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Old September 12, 2008, 12:26 PM   #1
Victoria
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New Stove!! Smooth top or coil?

My thirty year old stove has died - sad, but true! As I have shopped around I am getting a mixed message about smooth vs coil. Will I need new saucepans for a smooth top? Will the top break easily? Is it dangerous with children around? It looks so much neater, and I am sure it must be easier to keep clean. Any help in making this decision would be helpful. Thanks.
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Old September 12, 2008, 12:33 PM   #2
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Gas is the best, but I like a smooth top for electric.
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Old September 12, 2008, 12:33 PM   #3
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We just got a flat top in Nov. of 2007.(GE) My wife loves it. Boil overs and messes don't ruin the pans with crud. You do have to keep them clean. Yes depending on your pans, they may need replaced. You can not have anything without a flat bottom, nor can it be glass (Vision cookware). As far as burn hazards, I'm not sure they are any more dangerous than a hot metal coil. Ours has a red light that stays lit while the cooktop is hot so that you know to stay away. Over all we like it.
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Old September 12, 2008, 01:27 PM   #4
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My sister-in-law has had a flat top for years and loves it. I wish I had an electric stove - I would definately go with the flat.
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Old September 12, 2008, 01:36 PM   #5
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Well, I hate an electric stove, but I'm stuck with one. Gas heats up so much faster, and when its off, its off. Easier to regulate.

But I have always had a flat top and I like it very much, I have no problems with it at all. Burnt on marks are a little hard to scrub off, but not a problem. I never put glass or corning ware on the flat top, but I didn't put it on gas either.
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Old September 12, 2008, 03:09 PM   #6
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I love my new Induction stovetop!!! http://www.jennair.com/catalog/produ...b918cb72dc07e8

It boils water in seconds!! It is also safer around children because the cooktop heats the food not the pan. Downside is it doesn't work with all pans. The pans need to be magnetic another words, stainless steel or cast iron. This was not a big deal for me becuase most of my cookware was stainless steel and I also had my favorite cast iron pans so I was good to go! Here is a thread I started just before I purchased it. http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthr...ight=induction
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Old September 12, 2008, 03:14 PM   #7
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We just switched from a coiled to a flat, glass topped stove. I hate it. The maintenance to clean it is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. I have two teenage sons and a husband and I can tell you that thing is never clean. It takes forever to clean, unless it is done immediately and in our busy household that never happens. When it was about 2 weeks old there was a piece of food stuck to the bottom of a pan and somehow the glass cook top is now chipped. We are getting a new one but the poor repairman broke the new glass top putting it on the other day so now we are waiting for another new top. The glass top is extremely temperamental and I certainly had no idea. We have no business having something that takes that much care in this house with all males and me. I hate the thing, would love to switch back, but can't afford that with college payments! Our stove is a downdraft so was very pricey. Big mistake.


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Old September 12, 2008, 03:19 PM   #8
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Love my flat top stove! Had one in my old house and put one in this house right after we moved in. The newer ones heat up quickly and are supposed to cook as well as gas. I've never cooked on gas so I can't compare but I love the flat top stoves.

You do need to use flat bottom pans and any cheap pans that are warped don't heat up properly.

I think it is pretty hard to crack or break the glass. I've been using this type stove for more than a dozen years and have never had a problem.

It is so easy to clean. The one I have now looks brand new after five years of use.
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Old September 12, 2008, 03:42 PM   #9
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abbekit-
I feel like I must be doing something wrong that others actually like these glass top stove...not to mention mine was cracked after about 2 weeks of use! And then the repairman broke the next one putting it in! Our stove is a jenn air down draft and the top is black glass. It is way too temperamental for us. I was also told I can not use it to can tomatoes. I really did not care about that in February when we bought it but now that my garden is full of tomatoes I am starting to care!


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Old September 12, 2008, 04:35 PM   #10
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abbekit-
I feel like I must be doing something wrong that others actually like these glass top stove...not to mention mine was cracked after about 2 weeks of use! And then the repairman broke the next one putting it in! Our stove is a jenn air down draft and the top is black glass. It is way too temperamental for us. I was also told I can not use it to can tomatoes. I really did not care about that in February when we bought it but now that my garden is full of tomatoes I am starting to care!


