Electric cooktops have been available on the market for decades, and they've become a standard in homes around the world. While their gas-flame counterparts are sometimes considered to be the more "luxurious" or "high-end" variation, more and more high-end brands have been investing significant time and money into creating high-end electric cooktops. Why? There are plenty of consumers who prefer the simplicity and dependability of electric smoothtop cooktops, not to mention their streamlined and minimalist visual appeal.
Electric cooktops work by using electricity to heat elements placed beneath the cooktop surface. As these elements heat up, they heat the cooktop surface which, in turn, heats your pots and pans.
When it comes to selecting the right electric cooktop, it's important to choose among the dependable brands that have a proven history of creating quality kitchen appliances. Every product on our list of the best electric cooktops for 2020 comes from an established and proven brand that's known for crafting reliable, feature-rich kitchen appliances and cooktops.
In the end, you can't go wrong with any of these selections. But it's important to understand what each one brings to the table to provide the cooking experience and features that matter most to your individual needs, preferences, and decor style.
You'll want to keep in mind some basic essentials to look for when choosing a cooktop that's right for you. In this article, we'll touch on that as well.
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What to Look For in an Electric Cooktop
Here are the four basics that you want to consider when choosing a cooktop for your home.
Cooking Power & Range
You'll be using your cooktop to cook, so first and foremost you'll want to make sure that it has the cooking power to stand up to the tasks at hand. Think that only means high-powered heat blasting out from every heating element? You'll also want the versatility of ultra-low simmer temperatures for delicate cooking tasks like melting chocolate and butter, poaching eggs and simmering sauces.
You'll also want a range of elements when it comes to size, power, and positioning. The best electric cooktops are arranged so that you can position a skillet over two elements for an even surface for pancakes, fried eggs, seared meats or preparing other skillet-based dishes.
Your electric cooktop should be built to last. The best brands design products that not only work in the short-term, but keep working at maximum ability for years after your purchase. Look for high reliability ratings and positive reviews from customers who have owned that brand's products for years of ongoing use.
Your electric cooktop takes a beating with heavy pots and pans sliding across its surface, spills and stains, and everything in-between. Quality construction materials are a must, so make sure that the brand you choose uses quality glass and ceramics to create their cooktop surfaces.
Beyond cooking power and reliability, it can't hurt to enjoy some premium features in your cooktop experience. Some are even considered standard—heat indicators, controls, and other basics should be a given. Beyond these, you may enjoy auto-shutoff features, illuminated cooktop surfaces, bridging elements for larger pans, and more. Features don't always make or break an electric cooktop, but they can make the difference between a fine cooking experience and an excellent one.
Finally, it's important to consider how all of the elements of your cooktop come together. Are the elements, knobs, controls, and indicators located in places that make sense? Are the controls intuitive and the indicators easy to read and understand? Does the cooktop look good in your kitchen? Don't neglect the style element—your electric cooktop takes up a large bit of real estate on your counter and in your kitchen, so it's worth choosing one that's going to look good in the space. You should also take into account the finishes of your appliances, plus the color and texture of your countertops and how they'll interplay with the surface of your cooktop. Some electric cooktops are more minimalist, while others are designed to stand out. Make sure to choose the design that works best for you.
Our Picks - 6 Best Electric Cooktops
Now let's dive into our rundown of the six best electric cooktops in 2020.
The number-one spot on our list is this visually striking and flawlessly designed GE cooktop known as the JP5030SJSS (catchy name, we know). Featuring a 30-inch width and using a radiant-electric smoothtop design, this GE masterpiece receives consistently high marks from industry experts and actual consumers alike.
This model features four elements, with one high-powered element for fast boiling power. The touch controls are responsive and clear to use, and heat indicators let you know whether the cooktop is hot and where. Another excellent design feature is the stainless steel trim along the top and bottom of the cooktop, which creates a unified look and a touch of sleekness.
You'll also love the fact that the two elements on the lefthand side can connect with a single control for heating up griddles and larger pans of various shapes and sizes.
With high reliability ratings and owner satisfaction, you can't go wrong with the GE JP5030SJSS.
Samsung's entry on our list lives up to the brand's reputation for high-end electronics, striking visual design and impressively modern features. The first thing you'll notice is the high-contrast digital readings and controls. These digital controls can be supplemented with included magnetic knobs, which some users prefer as more tactile and responsive alternatives to touch controls.
