Didn't like cleaning ceramic glass cooktop...induction??

mltomsJuly 29, 2013

Hi there,

I'm a newbie, and my ancient stove just kicked the bucket. About to start an entire remodel. One of the first things I need to decide is about the stove.

So, my first (of probably very many questions): I disliked cleaning the ceramic glass electric stove top I inherited with the house. Will induction be any better?

Part of the problem was that the previous owner hadn't kept it super clean, so there was a ring around the primary eye that I could never get clean. I always felt like it made my pans sticky. While I hate the range overall (a Jenn-Air downdraft), at least I could replace the cartridges with the old electric coils.

Since induction surfaces don't get quite as hot as ceramic, will I have more time to keep it clean?

Thanks in advance.

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Most of the stovetop ceramic does not get hot with induction burners . When stuff spills over onto the cooktop, you can wipe it up. If you leave it be, it does not bake on.

A couple of exceptions.

First, if a boil over gets under the pan, you want to get that pretty quick, but it is easy. Just pick up the pot or pan and set it down on a kitchen towel (you want to get the wet stuff off the bottom of the pan because the pan otherwise may be making obnoxious noises and smells, and also winds up being harder to clean off.) The burner shuts itself off (or you just hit off and save a few seconds.) Give it a moment to cool a bit, wipe it off, put the pan back, and turn the heat back to where you had it. Almost takes longer to describe than to do.

The other exception is for anything with a high sugar content. If left untended, that stuff can etch the surface of any stove with a ceramic top (radiant, induction, and the "gas on glass" ones, too.) I found that working with sugar syrups was one of the times when I found it handy to put a layer of newspaper or paper towels down.

For frying spatters, I usually do not bother. I just spritz the top with a spray cleaner (Windex, for example) and wipe with a mircofiber cloth or paper towel. If the top strats getting streaky, then its time for a quick rub and polish with something like Ceramabryte.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 7:06PM
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I have had my GE Profile slide in induction range for about 3 months now - I too previously had a ceramic top electric range - which I hated, as it was impossible to keep clean. Spills would bake into the ceramic etc.
I can tell you that the induction cooktop is a pleasure to keep clean - exactly as JWVideo decribes. I use Perfect Glass cleaner (available at Bath Bed and Beyond) with a microfibre cloth or paper towel, and every few days a quick rub and polish with one of the glass cooktop cleaners like Cerambryte. Absolutely no problem.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 10:52PM
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Thank you so much! I was afraid I was deluding myself since I want induction. Glad to hear from people who have used both!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:04AM
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I, too, had a radiant ceramic cooktop that I loathed, both for the inability to control the heat and the inability to keep the thing clean.

Induction is so very easy to keep clean, everything said above is true. And even better, you can control the heat.

I use a microfiber on mine, wipe with a damp cloth (and a spot of soap if it's greasy), follow with the microfiber. It polishes up in a few seconds. Awesome.

You're gonna love it.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:28AM
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If I were doing a remodel, I would only opt for a gas cooktop. Any one of several that others have reported on here. We have no natural gas here, but I would have opted for propane if the estimate for plumbing it in hadn't been so high. I don't think there is a better option for cooktops but everyone has their own opinion.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 1:42PM
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There are some slide-in induction ranges, but you can expand your options with a cooktop and oven below. Or the oven can go at another location.
The speed of induction over other choices both in heat up and cool down is another benefit.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Same as above -- hated the constant cleaning and poor temp control of ceramic. With the Bosch induction, it's like I've died and gone to heaven. Just use water, or a tiny bit of dish washing detergent if greasy with a microfiber cloth, rinse with water, and dry with an all cotton towel. In a year I've never had to use anything else and daily it looks like new.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 11:21PM
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I never had ceramic but my induction is easy to clean - I just use dish soap or occassionally a ceramic cleaner if ambitious.
I will have to try glass cleaner

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 6:32PM
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mltoms, what JWVideo wrote above is correct. In this context, you may weigh what nerdyshopper has to say on this criterion: apparently nerdyshopper has experience with gas cooking, but she has no experience with induction cooktops.

We are more than 13 years into using an induction cooktop, and cleaning problems have been the least of our worries, for the reason that JWVideo recites.

