Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Is there such a thing as a great electric stove?


Octaveman
 Share

Recommended Posts

I fairly recently moved into a place and after doing some research it was discovered that my GE electric stove only cost $800 when new. Of course, that doesn't matter 'cause I HATE it. Ceramic top, "lite-brite" looking burners that cycle on and off and I can always tell because the food stops sizzling.

Anyway, is there such thing as a really good electric stove? Which brands? What top is better than others? Special features to look for? Please let me know as I'd like to replace mine for a better one. Gas is not an option.

Thanks for all the advice.

Bob

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I fairly recently moved into a place and after doing some research it was discovered that my GE electric stove only cost $800 when new.  Of course, that doesn't matter 'cause I HATE it.  Ceramic top, "lite-brite" looking burners that cycle on and off and I can always tell because the food stops sizzling.

Anyway, is there such thing as a really good electric stove?  Which brands?  What top is better than others?  Special features to look for?  Please let me know as I'd like to replace mine for a better one.  Gas is not an option.

Thanks for all the advice.

Bob

Is induction an option? The answer to 'is there such a thing as a really good electric stove?' is no. Some are better than others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too am constrained by electric. Induction cooktops are great but you can't use all cookware with them. I have found that heavier cookware is better because the heat doesn't cycle as much with the cooktop turning on and off (I have 2.5mm copper/stainless lined). The manufacturers frown upon using copper or cast iron with the smooth tops but I snub my nose at them and do it anyway. Haven't had a problem in 4 years (although I am careful not to drag the cast iron across the surface.)

I guess the thing to look for is watts on each element. Some of the lower end stoves have their large elements in the 1800 watt range. This is a case where bigger is better. You may want to check out Miele; I think they have some good electric options.

I have a GE profile cooktop and while not great, it is acceptable. One 1200 watt, two 2000 watt, one dual 2500 watt. You can get one with a 3000 watt "power" burner, but the configuration didn't fit into my space so I didn't get that one. The 6 inch 1200 watt burner seems to be more powerful than the others for its size; a small saucepan set on it will boil several cups of water really quickly. I really should time the large burner on a stockpot of water. Maybe I'll try it tonight (and probably weep).

I was constrained not only by having an electric cooktop but also by the size of the cutout in my Corian. The way it was cut I couldn't get any tools in the hole to make it bigger toward the rear so it really cut out (pun intended) many available options. It just so happens that the cooktop I replaced was one of the smallest dimensionally. Rats.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, another question...is there a price point where I won't be getting any additional value for my money? A $1,500 stove is no better than a $1,000 stove for example. I guess I could total the watts of all the burners and get a price/watt and use that as a comparison tool.

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tough choices Bob. I remember when redoing the kitchen and waffling on the propane option. No natural gas in our neighborhood. We had these discussion on the type of electric should we continue with this mode. There are a lot of options in electric as you are aware. I personally didn't want a smooth top since It would limit my use of heavier pans like cast iron and my brute methods of moving food around in the pan. I would not only look for the most output but the configuration of the burners. Some can be combined for larger pans or have two burners in one so you can size it to the pan size. It seems some are faster at reaching maximum heat than others. All the high end models indicate they use a ribbon element which can reach max heat in a few seconds. Some I remember using halogen lamps. Not sure what's really best and that may sure depend on your cooking style.

I'm sure you've been here but we used this site a lot for information and specifications of ranges

http://www.universal-akb.com/ranges.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I did a timing last night on the GE Profile 30" electric smoothtop. The 2500 watt burner boiled 4 quarts of 65 degree water in a Tramontina tri-ply stockpot in just under 13 minutes. I think that I saw somewhere that a Viking gas range would do something similar in under 9 minutes, so that's a big difference percentage-wise in performance, but in real world terms something you can live with.

The 1800 watt burner heated up olive oil sufficiently to saute garlic in my Mauviel 3 qt. saute pan in about 3 minutes. I guess the real problem is that when you turn the heat down it doesn't go down as quickly as on gas. However, in gas stoves with really heavy grates, I expect there is some residual heat there too, but probably not as much.

Hope you find a good solution - let us know what it is!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found that heavier cookware is better because the heat doesn't cycle as much with the cooktop turning on and off (I have 2.5mm copper/stainless lined). The manufacturers frown upon using copper or cast iron with the smooth tops but I snub my nose at them and do it anyway. Haven't had a problem in 4 years (although I am careful not to drag the cast iron across the surface.)

The copper works at all? I was under the impression that the pan needed to have a significant amount of ferrous metal to work. Interesting.

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

New induction cooktops don't have the problem with the pans you use - or so I have read. They are expensive but suppose to be great.

We ran into the electric stove issue last fall and decided to try the flat top that came with the house. It's a Kenmore - a few years old, in great shape. Well, we are loving it! It is easy to keep clean, heats quickly, suffers the abuse of cast iron skillets and dutch ovens regularly - as well as the practices of an ex-chef who cooks by scraping the pan across the burner to mix and toss. (I'm a wuss and would carefully lift the pan, use a spoon, etc.) I think for the price, it's a pretty good option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there any issues with the type of top it has? ie. glass, ceramic or other?

