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Glass stovetops--like 'em?


babyluck
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Thanks for all the comments. The listing states that it is a brand new cooktop--probably just replaced a gas range, since 95% of the properties where I am looking have them. That means that the gas line would be in place. But I know that it would be one of the last things to get done, because I just couldn't justify swapping out something that's in perfectly good condition when there will undoubtedly be more important things to fix. So if we bought it, I would be using it for at least a few years. From your comments, I can guess that my experience cooking on it would be OK but not great. And that I would melt a little plastic in the process.

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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Thanks for all the comments.  The listing states that it is a brand new cooktop--probably just replaced a gas range, since 95% of the properties where I am looking have them.  That means that the gas line would be in place.  But I know that it would be one of the last things to get done, because I just couldn't justify swapping out something that's in perfectly good condition when there will undoubtedly be more important things to fix.  So if we bought it, I would be using it for at least a few years.  From your comments, I can guess that my experience cooking on it would be OK but not great.  And that I would melt a little plastic in the process.

If it is new, you could probably sell it pretty easily. That would help assuage any guilt about ripping out a new cooktop. I would check about the gas line. I can't imagine someone ripping out a gas cooktop and replacing it with one of these. Well, maybe they were going for "the look" to help sell the house. And, that would probably work for those that aren't cooking freaks.

There would be more important things to fix??? Just kidding. :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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"I can't imagine someone ripping out a gas cooktop and replacing it with one of these. Well, maybe they were going for "the look" to help sell the house. And, that would probably work for those that aren't cooking freaks. "

I'm about to rip out my gas hob and replace it with an induction hob - I cannot imagine anyting gas can do better than induction right now... and I think I am a cooking "freak" as you say...

www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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Well... I wasn't thinking of induction. Those are still pretty unusual in a home kitchen. I have a friend that is having a small induction top, two burner I think, installed in addition to the gas range. We are looking forward to playing with the new toy.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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If the house is new, just tell the builder you want the house but not until they replace the cooktop. If it is an older home that has new appliances, in this case the stove, perhaps the owner can go back to where it was purchased and have them replace it with something more to your liking. You could always make that a condition of purchase, put it into the contract that the stove will be replaced, and see how badly they want to sell!

Bob R in OKC

Home Brewer, Beer & Food Lover!

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There's an interesting article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer regarding stoves and cooktop choices, etc.

A Range of Choices

Perhaps it will have some information that's useful to you.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I'm a personal chef, so I cook in other peoples' homes. That means that I cook on all sorts of stoves, normally several different stoves each week. There's no gas here, but some people do have propane. I'll take a glass top/ceramic top stove any day, because it's so much easier to clean, and so un-finicky to cook on. My house came with an Amana glass top stove, and it never occurs to me to change it. There's been absolutely nothing that I can't cook perfectly on it - from the lowest to the highest temperatures. A home stove will never have the BTUs of a professional stove, but I find that the glass tops are fine. And since I get paid to cook, I guess you'd have to say I'm serious about it.

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If the house is new, just tell the builder you want the house but not until they replace the cooktop.  If it is an older home that has new appliances, in this case the stove, perhaps the owner can go back to where it was purchased and have them replace it with something more to your liking.  You could always make that a condition of purchase, put it into the contract that the stove will be replaced, and see how badly they want to sell!

It's an older home--1920s. Which makes it even sillier because there's nothing modern about the architecture and details of the house. How badly they want to sell? This is NJ--I think they would laugh in my face.

There's an interesting article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer regarding stoves and cooktop choices, etc.

A Range of Choices

Perhaps it will have some information that's useful to you.

Very helpful, thanks. Interesting that the author was told not to use cast iron on her glass cooktop. I wonder if that is just a liability issue so that if you drop the pan and break the cooktop, it's not under warranty?

I'm pretty sure that glass is just not my style, though it may work for other people who are just as serious about cooking! Or more. We had regular electric coils when I was growing up, and although I enjoyed cooking then, it was really a breakthrough when we moved to a house with a gas range.

