Thinking about ditching your gas cooktop for an electric model? It’s a good choice, given that the best electric cooktops are more energy-efficient, easier to clean, and safer to use. This guide takes a deeper dive into the best electric cooktops on the market, whether you’re a busy family, working on a tight budget, or have a small kitchen space.
Electric cooktops that use induction heating to warm your pots and pans, rather than the surface of your cooktop, are more energy-efficient than others, as they heat quickly and transfer energy directly to your cookware. They also cool down exceptionally quickly, reducing the risk of burns. This makes them an excellent choice for families with children.
Electric cooktops that use a centralized heat source such as a metal coil transfer heat to the surface instead, which then heats your cookware. The fact that they take longer to cool after shutting down can be a benefit, as you can make use of the residual heat to keep food warm or finish off a cooking process without using energy.
Both types of electric stoves have smooth, flat surfaces that are much easier to clean than a gas cooktop. Many now also come with automatic shut-off, which means you don’t need to worry about whether you turned the stove off when you’re halfway to work already.
Some high-end cooktops even feature extra functionality such as Wi-Fi control, ideal for slow cooking and keeping a careful eye on your dish if you’re in another room. Bridge burners, formed by combining two heating spots into one large one, are great for bigger pans and make cooking for a crowd easy.
The bigger you go, the more burners you get on your electric cooktop. Most of the cooktops in our guide have 5 burners, which is more than enough for even the biggest feast.
If electric cooktops aren’t right for you, check out our guides to the best induction cooktops (opens in new tab) or the best gas ranges (opens in new tab). You’re sure to find the right cooktop for your culinary needs.
1. LG LCE3010SB: Best electric cooktops 30-inch model
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.
- Read our LG LCE3010SB Electric Cooktop review (opens in new tab)
2. Samsung NZ36K7570RG: Best 36 inch electric cooktop
You may be thinking that the Samsung NZ36K7570RG doesn’t have much of an edge on the other five-burner models in our rankings. However, this isn’t the case, as this particular electric cooktop hits the mark due to its incredibly versatile design.
Firstly, the Samsung NZ36K7570RG has two burners with bridge elements so that you can bring larger pans into play by connecting the two elements. Then, things feel extra roomy as two of the other burners are expandable so that you can swap between six or nine inches.
Also in its favor, the Samsung NZ36K7570RG has an impressive 15 heat settings and WiFi compatibility, which allows you to cleverly snoop on your food from elsewhere. Plus, it’s a family-friendly pick, as the cooktop has a child lock and hot surface indicator light.
- Read our Samsung NZ36K7570RG Electric Cooktop review (opens in new tab)
3. KitchenAid KCED606GBL: Best electric downdraft cooktop
Decked out with a downdraft, the KitchenAid KCED606GBL Electric Cooktop eliminates the trouble of ventilation as you won’t need to fork out on a separate hood. While it’s not exactly cheap, this handy appliance is one step ahead of other cooktops that don’t have the added convenience of a downdraft.
With the KitchenAid KCED606GBL Electric Cooktop, you’ll also be well-set to simmer away fairly large dishes, as the cooktop has an expandable burner that can make enough room for a 12-inch pot or pan.
The cooktop also takes safety pretty seriously, which is especially handy if you’ve got children pottering around the house. This includes a warning light, so you’ll know if there’s any heat lingering around the surface.
- Read our KitchenAid KCED606GBL Electric Downdraft Cooktop review (opens in new tab)
4. Frigidaire FFEC3025UB: Best budget electric cooktop
While easy on the wallet, the budget-friendly Frigidaire FFEC3025UB is far from basic. It only has four burners but it also has some of the frills you’d get with higher-end cooktops, including a Quick Boil setting and one burner backed by 3,000 watts of power.
The burners are where a lot of the action is at when it comes to the Frigidaire FFEC3025UB because there are seven heat settings per burner and the cooktop’s largest burner can be tweaked between six and nine inches.
