Electric smooth top ranges and cooktops have become the norm for electric powered cooking. The old school coil burners with grates and drip-pans are losing popularity due to reliability and convenience of cleaning. Just like it sounds smooth top ranges and cooktops have a flat surface that is generally made out of glass and ceramic. The cooktop is one flat piece with the burners underneath and made visible by circles typically etched in the glass or ceramic. Now something to consider is whether you want induction or radiant heat. Here are some things to consider before venturing out to the stores.
An induction burner shouldn’t even be called a burner because it functions very differently from other electric burners. An induction cooktop on a range heats up the iron in the pot or pan directly using hundreds of magnets located under the glass. It makes your cookware the heat source. Using electromagnetic energy, the element never gets hot; it just causes your cookware to heat up while the surface of the smooth top stays cool to the touch except when the pan heats up the glass.
Induction ranges are the most energy efficient because it uses your pot or pan as the heating element to cook your food which also makes it easier to achieve your desired temperature much faster than other electric cooktops. Safety is also a nice feature with induction because once contact with the pan is broken, most will automatically power off. The glass will stay hot but not as long as a radiant cooktop.
One thing to think about is that induction can only use some types of cookware. It must have iron in the pan. Fortunately, most cookware is compatible with induction cooktops.
Radiant elements are a lot like old school coils burners, except that the coils are housed under the glass and ceramic surface making it much easier to clean. But because they are glass, they show dirt and smudges much more frequently requiring you to clean more often.
Since the radiant ranges and cooktops use hot glass to heat up your pan almost any kind of pan is okay to use. They are also typically less expensive.
One thing to consider is that the radiant heat units are cast iron pans are not recommended for glass tops. They require much more attention like constant cleaning.
You can always check out the different option on our website, but it might be better to see them in person. Stop by one of our locations to see them for yourself to determine what is best for you and your home.