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You're in the market for a smooth-top stove, but what does that mean? It's a term your contractor or local sales associate used in conversation, but you may not be entirely sure. Don't stress. A "smooth-top" stove is an oven topped with a glass or ceramic surface. Unlike a gas range, it doesn't have cast iron grates covering the flame which prevents food bits from being trapped if they happen to fall out of the pan.
However, despite their ability to thwart hard-to-reach messes, they must be cared for properly as their reflective surfaces can be easily scratched. When prepping a meal, leave your cast iron skillets in the cabinets for the best experience. Start up your stove or cooktop—which can be flushed with your countertops—and wait for the electricity or induction technology to kick in.
The best smooth-top stoves and cooktops to complete your space are below.
Best Overall, Range: GE JB645RKSS 30 in. 5.3 cu. ft. Electric Range with Self-Cleaning Oven
Comes in five finishes
Not as spacious as other models
Cooktop can easily develop scratches
When it comes to a smooth-top range, this GE model has a little bit of everything, which is why it's our top pick. Not only does it have a comfortable 30-inch build, it also has four heating elements, a self-cleaning oven, and 5.3 cubic feet of space to bake every dish you please. There's a lower storage drawer, for easily storing a set of sheet pans and pulling them out when it's time to make roasted chicken, green beans, potatoes, or cookies. Dual element baking technology ensures that whatever you slide into this space is cooked evenly and thoroughly as well.
This item comes in five finishes including black, black slate, slate, stainless steel, and white, making it easy to fit into any kitchen with any style. It has a nice mix of control knobs and electronic touch pads that give it a traditional and modern feel, and provide consistent and reliable performance. All of these controls are found on a back panel, along with indicator lights that note which burners are on.
Ultimately, this piece, like many other from the GE brand, won't let you down or exceed your budget. Its functionality and family-friendly features can be bought at an affordable price tag. It's the best option for your kitchen overall.
Best Overall, Cooktop: Whirlpool WCE55US0HB 30 in. Radiant Electric Ceramic Glass Cooktop
Heats up quickly
Compatible with a wall oven
Has an indicator light
Controls are hard to read
Needs a space slightly bigger than 30 inches wide
If you want a reliable, high-performing cooktop, the Whirlpool WCE55US0HB is a quality pick. This model has a 10-inch element with 2,500 Watts of power, as well as an 8-inch element with 1,800 Watts and two smaller ones with 1,200 Watts. Its thoughtful design includes a flexible heat setting for melting chocolate or keeping sauces at the perfect temperature. No matter what temperature you're hoping to reach, it also heats up quickly, making meal prep a total breeze.
In addition, this appliance is easy to clean. The knobs are dishwasher safe, and can be popped off whenever they start to attract some grime. The glass surface can be gently scrubbed, too. Ultimately the sleek and stylish look will blend with your countertops, and you'll enjoy the indicator light—which reminds cooks if a burner is on. The cooktop is certainly cautious, and also has a hot-surface light that will stay on until a surface is cool enough to touch.
Best Budget, Range: Whirlpool WFE550S0HZ 5.3 cu. ft. Electric Range with Self-Cleaning Convection Oven
Has a storage drawer
Not as spacious as other models
Takes a long time to preheat
If you want to purchase a smooth-top stove but still have room in your budget to update other parts of your kitchen, then this Whirlpool model is for you. It's one of the cheaper models on the market, and offers a total capacity of 5.3 cubic feet, paired with a self-cleaning mode. Like some other models, this range has five heating elements, two of which are adjustable.
Notably, the unit comes in a fingerprint-free, stainless steel finish that'll look very sleek in any kitchen. Additionally, you can feel confident that all dishes are heated evenly and consistently, thanks to the AccuBake technology. It ensures that no matter what you're cooking or baking, you don't need to make an adjustment to the location of your pan. All in all, this piece isn't jam-packed with a list of amenities, but you’ll spend a little less money and feel like your needs have been met.
Best Budget, Cooktop: Empava EMPV-IDC24 24 in. 4 Elements Black Induction Cooktop
Power boost setting
Compatible with a wall oven
No burner syncing
No smart features
Adding a cooktop to your home may be a necessity or a splurge decision. But, either way, you don't need to spend big bucks on the smooth-top cooktop you buy. This induction cooktop from Empava has many features of the higher-end models, but keeps the price tag at bay. You'll need a 24-inch wide space to add its four burners to your space, which are powered by induction technology.
