Your cooktop is one of the most important appliances in your kitchen. Choose the right one, and you’ll be able to prepare meals quickly, efficiently and confidently. But just how do you go about making that all-important choice?
We’re here to help. Read on for our reviews of seven of the best electric cooktops out there right now. And then take a look at our buying guide to match their features to your needs. When you’re done, you’ll have everything you need to make the right decision.
If you’re looking for a five-burner cooktop, this radiant electric model from GE is well worth a look. It’s a handsome, glossy black, with a cooking surface that has bags of versatility.
It has a large central burner with two more positioned on either side. The two on the left can be synched, allowing you to use them together to heat a griddle. If you’ve got a particularly enormous cooking pot, this is a great feature.
There’s also a power boil element, perfect for when you need to boil water. It will heat it much more quickly than a conventional burner.
All the cooking temperatures are controlled by a touch panel. Touch the plus or minus buttons to raise or lower the heat – it couldn’t be easier.
A dial will light up to show you where the heat sits on a range of low to high. There’s also a melt setting, so you can get the temperature just right to melt the butter without it burning.
The touch sensors here are very sensitive, so you won’t find yourself cursing as you repeatedly jab at the glass! But for some people, they might actually be too sensitive. It’s very easy to change them by accidentally brushing the cooktop.
Fortunately, there’s a simple fix. The unit comes with a lock setting that will keep your chosen settings in place until it’s disengaged. Just hold your finger on the setting for three seconds to activate it. It’s also great for households with children, preventing stray fingers from turning on burners.
Another reassuring safety feature is the high-temperature indicator. When you’ve finished cooking, a red warning light will show as long as the burner remains too hot to touch.
Installation is straightforward, particularly if you’re replacing an existing GE cooktop. The manufacturers offer a guarantee that it will fit if there’s previously been a 36-inch GE model installed. And if it doesn’t, they’ll give you cash towards the cost of modifying your counter.
Cleaning is very simple too. You’ll need a cleaner designed for this type of surface. Once that’s in your cupboard, maintenance is a breeze. The completely flat surface means there’s nowhere for grease or dust to get trapped. Just take care with those touch controls as you wipe over the surface.
Five burners, including synch option for large cookware
Power boil element to heat water fast
Attractive, easy to clean surface
The touch panel is very sensitive – so take care when cleaning
The 36-inch width means this will take up a fair bit of counter space.
The Frigidaire FFEC304LB is a good option for those looking for modern style with traditional controls. There’s no touch screen here. Instead, the temperature is controlled by conventional knobs. But here, they’re color-coordinated to blend in with the glossy black surface for a sleeker appearance.
The knobs are clearly marked so you can see what you’re doing. And they click satisfyingly into position with each new setting.
There are four burners, one large and one small on each side. They’re slightly out of line, giving you a little more room for your cookware on the 30-inch wide surface.
It heats up quickly and efficiently, and although there’s no rapid boil feature, you’ll hardly miss it. It really is that fast.
It cools down almost as quickly too. There’s a red light to show if any part of the cooktop is too hot to touch. Note that there’s only one indicator though, so you won’t know which of the burners is still hot.
This is a new version of an older Frigidaire design, and a number of improvements have made installation easier. There are now self-centering springs to help position the edges of the cooktop in the cut-out.
And there are brackets in the center on both sides. These will help you line it up. They keep it in position more securely too.
The cooking surface is flat, although you will need to negotiate the knobs when it comes to cleaning. They can be removed if you want to be thorough. On the plus side, you won’t have to worry about turning on burners as you wipe over a touch panel.
One thing to note is that the lines showing the cooking zones are printed on top of the glass. Take care when you’re moving around pots and pans, and don’t slide them around. If you do, you may find the lines begin to wear away.
Some people have also found that the black surface shows marks easily. Make sure you rinse off cleaning products well, or you’ll be left with white smears. Buff it up, though, and it will stay looking great.
Heats up very fast
Color-coordinated knobs are easy to use and give a sleek look
Flat surface and knobs can be removed if needed for cleaning
Only one indicator to show if any part of the cooktop is hot
Graphics printed on the glass are vulnerable to being scratched by pans.
If you’re looking for a touch panel cooktop at a very reasonable price, Ramblewood’s EC4-70 should be on your shortlist.
This attractive looking appliance offers four burners and plenty of features. The burners are different sizes too, giving plenty of flexibility to choose the one that best suits your cookware. Two of them also have dual sizes, so they can be used with larger or smaller pans.
Each of the burners can be set to any one of nine levels. Just touch the plus or minus indicators for each burner to raise or lower the temperature.
