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Best electric cooktops 2020: 30 and 36 inch stove tops with downdraft

Best electric cooktops 2020: 30 and 36 inch stove tops with downdraft
(Image credit: GE)

The best electric cooktops 2020 have smart features which set them apart from the crowd. In our guide, we’ve included standout stove tops from some of the best cooktop brands, including GE, Samsung, KitchenAid, Frigidaire, and LG. A lot of the factors which will decide the best electric cooktop for you are subjective. Alternatively, combine your electric cooktop with the best electric ranges.

For example, do you want a 30 inch or 36 inch electric cooktop? Both the size of your kitchen and your family will influence this choice, and if you’re replacing an existing cooktop you may want one which will fit into your existing stove top measurements to save installation costs and time. Would you prefer an electric cooktop with four burners, or five? Many of the cooktops in our guide have dual elements which can adjust in size depending on the cookware you’re using, which will spare you electricity and wasted heat. Another feature to consider is the controls of your electric cooktop. A few have sleek touch controls, which are easily cleaned and lay flush against your kitchen counter for a modern finish. Some people prefer an analog knob, which may resemble more traditional cooktops you’ve used, or give you a feeling of greater control. There are pros and cons to both options, but we’ve included some of each in our guide to help you decide for yourself.

For many, a major factor when buying an electric cooktop is downdraft. Many electric stove tops come with downdraft elements which act as range hoods would - extracting gases and steam produced from cooking to keep your kitchen air clean. These are major space savers and could spare you the trouble of getting a new range hood installed, but they’re not as powerful as above-stove models. If you’re looking for the best electric cooktop with downdraft, though, we recommend the KitchenAid KCED606GBL Electric Downdraft Cooktop. 

If you’re undecided on what type of cooktop you want, check out our guides to the best gas cooktops or best induction cooktops


1. LG LCE3010SB: Best 30 inch electric cooktop

(Image credit: Best Buy)

LG LCE3010SB Electric Cooktop

This is the best 30 inch electric cooktop for your home

Burners: 5 | Size: 30 inch | Controls: Touch | Warranty: 1 year

You get an automatic shut-off function
Warming burner
Reasonably priced
One year warranty

The LG LCE3010SB measures only 30 inches wide, but its compact size nonetheless includes an abundance of helpful cooking and safety features, and it looks terrific.

This ceramic glass cooktop gives you five heating elements including one with multiple heating rings. These include  six inch, seven inch and eight inch standard burners, a dual burner that can expand from six to nine inches, and a six inch warming burner. With so many heating areas, you can use different sized pans and easily cook a variety of foods at different temperatures at the same time. The touch pad controls are arranged in a semi-circle in the central front part of the cooktop and each control area has its own semi-circle of indicators that shows the temperature setting. On the left, you’ll find the “warm” and “child lock” controls.

It has valuable safety features such as a child lock to help prevent youngsters from getting burned, a hot surface indicator and an automatic shut-off function, which is not often found on electric cooktops. If you turn the power on and do not select a burner (LG calls them “cooking zones”) within 15 seconds, this cooktop will automatically turn the heat off to protect you and your kitchen.


2. Samsung NZ36K7570RG: Best 36 inch electric cooktop

Samsung NZ36K7570RG: Best 36 inch electric cooktop

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung NZ36K7570RG Electric Cooktop

The best 36 inch electric cooktop for larger kitchens

Burners: 5 | Size: 36 inch | Controls: Touch or analog | Warranty: 1 year

Bridge element
Analog or digital controls with magnetic dial
Two expandable burners
Not the best warranty

With five burners, the Samsung NZ36K7570RG sounds like a lot of the cooktops in our lineup. What makes it different, though, is that these burners are incredibly versatile, Two feature a bridge element, which means they can be used in tandem and connected for rectangular pans such as griddle pans. Two of the burners are also expandable, and can be switched from six to nine inch sizes. 

There's 15 heat settings on each burner of the Samsung NZ36K7570RG, and you can connect this electric cooktop to your WiFi to keep tabs on how it's running, or check to see if it's been left on. In terms of safety, the Samsung NZ36K7570RG has both a child lock and hot surface indicator light, making this a family-friendly electric cooktop. 


