than this stupid glass top. I'd take Kaleo's wood stove over both though. Too bad I'm in the South where it would be murder in the summer to cook on. We need to move north, used to have a woodstove and loved that thing. It wasn't a cookstove, but I still cooked on it and near it.

                        1. re: THoey1963
                          k
                          kaleokahu Nov 1, 2012 02:40 PM

                          Hi, Thoey1963: "She wants to take it back and get the classic coil style."

                          This is not an unreasonable choice. However, there seems to be an inexorable decline in the build quality of coil-element stoves. In fact, it's been a long time since I saw a new one I would consider buying. The cal-rod elements (the coils themselves) are weak, cheap, tippy and have fewer "turns" than old-style coils. If you find a good solid one, let us all know. Otherwise, I encourage you to look for a vintage/restored stove. Or go with gas. Unfortunately, if your DW hates cleaning this one, she'd hate cleaning the induction stoves, too.

                          Good Luck,
                          Aloha,
                          Kaleo

                          1. re: kaleokahu
                            e
                            emu48 Nov 18, 2012 12:09 AM

                            There's generally been a decline in quality of many ... maybe most ... American appliances. Learned that while researching new ones recently. Like so many other American products that have gone to hell, the culprit is design by accountants. It's not just yuppie snobbery that's putting so many foreign appliances in American kitchens. As with cars, some of the European ones are junk too, so be careful.

                          2. re: THoey1963
                            e
                            Entore Nov 2, 2012 08:40 PM

                            Hi THoey1963,

                            I use a product called Unviversal Stone. http://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/Zi... I buy it locally in Candada. The above is the link for on-line purchase in the US. The product is supposed to be natural and non-toxic. It comes with a sponge and instruction on how to use. It is apparently safe on many different type of surfaces. You can use the sponge that comes with the cleaner (I find it not abrasive enough for some stains). I use a GLASS SAFE scrubber (looks like a sponge covered with fine aluminum strips), a bit of water and the cleaner. There is a bit of scrubbing, and then I just wipe off with a regular wet, clean sponge after. This has worked well for me so far. I do clean the stove top daily and the glass top looks nice and clean if you are not too picky. Vileda Scrunge (what I used before) as mentioned by another poster is a great product, but somewhat expensive when one cleans after every use/daily.

                            Please test a small area to be cleaned if you do decide to try out this product just to make sure it is appropriate for your purpose. It is a hassle to have to clean the glass top everyday, but with this method, I find that it is tolerable in terms of time/effort/cost required and result.

                            1. re: THoey1963
                              Robin Joy Nov 3, 2012 04:26 AM

                              Are solid plate electric cooktops not available in the US?

                              This is what I'm going to replace my disasterous glass top purchase last year with:

                              http://www.johnlewis.com/231656841/Pr...

                              We removed mains gas in a kitchen remodel. What a mistake! I don't mind reasonable cleaning, but the glass piece of garbage we had fitted shows every tiny splash or smear of grease and cooks about as well as a small candle (we have excellent quality pans). Never again.

                            2. THoey1963 Oct 12, 2012 06:35 PM

                              Thanks for the advice. I read about not sliding pans, what type of pans to use, etc., prior to buying the range, but this cleanup issue is really a downer. I'll look for the eraser sponge and bar keepers friend next time I am out. Keep trying things until I find something that works. We have also spent a lot of time today scrubbing the bottom of pots and pans. A couple I am just going to replace. Hopefully all this helps.

                              You would think that as long as these tops had been around that they would have come up with something like a removable / replacable liner for the top. The more I try to research about these the more scared I am getting that it is going to take more time to clean than it does to cook on it. I also worry that if it takes this much daily scrubbing, is it going to mar the finish eventually even if I use manufacturer suggested cleaners, etc.

                              <sigh>

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: THoey1963
                                Discerning1 Oct 12, 2012 06:55 PM

                                I also use a razor blade to scrape off stuff that won't succumb to Barkeepers. For the cooktop to work well, it takes pots and pans that are very flat and even on the bottom.

                                My triple clad stainless steel works well.

                                1. re: Discerning1
                                  r
                                  rasputina Oct 13, 2012 06:51 AM

                                  I see this all the time, that for the cooktop to cook well the pans must be flat and even. Well, I still use my Emile Henry tagine on the glasstop and it has feet on the bottom. It still cooked fine. I think the flat pan requirement is over stated by the manufacturers for some reason.

