In counter electric stove tops

In counter electric stove tops have been available on the market for decades, and they’ve become a standard in homes around the world. While their gas-flame counterparts are sometimes considered to be the more “luxurious” or “high-end” variation, more and more high-end brands have been investing significant time and money into creating high-end electric cooktops. Why? There are plenty of consumers who prefer the simplicity and dependability of electric smoothtop cooktops, not to mention their streamlined and minimalist visual appeal.

In counter electric stove tops

The Best Electric Cooktops on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

By The EditorsPhoto: Courtesy Retailer

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve written about the best slow cookers, electric griddles, and microwaves, here we’re rounding up the best electric cooktops you can find on Amazon, according to the people.

Best-rated electric cooktop

Secura 9100MC 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner

Secura 9100MC 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner$70 now 3% off4.2 stars, 2,467 reviews$68

There’s a slight adjustment to cooking on an induction burner. “To begin, be certain a magnet will stick to your cookware,” explains one reviewer. But many reviewers are hooked once they get the right cookware. “It’s easy to learn how to use,” adds another. “It can be set by heat factor or temperature and by time. Super simple. Example: Turn it up to boil a pan of water. Once its at boil bring the heat down where you get it at the rate you need. Then set the timer for how long it needs to run. Walk away, it will do the rest.” Many reviewers note the convenience of the single burner when downsizing or renovating a kitchen. “I read up on induction cooking systems and found they are safer, have less heat for the surrounding areas of cooking, are efficient in electricity, cleaner, and easy to clean,” says one who “recently” downsized their living space. The savings on heat and energy receive constant mentions; as this reviewer says, “More energy efficient than gas or electric. Lighter than you’d think, making portability easy. Cools down quicker.” Plus, an RV dweller adds, “Heats up quick. Makes a huge difference over the gas top as far as time, energy efficiency, and creating a lot of heat in the RV.” More than one person describes cooking with this induction cooktop as magic, like one reviewer who writes, “Induction cooktops are like magic, you have to use one to fully appreciate how great they are. I love the features on this one and found it very easy to adapt to. And, it really is hard to go back to a conventional stove top after using one of these.”$68 AT AMAZON

Best-rated (less expensive) electric cooktop

Proctor Silex 34103 Fifth Burner

Proctor Silex 34103 Fifth Burner4.2 stars, 167 reviews$23

“It has held up through omelets, four-hour beans, pancake batter spills, and pretty much all the crusty kitchen remnants I have drip dropped and dragged its way,” says one reviewer of his hardy Proctor Silex electric cooktop. “For the college student, the poor freelancer living in a box of a room and sleeping on the floor, the newlyweds attempting to start a life, this is your burner. Cleans great, light, easy, and durable.” For another reviewer, this makes for an excellent holiday helper. “I’m always running out of burners at holidays when I’m doing extra cooking for friends and family, and this is an ideal spare.” The same goes for another reviewer, plus backup: “I purchased this burner as an extra burner when the kitchen stove is totally in use. I am also planning to use it with a generator in case of a power outage.”$23 AT AMAZON

And now for some micro-picks of every type of electric cooktop you might be looking for.

Best cast-iron electric cooktop

Cuisinart CB-30 Cast-Iron Single Burner

Cuisinart CB-30 Cast-Iron Single Burner4.1 stars, 536 reviews$48

Reviewers report that this Cuisinart burner is both good for cooking with cast-iron cookware and for heating because it’s made of cast iron. “We bought a new ceramic-top stove and read we weren’t supposed to use cast iron skillets,” says one reviewer. “But I love my skillet! So I bought this hot plate so I can use it. It works as good as a stove top.” Another adds, “The cast iron burner plate is easy to clean and I don’t have to worry about scratches.” One pleased reviewer describes it as “a clean-looking, efficient burner for those times when you are cooking for a crowd, or for when you want to fry something like bacon outdoors, in order to avoid having grease splattered all over your kitchen,” while another notes that it “heats up super fast, no weird smells.” It’s so good that they admit, “Honestly even as a diehard gas stove lover, I sometimes completely forget that this isn’t part of a real range.”$48 AT AMAZON