You won’t have to fret about the cooktop not being the perfect fit for your kitchen either, as the Frigidaire Fit Promise takes care of any costs up to $100. This scheme will put things right if the appliance doesn’t quite fit right, another cost-friendly benefit for an already budget-friendly cooktop.
- Read our Frigidaire FFEC3025UB Electric Cooktop review (opens in new tab)
5. GE Profile PP9036SJSS: Best electric cooktop for families
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.
- Read our GE Profile PP9036SJSS Electric Cooktop review (opens in new tab)
What are the different types of electric cooktops?
There are two different types of electric cooktops. A radiant-coil electric cooktop and smooth-top model. Here’s what you need to know about each type:
This type of electric cooktop works by passing electricity to heat a spiral of flattened metal which is either positioned inside or suspended over the cooktop surface.
The heat is then sent out in waves through the metal spiral. The heat settings for radiant coil cooktops range from low to high. This type of model is generally more affordable than smooth-top model cooktops.
However, they are a little bit more tricky to keep clean because you will need to carefully remove the spiral to rid any crumbs that may have found their way in.
When it comes to smooth-top electric cooktops, there are two types to choose from: radiant and induction. Much like the radiant coil cooktops, radiant smooth-top cookers operate in a similar way. However, the metal spirals lie under a sleek and smooth ceramic surface, so no crumbs can slip in. This makes smooth top cooktops a lot easier to clean.
Induction smooth-top electric cooktops use electromagnetism to transfer heat to magnetic metal pots and pans. These models tend to be more expensive as they can heat up and cool down much more quickly than other models. But just remember: induction hobs can only be used with the conductive cookware we mentioned above.
What are the most common sizes for electric cooktops, and why does size matter?
Electric cooktops range in size from 15 inch models to 48 inch designs.But the most common electric cooktops are between 30 inches to 36 inches, because they correspond to the most common cabinet widths.
The bigger cooktop, the more burners you can expect to come with the model. A standard cooktop will usually feature four burners and this will enable you to fit four medium-sized pots and pans at any one time. But if you have a large family to cook for, or often use your hob with lots of big pots and pans on the go, you may want to consider a cooktop that comes with more than four burners.
That way, you can cook multiple foods at any one time, without worrying about your pots and pans fitting. Essentially, the size of your electric cooktop matters because it will impact how you cook. You want to strike the balance between functionality and space.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are electric cooktops easy to clean and maintain?
If your old gas cooktop regularly gathers old cooking oils, fats and other gunk, an electric cooktop may be what you’ve been looking for. With no removable pan support to attract dust and grease, and no burners to take apart and clean, simply wipe your glass-ceramic cooktop down once it’s cooled to keep it clean.
While you can purchase specialist cleaning solutions for electric cooktops, the most straightforward way to clean one is to use a little soap detergent, hot water, and a soft cloth. Wipe away cooking debris, spills and crumbs after cooking (but wait for the cooktop to cool down completely!) for the easiest clean, as dried-on or burnt food is harder to scrape away. A little baking soda paste can help with stubborn spots.
It’s better not to use abrasive pads on your cooktop as these may leave scratches on the surface and even damage your burners. If you have a really stubborn spill that even baking soda can’t lift, use a razor-blade scraper at a 45-degree angle to scrape away the gunk.
For a gleaming surface, buff your cooktop to a high shine with a soft, dry cloth to keep it sparkling clean.
What additional features do the best electric cooktops offer?
Even if you tread easy when it comes to cooking, you’ll still benefit from the additional features that come with the best electric cooktops. If you’ve ever burnt the base of your food when you’ve been trying to keep it warm, warming zones will come to your rescue, as they emit less heat than a regular heating element so that food gently simmers without burning.
Soft foods such as cheese and butter are also tricky to handle without curdling, so melting settings will tend to them gently. These do the opposite to power-boil elements, which fast-track liquids into a boil.
You’ll also want to look for an electric stovetop with double burners, as these will save energy by only bringing the full element into play when you use a large pan. As for smart features, an electric cooktop with automatic pan recognition will latch on when you place down a pan and calculate a customized heat surface to match its size.