We have some Weiman's -- the "standard" cooktop cleaner, available everywhere -- that we use maybe every six weeks or so. (Hint: pour just a dab of the Weiman's onto the paper towel, then apply, rather than pouring the Weiman's onto the cooktop directly.) It cleans as advertised.

But for day-to-day cleaning, Windex Multi-Surface Vinegar is more than adequate to keep the surface quite clean. As a supplement to cleaning up after spills, a spritz of Windex every couple of days, wiped up with a paper towel, keeps our cooktop sparkling clean. And the pristine surface of our current 2007-era LG induction cooktop looks the same today as the surface of our first (Jenn-Air) induction cooktop looked in 1999 on the day that we installed it.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 10:20PM
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With the induction cook top, do you have to have special pots and pans? I found a nice Bosch induction cook top with pot sense. Do all induction cook tops have that pot-sense technology?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 5:02PM
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I don't have a problem keeping the ceramic clean but I still don't like it (now I know what you meant Auntie!). It's the "others" you have to worry about. If the stove top isn't clean my DH and the daughter will cook on it regardless and I'm left to scrubbing it until I get all the cooked in grime out.

Not going to take any chances on an induction. My next kitchen will have a gas range.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:12PM
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There is no cooked-in grime with induction. Just isn't because the cooktop itself doesn't get very hot.

Suzan, yes, you need special pots to cook on induction - they must be magnetic. I bought a set if Tramontina Tri-ply and they're inexpensive and terrific. Cast iron also works.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:34PM
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Maybe a bit of clarification for SuzanT on special pots?

It isn't that you need "special" pans for induction so much as you need to be choosy about which regular pans you buy. You can use any regular pan that is either made from a magnetic metal (such as cast iron, carbon steel or magnetic stainless steel) or has a magnetic disk across the bottom.

There is no such thing as a pan that works only on induction ranges and not on gas and other kinds of electric stoves.

Get magnet --- even a refrigerator magnet -- and check the pans you now have. If the magnet sticks to the base of any of them, those are pans you can use on induction.

If want to buy new pans, it is the same thing. The Tramontina set that sjhockeyfan mentioned, that is the same set you buy for use on any other kind of stove. Maybe you like All-Clad, a somewhat expensive brand. You use the same AC stainless steel pans that you use for a gas or any other kind of stove. (You just buy the stainless All-Clad rather than the AC pans with the aluminum exterior cladding.)

If you want a cast iron fry pan, you can go to any hardware store and buy the same $20 Lodge cast-iron fry pan you would buy for use on any other stove. If you already have a cast iron fry pan that you got from your grandmother, its magnetic, too, and you do not need to buy a new one.

If you want a relatively inexpensive set of non-stick annodized-aluminum pans, you can go to Costco and buy the very same $150 to $200 set of Kirkland or "Circulon Pro" pans that you would use on any other stove. Same thing with the many other brands of pans sold at other store.

Same thing when you shop at thrift stores like Goodwill. As long as a magnet sticks to the base, the pan will work on an induction stove.

If you want to do a search on this topic, there are dozens of threads in this forum, in the cookware forum, and all across the web about this topic.

On your question about "does all induction have pot sense?" --- yes. Different brands may call it by different names, but all of them have it. An induction burner will not work unless there is a minimum size of pan on it. Take a pan away, and the burner shuts off the induction coils. Put too small a pan on an induction burner, it won't come on.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Thu, Feb 6, 14 at 10:42

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:28AM
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That's a much better explanation than mine, but here's the shortened version -- all pots that work on induction will also work on gas and regular electric, but not all pots that work on gas and regular electric will work on induction. By the way,IKEA 365+ works on induction, and they're cheap and pretty good.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 11:17AM
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"Not going to take any chances on an induction. My next kitchen will have a gas range."

Whatta buncha "Hogwash".

I have both gas cooktop and Induction.

There is NO comparison to the cleaning chores for each.

The induction cleaning is a "Non event", while it can take hours to clean the gas cooktop, lifting the heavy grates, etc etc~~~~ and it never looks new like the induction does after cleaning~~~which is usually just a swipe with a damp rag, or if I'm really lazy, I just cover the induction cooktop with paper towels before using it. Now try that with your "Gas Cooktop"!!!!