Do you think using the total wattage per $1 is a decent way to compare different stoves that make the top five? I ask this because of all the possible variables that may exist with stoves. I haven't started researching stoves yet but if it's anything like trying to buy a digital camera, I'm in trouble. What are some of the determing factors I should rely on when making the purchase? Is it really as simple as overall size, surface material, burner wattage, burner size and burner style? Oh, and cost?

In looking at the Miele's (which are quite nice BTW) I really like the double burner thing. My biggest complaint about my current stove is that the burners are not big enough for my pans. I'd like at least one 9-10" burner and if it can't be round, then the oval double burner would work.

Thanks again for everyone's input.

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't speak specifically to the quality of KitchenAid electric stovetops, but this eBay seller, who also has a brick-and-mortar store, is offering some super deals on KA's discontinued Pro Line appliances. I recently bought an island canopy hood from him; he certainly appears to be a reliable seller. He currently has two 36" Pro Line electric cooktops listed (one of them ends in about 6 hours, but he has four of them so I'm sure he'll relist it) plus one regular KA cooktop.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anybody know if stainless steel or stainless steel clad cookware work with induction units?

Depends on the type of steel -- some (most?) stainless steel isn't ferromagnetic. I think the rule of thumb is that if a magnet will stick to it, it will work. Clad cookware would take longer to heat, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So as long as the material is magnetic, it'll work? I'm assuming aluminum is magnetic right?

I know copper is very magnetic, but would pieces clad in stainless still work?

Plain copper or aluminum would NOT work. Ferromagnetic implies iron-based. Copper or aluminum would have to be clad in magnetic stainless to work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

cooking gas was not an option when i did my renovation and i really love my dacor millenium electric range. not as much as i'd love a gas range but i have gotten used to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I did a timing last night on the GE Profile 30" electric smoothtop. The 2500 watt burner boiled 4 quarts of 65 degree water in a Tramontina tri-ply stockpot in just under 13 minutes. I think that I saw somewhere that a Viking gas range would do something similar in under 9 minutes, so that's a big difference percentage-wise in performance, but in real world terms something you can live with.

I have timed 4 quats of tap water to boil in 6 minutes on my induction cooktop. This is relativly in agreement with other results I have seen quoted and induction is usually faster than gas.

The big plus of induction is that on the same burner I can melt chocolate without using a double boiler or use a dutch oven to slow cook all day.

On the other hand for the OP I have yet to see an induction range, only cooktops.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found that heavier cookware is better because the heat doesn't cycle as much with the cooktop turning on and off (I have 2.5mm copper/stainless lined). The manufacturers frown upon using copper or cast iron with the smooth tops but I snub my nose at them and do it anyway. Haven't had a problem in 4 years (although I am careful not to drag the cast iron across the surface.)

The copper works at all? I was under the impression that the pan needed to have a significant amount of ferrous metal to work. Interesting.

I just have a regular electric cooktop, not an induction cooktop. I have a portable induction burner that works with my cast iron and steel wok but nothing else. My investment in copper cookware will keep me from ever switching to all-induction.

Take a refrigerator magnet to your cookware to see if it will work on induction - if the magnet sticks it has enough ferrous metal to work. Most cookware won't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So as long as the material is magnetic, it'll work? I'm assuming aluminum is magnetic right?

I know copper is very magnetic, but would pieces clad in stainless still work?

What universe are you in? only ferous metals are magnetic; aluminum and copper are not ferous. I have never seen copprer aract or be influenced by a magnet. True stainless steel is non magnetic and that is a main reason it is used in pistols.

Edited by WHT (log)
Living hard will take its toll...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh, must have not been paying attention in science class. I was always under the impression that copper was magnetic ala the copper wires that were induced with electricity with magnets. And I always thought aluminum was magnetic as well. Perhaps I am confusing ferromagnetism with paramagnetism? I was never good at chemistry

Okay okay, so I get it now! So I get detention after school and no recess?

Edited by takadi (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So as long as the material is magnetic, it'll work? I'm assuming aluminum is magnetic right?

I know copper is very magnetic, but would pieces clad in stainless still work?

Plain copper or aluminum would NOT work. Ferromagnetic implies iron-based. Copper or aluminum would have to be clad in magnetic stainless to work.

This has been my understanding too, but now DarcieB is saying her 2.5mm copper cookware works on an induction stove. As far as I know, all the 2.5mm copper out there is lined wither with tin or 18-10 stainless (neither of which is magnetic).

Wassup??

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just have a regular electric cooktop, not an induction cooktop. I have a portable induction burner that works with my cast iron and steel wok but nothing else. My investment in copper cookware will keep me from ever switching to all-induction.

Paul,

Darcie has a regular electric cooktop. She uses cast iron on her induction hob.

Darcie also has beautiful cookware purchase when copper was cheap and the US$ was expensive. She liked it so much, she bot a copper sink.

Tim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just have a regular electric cooktop, not an induction cooktop. I have a portable induction burner that works with my cast iron and steel wok but nothing else. My investment in copper cookware will keep me from ever switching to all-induction.

Paul,

Darcie has a regular electric cooktop. She uses cast iron on her induction hob.

Darcie also has beautiful cookware purchase when copper was cheap and the US$ was expensive. She liked it so much, she bot a copper sink.

Tim

ahhh, got it. missed that.

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...