When shopping for a new electric range, you are likely to find two main choices when it comes to the design of the cooktop. The traditional electric coil element stove has been surpassed in popularity by the smooth-top range. These ranges are usually glass or ceramic and use either radiant heat for cooking or induction. Although many people may prefer the appearance and features of smooth-top ranges, they are not without some key disadvantages. Take these into consideration before deciding to veer from the old-style unit.
The first thing you are likely to realize about smooth-top ranges when you go shopping is the price tag. You are likely to pay significantly more money for a smooth-top range than the kind with the coil elements. Whether this is a real disadvantage for you will depend on the budget you have for the new appliance. If you can afford the smooth-top version without worrying about the price, then this isn't significant, but shoppers on a tight budget may find this to be the deal breaker.
The way the smooth-top range is made requires cookware to fit flat against the heating surface for proper cooking. This means that all cookware used on these types of ranges needs to have a smooth surface on the bottom to improve heating efficiency. You should also refrain from the use of glass cookware on the smooth-top range. This minor cookware limitation is one of the disadvantages of a smooth-top electric range.
If you are used to sliding around a pot or pan, or plopping them down on the coil elements of your old stove, then you will need to learn new cooking habits to prevent damage to the cooktop if you elect to buy a smooth-top range. The glass or ceramic tops on a smooth-top range are easily scratched. While they are generally considered much easier to clean because of the flat design, moving a pan around during cooking, and potentially sliding it off the cooking area, could result in scratches that will take away from the appearance of the appliance.
More Energy Use
The nature of some smooth-top electric ranges makes them slower to heat and cool. The energy required to raise the cooking surface temperature is significantly more than the energy needed to heat up a coil element. Because of this, the smooth-top range will use more electricity than coil ranges. This is not a universal fact, since induction ranges heat almost instantly and are also flat-top designs.