This cooktop features 5 elements, including 2 high-power elements for fast boiling and searing, and the range of heating power available is impressively versatile. You can even bridge two elements together for heating larger pans efficiently and effectively.
Because this is a Samsung device, you can bet it's WiFi enabled for controlling and making adjustments via your smartphone. And with great reliability ratings and owner satisfaction through the roof, you're likely to love this electric cooktop entrant from Samsung.
This LG cooktop features a visually striking design and powerful cooking capabilities, earning it the third spot on our list of the best electric cooktops. Using radiant heat and featuring a 30 or 36-inch profile, this cooktop boasts four elements (two high-power elements) as well as touch controls that are impressively responsive and easy to use. This cooktop is also distinct in that it includes an element designed specifically for warming foods, capable of incredibly low temperatures designed to avoid burning or overheating.
LG is known for creating reliable appliances, and the LCE3610SB is no exception. Customers rate it highly for dependable use and overall satisfaction, and its capabilities at both high and low heat make it a standout all-around cooktop for a wide range of cooking needs. Plus, it carries a relatively reasonable price tag compared to some of the pricier entries on this list.
GE's second appearance on our list, their Profile series cooktop distinguishes itself from its predecessor in a few key ways. First of all, it boasts five total heating elements with the ability to bridge the two on the lefthand side for cooking on baking pans, skillets, or larger cookware. It also boasts two high-powered elements and impressive touch controls that allow for total control over the heating experience. You'll recognize the stainless steel trim, as it's similar to its counterpart the JP5030SJSS.
Other features include an element with a keep-warm setting designed to maintain foods at a stable warm temperature without burning, drying out, or overheating them—perfect for reheating foods or keeping one dish warm and ready-to-serve while you complete other recipes.
The GE profile is reliable, capable of handling a wide range of heat levels and cooking tasks, and is visually stylish thanks to the jet black cooktop surface and stainless steel trim. It would make an excellent addition to just about any home cooking setup.
Bosch may not carry the immediate name recognition of brands like GE or Samsung, but among kitchen appliance purists the brand is considered a powerhouse. Bosch has been creating high-end kitchen appliance designs for decades, and this electric cooktop represents the pinnacle of their achievements in cooktop design. Featuring five total burners of various sizes and variations, including two that can be bridged for cooking large dishes, Bosch's one-of-a-kind style features pale stainless steel trim and red indicator lights. The touch controls are responsive and dependable, not to mention simple and easy to read thanks to high-contrast LEDs, and make controlling and adjusting your cooktop a breeze.
One of the most distinctive features of this Bosch cooktop is the countdown timer feature, which allows you to set a specific timer for individual heating elements. This means that after the given timer is up, the heating element will automatically shutoff. This is not only great for safety, but can also help you ensure that food doesn't get overcooked or scorched.
AutoChef is another fantastic Bosch feature, which when used alongside a specialized pan can give you the power and customization of programmed cooking settings. This makes your cooking experience more streamlined, flexible, and adaptable to your unique needs and cooking style. And because it's a Bosch appliance, you can count on exceptional reliability and quality design.
One of Bosch's direct competitors, Miele was never going to be left off this list of the best electric cooktops. For our sixth and final choice, we've opted for something a bit unique. The square-shaped, 4-element design of this Miele cooktop makes it unique from the other selections on our list—but don't let that fool you. This minimalist design hides powerful heating capabilities, robust heat indicators for every heating zone, and automatic shutoff in the case of dangerously high heat. If you're looking for a smaller profile for your cooktop (at approx. 25 inches in width, it's the smallest on our list), Miele can deliver without sacrificing cooking power thanks to the KM5621.
There are dozens more electric cooktops currently available on the market, and many of them will also offer powerful features and impressive reliability. But at Designer Appliances, we recommend these six options as a starting point for your search to find the best electric cooktops 2020 has to offer.
Are electric cooktops 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 best way to clean my electric cooktop?
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.
What are the most common sizes for electric cooktops?
Electric cooktops are most commonly found in 30” and 36” sizes, but you can also find varieties available for 24” or 45”, plus more custom sizes that can be found in specific models from certain companies.