Now, you can't synchronize multiple burners within this model to create a larger cooking space. However, you can make use of nine heat level settings that are both efficient and precise. Each element also has specialty setting like a power boost, so you can speed up your cooking process and fine-tune it to your liking.
This unit can be installed over a wall oven, if you want to save space or amp up an appliance you already own. This feature alone can help save you money and time shopping for an entirely new smooth-top range.
Best Slide-In: LG Electronics LSE4616ST 6.3 cu. ft. Smart Slide-In Induction Range with ProBake Convection
Has a storage drawer
Stylish control knobs
Smart home compatible
Controls can be difficult to see
No temperature probe
Those who are in the market for a slide-in range with a smooth cooking surface should look no further than this appliance from LG Electronics. It has the stylish front knobs and precise heating abilities of a gas range, but is no stranger to modern kitchens. The model includes five burners, a storage drawer for keeping sheet pans close, and an oven with convection cooking technology.
In addition to these features, it also has a 10-minute cleaning cycle that'll rid the cavity of light messes, oil stains, and grime in a breeze. This cycle is known as LG's EasyClean technology, and makes the range much more enjoyable to use. Not to mention, the unit is smart home compatible, meaning you can pair it to an app on your smartphone and control it from there.
Whether you want the oven to start preheating or you want to check on your meal while you're in another room, the app will allow you to do so. You can also speak your commands to another device—like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant—and get the same job done. All in all, this range is easy to use. Just know: the controls can be difficult to see sometimes, and you'll want to use soft cookware to enhance its lifetime.
Best Slide-In with Downdraft: KitchenAid KSEG950ESS 6.4 cu. ft. Downdraft Slide-In Electric Range
Central ventilation system
Spacious oven cavity
Converts convection settings for you
Takes a long time to preheat
If you’re looking for a smooth top electric range with downdraft, the KitchenAid KSEG950ESS is our top pick. This range will be an easy addition to a gourmet kitchen, and will make any cook happy with its suite of features. These features include a cooktop with center ventilation, to draw air down and away from your cooking surface, and four heating elements. This eliminates the need for a hood over your range, so you can install it within a kitchen island, or other countertop configuration where a hood is either not practical or desirable.
In addition, the spacious oven has true convection technology, that uses a bow-tie design for the heating element. A fan keeps air moving so the heat is evenly distributed, as well. For cooks that are new to convection baking, the oven has EasyConvect conversion technology to assist in choosing the right heat setting and cooking time. While this unit is priced with high-end, smooth-top ranges, it's a good pick where downdraft ventilation is preferred and modern features are a priority.
Best with Double Oven: LG Electronics LDE4413ST 7.3 cu. ft. Double Oven Electric Range with ProBake Convection
Quick cleaning cycle
Hard to access the lower oven
Back burners don't accommodate large cookware well
If you need to feed a crowd, the LG Electronics LDE4413ST can't be beat. This smooth-top range was built for cooking many dishes at once, and makes clean-up simple. The five-element cooktop features two adjustable heating elements, and a warming zone. This is on par with other smooth-top electric ranges in the middle of the price range. The front of the range features knob controls for easy stovetop cooking, while the oven is configured by a glass digital control panel at the rear of the appliance.
Where this appliance differs from most is its ProBake convection oven. It has 7.3 cubic feet of space split between dual ovens. This is plenty of room to cook up a three-course meal or a feast for your next dinner party. Now, it's important to note that only the lower oven has convection cooking. However, cleaning up the oven cavities is easy thanks to a 10-minute EasyClean setting. The setting uses water to dissolve messes and eliminate odors, leaving you with a sparkly space to prep another meal.
If you're in the market for a smooth-top range, the GE JB645RKSS (view at Home Depot) is our top pick, because it's both high-performing and stylish. It has a 30-inch build that can be easily installed in many households, a self-cleaning oven, and a storage drawer for keeping your sheet pans at bay. If you'd prefer to add a smooth-top cooktop to your household, then shop for the Whirlpool WCE55US0HB (view at Lowe's) that has indicator lights to alert you of active burners, and flexible heat settings for precise cooking.
