Buying Guide: Best Cooktops 2016 – 2017 (Gas and Electric)
Your cooktop has a great deal to do with the taste, quality, and ease of getting your dinner cooked and on the table. As such, buying a new cooktop is not something that should be taken lightly. With the proper consideration however, you can find the cooktop that is right for you, your needs, and your home.#1 Top Rated Cooktop (Editor Selection) — Click Here!
Keep reading to see our editors’ favorite cooktops on the market right now, as well as read their reviews to see what they like and don’t like about the selected models.
- Our Cooktop Ratings At-A-Glance
- Top 10 Best Cooktops Reviewed 2016 - 2017
- Our Top Cooktop Reviews
- GE JP3030DJBB 30″ Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop Review
- GE JP328BKBB 30″ Black Electric Coil Cooktop Review
- GE Profile 36″ Touch Control Electric Induction Cooktop Review
- LG LCE3610SB 36″ Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop Review
- Frigidaire Gallery 30″ Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop Review
- Frigidaire FFEC3024LB 30″ Electric Cooktop Review
- Whirlpool W5CE3024XB 30″ Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop Review
- GE CGP650SETSS Cafe 36″ Stainless Steel Gas Sealed Burner Cooktop Review
- GE JP3030SJSS 30″ Electric Cooktop Review
- Bosch NGM5055UC 500 30″ Stainless Steel Gas Sealed Burner Cooktop Review
- Types of Cooktops
- Considerations Before You Buy
Our Cooktop Ratings At-A-Glance
Top 10 Best Cooktops Reviewed 2016 - 2017Here you'll find our list of the best gas and electric cooktops for the money based on our team's ratings of the products. If you want to read reviews or get more product information, just scroll down the page or click on the links.
Our Top Cooktop Reviews
Interested in learning a bit more about the cooktops that you see listed in the chart up above? Keep reading for reviews on the models and to learn what our editors like and don’t like about these cooktops.
GE JP3030DJBB 30″ Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop Review
Need to replace your cooktop? This particular one is smooth to the touch and will blend in right with your countertop. With dimensions at 32.8 x 24.4 x 7.2 inches, and a weight of 39 pounds this electric cooktop is easy to handle. The easiness of installing the cooktop will be able to meet your needs without the stress of setting it up.
Pros: Convenient to install.
Cons: Must have the perfect amount of space for installation.
GE JP328BKBB 30″ Black Electric Coil Cooktop Review
Looking for a better way to cook dinner that doesn’t involved preheating the own or firing up the grill? When you want a delicious cooked meal without all the hassle you need a reliable cooktop added to your kitchen appliances. At just over 30 pounds it is easy to use and store in the kitchen and is a perfect way to get versatility in your cooking without cluttering up the kitchen with yet another bulky appliance. The GE 30″ Coil Electric Cooktop is a popular option for kitchens that do not have a lot of counter space.
Pros: convenient size, electrical, portable, sleek non-stick surface
Cons: limited cook surface, slower heat up times, limited hook up options
GE Profile 36″ Touch Control Electric Induction Cooktop Review
Do you want the ultimate induction cooktop? This 36-inch wide, five burner cooktop gives you all of the versatility you need for cooking sauces, sauté’s, and stews. The center induction element is 11-inches in diameter and produces 3700 watts of power for cooking large pots of food. SyncBurners, pan presence, and pan size sensors emit induction-cooking power when and where it needs to be. There is a control lock for safety and a kitchen timer for convenience. The black glass surface with stainless steel trim adds a modern look to any kitchen.
Pros: Easy to clean, safe, heats quickly, five elements
Cons: Very expensive
LG LCE3610SB 36″ Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop Review
Do you need a cooktop that delivers space for all that you cook? This five burner, smooth surface cooktop offers a 12-inch center radiant element, two nine-inch elements and two six-inch elements that give you options when cooking your favorite meals. The warming zone feature lets you keep food warm and SmoothTouch™ controls give you a variety of cooking options. The hot surface indicator light and child lock feature make this a safe cooktop for you and your family. Easy to clean this cooktop will make an attractive, practical addition to your kitchen.