I had a conventional smoothtop electric cooktop and it was the hardest cooktop we ever had to clean, but Induction is a "Whole New Game"~~~~~take the time to learn about it!!!

Time for you to study up and become better informed than to show your "Ignorance" by putting up a post like you just did!!!!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 7:31PM
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Dodge59- excuse me but a rude reply to any poster is not necessary or desirable on GW. We are all entitled to our opinions- FWIW, I do have a new induction cooktop & totally love it- it cleans as easy as a granite countertop!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 7:40PM
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Well, I didn't think gary's post was rude until I read Bev's reply.

I agree with Bev on the importance of maintaining civil discourse here.

One the one hand, I can understand Gary's irritation with a posting that sounds completely ignorant of what has been written above. One would think goodbyekitty --- who has been a member here since 2008 according to the membership page --- ought to know the difference between radiant electric smoothtops and induction.

On the other hand, I have to wonder if Goodbyekitty just misposted something in the wrong thread?. I mean, who is the "Auntie" that goodbyekitty is ostensibly agreeing with? (Do a word search on this page (Ctrl-F in your browser) and see if you can find any other "Auntie" in this thread.) If the misposting was inadvertant, then Gary's "hogwash" comment may be accurate but uncharcteristically harsh in a place where most us make an effort at civility. Gary has made many helpful postings over the years.

And, of course, some of our comments inevitably come across in writing to some people as harsher than intended.

But, really, at this late date, confusing induction with radiant smoothtops without relating any first hand expeience? If that is really the case here, then "hogwash" seems like an appropriate response.

Anyway, going back to the subject of this thread, I think Gary has overstated the relative ease of cleaning. For now, I've got a gas range with a stainless-steel top. It it has been pretty much as easy to clean as the induction cooktops I've had in the past. That is, once one gets beyond removing the heavy grates. Removing and replacing those grates could be very onerous for some people even though it seems trivial for me. OTOH, cleaning the enameled top and burner pans of my prior DF stove was very much the kind of royal pain that Gary describes for his gas cooktop. It really varies with stove. The good thing about induction ranges, in this respect, is that they are pretty much all easy to clean.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:12PM
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Holy cow hold on. Just because I've been here since 2008 doesn't mean I've been sitting on the appliance board this whole time. I don't know about induction because up to now I haven't been that far into remodeling my kitchen until recently. It would have been earlier if knee surgery's and failed heat pumps didn't happen in our "new" old home. We've replaced a heat pump, some carpet, wood floors, put in a built in bar, and many other updates that hadn't been taken care of with the previous owners.

So I'm still learning. My Aunt did not like her ceramic cook top and now that I have one I can understand why. I did not know that induction would not burn food gunk into the top. This is the first I've learned that and thank you for letting me know! But because I'm turned off to ceramic, I really didn't research the induction because looks wise, they almost look alike. I barely know anything about convection or steam ovens but I'm being swayed by GW to research.

I didn't want to make anyone upset and I'm sorry if I made an ignorant remark. Sometimes I don't always read the follow up posts right away and just jump in with my experience. I really don't know about induction cook tops and my interest has always been with gas ranges. I hope we're ok, I really do apologize.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:54PM
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Hey ya'all ... Just thought I would add my 2 cents ... I have to agree with everyone on induction , cleanup is a breeze ...And since I'm the one who has to clean up after "the messy" cook ( me) , I appreciate the ease... But honestly , lighten up ...it's just a forum , and we are just expressing opinion ... And some maybe not so rationally thought .... With the price of ranges , we all seem to get defensive over our choices .... The real purpose to is to get educated , and for some , a place to become an educated buyer ... I found the insights and opinions invaluable here...and it's what led me to consider induction ... I learned enuff to be able to ask the right questions , seek out the elusive demos and ignore the ignorance of the salesman ..... I couldn't be happier ... And I've learned so much about pans and how really important they are to performance of your range .... But that's a story for another day ... As always , I invite anyone to write me directly if you have direct questions ... Search Racing Red induction ....

