The 6 Best Smooth-top Stoves and Cooktops for Your Kitchen
You’re in the market for a smooth-top stove, but what does that mean? It’s a term your contractor or local sales associate used in conversation, but you may not be entirely sure. Don’t stress. A “smooth-top” stove is an oven topped with a glass or ceramic surface. Unlike a gas range, it doesn’t have cast iron grates covering the flame which prevents food bits from being trapped if they happen to fall out of the pan.
However, despite their ability to thwart hard-to-reach messes, they must be cared for properly as their reflective surfaces can be easily scratched. When prepping a meal, leave your cast iron skillets in the cabinets for the best experience. Start up your stove or cooktop—which can be flushed with your countertops—and wait for the electricity or induction technology to kick in.
The best smooth-top stoves and cooktops to complete your space are below.
When it comes to a smooth-top range, this GE model has a little bit of everything, which is why it’s our top pick. Not only does it have a comfortable 30-inch build, it also has four heating elements, a self-cleaning oven, and 5.3 cubic feet of space to bake every dish you please. There’s a lower storage drawer, for easily storing a set of sheet pans and pulling them out when it’s time to make roasted chicken, green beans, potatoes, or cookies. Dual element baking technology ensures that whatever you slide into this space is cooked evenly and thoroughly as well.
This item comes in five finishes including black, black slate, slate, stainless steel, and white, making it easy to fit into any kitchen with any style. It has a nice mix of control knobs and electronic touch pads that give it a traditional and modern feel, and provide consistent and reliable performance. All of these controls are found on a back panel, along with indicator lights that note which burners are on.
Ultimately, this piece, like many other from the GE brand, won’t let you down or exceed your budget. Its functionality and family-friendly features can be bought at an affordable price tag. It’s the best option for your kitchen overall.
If you want a reliable, high-performing cooktop, the Whirlpool WCE55US0HB is a quality pick. This model has a 10-inch element with 2,500 Watts of power, as well as an 8-inch element with 1,800 Watts and two smaller ones with 1,200 Watts. Its thoughtful design includes a flexible heat setting for melting chocolate or keeping sauces at the perfect temperature. No matter what temperature you’re hoping to reach, it also heats up quickly, making meal prep a total breeze.
In addition, this appliance is easy to clean. The knobs are dishwasher safe, and can be popped off whenever they start to attract some grime. The glass surface can be gently scrubbed, too. Ultimately the sleek and stylish look will blend with your countertops, and you’ll enjoy the indicator light—which reminds cooks if a burner is on. The cooktop is certainly cautious, and also has a hot-surface light that will stay on until a surface is cool enough to touch.
Adding a cooktop to your home may be a necessity or a splurge decision. But, either way, you don’t need to spend big bucks on the smooth-top cooktop you buy. This induction cooktop from Empava has many features of the higher-end models, but keeps the price tag at bay. You’ll need a 24-inch wide space to add its four burners to your space, which are powered by induction technology.
Now, you can’t synchronize multiple burners within this model to create a larger cooking space. However, you can make use of nine heat level settings that are both efficient and precise. Each element also has specialty setting like a power boost, so you can speed up your cooking process and fine-tune it to your liking.
This unit can be installed over a wall oven, if you want to save space or amp up an appliance you already own. This feature alone can help save you money and time shopping for an entirely new smooth-top range.
Those who are in the market for a slide-in range with a smooth cooking surface should look no further than this appliance from LG Electronics. It has the stylish front knobs and precise heating abilities of a gas range, but is no stranger to modern kitchens. The model includes five burners, a storage drawer for keeping sheet pans close, and an oven with convection cooking technology.
In addition to these features, it also has a 10-minute cleaning cycle that’ll rid the cavity of light messes, oil stains, and grime in a breeze. This cycle is known as LG’s EasyClean technology, and makes the range much more enjoyable to use. Not to mention, the unit is smart home compatible, meaning you can pair it to an app on your smartphone and control it from there.
Whether you want the oven to start preheating or you want to check on your meal while you’re in another room, the app will allow you to do so. You can also speak your commands to another device—like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant—and get the same job done. All in all, this range is easy to use. Just know: the controls can be difficult to see sometimes, and you’ll want to use soft cookware to enhance its lifetime.