Pros: No knobs to break or catch food, easy to clean, five burners, 12-inch burner, safety features
Frigidaire Gallery 30″ Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop Review
Do you need more than four burners on your gas cooktop? Five burners give you the space you need for boiling, simmering and sautéing. The quick boil feature boils water faster and low simmer gives you flexibility for the most delicate sauces or hardy stews. Continuous grates allow you to move pans without lifting, making spills less likely. The stainless steel base and dishwasher safe porcelain covered cast iron grates make cleaning the cooktop easy.
Pros: Metal knobs, five burners, seamless recessed burners, low simmer feature
Cons: Expensive, base scratches easily
Frigidaire FFEC3024LB 30″ Electric Cooktop Review
Need a cooktop that is easy to clean? This ceramic top cooktop has a spill saver design to keep your cooking surface clean. Four cooking zones give you a choice of two large or two small burner sizes. The counter top design lets you put this in a kitchen island or other kitchen counter and easy installation will have you cooking in no time. Hot surface indicator remains on until the surface is cool for your safety.
Pros: Easy to clean, stylish, flat surface means pots sit flat, heats quickly, hot surface indicator light
Cons: Surface requires cleaning after each use, cracks easily
Whirlpool W5CE3024XB 30″ Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop Review
The sleek ceramic surface of this cooktop makes cleanup fast and easy. Dishwasher safe knobs and the crevice-free surface will keep it looking new through years of use. With the cooktop’s AccuSimmer® element allows you to simmer sauce’s or melt chocolate with precise temperature control. A hot surface indicator light lets you know the surface is still hot, even after it has been turned off, to keep you and family members safe.
Pros: Quick heating, easy to clean, heats up quickly, easy installation
Cons: Scratches easily, controls imprecise, only one large burner
GE CGP650SETSS Cafe 36″ Stainless Steel Gas Sealed Burner Cooktop Review
Do you need more cooking space? You will have it with this five-burner gas cooktop. The large burner puts out an impressive 20,000 BTU Tri-ring burner for those large pots that need space to cook. The precise simmer burner will give you the confidence to walk away from the stove and not burn dinner. Heavy cast iron grates and stainless steel cooktop base are durable and easy to clean. The child lock feature will keep curious hands safe.
Pros: 20,000 BTU middle burner, indicator light when burner is on, child lock
Cons: Expensive, knobs break easily, grates must be removed to clean.
GE JP3030SJSS 30″ Electric Cooktop Review
Is it time for a new cooktop? If you are replacing your current 30-inch electric cooktop, the features of this four-burner unit offer a lot of cooking flexibility. Four radiant cooking elements are offers two 8-inch elements for bigger jobs and two six-inch elements for smaller tasks. The keep warm setting allows you to leave an item on the cooktop without worrying about burning. The cooktop ‘on’ indicator lights and hot surface light let you know the surface is not safe to touch. The stainless steel trim edging the black glass of this cooktop adds a touch of elegance.
Pros: Easy to clean, heats quickly, attractive, affordable
Cons: Glass top scratches easily, learning curve on use of controls.
Bosch NGM5055UC 500 30″ Stainless Steel Gas Sealed Burner Cooktop Review
Are you ready for a kitchen upgrade? This gas cooktop has four burners, one small, two medium and one 16,000 BTU burner for those large cooking jobs and superior cooking versatility. The continuous cast iron grates allow you to slide pots and pans from one burner to the next without lifting. Heavy-duty metal knobs for durability and centralized controls for ease of use. Stainless steel base and dishwasher safe cast iron grates make cleanup a breeze.
Pros: Large burner, metal knobs, easy clean surfaces, centralized controls
Cons: Knobs break easily, hard to clean because grates must be removed
Types of Cooktops
There are several different types of cooktop to think about and one that many swear by is the gas range. This is going to be a range that runs off of natural gas that is piped into the home. If you do not already have an existing gas hookup this is going to be the most expensive option to consider. Before we discuss price, it is helpful to find out specifically why people prefer this type of cooktop.