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 1:46AM
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I think people were just taken aback by how firmly goodbyekitty was in the "gas" camp, when she had no actual experience/knowledge of the "induction" side. I think its great that she bothered to come back to explain!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 11:37AM
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My apologies to goodbyekitty.

I "cudda/shudda" chosen my words a bit more carefully.

To goodbyekitty's credit, She did admit to not doing the proper amount of research before the post, which was my point, alto not pointed out by me in the most "Articulate Fashion"!

There is probably no greater hater of non induction glass cooktops on Garden Web, than ME!!!!!

I had one, cost me an arm and a leg to buy it. Was a 36" semi-circle and the granite was cut out to fit it flush.
Granite installers did a beautiful, in fact "Perfect Job" of the installation~~~~looked fantastic! It was a Purely "Form over Function" purchase for me. I did not do my homework checking out the manufacturer, I did not plan for "What If's"
What if it fails???? Well it did fail in less than 2 year and I had to replace it and redo the granite.

The less than 2 years we had it were a night mare! It was a bear to clean and keep clean, in fact impossible and we aren't sloppy cooks. The keypad which was right in the bottom middle of the cooktop was particularly sensitive to dirt of any kind, ~~grease~~water spots~~~You name it!
The thing would unlock itself and start beeping at us, even when we were in another room~~~~It was driving the wife NUTS!!!!!
Well the end of that succer came , when one night, it unlocked itself, turn the biggest burner full on, and not that far away sat a dishtowel~~~~Next day that succer was in the trash!!!

Well now what?????
We thought about putting in gas, We have a gas cooktop in our "Patio Kitchen". It has worked well for 10 years or so and never had any problems, but it really is a PITA to clean and at our age lifting heavy grates is not our idea of fun, not to mention the scrubbing required.

Well by then, I had discovered Garden Web, and started reading post about Induction, We were still "one of the first"
here in Garden Web to go with Induction. Absolutely love everything about it!~~~~and with my "Especially Bad Experience with a conventional Electric cooktop~~~Well~~~Maybe~~~Just Maybe, I'm a bit sensitive when I see a post that can't detect the "World of Difference between the two different types of Electric Cook tops


    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 7:29PM
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I'm glad you guys forgave me. I was afraid I was going to have to become a lurker or change my user name. Which I should because it makes me feel like I don't like cats but I actually do.

There is just so much to digest here in these forums, I could go hours if I had more time. But I have to allocate my time between Pinterest and Houzz too so that's a problem. When we finally are ready to remodel the kitchen I will be going down to our local shop here that sells mid to high end appliances and then I will be asking more questions here, just so you know.

But thanks, I'm glad I know better now between induction and glass cook tops. It's not completely off my list now since I read somewhere else that it was quite an expense to run gas lines in for their new range.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:13PM
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I want to agree with the follow-up responses and also to thank Goodbyekitty for giving us a clarifying post.

In hindsight, this was an object lesson for the comment I made about how postings will sometimes come across as much harsher and more dogmatic than intended. I took goodbyekitty's comment as saying more than actually was intended. My own hurried post now seems, in retrospect, much sharper and far less balanced than I intended. Thereby exemplifying my own cautionary words.

I would add for goodbyekitty that there can be a lot more to choosing a stove or cooktop than induction versus gas versus electric. Every stove will represent design choices and compromises. The hard part is figuring out what all those differences are and how they matter (or do not matter) to you.

For being new to induction, you might want to have a look at the long running thread from a year ago on the topic witether any induction users regretted getting induction. Interestingly enough, there were a couple of dust-ups over misunderstandings there, too, but folks perservered and -- at least in my opinion -- we wound up with some pretty informative exchanges and clarified things that were misunderstood. In case you may find this informative on induction, I've posted the link below.

I also recommend Luv2Putt's orignal "racing red induction" thread. Both interesting and very entertaining even though, for some us, it was a bit like reading a thread on a Maserati while shopping for a Prius. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Does Anyone Here Who Went Induction Regret Your Choice?

