In the past couple decades, the glass cooktop stove has appeared. It’s a great alternative to the open electric burners of stoves from years past. Glass cooktop stove models come in gas and electric versions.
Indeed, they do have their advantages, like rapid response heat control, and no food dropping inside the stove. Plus, when not cooking, their flat top surfaces work well as more counter space for cold food preps.
But glass cooktop stoves have many drawbacks as well. These include high cost to buy and all too easy scratching of the cooktop. We would not buy one for a busy restaurant kitchen. Not with all the quick pot slamming and moving about between stove and counter.
But for the average home kitchen, a glass cooktop stove can save lots of time in cleanup. Weight out the pros and cons of these flat top stoves before you buy one, which we list below. Indeed, this sort of major kitchen appliance might be just what you need to modernize the kitchen at your house.
Glass Top Stove Pros, Benefits, and Advantages
No Burner Pans to Clean or Replace
They seal the burners under the thick glass cooking surface. So, this isolates the burners from any spills on the top of the stove. Thus, no food from boil-overs ever gets into them.
Faster Warm Up on a Glass Cooktop Stove
Upon burner turn-on. the radiant and halogen burner types heat to glowing hot within a few seconds; unlike the traditional “swirly” electric spiral type burners, which can take nearly a minute to begin glowing.
Quicker Cool Down Too
The sealed element in the glass-top stove stops glowing within a couple seconds of turning it off. This makes for a safer stove, particularly around children. How so? Because flat top cooking surfaces cool down faster. So, they are less likely to burn when touched.
Better Heating Control
You get quicker burner heating and cooling on a glass cooktop stove. So even you culinary geniuses will like the exemplary heat control that your most persnickety recipes demand. You’ll have this on these glass-topped stoves. Their heat control rivals the gas flame burner.
Surrounding Surfaces Stay Relatively Cool
The ceramic glass cooktop passes radiant heat easily. But it does not conduct heat very well. This means that only the surface directly atop of the burner actually heats up. The area surrounding the burner remains surprisingly cool to the touch. Place stir spoons between the burners while cooking, without fear that the spoon will burn. This also keeps the food on it from sticking the glass. Also, there’s less chance of burning your hands while using the glass cooktop stove.
Less Visible Burners
Many glass top stoves look very uniform across the entire cooking surface. They show only a thin circle to show you where the actual burners are.
A Glass Top Stove Adds More Counter Space
When not in use, the ceramic surface doubles and a significant amount of additional counter space; useful in small kitchens where counter space is scarce. Do not use them as cutting boards. This can easily mar these surfaces. However, they form convenient spaces for sitting bowls and plates of prepared foods upon. Or, you can cut on them if you use a separate cutting board.
Easier Cleaning, IF You Clean Them Often
The biggest enemy to low-effort food removal on ceramic glass top stoves, is food buildup. The more buildup, the harder they can be to restore to new-looking appearance. So, we recommend that you clean up any spills as soon as practical.
A Glass Top Stove Provides a “Modern” Kitchen Look
The mysteriously dark yet shiny appearance of these cooktops impresses.
Glass Top Stove Cons, Disadvantages, Problems, and Concerns
Glass Top Stoves Cost More
The “novelty” of the glass cooktop stove runs up the cost of these stoves. They cost more than the basic electric stoves with exposed burner coils.
They Need Special Polishes and Cleaners
Hard to Clean
Time consuming. Perhaps you use your flat top cook stove as much as us. If so, then you likely see that they can get messy. We often end up with “baked on” grime right above the burners.
Easily Scratched or Broken Glass Top
Be careful with heavy pots, pans, griddles, and skillets on glass top cook surfaces. Why? Because these can scratch and break the glass if you plop them down too hard on the glass top stove.
Not as Hot
It’s harder to achieve a truly “rolling boil” of a pan of water on a glass top stove. While the heat transfer of the glass is quite good, the pan still never directly contacts the heat source; not like it does on gas stoves. There, the flame touches the pan bottom. The same is so in the basic electric stoves, where the pan sits right on top of the glowing burner. The upshot: Some foods may take longer to cook, or may not cook as well. You may need to change some recipes to account for this glass top reality.
Do Not Use Dented or Bent Pots and Pans
The pan should be completely flat. No dents, warps, bends, roundness, or twists. Otherwise, too much heat escapes, and pan heating efficiency drops markedly. We find the thick-bottomed Farberware pans and Dutch ovens work well.
Your Pots and Pans Must be the Right Sizes
Pot size is not as critical with gas stoves or the older electric direct-contact burners. The cookware on a glass top stove however, should be at least as big as the heated burner area. For max heat transfer, the pot should fully cover the burner space. Ideally, the pot’s diameter should match that of the burner on which you place it. Some stoves only give you two sizes of burner windows (big and small). But medium sized pans often do not fit exactly over the burners.
Pot Bottoms Should be Very Smooth and Flat
Stainless steel or ceramic coated pans work best to protect against scratching the ceramic glass top.
Hard to Completely Clean Off Messes
It’s often impossible to fully get off a burned on mess from the glass burner surface. The first scrub down almost never does it fully. For stubborn stains, you may have to apply-and-scrub several times. Most of the time, the stain will eventually become nearly invisible. But it is next to impossible to completely restore the burner area. You’ll likely be unable to get the same 100-percent shiny look after a food spill has occurred. This is especially true where the food has baked onto the flat top for several minutes or more.
Expensive Stove Glass Top Replacement
If you break the glass top on your stove, this can cost you a lot. You could spend $600 or more to replace it. Plus, this assumes that you can still get it. Often times you cannot buy this piece separately. So, a broken stove glass top could mean that you must replace the whole stove.
Not Completely Accessible to the Blind
Due to the smooth nature of these cooktops, centering pans over the burners can challenge the sight impaired. While “feeling” for the heat can work well, the risk of burns is higher. When you can’t feel where to put a pot before turning on the heat, you might get it wrong more. Besides, the food in poorly centered pots does not cook nearly as fast either. Plus, you may not even realize that the pot is off center for quite some time. So, the vision impaired should check that they can feel where the pots go on a glass top stove. Don’t buy one unless you can easily tell how to position the pot the right way.
Glass Top Stove Pros and Cons Conclusion
A ceramic glass top stove has about as many cons as pros. So the right choice between buying this type of stove or some other, depends on your specific needs. Indeed, you may not mind the lower maximum heating capacity of ceramic cooktops. Besides, perhaps you like that you cannot spill food into the innards of the stove. If so, then the glass top stove is the stove for you.
But if you hate scrubbing with gobs of elbow grease and grit, then don’t buy a this glass top stove. It’s really up to you though. Certainly, you give up something to get something else. But isn’t that always the way tough buying choices are?
So hopefully, this piece gives enough info about the flat cooktop stove technology to help you decide best.
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References for Glass Top Stove Pros and Cons
- 2019-06-12: Tweaked the targeting for ‘Glass Top Stove’, removed ad code, and added more links and tags.
- 2018-04-08: Revised post content. Added the Related Posts section.
- 2015-10-27: Added appropriate tags.
- 2015-07-30: Originally published.