This is another cooktop with very sensitive touch sensors, so take care not to brush them by accident. There’s a lock function to keep the temperature as you’ve set it to avoid this being an issue. Keeping it locked when not in use is also a good idea if you share your home with little ones.
There’s a residual heat warning light to show if any part of the cooktop is hot. It doesn’t, though, tell you which of the burners it applies to.
There’s also a timer which can be set for anything up to 99 minutes.
The output of 7,200 watts is very powerful, so it’s best to get this installed by a professional electrician. If you’re replacing an older cooktop, you may find your existing cut-out is a little larger. That can be worked around, but it’s another reason to leave the hard work to someone else!
The cooktop comes with a year’s warranty for peace of mind. And Ramblewood guarantees to exchange any unit found to be defective at installation within 48 hours.
The surface here is glass, and while it’s toughened you’ll still need to be careful. If you’ve got heavy cast iron cookware, take particular care. Dropping anything weighty on the surface will cause it to crack.
But there’s not much here to complain about. All in all, this is a good-looking cooktop, with some nice features, at a very competitive price.
Easy to use touch panel
Range of burner sizes
Includes safety lock and 99-minute timer
You may need to make some modifications to your cut-out if you’re replacing an older model
The Gasland Chef is very similar to the Ramblewood model. The 30-inch wide version has the same configuration of four burners, two of which have dual sizes. There’s also a smaller, two-burner option available. At just 12 inches wide, it’s a good option for smaller kitchens.
This is a cooktop with a contemporary look. It’s completely flat, with a touch panel for all the controls. The finish is glossy black glass, and the graphics are unobtrusive. If you’ve got a kitchen with sharp, modern lines, it will look great.
To control the temperature, you first select the appropriate cooking zone with a touch of the relevant sensor. Then use the plus and minus sensors to raise or lower it. And because there’s a single plus and minus sensor for all the zones, the touch panel is clean and uncluttered.
There’s also a safety lock to prevent the touch controls being activated unintentionally. Simply touch the padlock symbol for three seconds and the controls will stay as they are until it’s unlocked again.
One potential area for confusion is that the cooktop will display “lo”. That simply means it’s locked – and not, as you might suppose, that the temperature is low. Touch the padlock symbol for another three seconds to disengage it.
There’s a timer too. It can be set in one-minute increments up to a maximum of 99 minutes. You can use it as a minute minder to keep track of time.
Even better, set it to turn off a specific burner at the end of the cooking time. You can set the burners for different times too, making preparing complicated meals a whole lot easier.
The maximum power output of 6,600 watts is a little less than the Ramblewood. With the largest cooking zone offering up to 2200 watts, however, it’s still plenty powerful. You won’t be waiting long to get your food bubbling away.
Installation is simple, and the flat surface is super-easy to keep clean. This is an all-round brilliant cooktop at a great price.
Sleek, modern appearance with uncluttered touch panel
Good range of burner sizes
The timer can be set individually for each cooking zone
Noxton’s cooktop is another with a sleek and minimalist design. Here there are four cooking zones, two large (the same size as each other) and two small (ditto).
The larger zones have a maximum power output of 1,800 watts, while for the two small ones it’s 1,200 watts. For most of us, that will be fine. But if you have lots of different sized cookware, you may want a wider range of burners.
Each burner has a choice of settings from one to nine. That will take you from just warming to a fast boil.
This is another cooktop with a touch-sensitive control panel, and it’s one of the best-looking out there.
There are four graphics representing each burner, and a single plus and minus graphic. To control the heat, select your chosen burner, then increase or decrease the temperature with the plus and minus signs.
And when a burner has been turned off, an indicator light will show if it’s still hot.
There’s a lock function to stop the touch sensors being triggered when you don’t want them to be. It’s a good safety feature for kids, as well as useful when you’re cleaning. You won’t have to worry about turning on a burner when you wipe over the surface.
There’s no timer with this one, though. If you need a bit of help remembering how long things have been cooking, it won’t be the best option.
Installation is very easy, and if you’re a competent DIYer it shouldn’t require any outside help.
Once it’s up and running, cleaning is straightforward too. Just wipe it over with soapy water, dry it off and it will look as good as new. And because it’s completely flat, you won’t need to scrub away at grease or stains that have collected in grooves.
All in all, this is an attractive and easy to use cooktop. It may just be a little too basic for some.
Clean, modern design with touch panel controls
Indicator light shows when the surface is still hot
Locking function prevents accidental activation of the touch controls
The second electric cooktop from GE to make our list, this one has knobs instead of a touch panel. If you don’t want to lock your cooktop to prevent accidentally changing your settings, it’s well worth a look.