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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I guess it's important to note, too, that what people HAVE and what they WANT are often different. We're fairly young, in our first house, and replacing the kitchen appliances & remodeling the kitchen HAD to be done quickly (the previous owner put in the cabinetry that had been in a mobile home), and we HAD to save money while doing it. If someone wants to think I'm no good in the kitchen because it's small, there's a glass cooktop, and we're slowly ripping linoleum up off hardwood floors, that's fine, they're entitled to their opinion.

I sighed and lusted wistfully after larger, fancier cooktops, a gas range, an island with a built-in cooktop. . .but in the end, I don't think folks care so much what's IN the kitchen as WHO is in the kitchen.

And I use cast iron on mine fairly frequently. . .

Diana

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Interesting that the author was told not to use cast iron on her glass cooktop.  I wonder if that is just a liability issue so that if you drop the pan and break the cooktop, it's not under warranty?

We have a Maytag glass stovetop that we got last November (our old, inferior stove broke just before Thanksgiving, and we had to get a new one right quick), and I carefully read all the booklets that came with it and there was no mention one way or the other of cast iron. It did say, though, not to use glass pans.

I use cast iron pans all the time, and they work fine. I use my big canner, too, that's bigger than it ought to be, and it works fine. I like my new stove!

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I've just returned from a parental visit, where I cooked on their glass-top. It's the top of a GE drop-in range, so it wouldn't be cheap to replace; in any event, they cook relatively little.

It's a tin fiddle, as far as I can see. The hobs heated relatively quickly but they didn't maintain a constant temperature. You can't shake a pan (for a sauté) because it will scratch the glass. The top of the stove gets quickly covered with fat, and you can't clean it until it cools down. The oven controls are digital, on the front of the unit; wipe the control panel with a cloth and the oven turns off, changes temperature, etc.

The induction hobs I've used are metal and very robust; more like a professional flat-top than one of those glass things.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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Jonathan - just curious - are you sure you have used a metal topped induction hob?!? If the metal was in anyway ferrous the entire hob top would become hot. Every induction hob I have seen is designed with an induction coil below a specially toughened glass top. When a ferrous metal pan is placed on the glass the induction coil excites the materials of the pan magnetically and this friction in the pan causes the heat.

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You certainly didn't need to avoid moving the pan on it. No worries about scratching the surface. So if was glass, it was a different material than that GE stove had.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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I yearn for the gas five burner beast from my apartment in Brooklyn. Four burners and one plunked right in the middle. I moved to SW CO and found NOTHING BUT GLOWING COILS. (Bogus!) We opened a small restaurant and I was back to gas. (Yay!!) :biggrin: Then we moved to FL and I have electric again (Boooo.) :angry:

Fire is a cook's beautiful friend. Glowing coils are a very ugly third runner up. There is nothing like a flame roasted pepper done on a gas stovetop. When they would go on sale in the summer, I used to have 3-4 peppers on every burner - and yes, I looked like a mad scientist. Tilt a pan and try to coax flavor out of garlic into oil over a glowing coil! You can do that with a flame!

Also, when you turn off a gas burner, IT'S OFF. For real. Off as in, it's immediately ceased generating heat. Not so with glowing coil.

Dual fuel ranges are $$$$ but they are indeed the best of both worlds. Flame on top and self cleaning electric oven below. Nirvana.

Edited by chiffonade (log)
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My husband is military, we move frequently and are currently living in a house with a brand-new GE glass-top stove (non-induction). My experience:

It heats incredibly fast. Much faster than any electric stovetop I've cooked on in the past.

It cools down as slowly as all other electric stovetops.

The glass is not terribly hard to clean if you stay on top of it (although sugar-y spills are the worst). Using a cleaner made specifically for glass-top ranges helps a lot.

I burned at least a half-dozen pot holders in the first six months because the burners stay hot for so long and it is so tempting to set things on top of the smooth surface.

