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Electric range


Octaveman
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I'm going to be moving into a new place with an electric stove that has the flat cover/cooking surface over the burners and the burners are not exposed. I've never had a range like this and I was wondering if there are pro's/con's to this style when compared to a range where the coil burners are exposed. I'm sorry, I don't know the brand/model. I guess I'm wondering if performance is better/worse than a range where the coils are exposed which is what I'm used to. What can I expect with a range like this?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

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I don't have an answer for you, but I certainly empathize. My wife and I are moving and our new apartment has a traditional four burner electric coil stove. I've been using gas for the past nine years and am dreading the learning curve.

Bryan C. Andregg

"Give us an old, black man singing the blues and some beer. I'll provide the BBQ."

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My biggest pet peeve with the traditional electric coil stove tops was never the control of the heat, although I do MUCH prefer gas ... it was always getting a pan to lay completely level on the stupid element. I can't tell you the amount of time I wasted simply holding the handle of the pan just so the entire pan would be in contact with the electric coil.

Considering Octaveman's stove has the covered burners, at least you won't have to deal with that issue.

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If they are the solid, but individual, rings than expect them to be broadly similar to the exposed elements, but noticeably slower to heat and cool. By the same token, they should simmer more steadily.

As per lots of other threads, if it must be electric and yet you seek the responsiveness of gas, then it has to be induction...

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

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I have had a ceramic/glass top stove for approximately a year. Is that the type you mean? If so...

The Pros: It's pretty easy to clean, looks nice, and can do double duty as extra counter space when I need it.

The Cons: A sampling from the manual: you cannot use pans that are glass or ceramic. All pans must be completely flat on the bottom (no warping, or textures). Pans must be exactly the same size as the burner. Certain metals are recommended for pans due to how quickly heat is diffused into the pan (i.e. cast iron isn't recommended). The reasoning behind these "rules" are twofold, to prevent cracks from developing in the glass surface, and to prevent scratching. (Cracks are caused by extreme heat changes, and mean that the stovetop will need to be replaced before further use.)

Oh, you cannot place items from the oven directly on the stove surface either. (We now have a cooling rack or trivet on the stove at all times.)

The manual also states that you should not remove a pan from the burner until it has cooled sufficiently. This can cause problems, as I'm sure you can imagine.

I'm not certain how rigorous one needs to be with these "rules." I haven't pushed the envelope on them too much, since I don't want to have to replace the stove top ($$). I have, however, read that a number of these bits from the manual are overly-cautious.

With that out of the way, the utility of the stove is similar to an electric coil model. The burners cycle on and off during cooking just like on a coil stove. All of the standard heat-control issues are there.

I am a bit nervous about using this stove to make things like candy that require a bit more control and quick removal from heat.

Really, I don't dislike this beast any more than I did the coil stove that it replaced. The ease of cleaning it makes up for quite a few of it's other problems, and once you're past the learning curve, you get used to its idiosyncrasies. I am looking forward to a day when I can use gas again though.

I'd say get ahold of the manual if you can to see what you're in for.

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Thanks Abramer for giving me an idea of what I'm up against. It's disheartening to read that the pro's have nothing to do with it's operation and cooking with it. So no stock making or using my cast-iron which are the only non-stick pans I have and no using pans bigger than 6 - 7 inches...great.

I'm gonna hate this stove. The burners are close together and who's stupid idea was it to put a large burner in back too close to the control panel to fit a decent sized pan on it...GAH!

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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...

I'm gonna hate this stove.  The burners are close together and who's stupid idea was it to put a large burner in back too close to the control panel to fit a decent sized pan on it...GAH!

Somebody who has never cooked!

Take heart - get one or more butane table top burners - they are cheap, can be used indoors and give you at least an option. You can likely fit two on top of your smooth top!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Thanks Abramer for giving me an idea of what I'm up against.  It's disheartening to read that the pro's have nothing to do with it's operation and cooking with it.  So no stock making or using my cast-iron which are the only non-stick pans I have and no using pans bigger than 6 - 7 inches...great. 

I have the same type of stovetop, and I use both regular and enameled cast iron on a daily basis. As long as the bottom is flat, and the diameter of the pan is not more than an inch or so larger than the burner, it will be fine.

I do have a problem with stock though, as I am afraid of using my largest stockpot because of the diameter.

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Assuming that you have a ceramic smooth-top range, one of the main cons is sautéing. Shaking a metal pan on the ceramic surface can leave scratches. On the pro side, electric ranges transfer heat more efficiently than gas, and are usually very good at simmering.