Best heavy-duty electric cooktop

Cadco PCR-1S Professional Cast Iron Range, Stainless

Cadco PCR-1S Professional Cast Iron Range, Stainless$200 now 32% off4.3 stars, 215 reviews$136

Many of the reviews for this burner come from people making recipes that require a lot of heat for long periods of time, like canning or making bone broths. “The heat up is fast, the control is simple, and the construction is top notch,” says one canner. “The finish is lovely enough to sit on the counter top as an extra stove burner next to our glass top stove and holds the tea pot. It looks great, very industrial. It has no problem heating and maintaining heat for canning.” The broth simmerer adds, “It has infinite heat settings and can be turned all the way up to bring something to a boil, or turned all the way down to keep something just warm. It is housed in a high quality and attractive stainless steel base that stays remarkably cool and doesn’t damage the laminate countertop beneath it.” Another reviewer, who just wanted to buy a high-quality hot plate, describes the cast-iron surface as “very well-finished, providing good friction to hold pots in place. There is fine control of the heat output and it works superbly with cast-iron Dutch ovens.” But it’s the hard-core canning enthusiasts who make up many of these five-star reviwers, like this one who explains, “I use a pressure canner and it is difficult for me to maintain a fairly steady pressure in the canner on my stove top. This range is ideal for this purpose and has made pressure canning into a joy for me. I highly recommend this to anyone who cans their own food.”$136 AT AMAZON

Best induction electric cooktop

iSeLER 1800W Sensor Touch Portable Induction Cooker Cooktop

iSeLER 1800W Sensor Touch Portable Induction Cooker Cooktop$75 now 15% off4.6 stars, 345 reviewsFrom $64

“I’ve spent anywhere between $50 and $300 on these burners, and so far this induction burner is my favorite,” says one reviewer. “With the right pan, this burner rocks, boiling water in a blink and searing in a way that my poor little electric burner (even cast iron) just can’t manage.” Usable even with greasy hands, the button capabilities receive rave reviews. “I’m really enjoying the fast heating, instant cool down and quick touch control of temperature for cooking,” explains one user. For thoughts on safety, this reviewer writes, “Simple to use. Push a couple of touch sensitive buttons to turn it on, and then use the knob to adjust the temperature or power level. Added bonus is that it is safer for my aging mother in law to use than exposed electric coils or burning gas.” Another reviewer calls this cooktop “functionally safe, quiet, time-efficient, easy to clean, and maintains precise temperatures over an extended period of operation. We love it for Asian-style hot pot cooking, but can envision many other uses. It is the perfect size for a small dining room table—an excellent value for the price.”FROM $64 AT AMAZON

Best quiet induction electric cooktop

Duxtop LCD 1800-Watt Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner 9600LS

Duxtop LCD 1800-Watt Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner 9600LS$118 now 15% off4.2 stars, 505 reviewsFrom $100

“Let’s face it, if you have used an induction cooktop before, you know that it shines at boiling water FAST,” says one reviewer of this induction cooktop, adding, “But also being able to hold something at a constant temperature—in this case a low temp—for a while is also needed and in the past I found myself pulling it off the induction burner and putting the pan on my old stovetop to ‘simmer’ something. No longer.” Aside from consistency, the burner gets high marks for being quieter than other induction models. “The cooktop is well constructed with appealing design features. Controls are intuitive and simple to use. Noise level is low,” explains one reviewer. Another describes the sound level of this easy-to-use burner as “not whisper-quiet, it being clearly audible even on low settings. However, it’s nowhere near as loud as the fan on my microwave oven.”FROM $100 AT AMAZON

Best double electric cooktop

Cusimax Portable Electric Stove, 1800W Infrared Double Burner

Cusimax Portable Electric Stove, 1800W Infrared Double Burner$80 now 15% off4.3 stars, 207 reviews$68

“This two-burner hotplate/warmer is terrific,” writes a happy reviewer. “Slick design, tested it out to boil water, which it did quickly, easy to clean, great to have for those big holiday meals where you are wishing for extra burners or a way to keep something on low to stay heated for taking to the table later.” Among the college-aged, this double burner gets a lot of positive write-ups. “I am a graduate student living with 3 other roommates. We only have one stove in our apartment. Our kitchen cannot accommodate more than two people. This helps me out in busy kitchen time.”

