Cooking on a top-quality electric cooktop can be a true pleasure. Not only does the even heating of such cooktops make meal preparation simple, but most are very easy to clean up afterward, saving you time and effort at both ends of your meal.
There are many different models of such cooktops available, though, making the chore of choosing the perfect one for your style of cooking somewhat difficult. When shopping for a smoothtop electric cooktop, consider the following factors.
- Burners: The number of burners you will need will depend largely on how often you will be cooking multiple things on your cooktop at the same time. If you seldom do that, a cooktop with only a few burners will do just fine. If you cook simultaneously a lot, you’ll want more burners—four or even more. The size of the burners is also important. If you have some really big pots and pans you use often, be sure and get a cooktop with a really large burner or two. Large burners are more efficient at heating large pots and pans than small ones are.
- Size: If you are replacing a current one, getting one the same size is your best bet for easy installation. But if you’re starting from scratch with an empty countertop, you have more flexibility. Cooktops come in a wide range of sizes, from small ones in the 12- to 24-inch range all the way up to larger ones measuring 36 or even 40 inches. Carefully measure the area where you intend to put the cooktop to determine what size you will want. If you cook a lot of things simultaneously, a large top will likely serve you better than a small one.
- Portable or Built-in: Up until now we’ve been talking about built-in cooktops, but that’s not all that is available in this category. Many companies make very fine portable cooktops that can be used to prepare delicious meals wherever your travels take you. When choosing a portable cooktop, you’ll need to consider many of the same factors you did for built-in cooktops. Size is important, since you’ll need to pack it and store it when on the road. The number of burners also matters, as you might need several depending on your cooking habits and methods. Lastly, whether you have easy access to a plug-in where you will be using your portable cooktop. If not, you might want to consider a gas-powered model.
Our Picks for the Best Electric Cooktops on Amazon
Top Pick Overall: Frigidaire 30 Inch Electric Smoothtop Style Cooktop
With multiple burners, this glass range top can accommodate several pots at pans at once. It sports a quick-boil feature and an LED to indicate when the surface is hot. FRIGIDAIRE
This large option will be welcome in the kitchen of any home chef. It measures more than three feet wide and is made of ceramic glass. FRIGIDAIRE
This powerful model features multiple safety devices and can be easily installed by DIYers. It’s also available in a smaller 12-inch model. ECOTOUCH
Great Value: Techwood 1800W Electric Hot Plate
Take It With You
On-the-go cooks will love this portable unit that can transport the comforts of home anywhere. It works with all types of cookware. Techwood
Interesting Things is a shopping-advice and product-review site brought to you by the publishers of Popular Science and Field & Stream magazines. We’re here to help you choose among the most popular products on Amazon, and hidden gems our experts think are worth checking out.