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Glass top vs. coil range (stove) - which shoud I buy

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  • Oct 28th, 2010 10:33 am
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Sr. Member
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Feb 25, 2010
686 posts
20 upvotes

Glass top vs. coil range (stove) - which shoud I buy

We are getting a new stove and are debating switching from coil to glass top. I'd like to know what people's experiences are with glass.

1. They say you have to use flat bottom pots and pans on glass. Some of mine have tiny groves. Will they work?

2. Can I use cast iron pots? What about pyrex?

3. There seems to be two schools about cleaning glass tops: some say it's easy, others say it's a nightmare (especially for burnt items). Which is it?

4. Does the glass scratch/break easily or is it durable?

5. Does it take longer to heat up on a glass top and do you have good temperature control at low settings?

Thanks in advance for any advice/tips.
30 replies
Sr. Member
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May 29, 2005
521 posts
71 upvotes
Nepean
On glass top:
- you cannot use cast iron pans/pots
- you aren't supposed to put anything heavy on the middle of the stove top (told to me by the manufacturer)
- you aren't supposed to put anything hot on the middle of the stove top (told to me by the manufacturer)
- the stove top costs at least $300 to replace if you break it - then you need the labour
- no dropping things on it - who hasn't picked up a pot that was too hot?

Look on kijiji and see people are giving away expensive glass top stoves after a couple of years because the glass top broke. Mine broke 14 months and I got rid of it for a coil range.

OTOH, others have had theirs for decades with no problems.
Deal Addict
Apr 23, 2009
4785 posts
507 upvotes
South of Ottawa
I have had a ceramic top stove for quite a few years and never had a problem. I've spilled stuff, dropped things, etc and it's not dented, scratched or broken.

As for the above:
1. Not use cast iron? What? I use them all the time.
2. Not put anything heavy on the middle? What's heavy?
3. Not put anything hot? Um, it's a stove. Everything is hot. And besides, there are 5 burners on my stove so i don't see what the problem is.
4. You would have to drop something pretty damn heavy at just the rght angle to break the top.

Cleaning is easy. Wipe after it cools down and once a week I use a squirt of ceramic stove top cleaner. It doesn't look as good as new, but it comes clean and shiny.
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Aug 22, 2003
15531 posts
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Niagara Falls
I'll echo Beachdown's comments. I love my smooth top and it still looks like brand new with nothing used on it but a Vileda Glass top Scrunge.

OP, if you're looking for a very basic stove you may find a coil range. If you're looking for a range with any kind of features like a convection range you'll have to look at a smooth top. Most manufacturers have stopped making coil ranges now. The few that are left are the most basic at the bottom of the entry market....
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Deal Addict
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Jan 2, 2009
1162 posts
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Red Deer
Beachdown wrote:
Oct 25th, 2010 10:31 pm
I have had a ceramic top stove for quite a few years and never had a problem. I've spilled stuff, dropped things, etc and it's not dented, scratched or broken.

As for the above:
1. Not use cast iron? What? I use them all the time.
2. Not put anything heavy on the middle? What's heavy?
3. Not put anything hot? Um, it's a stove. Everything is hot. And besides, there are 5 burners on my stove so i don't see what the problem is.
4. You would have to drop something pretty damn heavy at just the rght angle to break the top.

Cleaning is easy. Wipe after it cools down and once a week I use a squirt of ceramic stove top cleaner. It doesn't look as good as new, but it comes clean and shiny.
+1 we too spilled, burned, droped things on our smooth top and no problemo, some of our pots have grooves on the bottom and it works fine.
Newbie
Jan 3, 2008
68 posts
23 upvotes
Markham
I have a Ceran glass top stove and it works just fine.

As to your concerns:

1. They say you have to use flat bottom pots and pans on glass. Some of mine have tiny groves. Will they work?

** I have pots that have tiny grooves and they work just as well as flat bottom pots and pans

2. Can I use cast iron pots? What about pyrex?

** I have used cast iron pans and pots but have never used pyrex and they work fine

3. There seems to be two schools about cleaning glass tops: some say it's easy, others say it's a nightmare (especially for burnt items). Which is it?

** In my experience it depends on how messy the glass top gets and the cleaning equipment you use.
Its easy if you catch the mess right away . Most of the time its just a simple wipe with a soft cloth.
However for spillovers like milk or sauces with sugar which can quickly become burnt on. You should use
the right sponge and ceran top cleaner to clean it up properly or you will most likely scratch your glass top.


4. Does the glass scratch/break easily or is it durable?

** I have never attempted to break the glass. :) The glass is not scratch proof however its not so delicate that you need to worry about mere movement of pots and pans on the surface.