Plus, it addresses some office needs. “Bought this for the kitchen in my office and it’s been working out great,” says one reviewer. “Employees seem to really like it. It’s a great size so it doesn’t take up a lot of space and it’s sleek looking so it compliments the modern design we have.” And even those with enough space have succumbed to its charms: “While I do have a full kitchen, I purchased this because I don’t like the smell of stir-fry and it’s oily smell to permeate throughout my house. I was hoping this was good enough to stir-fry in my backyard. It did not disappoint. It allowed me to stir-fry outside and create my favorite dishes without having smoke and the stir-fry smell in my home.”

Power options for stoves and ovens

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The Kenmore 41313 range has a smooth electric cooktop and an electric oven.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Electric

The heat output from electric cooktops is measured in watts. Output varies from stove to stove and burner to burner, but the output generally falls somewhere between 1,200 watts for low heat on a small burner and 3,800 BTUs for high heat on a large burner, though we’ve seen outliers at both ends of the spectrum. There are different types of electric cooktops from which you can select:

Smoothtop (glass-ceramic cooktop)

These cooktops are made of smooth glass-ceramic with heating units under the surface. A built-in sensor lets you know when a burner is still hot. This is important with smooth electric cooking surfaces, because the burner doesn’t always turn red if the heat is low.

Keep in mind that this type of cooktop is prone to scratches, and not all cookware is safe to use on the surface (the appliance’s manual will give you those specifics).

Electric coil

These burners convert the electricity that runs into the coil into heat. These cooktops contain thermostat sensors that notify you when a burner is on, but not necessarily whether it is still hot. Electric coil stoves are notorious for uneven cooking because of uneven distribution of the coil.

In short, it is hard to keep the coil perfectly level, which can make all of the food in the pan slide to one side. In addition, electric coil stoves are slow to heat and slow to cool. But ranges with this type of cooktop are cheaper than comparable models.

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The Kenmore 95073 range has an induction cooktop and an electric oven.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Induction cooktops

Induction burners use the heat created from electromagnetic energy to cook your food. An element just below the surface of an induction cooktop creates a magnetic field. When you put a piece of cookware containing iron on top of that magnetic element, it causes a vibration of sorts that converts to heat through a series of magnetic interactions with iron (you can read more about the science behind induction here).

These cooktops are safer than gas or electric burners because they don’t use flames or direct heat — induction burners won’t start to heat if you put something on them that doesn’t contain magnetic material. Induction cooktops are also more efficient and heat things quicker than other types of burners (the ones we’ve tested have boiled a large pot of water in an average of 6 minutes).

There are a few downsides to induction cooktops. You have to make sure you have cookware that will work with the cooking surface, and ranges with induction burners tend to cost more money than comparable electric or gas ranges.

Electric ovens: This type of oven uses a heating element that is either visible on the top or bottom of the oven, or hidden. Our baking tests show that they often cook more evenly than their gas counterparts.

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The SMEG C30GGRU is a gas range, so it has a gas cooktop and oven.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Gas

Gas cooktops

Both home and professional cooks have valued gas stovetops because of the how uniform the heat output is. An open flame surrounds the bottom of your cookware, which evenly distributes the heat around it. This heat output is measured in BTUs (British thermal units). Like electric models, the power range varies from model to model, but the output generally falls somewhere between 5,000 BTUs for low heat on a small burner and 18,000 BTUs for high heat on a large burner. We’ve seen burners on high-end ranges get as low as 800 BTUs and as high as 20,000 BTUs. If you’re a speedy cook, be aware that our cooking tests show gas cooktops tend to take longer to boil large pots of water than electric or induction cooktops.

Gas ovens

When it comes to gas ovens, we’ve seen in our cook tests that they have a harder time producing even baking results than electric ovens.

