Electric smoothtop ranges have spent decades as an incredibly popular choice for homeowners around the country. Their ease of use and cleaning, relatively inexpensive price points and streamlined appearance combine a great mix of value and functionality.
But choosing the right electric smoothtop range for your kitchen isn't easy—there are dozens of brands, hundreds of models, and prices ranging from bargain-basement to top-of-the-line. So how do you know which features (and price tags) are worthwhile? What makes one electric range better than the other?
At Designer Appliances, we've been selling and servicing electric ranges for years. And because 2020 has been an exciting year for new products from established brands, we decided to create this round-up of the best electric ranges currently on the market.
But first, it's important to know what goes into the process of picking the right smoothtop range for you.
Picking the Right Electric Range
When it comes to picking your electric smoothtop range, there are six main factors you'll want to consider.
Cooking Power & Range
Electric ranges use elements located below the cooktop in order to heat the surface and your food. The oven section of the range is also powered by electricity and also uses heating elements. Contrary to what you might think, electric elements are capable of putting out just as much heat as gas or induction ranges—though there are other distinctions we'll discuss later.
For your electric smoothtop range, you want to get a mix of cooking power and heat range. That means that while fast-boil, ultra-hot elements are great, you also want to make sure that the range you pick will give you the low, fine-tunable temperatures that will let you handle delicate cooking tasks. Anyone who's ever burnt chocolate while trying to melt it can tell you the value of gentle heating.
The size of your range matters—not only because it will affect your cooking area for both the cooktop and stove, but because you also need to take into account the space you have available for the range. Make sure to measure your current range if replacing an existing model, or measure the space where your new range is going to be. Standard sizes for ranges include 30" and 36", but there are also models on the larger and smaller ends as well.
Being able to depend on your electric range matters. Many customers have bought ranges that have worked great on day 1 but haven't continued to deliver quality performance and reliability for years to come. Many high-quality brands offer extensive warranties to cover their ranges in the event of malfunctions or other issues. This is a good thing to look for, as it's representative of a brand that believes in the quality of their products.
It's not just about cooking power—the extra features and attention to detail are the things that will really make your cooking experience wonderful. Electric range features include heat indicators, high-quality knobs or digital controls, self-clean functions, built-in custom cooking programs, and WiFi connectivity. You may not need all of these features, but you should keep in mind the ones that mean the most to you when shopping for an electric range.
How easy is your range to clean? Does the oven feature an effective self-clean function? Is the cooktop a single surface without annoying cracks and crevices that hold grease? Your range goes through a lot, so regular cleaning is important. If the range you choose is not cleaning-friendly, this could become extremely frustrating over time. Opt for an electric range that's designed with cleaning in mind.
Speaking of design, you should choose a range that you actually like to look at. It should be visually attractive in its own right while also adding to the overall look of your kitchen. If you have existing appliances, make sure that the finish matches your refrigerator and dishwasher. This will give your kitchen a unified, high-end look that's tough to beat.
Ready to find out the five best electric smoothtop ranges for 2019? Let's get started.
Cafe is GE's high-end appliance imprint company, and their 30" slide-in tops our list of electric ranges for a reason. It not only boasts high-end power and cooking ability, but also luxurious visual style and features to boot. The edge-to-edge glass cooktop is sleek and streamlined, featuring a Power Boil heating element for fast boiling of water. In the oven, you'll enjoy True European Convection with Precise Air that's designed to evenly heat food for world-class baking and roasting.
As with most high-end appliances these days, this Cafe model is also highly connected. It allows you to sync with your favorite digital assistant device or smartphone to remotely control your range.
Frigidaire's name might conjure thoughts of old-fashioned and outdated appliances, but there's nothing old-fashioned about this high-end range. Featuring 5 burners, two of them linked for griddle or large pan cooking, the FPEH3077RF also features PowerPlus Convection cooking, a built-in temperature probe, Frigidaire's unique PowerPlus preheat function for lightning-fast preheating, and additional luxury features like smudge-proof stainless steel and PowerGlide racks that slide out to make accessing hot dishes easy and safe.
This Samsung model might seem straightforward, but it's backed up by Samsung's commitment to quality and high-tech features that make this a smart choice for any home kitchen. It's also reasonably priced, making it accessible for more homeowners without breaking the bank. It features five heating elements, a 5.9 c. ft. large capacity oven, convection cooking, self-cleaning mode, rapid boil capabilities, and a stainless steel finish for a contemporary look. Overall, it's a great budget option for an electric range.
Bosch is a highly respected brand in the world of appliances, and this impressive electric range makes it easy to see why. It's slide-in design eliminates the back panel for a seamless look in your kitchen, and it features elements t hat can be switched between 6" and 9" diameter. 11 specialized cooking modes make gourmet cooking easy, while convection cooking and fast preheat times make your oven as flexible as you need it to be. Overall, this is a high-quality entry from Bosch in the world of electric ranges.
Occupying the midrange of price but offering high-end features, this GE 30" double oven allows you cook two different meals at once. And with five cooktop burners, one of them designed for fast-boiling power, you'll have all the cooking flexibility you need. When it comes to style, this model is available in six distinct color patterns, including stainless steel, and you'll love the sleek black gloss interior of the oven (and its built-in self clean feature.
Gone are the days of electric cooktops being considered second-class options for ranges. These electric smoothtop range designs all feature high-end stylings, advanced features, powerful cooking abilities and the convenience you need to get the job done and enjoy doing it while you're in the kitchen. Choose the right option for your budget and needs and you'll be satisfied for years to come.
Have questions? Reach out to one of our Designer Appliances experts today.
Are electric ranges worse than gas or induction?
While electric cooktops have sometimes gotten a reputation as the “cheap” or “low-end” option, that’s simply not the case. Many users choose electric cooktops for the convenience and features they offer, and plenty of high-end brands produce world-class electric cooktops.
What’s the difference between an electric range and an induction range?
While electric and induction ranges look similar, the cooktop sections heat your cookware in different ways. An electric cooktop uses electricity to heat up coils or heating elements below the cooktop surface, which in turn heats up the cooktop and the cookware placed on it. An induction cooktop, on the other hand, uses induction and magnetism to transfer energy from the cooktop directly into the cookware. Both induction and electric ranges will use either electricity or gas to heat the oven, technically making them 'dual fuel' ranges.
What’s the best way to clean my electric range?
You can buy ceramic cleaning solutions that are designed specifically for electric cooktops, and we recommend these for removing baked-on stains without damaging the cooktop surface. As for the oven, many have a self-clean feature that heats the oven to high temperatures for a sustained period of time to burn away baked-on grease and food particles. This can help avoid smoky cooking in the future.