3. KitchenAid KCED606GBL: Best electric downdraft cooktop

KitchenAid KCED606GBL: Best electric downdraft cooktop

(Image credit: KitchenAid)

KitchenAid KCED606GBL Electric Cooktop

The best electric cooktop with a downdraft element

Burners: 5 | Size: 36 inch | Controls: Analog | Warranty: 5 years

Downdraft element included
Intuitive design
Great safety features 
Downdraft isn't the most powerful

Looking for an electric cooktop with a downdraft element? The KitchenAid KCED606GBL Electric Cooktop is our top pick. It's an expensive cooktop, but it sits at a price range that many cooktops without downdraft features will also arrive at, making it excellent value for money. The safety features on this cooktop are some of the best we've seen, and even when you turn it on the warning light will remain on until the cooktop is completely cooled.

Like many cooktops, the KitchenAid KCED606GBL Electric Cooktop has an expandable burner. This goes up to an impressive 12 inches, with simmer and melt settings also offered by KitchenAid's Even Heat feature. 


4. Frigidaire FFEC3025UB: Best budget electric cooktop

(Image credit: Amazon)

Frigidaire FFEC3025UB Electric Cooktop

The most reasonably priced electric cooktop in our ranking

Burners: 4 | Size: 30 inch | Controls: Analog | Warranty: 1 year

Quick boil
Expandable cooktop
Reasonably priced
Four burners, less than most cooktops

The Frigidaire FFEC3025UB is a reasonably priced four burner electric cooktop which doesn't shy away from some of the more high-end features you'll find in other models. Among them, a Quick Boil setting and up to 3000 watts of power per burner. 

Speaking of burners, we promised you a model with four - and the Frigidaire FFEC3025UB is just that! The largest, a nine inch burner, can also be adjusted to six inches. Each burner has seven heat settings in total, and the Frigidaire Fit Promise covers modification costs to your kitchen up to $100 if it doesn't fit as you'd like - a great offer for such a reasonably priced model. 


5. GE Profile PP9036SJSS: Best electric cooktop for families

GE Profile PP9036SJSS: Best electric cooktop for families

(Image credit: Amazon)

GE Profile PP9036SJSS Electric Cooktop

The best electric cooktop for larger households and those with kids

Burners : 5 | Size: 36 inch | Controls: Touch | Warranty: 1 year

Has an individual timer for each burner
Bridge element
Dual burners
More expensive than average

The GE Profile has a simple, intuitive design. It has five burners with 11 heat settings as well as a triple element that can reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit for fast boiling. The controls are easy to access and use, and the burners have graphic representations on each button.

This cooktop has dual burners that bridge to let you cook evenly on a griddle. Also, each of its burners has an individual timer to help you track cook times for multiple dishes simultaneously. After you finish cooking, a heat indicator light stays on until the burners cool.

To protect young children, the GE Profile has a control lock, which likewise gives you burn-protected counter space when the cooktop isn’t being used. This cooktop has a clean, modern look. Although it’s more expensive than many of the cooktops we reviewed, its versatility and ease of use make it an excellent buy.


What to look for in an electric cooktop

Number of Burners

If you cook for lots of people, or simply love to get plenty of good food ready, then a five-burner cooktop would no doubt be just right for you. However, if you don’t use that many pans, four burners could easily do the job – typically for less money. Frequently, good-quality electric cooktops have double- or triple-burner cooktops, meaning rings-within-rings of elements that heat up as needed when you set the controls. These work well to fit the type of pan you’re using on that particular burner.

Cooking Extras

An especially popular feature is the bridge, which is a heating area that links two burners and can be used to cook foods in long, oval roasting pans, or for use with grills or griddles. It also makes cooking easy when you have multiple cooking settings for heat levels and preset temperatures for favorite dishes. A burner with a fast boil feature can be very helpful as can a simmer burner.

Safety Features

Most of the cooktops in our lineup have control locks to render the cooktop unusable, so a curious child can’t turn it on when you’re not around. Most cooktops have glowing burners that mimic a coiled burner, so there is no mistaking when it is hot, but this goes away when you turn off the burner, even if it’s still hot. It’s therefore important to have heat indicator lights to let you know when it is safe to touch, especially if you have kids around. It helps to have controls positioned in front of the burners so you don’t have to reach across hot burners to get to them.

Price

We reviewed cooktops ranging in price from under $700 to more than $1,400. Although many consumers look for units priced below $300, these cheaper cooktops don’t have as many burners, settings and features as our favorite models. If you’re looking for a cooktop on the highest end, expect to spend up to $3,500.