Recommendations for Electric Coil Range?

gilmoregalOctober 8, 2013

My mother's old 30" electric coil range is on its last leg and would cost more to repair than replace. She is in her 80's and does not adapt well to change, so she wants another electric coil range instead of smooth top, induction, etc. She would also like a unit with front control knobs. This obviously limits her choices to just a few manufacturers - Frigidaire, Whirlpool, and GE, from what I have been able to find. Does anyone have any recent experience with getting this type of range? Are there any models that we should or shouldn't consider? Thanks for any suggestions.

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You are sure correct - there aren't many choices. I have an old Amana with front controls that is not fancy but has worked fine for me for 13 years. (I want a new induction range but they are expensive).

A quick search shows that most of the front control models are small, ADA compliant models. It looks like the front controls on regular models have been discontinued - for safety, I wonder?

If you are in a populated area you might try looking for a used one. It is a hassle to bring it home but it might get you what you want.

Good luck and say Hi to your Mother.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 4:17PM
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oregpsnow, I appreciate that suggestion. We may have to look at used but would really prefer to get her a new one. I failed to mention that her current range is a slide-in, so if replace with another slide-in, there are a few 30" models with front control knobs made by Frigidaire, Whirlpool, and GE. I was just hoping that someone had some recent experience with those brands.
My daughter replaced her slide-in range a few years ago with a KitchenAid model, and she likes it very much. Unfortunately, it is a smooth top, and my Mother is concerned about scratching, as she frequently uses her old cast iron skillet....

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:32AM
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There is zero problems with cast iron and a smooth top range. It would really be the best choice economically for the features that you would be getting. There are only a handful of slide in coil tops, and I'm not sure if they all haven't been discontinued because I haven't sold one in forever. As in over 5 years.

Or, if you want something truly safe for an elderly person to use, induction would be the safest choice. There the timer bit, where if she forgets about the pan on the stove, it turns off. And, it won't heat up anything to burn here, only the pan on the burner.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:06PM
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You might try posting your question in the Harvest forum here because coil burners are often popular with people who do canning.

Beyond that, here's about all I can suggest.

GE's new "Artistry" line has a regular freestanding electric range with front mounted controls which lists for about $600 but probably sells for less. Looks like a vintage 1950 stove but with the downside for you that the line only has it as a smoothtop.

As best I can tell, GE makes a couple of freestanding, 30" coil burner stoves with front mounted controls: the JBS45DFWW for about $540 (manual clean oven); the JB450DFCC for $675 (self-clean oven). Whirlpool makes one with a self cleaning oven, the WFC340S0AW. None of these are rated by Consumer Reports but the other coil burners by GE get pretty good marks. The less expensive Whirlpool coil burners get dinged for poor broiler performance. The membership surveys show GE and Whirlpool electric stoves as tops for reliability.

I think Peerless stoves has several coil burners with controls in front which they sell under their "Premier" brand. I saw one at Lowe's recently but other on-line vendors (like AJ Madison) also carry them. IIRC, the prices run in the range of $450 to $650. All are manual clean ovens. Not much in the way of reviews to be found and most of the discussion here about Peerless PRemier has been about the gas stoves. (Most folks not impressed.)

Pretty much everything else I've seen with front mounted controls is a slide-in or drop-in style of stove and they start getting expensive as you doubtless already know.

Not to disagree with GreenDesigns, but the concern with cast-iron scratching smoothtops is not from using cast iron pans but rather from dragging rough, uncoated cast iron. Some people have problems and others do not. think there was a thread here summer before last discussing induction stoves and cast iron. Some people reported doing all kinds of bad things with cast iron without consequence to the ceramic top. Others reported problems with sliding anything on their cooktops.

Seems to me the bigger concern with cast iron and smoothtops is that, as we age, some of us get clumsier and that raises concerns about dropping a heavy cast iron pan onto the cooktop and maybe cracking the top.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Fri, Oct 11, 13 at 17:40

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 5:32PM
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GreenDesigns - I appreciate your input. There are still a few slide in coil tops (at least according to AJ Madison), but the selection is minimal.
So - you wouldn't be too concerned about scratching with a cast iron skillet on a smooth top? I have a smooth top cooktop (KitchenAid) and haven't had issue, but I'm very careful. Mom hasn't had to be careful with her coil top, and I worry that if the skillet slides, especially when the top is hot, it will scratch. Are there any smooth cooktops that will be less likely to scratch than others?
I agree about induction - just not sure she would want to invest in all new cookware and spend the extra money on induction.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 5:55PM
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There are only a couple of sources for the ceramic cooktop glass, and I do not recall seeing any recent reports on some smoothtops being less likely to scratch than others.

With induction, she would not need all all new cookware --- her cast iron pans will work great on induction. Also, with induction, she could lay down a paper towel, kitchen towel or parchment paper. As long as she doesn't crank up to high heat, these things would protect against scratching. (Crank the pans over 451F and the paper may ignite.)

But your are so right when you say "Extra money on induction." AFAIK, the least expensive induction range is the new Kenmore (Electrolux) model which is currently about $1350. It has knobs for burner controls but they are on the backsplash, not the front of the stove like your mother prefers. When you want controls in front, you are looking at slide-ins from GE ($2800+), Kenmore ($2900 to $3100), or Electrolux ($3200).

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 9:45PM
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>I do not recall seeing any recent reports on some smoothtops being less likely to scratch than others.

It does seem that Samsung gets more complaints about this than other brands, and looking at the floor models in our local big box stores, they do always seem to be slightly worse looking than the rest. I wonder if Samsung doesn't use Ceran, but some copy of their own. I've been paying attention because one of the ranges on my shortlist is a samsung (radiant, not induction).

EDIT I've looked all over the documentation for the one I'm interested in and they never once refer to Schott or Ceran, which is interesting.

This post was edited by writersblock on Sat, Oct 12, 13 at 10:04

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 9:56PM
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I would probably go with the slide in GE. While I haven't purchased one lately, I and my grandfather each have one in homes that are about 13 yrs old and both still work really well. Here is a link to Best Buy, which offers one like you wanted. It also has an integrated backsplash, free delivery, and looks like a fairly good price.

PS: I agree with her - I would choose coil over smooth top any day!

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Buy GE Coil Range

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Thank you all for taking time to post. I appreciate all of the information. JWVideo - you were right about the additional concern of dropping a heavy pan onto the smooth top and cracking it - I had not even considered that. I will let my mom make the final choice, but I think a coil top is probably what she will choose. If so, we will check into the GE slide-in models.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:37AM
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