                                  1. re: rasputina
                                    dcrb Oct 13, 2012 10:02 AM

                                    My mother had a range with a Corning cooktop in the 70's up to the mid 80's and loved everything about it except the noticeable discoloration that occurred regularly. The cooktop was white and required frequent cleaning. Fry foods, you get splatter; turn on an adjacent burner/element, the splatter cooks. It was important to wipe down the surface frequently during use to minimize this otherwise it was a good performer for her. Her cookware was Revere-ware so there was never a problem of cooked on crud from the pan bottom transferring to the cooktop as the bottoms were cleaned religiously. It was somewhat time consuming to keep clean but not much more than keeping the traditional chrome trim rings surrounding exposed coils clean etc. Just more noticeable. I only used it a couple of times when home on leave and was more concerned about the potential for scratches and cracking than anything else. But it worked and she was happy with it. In her 90's now, she is back to a conventional coil electric.

                                    1. re: dcrb
                                      s
                                      sueatmo Oct 13, 2012 03:32 PM

                                      The Corning ranges are not the same as the current glasstop ranges. I too have seen discolored tops on those old ranges, and I wouldn't have one, even if they were still being manufactured.

                                      When I read about all the probs people are having, I just don't get it. I haven't had those kinds of cleanup probs. I've burned up a couple of pans along the way, and one of my burns left a permanent ring on a burner once, but overall the stove was cleanable, and it looked nice when it was cleaned.

                                      The current glasstop is all black, which I don't like, and it has not been cared for well, but after a couple of thorough cleans, it looks far better. I'm still testing it out for cooking, but it does heat water in a pan fine.

                                      1. re: sueatmo
                                        dcrb Oct 13, 2012 05:34 PM

                                        sueatmo

                                        Cleaning is a chore, too be sure. But it is not a struggle if it is part of the cooking routine. I cannot remember for sure but I think the Corning cooktop may have had some sort of texturing to it, or maybe it was the impress of burner elements, or something. It was a long time ago.

                                        1. re: dcrb
                                          s
                                          sueatmo Oct 14, 2012 09:55 AM

                                          The awful looking one I saw was in the kitchen of a house when we were looking for a new house 26 years ago! Haven't seen one since. All I remember was that the kitchen was spotless, but the stove looked awful.

                                          1. re: sueatmo
                                            dcrb Oct 14, 2012 11:44 AM

                                            I suppose these cooktops have come a long way since then.

                                2. re: THoey1963
                                  k
                                  kaleokahu Oct 15, 2012 05:58 PM

                                  Hi, THoey1963: "[I]f it takes this much daily scrubbing, is it going to mar the finish eventually even if I use manufacturer suggested cleaners, etc.[?]"

                                  Yep, not an unreasonable worry. I have a radiant black glasstop at my beach house, a Frigidaire, whose four hobs are marked by a mist of very fine white droplets (of paint I think). While this applied marking has been more durable than I expected, it is now wearing away where the razor blade trick is employed. The end result--back to black glass--makes it *look* like there's a stain, even when there's not. I imagine the same visual effect would occur if the markings were lines being partially obliterated.

                                  Cleaning life got a lot simpler (if a little dirtier) when I installed the woodstove...

                                  Aloha,
                                  Kaleo

                                3. Discerning1 Oct 12, 2012 04:58 PM

                                  Barkeeper's Friend is my glass cooktop friend.

                                  1. r
                                    RGC1982 Oct 12, 2012 04:55 PM

                                    I have a black cooktop, which shows fewer marks. However, dragging aluminum pots across the surface will mark it, and sometimes even leave little bits of metal behind. Seasoned cast iron, stainless steel, and Le Creuset work fine, as does anodized aluminum. Carbon steel seems to mark it slightly too, but not as much as aluminum. Copper does not seem to bother it either.

                                    My advice: 1) Clean up right away, use a special stovetop cleaner. It works. 2) Clean while the surface is slightly warm. Don't allow stuff to bake on. 3) Invest in stainless steel cookware with flat bottoms, or cast iron, or enameled cast iron. If you are using a wok, switch away from carbon steel.

                                    For extensive yellowing, you may need to make a paste with Comet (don't scrub or it will scratch) and let it sit. Rinse well. You can even use a razor blade to scrape off residue if you need to.

                                    BTW, I really like my GE cooktop, and I used only gas before moving to this house. You just need to get in the habit of wiping down the surface, and of cleaning your crusty pot bottoms. I do that anyway, so it is no extra work for me, but --- and this may be how some people feel --- if you are not an avid cleaner, it does show streaks and marks.