The instruction booklet says not to use cast-iron, but only because it can so easily scratch the surface. But the surface is going to get scratched no matter what you do. The burner I use most shows it.

And the absolute worst thing (and why I would never, ever willingly install one in a kitchen) -- unless your pot/pan is absolutely flat on the bottom, you'll get hot spots. A real problem with large fry pans. :angry:

Bottom line: I've cooked on worse. But if we owned the house, I'd replace it.

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... Also, when you turn off a gas burner, IT'S OFF.  For real.  Off as in, it's immediately ceased generating heat.  Not so with glowing coil...

NOT true w/ the type of gas range w/ heavy cast iron grates (like my Wolf & the other professional-style ranges.) I've burned myself more than once 1/2 hour later-those grates stay hot for a very, very long time-probably longer than my glass-top cooktop, now that I think about it. For instance, the grates are still too hot to pick without a potholder when I go to clean my stove AFTER dinner and doing the dishes. You also can't simply turn off the gas & leave something on that burner-it will continue to cook. I burned more than one dish making that assumption. Those heavy grates also make things (like a large pot of boiling water) take longer to come to a boil, because the grate takes a while to get hot. It also helps keep the heat even once it's hot, of course...

PS Can't resist getting off topic. I know you live in Florida, though I can't remember exactly where. Glad to see you posting, it must mean you have power today. Stay safe and here's hoping this is the last hurricane of the season!

Edited by marie-louise (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Good news--problem solved. We found a great house with a gas stove. Should be moving in December.

Only problem is, there's no dishwasher, and the kitchen is quite tiny, though there's a pantry with beautiful built-in cabinetry. I foresee another thread...

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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We don't have gas where I live - and I don't want a propane tank. So I have a sealed electric cook top (couldn't tell you whether it's glass - ceramic - or whatever).

I am a really sloppy cook. And I love the thing. Because I think it's easy to clean. Even the next day (which is when I usually clean it). When I burn things up on the surface - I just let it cool down. Then I scrape the lumps off with a razor blade. No scratches. Use the cooktop polish for a final touch up clean and shine.

There is no question that you'll get more heat control with unsealed gas burners. But I'd rather spend a few minutes lifting up a pan now and then to control the heat on a really heat sensitive dish than spending most of my life cleaning my stove. Note that I've never had a problem with the burners getting really hot and maintaining a constant temperature. Robyn

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But I'd rather spend a few minutes lifting up a pan now and then to control the heat on a really heat sensitive dish than spending most of my life cleaning my stove.  Note that I've never had a problem with the burners getting really hot and maintaining a constant temperature.  Robyn

When I had a glass top, and was cooking a "really heat sensitive dish," I learned to use two burners. One high, one low, or one medium, one high. You get the picture. Worked well.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 2 months later...

We have a vitro-ceramic cooktop with one induction burner as is quite common on the new ones. Yes, we have to cook with flat bottomed pans, and it was an opportinuty to get rid of my cheap pans. The vitro cermic heats up just as quickly as gas, I simply adore it because I can use the cook top as a prep space before I begin cooking (our kitchen measures 1.5 x 3 meters). I have kept a pot of water at 68 degrees celcius for 3 hours over the induction burner. Very easy to clean with the paste made for cleaning this type of cooktop. Much easier to clean than any other cook top I have ever had before. I have used the cast iron crepe pan to make crepes and they turned out great. I'm not going back.

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  • 4 years later...

Wow, I was within days of going out and putting a glass cooktop in my house! I'm REALLY glad I looked here!

Anyway, I am remodeling my house and getting ready to sell it in a few years. I want to replace the godawful OLD electric coil cooktop that has been there forever - and yes, I do have another very nice gas stove which I use almost exclusively. My mom lives with me and is 86. She's in good shape and independent - that's grand, and I'm very grateful. She cooks for herself when I'm away. Her vision is a little less than it used to be, and her idea of cleaning the stove and mine vary, shall we say. I'm not all that enthusisatic about glass cooktops, but it would be easy to clean, which would make home life a good deal more pleasant. I'm looking for one that will not detract from the resale value of the house, one that doesn't cost too much since this is a temporary fix.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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The 'glass' surface is an incidental.

