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Best electric cooktops 2021

Best electric cooktops 2021
(Image credit: Getty)

The best electric cooktops look good, offer greater energy savings and come with ultimate levels of temperature control. So if you’re trying to figure out what electric cooktops are worth every dollar, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up a list and ranked the top electric cooktop ranges from brands like LG, KitchenAid, Samsung and more.

The most common electric cooktop sizes range from 26-inches to 36-inches. The size you choose will depend on how many pots and pans you expect to be cooking with at any one time. If it’s three or more, the best electric cooktop for you has a bigger burner size; perhaps six burners rather than two or four. But you’ll also need to consider how much space you have in your kitchen too.

These easy to clean cooktops do more than cook your foods to perfection. Some of the best electric cooktops are designed with touch controls, a downdraft element and smart functions. This means you can connect to Wi-Fi and keep one eye on your food while you’re busy completing other cooking tasks. Some other cooktop models put safety at the forefront of their design with automatic shut-off controls and child lock options. So if you have young children running around, this feature will come in handy. 

In our guide, prices for the best electric cooktops start at around $500 and go up to $1,500 for some of the more premium and bigger models. If you’re looking for other appliances to fit your kitchen out with, check out our guide to the best gas ranges or the best induction cooktops.

1. LG LCE3010SB: Best 30 inch electric cooktop

Best electric cooktops: LG LCE3010SB

(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

Best electric cooktops: Samsung NZ36K7570RG 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

Best electric cooktops: the KitchenAid KCED606GBL is the 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

Best electric cooktops: Frigidaire FFEC3025UB

(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

Best electric cooktops: GE Profile PP9036SJSS 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 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:

Radiant Coil
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. 

Smooth Top
When it comes to smooth-top electric cooktops, there are two types to choose from. This includes: 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 in.This makes smooth top cooktop 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. 

An image of a white kitchen with a black electric cooktop

(Image credit: Getty)

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.

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 you’re tired of your cooktops quickly gathering gunk, an electric cooktop may be the best solution to the problem at hand. Unlike the ridges and edges you get with gas models, which tend to attract crumbs, electric cooktops have a smooth and even surface that’s easy to wipe down.

It’s fairly straightforward to keep an electric stovetop looking sparkling clean. Simply wipe down the surface regularly with a damp and soapy cloth, as once spilled food is burnt, it’s harder to scrape the hard bits away. In the case of extra stubborn grime, you may want to let it sit in a baking soda paste before you scrub at it.

While you’ll save time and hassle cleaning, one downside to an electric cooktop is that you’ll have to wait slightly longer for the elements to cool down before you attack any stains, just to be safe.  

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.