                                    1. j
                                      julesrules4food Oct 12, 2012 04:34 PM

                                      I have this same problem with my stove and my pans are in really good shape so I don't think it's avoidable. I have bought tons of different cleaners for glass tops and none of them seemed to work without a ton and I mean a ton of elbow grease. The best thing I have found is I buy the Walmart's own Great Value brand of white sponges. They come 4 to a box and are called Miracle Cleaning Eraser. Being in Texas they should be easy to find and try out. I cut each one into 4 and just wet it and clean the stove as soon as the red "hot" light goes off. It doesn't take much work and my stove looks almost as good as the first day almost 5 years ago.

                                      1. jmcarthur8 Oct 12, 2012 04:22 PM

                                        One thing to keep in mind is to never drag your pans across the glass cooktop. It makes tiny scratches that never go away.

                                        I always loved my gas cooktops, but after 40+ years of scrubbing the darn things, I'm perfectly happy to cook on my smoothtop (we don't have a gas hookup in this kitchen) and clean it with a schmear of the sponge.

                                        1. s
                                          sueatmo Oct 12, 2012 04:16 PM

                                          It is my theory that the residue on the bottom of a pan impedes heat transfer. The bottoms really should be as clean as the interiors, but I find that that is more goal than reality. At any rate if scouring doesn't get the bottoms clean, you might want to replace some of them with good quality, flat bottomed pans.

                                          For this, I've used SOS pads, Cameo, and I've just discovered the new formulation of Bon Ami which I really like. You might soak a pan in hot water for a half hour before starting to scour.

                                          If you clean the stovetop every couple of days, you should be able to keep the top pretty nice. If you cook a big meal, be sure to clean the top afterwards. You will have to rub a bit if the stove is quite dirty. The longer it sits dirty the harder it will be to get clean. It might take two applications of cleaner. If you have a laminate counter, be careful not to get any cleaner on it, because it will scratch the finish.

                                          To be clear, I use a stovetop cleaner for glass topped stoves, and something like Bon Ami or SOS on pans. If you do a quick polish of the stove with a paper towel, after wiping all the cleaner off, there should be no streaking.

                                          1. c
                                            cocktailhour Oct 12, 2012 03:48 PM

                                            I think cleaning the ceramic stoves is easier, but it is definitely different. I have not had a problem with marks from my old pans, including cast iron, so maybe just cleaning the bottoms is the way to go. If the pans are heating correctly, I wouldn't replace them. I do have stains on the bottoms of my pans, but the stain doesn't transfer. good luck!

                                            1. r
                                              rasputina Oct 12, 2012 03:20 PM

                                              That is the way of glass tops, and one of the main reasons I hate mine. My pans are in very good condition, it's still a nightmare to keep clean.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: rasputina
                                                Lotsofscots Oct 12, 2012 03:40 PM

                                                You get into a habit of wiping off the burner and wiping off the bottom of the pan before placing it on the burner. It is impossible to keep clean - just have to keep cleaning it after each use. Be careful of spills, and try not to get any sugar-y liquids on the hot burners - next to impossible to get off. If the pots your wife is using are crusty they are not suitable. Try cleaning them with MAAS Metal Polishing Creme.
                                                I am firmly in the "I hate this" club, but the thing keeps working, so I won't replace it just yet.

                                                1. re: Lotsofscots
                                                  r
                                                  rasputina Oct 13, 2012 06:45 AM

                                                  I'm not the only cook in this house, so it's still a mess regardless of me wiping it down.

                                              2. u
                                                unprofessional_chef Oct 12, 2012 02:51 PM

                                                "Some of these pans are fairly old and heavily stained on the bottom."

                                                What kind of pans do you have? What material are the bottoms, SS, hard anodized, aluminum? The bottoms need to be spotless, otherwise residue will just burn into the glasstop.

                                                "I have used the Cermabrite and the yellow scrub pad and have been able to remove all the marks"

                                                A picture or better description of what these "marks" look like will help us understand your problem.

                                                1. c
                                                  CanadaGirl Oct 12, 2012 01:13 PM

                                                  I don't think this problem is easy to avoid. I use Vileda Scrunge for glass cooktops. They are amazing at removing everything. Ceramabryte cleaner is also good, and the more you use it the fewer marks you will see.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: CanadaGirl
                                                    THoey1963 Oct 12, 2012 02:26 PM

                                                    Thanks CG. Looks like that Scrunge is pretty much a Canadian item. Will try to find something comparable here in Texas.

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