This post was edited by JWVideo on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 23:11

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 11:02PM
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Simple fact is that there isn't any easier to clean cooking surface than induction. Stuff doesn't get burned on, no place for anything to drip. How could it get easier?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 10:10AM
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I love my induction range - easy to keep clean and looks as new as it did the day we got it. I love that it shuts itself off when the pans are removed. I always feared leaving an eyelet on with my old electric range - never did have ceramic.

This doesn't have anything to do with the induction part but since I have used the self cleaning cycle for the oven, I have noticed that my oven temperature doesn't stay at the temp it is set for. It will heat to that point, beep to tell me it is there, then it continues to get hotter - up to aboout 50 degrees hotter than what it is set at. We have used oven thermometers and they all read the same and the baked goods get too brown too quickly. I have learned to adjust for it but we read that the self cleaning's high heat blows the sensor. Wondering if anyone else has experienced it? My range is the GE Profile Induction.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 11:25PM
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To start with, this is enough off topic that you might not get as wide a range of answers and attention as you would if you posted a new thread with this question. Please understand that I am not telling you to go away; I'm only telling you that a new thread might get your clearer and better informed answers to your specific questions.

Okay, that having been said, it seems to me that maybe you need to have oven temperature control and cycling explained so that we can rule out or rule in the possibility that the microprocessors have been toasted by the self-cleaning cycle.

First thing is this: oven preheat signals are lies, pure and simple. They only measure the air temperature in the oven but what you need for even and proper baking is to fully preheat the cavity (oven walls, celing, floor, etc.) That takes longer than the "preheat." In most ovens (including those in GE Profile ranges) "fast preheating" is advertising hype and bragging rights, not reality.

Here's how an oven works, electric ovens in particular. (I say all of this from having owned and used a GE Profiile DF range for a decade and something. If you already know this, then just take this as putting us all on the same page for discussion.)

You turn the oven on and set the temperature dial/touchpad to say, 350F. With an electric oven, and some gas ovens, both the top (broiler) and bottom (baking) elements come on. (And, with some newer convection ovens, the rear "convection" element also may come on.) The air temperature climbs and the walls etc. also start to heat up. When the air temp hits 350F, the sensor says the oven is preheated. Except that it is not. Most of baking is actually done with ehat radiating from the walls fof the oven cavity, not the air termperature. (Mhyrvold's Modernist Cusine website and book explain this in great technical detail if you want the geeky details.) What actually happens is that the bottom and top burners continue running until the actual air temp climbs a lot. In your case, it apparently climbs another 50F. Then (hopefully) it shuts off.

Trouble is, if you put your baked goods into the oven when the preheat signal goes off, the top burner is still hot and likely is still operating. At this point, you might as well put your pie, your roast, your whatever under the broiler. The top will burn.

OTOH, if you wait a few more minutes after the air temp hits the programmed max and the burners shut off. The air temp starts to fall, Your oven cavity's walls are picking up heat and catching up with the air temp but are not there yet. Another four or five minutes -- maybe ten with some ovens -- and the air temp falls to 325F or even 300F. One or more burners come on again. And, once again, the temp goes above your set point. It might go 50F above or it might go a bit less this time. My vintage 2000 GE Profile DF would go 50F above and then drop 50 below, then go 40 above, then cool to 40 below, then go 30F above and below. As best I could tell, the top element was used only in the initial run up but your newer stove may do this a bit differently. It would cycle maybe 25F above and below using only the bottom and convection heating elements, After about 30 minutes, it would reach a sort of equlibrium and the temperature would average around the set-point. Basically, most ovens take 20 to 30 minutes to actually stabliize at a baking temprerature.

Now, if your oven is now running 50F above the set point, but not otherwise failing to work, it is possible that the observed symptom would have been the result of damage caused by the self-cleaning cycle but not probable. My experience is that when something goes wrong from overheating during or as a result of a self-cleaning cycle, the failure is typically catstrophic. Such as, the oven stops working altogether.

To me, a more likely and simpler culprit is that the oven calibration has drifted. Is the oven running consistently 50F over the set point after a 20 to 30 preheat? If the oven is consistently too hot (after giving it at least half an hour to properly preheat), then I would look at the use and care guide in the section on adjusting the oven termperature settings.

Hope this helps get your started o sorting out the problem.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Mon, Feb 10, 14 at 13:12

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 1:24AM
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