Electric cooktops offer an energy-efficient way to cook your meals, with styles to match a variety of countertops. Traditional gas cooktops aren't a bad deal either, but if you're all about sleek surfaces and saving a few bucks on your monthly energy bill, going electric is the way to go. Plus, with gas cooktops, you'll need to make sure you actually have a gas line installed in your kitchen in the first place.
Whether you're in the market for a cutting-edge cooktop or something a bit more basic, we've put together this roundup of the best electric cooktops to help you cut down on research and store visits. Read on to learn what models we'd use in our own kitchens.
GE 36-inch Radiant Electric Cooktop JP5036DJBB
- Middle burner has three optional sizes
- Power boil
- Safety lock
- Glide touch controls will take some practice
The GE JP5036DJBB gives you a variety of options to fit every pot and pan you have — along with some impressive tech features. The middle burner has three optional size options that can certainly fit extra-large pots and provides 3,000 watts of power. The two-sized side burner is a "power boil" 2,400-watt element designed to apply extra heat to bring things to a full boil.
The glide touch controls may take some getting used to, but they do have a handy lock option so you don't accidentally adjust the heat after turning them on. Overall, the GE 36-inch Radiant Electric Cooktop JP5036DJBB combines the benefits of electric heating with the best of recent innovations in cooktop technology, making it an easy recommendation.
Samsung NZ36K7570RG 36-inch electric cooktop
Best electric cooktop for smart homes
- Traditional and digital touch controls
- Two sync burners for griddles and a rapid boil burner
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support
- Safety lock
- Lacks glide touch controls
Some people do not like the glide touch control system, which takes time to get used to. If you'd rather avoid touch dial options, this electric cooktop offers more traditional dials as well as digital touch controls, thanks to removable magnetic knobs — a neat solution. It also provides some of the same benefits as our top GE Appliances pick, including two sync burners for griddles and a rapid boil burner (3,300 watts) for quickly heating your liquids.
The Samsung NZ36K7570RG 36-inch's Bluetooth feature links to Samsung oven ranges so that it can automatically turn on lights and fans when you start using the cooktop — also neat. There's also Wi-Fi connectivity for remote control of the burners, a Melt Mode for slowly melting chocolate or butter, and a Control Lock that keeps your family protected by disabling stove functions when you're not actively cooking.
Gasland 30-inch Ceramic Cooktop
Best budget electric cooktop
- Lots of thermal customizations
- Digital touch controls
- Safety lock
- Not great for simmering
- May require additional purchase of wire harness
This 30-inch cooktop by Gasland features four individual cooking zones, featuring a dual 1,200/2,000-watt zone for the 5.4-inch and 9.1-inch burners, a 1,200-watt zone for the two 6.5-inch burners, and a 1,100/2,000-watt zone for the 6.5-inch and 10.6-inch burners. That's plenty of thermal customization for all your major meals!
The digital touch controls feature nine distinct power options for boils, simmers, and everything in-between. The Vitro ceramic glass is built for long-lasting endurance against pan scrapes, utensil dings, and anything else you can throw at it. Plus, there's a kids' safety lock for keeping the youngsters safe in the kitchen. You get all of this for less than $400, which is nothing to shake your wooden spoon at.
EcoTouch 30-inch Radiant Cooktop
Best electric cooktop for small spaces
- One to nine heat-level selector
- Start/pause commands
- Lacks a lot of tech-centric features
While not as big or feature-rich as some of the other cooktops on our list, this affordable four-burner model by EcoTouch is far from a value brand in terms of performance and ease of use. Preparing piping hot meals is easy to do in no time with this fast-acting 6,800-watt cooktop.
A simple one to nine heat-level selector is the only button you’ve got to work with. There are also start/pause commands and a built-in timer. It’s not bourgeois by any means, but the EcoTouch 30-inch Radiant Cooktop gets the job done while keeping things minimalist and cost-effective as a bonus.
KitchenAid KICU509XBL 30-inch
Best electric cooktops for high-end homes
- 12 heating presets
- Five burners
- Smart sensors
- Can add flash or high heat in an instant
We love this impressive KitchenAid cooktop because it lets you choose between 12 heating presets for the ultimate responsive heat-level selector. There are five burners to cycle between, including one 6-inch, two 7-inch, and one 11-inch.
The cooktop also includes a sensor that measures a pan or pot’s size and alerts you if it’s not the right size for a certain burner. Another outstanding feature is the temporary performance booster that applies a flash of high heat to quickly and efficiently add texture or cook food more thoroughly. This cooktop costs more than others on the market, but its unique toolset and flawless construction are worth every penny.
LG LCE3010SB 30-inch electric cooktop
Best electric cooktop for tech-savvy cooks
- Lots of high-tech controls and features
- Keep warm setting
- Safety lock
- On the expensive side
For cooks who prefer more high-tech controls, the LG cooktop looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. A spaceship-like control panel houses an arc of gliding dials that give you immediate control over five different elements. You can see what state they’re in with one glance.
The LG LCE3010SB 30-inch also includes multi-size elements and syncing elements, as well as a “keep warm” setting, a child lock to prevent tampering, and auto shut-off for safety.
Ovente Double Hot Plate Electric Stove
Best portable electric cooktop
- 1,700-watt stainless steel heating tube
- Can withstand a lot of wear and tear
- Anti-skid feet
- Only two burners
- Not many features
For your next big outing — whether tailgating, camping, or RVing, — this portable double-burner travel-top by Ovente is all you'll need to prep food and drink on the go. The two hot plates are powered by the unit's central 1,700-watt stainless steel heating tube, delivering even heating to whatever pot or pan rests on the coils.
The body of the cooktop is made of a highly-resistant metal housing that stands up to years of wear and tear. Plus, the anti-skid feet help the appliance grip to whatever makeshift counter you're housing the cooktop on. As a budget buy, the Ovente Double Hot Plate Electric Stove isn't going to give you the same slew of premium features that a permanent cooktop can, but for under $30, we can't think of a better mobile option for firing up your favorite foods on the go.
Is there a glass cooktop that doesn't scratch?
Generally speaking, glass cooktops are all "scratch-resistant," but that doesn't mean they're completely invincible to any kind of scratch whatsoever. Searching for cooktops, you'll find many models touting 100% scratch-free surfaces, but don't buy into it.
When investing in a glass cooktop of any kind, treat your new countertop appliance well. Use pans that are flat, clean, and free of burn marks and other caked-on obstructions, and always cook with the proper utensils.
How do radiant cooktops work?
Radiant cooktops generate electricity that gets passed through a series of heating elements within the cooktop itself. Once these elements are heated to a preset temperature, the heat is then transferred to our pots, pans, and other cooking utensils.
What should you look for in an electric cooktop?
That depends on what features you're looking for and your budget. When shopping for an electric cooktop with limited funds, sometimes all that matters is that the cooktop is rated well by like-minded buyers, has all the essential knobs and buttons you need, and is easy to operate.
If you've got a bit more cash to spare, you may want to look for a cooktop with multiple elements that are varied in shape, size, and overall power. Advanced controls, patented cooking surfaces, and other add-ons are other premium features that are worth considering when you're spending more.
What's the difference between a gas and electric cooktop?
An electric cooktop, as the name would suggest, is powered by electricity. In order to use this type of cooktop, the appliance must be connected to a power source — in most cases, a 120/240-volt circuit and receptacle.
Gas cooktops do not require a power connection but they do require an actual gas-line to be fed into your kitchen. If you don't already have a gas line in place, you'll need to hire a professional to put one in — although the same can be said for that 240-volt outlet if there isn't one in place already.
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