If you’re looking for a smooth top electric range with downdraft, the KitchenAid KSEG950ESS is our top pick. This range will be an easy addition to a gourmet kitchen, and will make any cook happy with its suite of features. These features include a cooktop with center ventilation, to draw air down and away from your cooking surface, and four heating elements. This eliminates the need for a hood over your range, so you can install it within a kitchen island, or other countertop configuration where a hood is either not practical or desirable.
In addition, the spacious oven has true convection technology, that uses a bow-tie design for the heating element. A fan keeps air moving so the heat is evenly distributed, as well. For cooks that are new to convection baking, the oven has EasyConvect conversion technology to assist in choosing the right heat setting and cooking time. While this unit is priced with high-end, smooth-top ranges, it’s a good pick where downdraft ventilation is preferred and modern features are a priority.
If you need to feed a crowd, the LG Electronics LDE4413ST can’t be beat. This smooth-top range was built for cooking many dishes at once, and makes clean-up simple. The five-element cooktop features two adjustable heating elements, and a warming zone. This is on par with other smooth-top electric ranges in the middle of the price range. The front of the range features knob controls for easy stovetop cooking, while the oven is configured by a glass digital control panel at the rear of the appliance.
Where this appliance differs from most is its ProBake convection oven. It has 7.3 cubic feet of space split between dual ovens. This is plenty of room to cook up a three-course meal or a feast for your next dinner party. Now, it’s important to note that only the lower oven has convection cooking. However, cleaning up the oven cavities is easy thanks to a 10-minute EasyClean setting. The setting uses water to dissolve messes and eliminate odors, leaving you with a sparkly space to prep another meal.
What to Look for in a Smooth-Top Stove and Cooktop
You can pick between a smooth-top stove or cooktop, depending on the layout of your home and your desired cooking experience. A smooth-top stove will include an oven, which is ideal if you don’t have a wall oven in your home currently and want the option to bake, roast, or keep dishes warm. This type of smooth-top appliance is a good pick for larger households, or those who entertain. On the contrary, if you already have a wall oven, or live in an RV and don’t need one, then a cooktop is the right fit for you. It has a single purpose, but will give you the tools to prep pasta, sauté vegetables, and cook pancakes in compatible pots and pans.
Capacity refers to the amount of space in a smooth-top range’s oven cavity. If you decide to purchase this type of appliance, consider this measurement, since it dictates what you can put inside. Typically, a smooth-top range has around 5.8 cubic feet of space. However, this measurement can be stretched to nearly 7.5 cubic feet in larger models or double ovens. It can also hover around 5.3 cubic feet, which is enough to roast a smaller turkey. Now, capacity doesn’t apply to cooktops. However, you should still consider the number of burners a model has, as it’ll also dictate how much you can cook at one time. A smooth-top cooktop will have four or five burners.
Smooth-top appliances can have many other features that make them a worthwhile purchase. Where some of these features will add to the price of the model, they may also save you time, energy, or even money in the long-run. Extra features your appliance can have include adjustable burners that’ll allow you to use larger cookware, and a power boost setting that’ll allow you to sear meat and bring water to a boil much faster. Some models also have additional safety features like control lock and technology that alerts you when a burner is on and hot.
If your induction range has a self-cleaning mode, it’s very easy to rid your oven cavity of grime or any other messes. The feature uses high-heat to turn any oil splatters and grime into dust, which you can then wipe away with a wet cloth. In the process, your oven will generate a lot of heat, so you’ll want to open your windows and keep the kitchen ventilated. Ultimately, this feature takes an item off your to-do list, and is a step up from a steam clean.
In order to accommodate cookware in many sizes, induction ranges can feature adjustable burners. These burners sense the diameter of your pan, and don’t restrict you to just using one large or small element at a time. This feature is most convenient for households who require more flexibility when cooking, because they entertain often or have many family members.
A proofing setting turns your oven cavity into a humid and warm console that’s great for baking. In this warm space, your dough can gently rise, before it bakes and turns into the bread you want it to be. If you didn’t already know, warmth triggers the fermentation process and allows the yeast in the dough to expand. For that reason, this feature helps even new bakers achieve professional results.
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This article was written and updated by Marisa Casciano, who is the large appliance expert for The Spruce. Throughout her career, she’s researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, cooktops, and more in the home and lifestyle space. She has ample experience cooking on gas, electric, and smooth-top stoves, to create meals for herself and her fiancé