For starters, those that prefer gas claim that it provides an even cooking temperature that allows you to better cook your food and to develop flavor. Another thing to consider is that natural gas is often cheaper than electricity so it may save you money if you already have an existing hookup. The last benefit that most people cite is that gas is more dependable and does offer a method of cooking that allows the cook more control over the temperature of the food.
Now for price, the cooktop itself is going to cost several hundred dollars with a cheap range being about $800 going up from there based on material, the number of burners, and options that can be added. This is a single cost if you already have gas in your home. If you do not however, having gas brought into the home can cost thousands and can cause difficulty and be dangerous if not used and installed properly. You will also need to have a natural gas holding tank added to your home.
Another cooktop option that is insanely popular in homes is the ceramic cooktop. This is a ceramic top that is completely flat and has the heating elements beneath the glass. The reason that these are so popular is that they are relatively inexpensive, they are easier to clean, and they are somewhat safer than things like gas and induction.
These ranges are also going to be more affordable than a gas range and do not require any special type of heating source like natural gas to be brought into the home. Ceramic cooktops are safer to a certain extent because they do not have exposed burners but they are still capable of causing fires and of burning users if they are not used properly.
The average cost of a ceramic cooktop is about $500 for higher end models. You can of course run into higher costs if you opt for versions that have more burners, more features, and that have special cooking options. These are often the go to choice for new homes and for those that are updating from induction or older range and cooktop styles.
Conventional Coil Cooktops
This is the least popular and are often the most dangerous in homes. Induction cooktops have exposed burners that are made up of wells and heating elements that can be replaced as they go bad. This is one advantage to this type of cooktop as you can replace elements as they go bad rather than having to replace the entire cooktop as you would with a ceramic range. Induction cooktops are losing popularity because they are not all that attractive and they do get very dirty very quickly.
In most homes, a conventional coil cooktop is the sign that they have not been updated very recently and that they are likely to run into problems. Another difficulty with these ranges is that they do provide very uneven cooking temperature. Unlike gas where the flame can be adjusted and it forms to the pan you are using, the conventional range, or coil range, is going to have specific points of contact where the heat is going to be applied more than in other areas.
These are very cheap however with a full range, oven, cooktop and all, costing on average around $300. These are going to be your best option if you need something temporary and you do not have a ton of money to spend on your cooktop.
These are often confused with the electric smoothtops, but they actually work to cook your food a bit differently. And they often are priced a bit higher than the electric cooktops. So, what’ the difference between electric cooktops vs induction cooktops? The induction models heat up your pans via electromagnetic field instead of via radiant heat. And, they tend to heat up much more quickly.
Unlike other cooktops, you don’t get a glow from the electromagnetic heating when the stove is actually on. As you might imagine, this can be dangerous, which is why manufacturers are adding special lights and virtual flames to help people know when it is on and hot.
Overall, the surface remains cooler on an induction cooktop, which means that it is easier to clean up spills when you are cooking. Of course, you may need to replace your cookware if you go with one of these models because you must use induction-capable cookware with these ranges.
Considerations Before You Buy
There are three things to consider before you purchase your cooktop. The first is of course your budget. If you have thousands to devote and you want a gas cooktop, by all means go for it and do it right for safety and usage reasons. If you do not have a ton of money however a ceramic or induction cooktop may be the best option.
The second thing to consider is your space. Ceramic cooktops are very versatile and do not require that you have a ton of open space around them to keep them safe. With an induction cooktop you also have a bit more freedom. Gas ranges however will require that you have a CO2 monitor to make sure that gas is not being leaked into the home when the range is not in use. You will also need more space around them as they do use an open flame as the source of heat.
Lastly you should have your needs in mind. If you cook all day every day you may benefit from a gas range. If you cook every day but do not cook four course meals then a ceramic or induction is going to be the best bet.