Stove top cracked

A glass-ceramic electric cooktop doesn’t cook as quickly as an induction cooktop, according to Home Stratosphere, and it isn’t as widely-used as a gas cooktop, but it has positive features that appeal to homeowners who appreciate its sleek, smooth appearance. It does, however, have the unfortunate drawback of being vulnerable to breakage. The two most common reasons glass cooktops crack are impacts from heavy pots and excessive heat from one of the burners or a hot spot created by burnt-on food. Learn how to deal with stove top cracked issues and how to fix a cracked glass top stove below.

Stove Top Cracked

How to prevent stove top cracked problems

Use the Right Cookware

It’s fairly obvious that dropping a heavy pot on a glass cooktop can crack the glass, and that’s one reason that heavy cast-iron implements are not recommended, but there’s also another reason. Pots and pans with irregular surfaces, such as cast iron, create micro-scratches when you drag them across the cooktop. A micro-scratch, like a score mark, can weaken the glass to the point of breaking. The usual method for cutting glass, after all, is to make a score line and break the glass along the line.

The best pots and pans for a glass ceramic cooktop are made of heavy-duty aluminum, stainless steel titanium or high-carbon steel, and they have flat, smooth bottoms. The ones most likely to cause damage are made of porcelain, stone, ceramic or cast iron. Unless they are approved for use on glass surfaces, you should also avoid enameled cookware, because the enamel can melt and stick to the hot glass.

Glass Stove Top Cracked While Cooking

It’s important to keep your glass cooktop clean because food spatters can bake onto the surface. When that happens, they create hot spots that can cause cracking. The reason this happens is that the carbonized food acts as an insulator, preventing heat from escaping, forcing it back into the glass and creating stress that results in a crack. The damage can occur in the time it takes to boil a pot of water.

Cost to Replace Glass Top Stove

Overheating can occur for another reason that is, fortunately, less common. Each heating element on an electric stove is equipped with a temperature limiter that prevents the element from overheating. If this limiter fails, the element can get hot enough to crack the glass.

You can sometimes replace the limiter, but you may have to replace both the element and the limiter along with the stove top. The cost to replace a glass stove top is around $200. Since a new stove can cost over $1,000, it’s worth doing.

Do Not Use Abrasive Cleaners

Just as small particles underneath cookware can cause scratches that can result in cracks, so can the particles in granular cleaners. You should never use scouring powder or anything similarly abrasive to clean your stove top. Even if the abrasive cleaner doesn’t ultimately result in a cracked stove top, the fine scratches can cloud the surface and require you to resurface the glass top stove.

The cleaning method recommended by Merry Maids is to spritz on distilled white vinegar from a spray bottle and wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. When you need a heavier-duty cleaner, sprinkle baking soda over the vinegar, cover the stove top with a damp towel and let it sit for 10 minutes before wiping. Clean off burnt-on food spills by scraping them with a razor blade to prevent hot spots that cause cracking.

Glass can break, and when your glass-top stove gets a crack in it, you may not like the way it looks anymore. Unfortunately, this is not a problem that is simply repaired.

Tempered Glass

The glass in a smooth-top stove is tempered. That means it is made stronger by a heating process. This toughening method significantly increases the amount of stress a piece of glass can withstand before breaking. While thickness of glass and other factors will affect any glass-breakage requirements, tempering will add an additional 10,000 psi of resistance to any piece. In addition, when a piece of tempered glass does break, it tends to break up into blocks or squares instead of completely shattering. This makes for safer cleanup. All glass-top stoves use tempered glass for toughness and heat resistance. If the surface cracks, it is likely to be in a limited area, and the entire top is highly unlikely to shatter. This means that the crack may not be a major concern, aside from aesthetics. This is important because you won’t be able to repair it.

No Epoxy or Windshield Solutions

When a windshield or another piece of tempered glass breaks, you can sometimes repair it using epoxy and methods touted by auto repair shops. There is a way to make cracks in a car windshield seem to magically disappear before your eyes with minimal effort and expense. This might be possible to erase a crack in your glass-top stove as well, but the problem is that the temperature on the surface of your cook top gets far higher than the surface of your windshield. The epoxy and other chemicals used to repair cracked tempered glass will not stand up to extreme heat, so the repair will not hold.

Replacement Only

The truth about fixing a crack in a glass stove top is simple – you can’t really do it effectively. The only real option is replacement. If the crack is affecting the cooking surface or is simply too unattractive for you to deal with, you should begin shopping for a replacement. Contact the manufacturer of your particular stove and find out how to obtain a new glass top. Most modern models have all sorts of replacement parts available.

Easier Than You Think

You can generally remove a glass top by removing screws in the front of the stove top and lifting it off the rear hinges. You can then replace the entire cook top and reconnect the wiring. You should always turn off the power to the stove before working on it. Some models that set on top of a cabinet instead of an oven may require you to approach from underneath and loosen the top from support brackets and then take off the top and replace it. Although this may seem more complicated, it is still fairly simple.

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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