Sue
I also have a Jenn-Aire black, flat top. I sure wish gas was available. I hate cooking with electric, but have for the past 30 years. The glass flat tops are very hard to keep clean, and burned on spills are very difficult (some never quite come clean). Also, it's extremely difficult to keep a constant heat on an electric stove....very hard when making candies, cheese, or things that require exacting temperatures. I do like the flat top better than coils, but can't explain why.
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Old September 12, 2008, 04:41 PM   #11
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The Fire Next Time.

I like those gas ranges -- natural gas or LP gas mox nix -- where I can see the actual tongues of fire bumping up against the bottom of the pan.


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What I'm really waiting for is gas-fired microwaves.

I'm not expecting those to appear in the showrooms any time soon.

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Last edited by AwayWeGo; September 12, 2008 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Depends On What The Meaning Of The Word "The" Is.
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Old September 12, 2008, 05:06 PM   #12
saf512
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My parents bought a flat top stove and then sold it 3 months later because they hated it! They disliked the fact that it was hard to keep clean, it was not obvious when the range was hot and the temperature was very difficult to control (for temperature sensitive foods).
Both my parent and I now have a gas range and love it.
Good luck with your decision.
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Old September 12, 2008, 05:15 PM   #13
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I too have a Jen-Air downdraft and it's the most bizarre arrangement I've ever seen (it came with my house). It has two coil burners on one side and a pop out cartridge on the other that's two smooth, black glass burners. I guess there are grill and griddle cartridges available, but I don't have them.

I HATE the smooth side because the cartridge has a little rim around it that prevents my biggest pots from coming in direct contact with the surface and they take FOREVER to get hot. Stupid design, or what? So, since I cook a lot, and in big batches, I use the coil side more often. HOWEVER, the smooth side is the easiest thing in the world to clean. If something burns on, all you do is take a razor blade and scrape it off after it cools. I bought a bottle of the special cleaner, but rarely use it. Just a little dish washing liquid on a sponge, or Windex and paper towels usually does the trick. I only use the white cleaner when I've done a lot of frying, as in a big batch of chicken cutlets and the top gets greasy.
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Old September 12, 2008, 05:43 PM   #14
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I'm surprised that people say they find it hard to clean the flat glass cooktop. I've used one for over a dozen years and it cleans like a charm.

Mine came with a razor blade paint scraper tool that I use if something is burned on. Just scrape it off. Then I use the special glass cooktop cleaner. Just a small amount with a damp sponge will clean up basic spills. Then if necessary I use a regular glass cleaner or a vinegar/water solution that I would use on windows to make the glass shine like new.
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Old September 12, 2008, 05:57 PM   #15
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I had always wanted a flattop so I was ecstatic when the house we bought in Ames had one. I loved it for the ease of cleaning (my job) . . . my husband hated it for cooking (his job).

Go figure!
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Old September 12, 2008, 06:15 PM   #16
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Smooth Top, Smooth Top, Smooth Top.

Oh yeah - did I mention Smooth Top?

More even than coil, easy to clean, and looks great.

Re cooking - I used to prefer gas, but the smooth top is almost as good, and is just so easy to keep clean and looks so good that even if I ever have the choice of gas I'll probably choose a smooth top.

We use Calphalon anodized aluminum, stainless steel with and without copper bottoms, Corning Ware, misc. enameled nonsticks, and few enameled cast iron ones. We are not rough with the stovetop, and have never had a problem. I certainly wouldn't want to plop the big cast iron dutch oven down on it hard, but then I wouldn't do that on a coil stove or on my countertop either.

I wipe splatters off with a damp sponge - just as I wipe my countertops and sink after doing the dishes. Then every so often (3-4 weeks - depending on if there are any burned on spots) we dump a bunch of baking soda on it and work on burned spots with a damp sponge for a few minutes. It came with a razor-blade like scraper for tough cleaning - we have yet to need it, after 9 years of using the stove.

I'd be hesitant if I or my family tended to be rough on things, but otherwise, Smooth Top all the way.

Last edited by pjrose; September 12, 2008 at 08:35 PM.
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Old September 12, 2008, 06:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suesam View Post
abbekit-
I feel like I must be doing something wrong that others actually like these glass top stove...not to mention mine was cracked after about 2 weeks of use! And then the repairman broke the next one putting it in! Our stove is a jenn air down draft and the top is black glass. It is way too temperamental for us. I was also told I can not use it to can tomatoes. I really did not care about that in February when we bought it but now that my garden is full of tomatoes I am starting to care!