There are four burners here, two large and two small. Although both large burners are the same size, as are the two small ones, they’re still surprisingly versatile. The large burner at the front also has a rapid boil setting, great for cooking vegetables. And the small front burner has a warming setting too.
The knobs have an attractive stainless steel finish, which keeps this looking up-to-date. This complements the silver lines which demarcate the burners. The settings are clearly marked too.
The stainless steel is echoed in the strip which runs along the front and rear of the cooktop. That provides extra strength along the glass edge, protecting it during installation and daily use.
It does, though, mean that the cooktop won’t sit perfectly flush with your counter. So when it comes to cleaning, you’ll need to pay a little more attention to the join.
When you’ve finished cooking, a residual heat indicator will light up while the surface is still hot. It’s a well-designed feature, with a single square with circles that light up corresponding to the relevant burner.
Installation is very easy. If you’re skilled with this type of thing, you can expect to have it in place within half an hour.
Cleaning isn’t quite as easy, however – the surface is prone to showing up marks. You’ll need a bit of elbow grease to buff it to a shine.
And we have heard of some issues with the heating elements not lining up exactly with the burners. It does, though, come with a one-year warranty, so if you unluckily get a defective unit it can be replaced. You can also purchase an extended five-year warranty for added peace of mind.
Rapid boil and warming features
Attractive stainless steel knobs
Coordinating trim for added strength at the front and rear edges
Not the easiest to clean
We’ve heard of issues with the heating elements not aligning with the burners.
If you only cook occasionally or need a compact cooktop, this two-burner model from K&H might suit you.
It measures just twelve inches across, so it won’t take up a lot of room on your counter. The two burners are positioned one in front of the other for maximum space efficiency.
Despite its diminutive size, it’s not short on power. The maximum output of 3,000 watts gives plenty of oomph to each burner. You’ll be able to choose from nine temperature levels on each. Just touch the relevant numbered setting on the sensor panel to make your selection. It heats up super-fast.
There’s a timer, which you can use to set cooking times for each of the burners. When the time is up, they’ll switch off automatically, so you’ll never have to worry about over-cooking anything. The timer runs to 99 minutes and can be increased in one-minute intervals.
And if you’re worried that the touch controls will be too sensitive, you can employ the lock function. Here it’s marked with a key. Place your finger on it and hold it there for three seconds to engage the lock. None of the settings will be able to be activated again until the cooktop is unlocked.
This is an energy-efficient appliance. In stand-by mode, it will use just one watt of power.
So is there anything not to like?
Well, the manual is strangely silent on how to wire it in. Customers who have contacted K&H have found they’ve responded promptly and with clear instructions. The installation has been straightforward after that. It’s a shame, though, that the manual couldn’t deal with this in the first place.
Some people have also found that the glass gets a little less glossy over time. Minimize the risk of that happening by cleaning the cooking surface promptly after use.
Need some help deciding which is the best electric cooktop for your home? Consider these questions before you choose.
How many burners?
The cooktops on our list have anything from two to five burners.
If you cook only infrequently, a small, two-burner cooktop may be all you need. And if your kitchen is on the small side, it won’t take up a lot of room.
If you want more burners, you’ll need to pay more. But it will be worth it if you cook often and make more complex meals.
And if you mostly cook just for yourself or a partner, but occasionally need more rings, consider a portable cooktop. That can stay in the cupboard for the rare times you need more cooking space.
Consider your cookware
As well as the number of burners, take a look at how big they are. Will the sizes match your pots and pans?
Cooktops with a range of small to large burners will give you most flexibility. And some even offer the option of synching more than one burner to accommodate griddles or large pans.
It’s also worth looking at how the cooking zones are configured. Designs, where they don’t line up exactly, may give you more room to fit your cookware.
Stay in control
Finally, consider how you’d prefer to control your cooktop. The choice here is between a touch-sensitive panel and knobs.
Touch panels look great and keep the surface of your cooktop entirely flat. That makes them very easy to keep clean. But they can be easy to activate without meaning to. If you prefer a touch panel, look for one with a lock function to prevent changing your settings by accident.
Alternatively, knobs are easy to use and you won’t have to worry about changing your settings unintentionally. You will, though, need to take extra time cleaning around them.
Time to get cooking!
We hope you’ve now got all the information you need to choose the best electric cooktop for your home. With so many great models to choose from, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you.
Our top pick is the Frigidaire FFEC3024LB. We love the simplicity of its design and the way the knobs click neatly into place on each setting. And it heats up fast too.
Whichever option you select, we hope it gives you many hours of enjoyable cooking. Bon appetit!