5. Does it take longer to heat up on a glass top and do you have good temperature control at low settings?

** In my experience it feels like it takes longer to heat up on a glass top but there is good temperature control at low settings ( that might be dependent also on the manufacturer of the stove)

Lastly but not least one of the unspoken benefits of having a glass top stove is the extra work surface. When I lived in a condo I would frequently use the extra space to dry my pots and pans or glasses and treated it like an extension of my counter.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
24579 posts
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Ottawa
I have one since our kitchen reno. I agree with everything everyone has said except, we absolutely hate the thing. We find it hard to control the heat and it does take longer to heat up and, you never know until it boils over that you have it set too hot. We are not happy about the cleaning of it and keeping it clean, regardless of the type of cleaner. The bottoms of the pots and pans need to be clean and free of anything or else they will scratch. The bottoms of the pots and pans must be very flat or they don't heat well or they heat more on some spots than others. I cook a lot and just do not find the smooth top stove to be cook friendly, it looks good in design magazine pictures but in practice, it is not what we thought.
We are seriously thinking of plumbing for gas and going that way.
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Apr 17, 2005
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Brampton
We had smooth glass top in our previous house (Frigidaire 11 yrs. old & still going strong :lol :) & it was great.
Fairly easy to clean & visually it looked much better than the dated coil type.

But for the new house we decided to go with a gas cooktop & we love it & will never go back to electric!

So if you have to choose, go for smooth glass top :)
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Deal Guru
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Mar 1, 2004
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Pickering
I use a coil range in my house, but have used other stoves at friends homes. I found the glass top got very hot vs the coil. I never had any issues with cleaning the glass top either, I relate it to waxing the car and kind of like it. It has an advantage in that there is no space for food to fall, hide, and burn at a later date. I love gas. It is the ultimate in heat control. I used a GE and a Kitchen Aid gas range. The Kitchen Aid got a LOT hotter than the GE which didn't surpass my coil range heat wise.

The gas of course had the problem where food can fall down and hide and then burn, but I can't say no to the awesome control it offers. If I can't have gas, then I'll go ceramic on my next purchase. Before anyone asks, I am not the food dropper, so it really pisses me off to cook something and then smell burnt food.
Jr. Member
Aug 29, 2010
167 posts
5 upvotes
I wouldn't use pyrex on a ceramic stove. I accidentally had a pyrex pan on the stove and it broke. It was a pain to clean up afterward. I do find that it takes awhile to cool down after turning it off. Coils are so much different than before. Lift up feature easy to clean. I do like the ceramic for extra space. If you do burn food, you just need extra elbow grease to clean.
Deal Addict
Dec 8, 2009
1208 posts
57 upvotes
The ceramic tops are deceivingly tough. I remember when we did our first kitchen reno and we were buying a stove the salesman took a metal pot and swung it at the top (on an angle) and hit the top; didn't leave a mark and he hit it HARD. I mean harder than I'd imagine even think about let alone if something was dropped on it. I don't know how people break them personally.

Coil top stoves are the doo-doo bird of stoves IMO, old school. Fewer and fewer available in stores.
Usually there's a reason a company is "cheap". Value and cheap are different. Value means best product/service for the dollar spent. Cheap is just that. Cheap.
Sr. Member
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May 29, 2005
521 posts
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Nepean
Well, the yeahs have it!!! :)

But..if you ever want to claim warranty then keep what I said in mind. Just say, "I don't know my SO was using it"

Also, I did buy a low end Kenmore/Frigidaire and I'll never buy any Frigidaire again because I had a stove and fridge break while doing very reasonable things.
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Feb 25, 2010
686 posts
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Thanks everyone for your comments. They've been really helpful. It looks like glass is the way to go. Pete Coach, your experience was really interesting, could you provide more detail on the make/model you had and whether the controls were knobs or digital?
Deal Addict
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Jan 27, 2007
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Oct 26th, 2010 9:27 am
I have one since our kitchen reno. I agree with everything everyone has said except, we absolutely hate the thing. We find it hard to control the heat and it does take longer to heat up and, you never know until it boils over that you have it set too hot. We are not happy about the cleaning of it and keeping it clean, regardless of the type of cleaner. The bottoms of the pots and pans need to be clean and free of anything or else they will scratch. The bottoms of the pots and pans must be very flat or they don't heat well or they heat more on some spots than others. I cook a lot and just do not find the smooth top stove to be cook friendly, it looks good in design magazine pictures but in practice, it is not what we thought.
We are seriously thinking of plumbing for gas and going that way.
This post is absolutely 100% spot on. Uneven heat, the element under the glass comes on and switches off. Very hard to keep clean, always smudges everywhere. Go gas if you can.
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
12844 posts
571 upvotes
I will never get a glass top...I'd rather have a solid metal or coil (preference would be gas, but that is not the question).
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