The Bosch Benchmark 36-inch NETP668SUC electric cooktop has stainless steel touch controls and five different burners with nine different configurations. The controls are laid out in a line on the outside of the ceramic cooktop, and each burner configuration has its own corresponding button.
This glass cooktop provides solid, even cooking for every size of pot or pan you have. The three-zone, 12-inch heating element has an impressive maximum power of 3,080 watts, giving you a fast boil option for a small tea kettle or a large pot of pasta. The left side of the cooktop has two burners that combine into a bridge element. The oblong shape is perfect for long roasting pans or grills. You can warm food on the bridge while cooking other dishes. When any of the burners are on, heat elements light up on the interior so you know when they're unsafe to touch.
The controls are set directly on the ceramic glass in the middle of the cooktop. One advantage the Bosch has is that each different burner configuration has its own button. This makes the settings easier to see and allows you to learn the configuration quickly. Other cooktops make you push one button several times to set up the burner right. The Bosch, on the other hand, assigns a specific number and button to each setup, making it easier to memorize and use. In addition to the simplicity of the setup, the stainless steel on the front and back gives the cooktop a distinctly premium look. If you like the traditional stovetop knobs better, you might prefer the Kenmore Elite 45113 with a row of controls on the right side of the cooktop.
A key feature of this electric cooktop is its PowerStart temperature system. This allows you to set an initial maximum power output that automatically decreases to a preselected temperature. If you're boiling vegetables, for example, the PowerStart helps prevent a pot from boiling over and making a mess on the cooktop. If you're making pancakes, the AutoChef setting chooses the best temperature and automatically adjusts the heat for consistent results.
Other benefits of the Bosch are a countdown timer, a keep warm capability and a clean lock feature that lets you lock the cooktop’s settings so you don’t accidentally change an element setting while you’re wiping up spills. This cooktop has nice safety features including a child safety lock and a dual-indicator heat warning that tells you if the cooktop is warm or hot. This cooktop not only has streamlined. This streamlined electric cooktop also looks modern and attractive, and it can be installed so it’s flush with your counter.
Some customer reviews we looked at complained that the cooktop’s five zones are not easy to read, which created problems especially for people who are near-sighted. Multiple online reviews also complained that you can’t use the controls if your fingers are wet, and the cooktop shuts off if a pot boils over. So you have to wait for it to cool down so you can clean it off. This is obviously a significant inconvenience. The PowerStart feature will help guard against this happening, but there could well be occasions when a pot boils over.
The Bosch Benchmark has some nice extras like a bridge element that accommodates long roasting pans or grills. It has presets that help you maintain consistent temperatures for foods you cook often. While customers have complained in reviews about the cooktop shutting down if a pot boils over, you can help prevent that with the PowerStart feature that is designed to prevent veggies and other items from boiling over. This is a great cooktop for most people, but some may find a cooktop with more traditional features preferable.