The manual also states that you should not remove a pan from the burner until it has cooled sufficiently.  This can cause problems, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Bummer. That would eliminate the ability to have one burner on hot, one burner on medium or low, and work the pan back and forth between the two burners. On an electric range, that is about the only way to change heat settings quickly.

If you have the space, and if a magnet sticks to your cookware, you might consider a plug-in induction cooktop. Supentown makes some very inexpensive induction burners; Cooktek’s induction burners are more powerful but more expensive.

Good luck!

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The manual also states that you should not remove a pan from the burner until it has cooled sufficiently.  This can cause problems, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Bummer. That would eliminate the ability to have one burner on hot, one burner on medium or low, and work the pan back and forth between the two burners. On an electric range, that is about the only way to change heat settings quickly.

That's the "rule" that I break the most often as I have done this switcheroo many times. It sounds ridiculous to me that you have to worry about the pan and hob cooling before you can lift the pan. This might be one of those things that one time in a trillion it could cause a crack, so they have to tell you not to do it.

Si

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My new home has one of those stovetops too. But I loved everything else about the place, and figured I could always replace it if it did not work out.

Well, I've been here a year, and while I would not purchase such a stovetop on purpose, it is totally livable. The "rules" mentioned above have not been an issue, though the person who mentioned no shaking has a good point. From experience, I notice different things:

BAD When your pot floweth over, there is not anywhere for the liquid to go, so it floods the stovtop and burns on to the hot burner. You can sop up most of it, but if you are barefoot, like all summer long, a big overflow can spill over to feet. Also, the burners stay hot long after use, but they dont "look" hot. There is a little tiny light, far from the hot area, to warn you of this. The stove usually wipes up easy, but some messes take effort. Unlike with a regular stove, that effort must be scratch-free. I recommend cooking rice in a separate rice cooker and avoiding the overfill to avoid lots of cleaning. My last complaint may be specific to my model and my heavy cookware, but my main burner runs too hot on the middle and low heat settings. I can maintain a full boil at 2, when what I want at that setting is a simmer. I have to really watch close when simmering.

GOOD: My biggest surprise is that the stovetop is not so bad. I am no longer thinking about replacing it until it reaches its natural death.

CLEANING TIP: The stovetop cleans up easily most of the time. For tough cooked on stuff that won't wipe off with a rag and water, use a special purpose ceramic cleaner (I've heard that BBQ cleaner is cheaper and equally effective, but my home came stocked with so much Ceramabryte that I have not tried the other). In genreal I avoid purchasing extra chemicals for my home, but in this case, I believe that it would be unwise to ignore the marketting pitches for the single use product. If the guck still wont come off, I set a wet rag on the guck overnight, and wipe it down next day. Sometimes I have to do this more than once.

Good luck.

Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther
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I swear to the Almighty I did not do this on purpose. When I came here to stay, there was a glass top electric range.

One day I was making Tamales in my huge tamale pot. It simmered away for about an hour and when done I slid it to one side to cool.

When I returned, I found the top had cracked and crumbled.

I now have a nice gas range. :wink:

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Thanks Abramer for giving me an idea of what I'm up against.  It's disheartening to read that the pro's have nothing to do with it's operation and cooking with it.  So no stock making or using my cast-iron which are the only non-stick pans I have and no using pans bigger than 6 - 7 inches...great. 

I'm gonna hate this stove.  The burners are close together and who's stupid idea was it to put a large burner in back too close to the control panel to fit a decent sized pan on it...GAH!

You have my sympathy. These stoves SUCK. You will hate them every day. The only advice I have is, once you start cooking dinner, never turn a burner off, ever, until you are done with the meal, or nothing will ever finish on time.

Note, too, that if you put a large pot of water -- of anything, really -- on one of these burners it cools them for a significant period of time. If I was in a hurry, I used to run two burners so I could heep the heat high enough to boil or brown.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I swear to the Almighty I did not do this on purpose. When I came here to stay, there was a glass top electric range.

One day I was making Tamales in my huge tamale pot. It simmered away for about an hour and when done I slid it to one side to cool.

When I returned, I found the top had cracked and crumbled.

I now have a nice gas range. :wink:

Oh my Gawd!

Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther
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  • 4 years later...

I've been hunting for a new apartment and the electric range has been an ongoing issue. 2 out of 3 places seem to have them, and I don't know if I can bring myself to not have a gas range.

The last post on this thread was almost 5 years ago, have there been any advancements in technology? Can you still not use cast iron on a smooth-top surface? Will my 22-quart stockpot shatter it? Am I crazy for passing up these otherwise awesome apartments because they have a dinky electric range/oven?!

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