Sue
You are not alone! My next house will be gas and I will never go back. I thought our new glass top (purchased 3 yrs ago) was so cool because it was bisque on bisque- unlike the others with a black glass top. Impossible to keep clean . . . even when I don't spill or boil over. My mom just got one and I told her to make sure the glass is BLACK so you don't see the constant ring. Every time she's at my house she thanks me again for telling her to go with black. We have black on our new one at the cabin (where I also wish we had gas available) and it is so much nicer. Odd isn't it that both homes are fully electric with no propane or natural gas. Hmmmph!

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Old September 12, 2008, 07:37 PM   #18
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We have a high-end black glasstop stove and I have hated it every day of the past 10 years because:
1, it is always dirty and hard to clean -- even with special cleanser
2. (this may be solved in newer, induction models, but) the heat level is almost impossible to regulate. As a result, the heat is always either too high or too low.

I would trade it in a second for a gas stove. Even our old GE electric coil countertop was much easier to cook on and regulate ---and we had paired it with a great wall oven from Italy.

If you really want to buy a glasstop, see if you can test one at a friend's place or at the store, and then you can make an informed decision.
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Old September 12, 2008, 07:44 PM   #19
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If you really want to buy a glasstop, see if you can test one at a friend's place or at the store, and then you can make an informed decision.
. . . take a week at a timeshare resort that's equipped with those tricky flat-top electric ranges & see what it's like cooking on 1 for 7 days.

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Old September 12, 2008, 08:06 PM   #20
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Definitely smooth top

I've lived many places, and I've had multiple electic (coils) and gas ranges.
I had always liked cooking with gas. I though it was much better than electric coils. However, when we moved six years ago and bought a new hours, the buidler had already installed a smooth top ... so we gave it a try.

I love the smooth top, and I wouldn't go back to either gas or electric coil. It heats up much faster than an electric coil stove, and it's easy to keep clean. It may take a little time to scrape off something when it cooks over, but it's faster than cleaning out and polishing all of those little metal trays. I'll take a smooth top any day.
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Old September 12, 2008, 09:56 PM   #21
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I'm surprised that people say they find it hard to clean the flat glass cooktop. I've used one for over a dozen years and it cleans like a charm.

Mine came with a razor blade paint scraper tool that I use if something is burned on. Just scrape it off. Then I use the special glass cooktop cleaner. Just a small amount with a damp sponge will clean up basic spills. Then if necessary I use a regular glass cleaner or a vinegar/water solution that I would use on windows to make the glass shine like new.
We've had several flat top glass, and both also had the scrapers, etc. I guess I'm a real "klutz" because each time it didn't take long for something to boil over and stain the glass such that it could never be completely cleaned. I guess I'm just not careful enough. I find the black surface streaks and looks lousy most of the time, unless I use the special cleaner and windex. I also hate having to remove the knobs and trying to clean around them.
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Old September 13, 2008, 02:19 AM   #22
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Another happy glass-top customer here, mine is now more than 12 years old. Apparently brand and quality vary greatly, based on the responses to this thread.

My DH is clumsy and not "gentle", yet nothing he has done (or dropped on it) has damaged the cooktop. I find it very easy to keep clean, just wipe-up like the counter tops. For burned on spills, a little bon ami works like a charm. Still looks like new.

Although the color is called white, it's mostly black with white specks, knobs & trim. The two main (front) burners are halogen which heat up/cool down quickly, and are very responsive to temperature setting changes. I have a variety of pots & pans and they all work fine.

If mine breaks down, I'll replace it with a similar model.
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Old September 13, 2008, 02:55 AM   #23
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Smooth top only for me. My mother had one in the 60's and loved it. I have had one for fifteen years and love it.
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Old September 13, 2008, 06:04 AM   #24
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Another vote for the smooth black electric stovetop. I have had one for 17 years or so and really like it. We got it at Sears and brought it with us when we moved. You do have to wipe it down like a countertop, but that is not a problem. I like how neat it looks and that I can put stuff on it when needed.
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Old September 13, 2008, 07:33 AM   #25
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I agree you really want to try one EXACTLY like you are getting. Mine is NOTHING like cleaning the countertop. It is MUCH harder than that and we would ALWAYS have to use the special cleaner to keep that thing looking nice.
I am sure 10 years from now I will still be cursing the thing so make sure you know what you are getting and do not make the same mistake I did!!

Good Luck!!

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