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The Dacor ER30DSCH has a gas cooktop and an electric oven.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Dual-fuel

Some ranges use two types of power: gas for the cooktop, and electric in the oven. These dual-fuel ranges are a good compromise for folks who want the direct heat of a gas burner but the even cooking of an electric oven. However, these hybrids cost more than traditional one-power-source ranges.

Design styles

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The Kenmore 97723 is an example of a freestanding range.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Freestanding

Freestanding ranges are designed to fit anywhere in a kitchen. Oven controls are often located on a back panel that raises up above the cooktop. These are less expensive than slide-in models.

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The Samsung NE58K9850WG is a slide-in range, so it doesn’t have a back panel and sits flush with surrounding countertops.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Slide-in

These ranges don’t have a back panel and are meant to fit in flush with the surrounding countertops. Slide-in ranges are often more expensive than freestanding models because of the mechanics that go into putting all the controls up front.

Drop-in

Drop-in ranges are similar to slide-in models — they sit flush with the surrounding countertops and all the controls are located at the front of the unit. But this type of range looks like you dropped it between two cabinets because of a strip of cabinetry you place beneath the appliance.

Bonus features

The search for an oven or range can resemble a visit to a car dealership — there are always opportunities to upgrade. Assess your needs and decide if these bonus features are worth throwing down more money for an appliance.

Wireless connectivity

Companies have become more proactive in including wireless capabilities such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC) in their ovens and stoves so you can control your appliance from your smartphone. For example, you could begin to preheat your Wi-Fi-enabled oven on your way home from the grocery store, so it’s ready for your frozen pizza by the time you get home.

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The GE PHB920SJSS induction range has built-in Wi-Fi and works with Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated virtual assistant. You can give voice commands to this Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker to control the range.Chris Monroe/CNET

Manufacturers have also started to connect appliances with smart-home products to add some automation and voice control in the kitchen. For example, GE’s Wi-Fi-connected ranges work with Alex and Google Assistant, so you can give voice commands to control your appliance. And Jenn-Air wall ovens work with Nest Learning Thermostats ($269 at Amazon) so you can automatically lower your home’s temperature when the ovens get hot. 

Convection fans

Convection fans are built into the back of oven walls. They circulate the heat in the oven so hot air is more evenly dispersed, which means your food will bake more evenly. You’d want convection fans if you’re baking food like cookies on more than one oven rack at the same time. Midprice ovens will have at least one convection fan. Some ovens have what’s called “true” or “European” convection, which means there’s a heating element that surrounds the fan that warms the air as the fan blows. Read more about the science of convection here.

Special cooking modes

Your basic oven can bake and broil. But as the price for ovens increases, you’ll see that there are more cooking options. For example, ovens with convection fans will have modes for convection baking and convection roasting, which will enable the fans and heating elements. Some ovens also come with cook settings for specific foods, such as pizza or turkey, or food preparation methods, like dehydration or bread proofing.

Bottom drawers (baking/warming/broiling)

Some ranges come with a bottom drawer that can serve one of many purposes depending on the model. Some range ovens offer a baking drawer, which enables a person to use the main oven to roast or broil, and the baking drawer for smaller dishes, so you can cook more than one thing at the same time using different temperatures. A warming drawer will keep food warm, but it won’t cook the food. Some ovens have a broiler drawer, which functions like a traditional broiler and must be watched just as closely to ensure that food does not burn.

Temperature probes

Temperature probes plug into the wall of your oven, and you use them to monitor the internal temperature of meat as it cooks. The temperature displays on the control panel of your oven, so you don’t have to open the door to see if your dish is done.

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The KitchenAid KFDD500ESS range has two oven cavities, so you can bake two dishes on different temperatures at the same time.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Double ovens in conventional space

The ovens on some ranges have dual baking chambers, which give you the flexibility of double wall ovens without the need for more space. These ovens allow the convenience of simultaneous cooking at different temperatures. Some ovens come with a divider that allows you to split your single oven into two unique temperature zones that will remain separate as long as the divider is in place.

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