What to Look for in a Smooth-Top Stove and Cooktop
You can pick between a smooth-top stove or cooktop, depending on the layout of your home and your desired cooking experience. A smooth-top stove will include an oven, which is ideal if you don't have a wall oven in your home currently and want the option to bake, roast, or keep dishes warm. This type of smooth-top appliance is a good pick for larger households, or those who entertain. On the contrary, if you already have a wall oven, or live in an RV and don't need one, then a cooktop is the right fit for you. It has a single purpose, but will give you the tools to prep pasta, sauté vegetables, and cook pancakes in compatible pots and pans.
Capacity refers to the amount of space in a smooth-top range's oven cavity. If you decide to purchase this type of appliance, consider this measurement, since it dictates what you can put inside. Typically, a smooth-top range has around 5.8 cubic feet of space. However, this measurement can be stretched to nearly 7.5 cubic feet in larger models or double ovens. It can also hover around 5.3 cubic feet, which is enough to roast a smaller turkey. Now, capacity doesn't apply to cooktops. However, you should still consider the number of burners a model has, as it'll also dictate how much you can cook at one time. A smooth-top cooktop will have four or five burners.
Smooth-top appliances can have many other features that make them a worthwhile purchase. Where some of these features will add to the price of the model, they may also save you time, energy, or even money in the long-run. Extra features your appliance can have include adjustable burners that'll allow you to use larger cookware, and a power boost setting that'll allow you to sear meat and bring water to a boil much faster. Some models also have additional safety features like control lock and virtual flame technology that alerts you when a burner is on and hot.
If your induction range has a self-cleaning mode, it's very easy to rid your oven cavity of grime or any other messes. The feature uses high-heat to turn any oil splatters and grime into dust, which you can then wipe away with a wet cloth. In the process, your oven will generate a lot of heat, so you'll want to open your windows and keep the kitchen ventilated. Ultimately, this feature takes an item off your to-do list, and is a step up from a steam clean.
In order to accommodate cookware in many sizes, induction ranges can feature adjustable burners. These burners sense the diameter of your pan, and don’t restrict you to just using one large or small element at a time. This feature is most convenient for households who require more flexibility when cooking, because they entertain often or have many family members.
A proofing setting turns your oven cavity into a humid and warm console that's great for baking. In this warm space, your dough can gently rise, before it bakes and turns into the bread you want it to be. If you didn't already know, warmth triggers the fermentation process and allows the yeast in the dough to expand. For that reason, this feature helps even new bakers achieve professional results.
How do I clean a smooth-top stove and cooktop?
To clean a smooth-top stove and cooktop, first make sure the entire appliance is turned off and cooled down. To tackle the oven cavity, use the appliance's self-cleaning mode or scrub the inner surfaces by hand. For a more natural approach, you can combine a 1/2 cup of baking soda with two tablespoons of water, and spread the paste on the surfaces. For more on this, see our guide on how to clean an oven.
When it comes to the cooktop, you'll want to approach cleaning with a lot of care. Once the cooktop is cool, spray a homemade cleaning solution or all-purpose cleaner with a degreaser on the surface. Use a soft cloth to spread the solution around the surface, before dipping a fresh cloth in water and taking the solution away. You can tackle any leftover spills and stains with baking soda and vinegar, which is detailed in our guide on how to clean a glass cooktop.
Are smooth-top stoves and cooktops scratch-resistant?
Smooth-top stoves and cooktops are not scratch-resistant. In fact, they're quite prone to scratches if you don't care for them properly. To avoid scratching your new appliance, you'll want to avoid rough or abrasive cleaning tools, in addition to rough cookware. While cast iron is compatible with electric units (It's not compatible with induction ones.), you may want to steer clear of it to preserve the look of your unit. For more, see our guide on what not to do on a ceramic or glass cooktop.
How long do smooth-top stoves and cooktops last?
Electric stoves and cooktops typically last around 10 to 13 years, while induction stoves and cooktops last eight to 10 years. You can extend the lifespan of your model by caring for it properly: making sure any baked-on spills are taken care of right away, and that everything is hooked up correctly right from the get-go. Induction appliances have a naturally shorter lifespan because their magnets can become worn and tired over time. To properly care for this appliance, make sure your stovetop or cooktop isn't running for very long periods of time.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written and updated by Marisa Casciano, who is the large appliance expert for The Spruce. Throughout her career, she's researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, cooktops, and more in the home and lifestyle space. She has ample experience cooking on gas, electric, and smooth-top stoves, to create meals for herself and her fiancé.