What matters is what is beneath the 'glass'.

In Europe (and I'm going to presume in the US) there are 'conventional' electric heaters beneath the glass -OR- 'radiant' rings (which you can see glowing) -OR- 'halogen' rings (which are 'glow' very brightly, and give fast heating but don't simmer very well) -OR- 'induction' rings. Its not unusual to have a mix of these types on the same unit.

And there can be differences in the control electrical switchgear -AND- (different thing) the 'user interface'.

Good old fashioned analogue knobs make a great user interface.

But 'touch buttons' are easier to clean, and simple to design into an electronic control scheme. And people still think they look ultramodern.

Electronic control can (doesn't in all cases) give 'smoother' simmering -- working with really short on/off cycles rather than the 10's of seconds commonly encountered.

Induction always comes with smooth electronic simmer control.

It doesn't heat the glass (directly) -- the heat is generated in the pan base, and thus the hot pan does warm the 'glass' a bit. Consequently, spills and boilovers can be cleaned up instantly.

And absent any pan, the glass isn't heated at all -- even if the ring is accidentally left switched full on.

That safety feature, plus the cool(er) surface makes induction the method of choice for the elderly and disabled.

Induction's speed of response and its steadiness of simmer make it the cook's choice of 'glass' cooktop/hob.

You just can't use all-aluminium pans. Most stainless is fine. So is cast iron. And aluminium pans with a steel layer in their base. Test with a fridge magnet. If the magnet sticks to the pan's (external) base, then that pan should be fine for induction. If the magnet won't stick, the pan will be ignored by the induction ring - and it simply won't heat up.

Two downsides: Price - not cheap. And a 'design' temptation to offer 'fancy' user interfaces and little-used features - research the current offerings!

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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The house that we plan to buy has a new Maytag glass-topped range with a convection oven. I need to learn more about the oven itself, but based on my instincts and what I am learning here, I don't plan on using that glass cook-top. In the past whenever I have chanced to use one, I have hated it.

The kitchen counter space is big enough so that it could accommodate a 36" gas cooktop. The glass topped range would then simply become more counter, most of the time.

I do not yet know exactly what is under the glass, a propos Dougal's very useful comments. I doubt it is induction. And I hope it is not because I don't want to restrict my use of pots and pans. I have some very fine copper cookware.

As for the other options:

"'conventional' electric heaters beneath the glass -OR- 'radiant' rings (which you can see glowing) -OR- 'halogen' rings (which are 'glow' very brightly, and give fast heating but don't simmer very well)"

I hope it is not halogen since if I ever used the glass cook top, it would be as a simmering warming surface.

Is there anything else that a conventional heating element under glass is good for?

The convection oven, assuming that is a good one, is definitely a plus.

Edited by VivreManger (log)
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Thank you, Dougal, that's very helpful. Expensive, but helpful! Now I feel like I REALLY want the induction range for however long I'm in this kitchen. Considering that it's the most important single feature of the room, this is probably a good place to splurge. How's that for rationalization?

Thanks again.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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I now have the specs for the glass top range. It seems to be a discontinued Maytag model that was bought about a month ago from Home Depot. I say discontinued because I could not find it on the Maytag website.

Has anyone any experience with Model MERH865RAS? It is described as a 30" freestanding electric range with convection.

The Home Depot specs claim that it has a 5.3 cu. ft. capacity oven, the largest available??

I thought that the best convection ovens have a heating element attached to the fan to increase the temperature, but this model seems to lack that.

The glass top has 5 elements including one for warming, according to one part of the website, but only 4 according to another.

The specs appear in the following site:

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores...525295+10401019

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