What are easiest to clean range tops?

jaxoNovember 14, 2010

I'm looking for a 30 inch slide in range that handles spills, overflowing pots and grease splatters best and have quickest and easiest possible clean up.

I now have a gas range with sealed burners and it's not *that bad* to clean up except the grates. It is almost impossible to get stains off of the grates after a pot boils over and spills burn on to it.

I am tired of constant scrubbing and still not getting everything off of the grates.

Is there a different type of grate that cleans up easier?

I am also thinking of switching to an electric smooth top type stove, but won't spills then burn and crust on the stove top? Are the delicate and subject to easy damage if someone accidentally drops a heavy pot on the surface?

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Yes, if it is the standard electric smooth-top. Not so much, if its induction. I like induction; several brands make induction slide-in ranges now.

Don't drop heavy pots on it! Geez...

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 8:06PM
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I was confused about terms. It is not a "slide in," it is a 30 inch "free standing" model.
I also heard that you have to delicately place pots on the stove, because if the pot moves, it will scratch up the surface. Has anyone noticed this?

What are recommendations for induction ranges available in 30 inch free standing models?
I will be looking at models available in normal consumer retail stores such as Sears and Best Buy as opposed to high end appliance showrooms.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 8:30PM
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Another option I might consider is a standard gas range with some kind of easier to clean non-stick grates.
Once problem I have with my current range is that the painted grates cover 2 burners each and are so bulky that they are very awkward to wash without scratching up the ceramic sink. Burned grease is impossible to get off.
Maybe a gas sealed burner range with individual grates that could be left to soak underwater would be another option.

Any recommendations on easiest to clean gas ranges if I decide not to go with induction?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 8:40PM
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Fori is not pleased

If cleaning ease is worthwhile, I gotta say...induction is awesome. It takes a while to get used to, and there may be some cussing, but nothing gets burned on.

I moved into a house with an old induction cooktop (from 1983) and didn't like it. It prompted me to start planning my remodel. But by the time I got to the point of picking my new gas cooktop I liked the cleaning aspect of induction enough to get another one. (OK, I also liked the way it cooked--excellent control and more power.)

I've had gas stoves. They're fun. Until they're dirty. Same with smooth electric (except they aren't ever fun).

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 8:51PM
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I consider myself a sloppy cook. I measure the fun I had cooking with the level of mess I leave behind when I'm done.

I've never had a gas stove. For the first 11 years of marriage, I had coil cooktops (in 7 different apartments) and I considered them the worst to clean. Might as well toss out the liners every few years and start fresh.

Then we bought our first house, and for the next 19 years I had glass/ceramic topped electric stoves (4 total) and never thought they were all that hard to clean compared to coil - But they weren't all that easy so I'd let them go too long, and then spend about 20 minutes scrubbing them, but they always came out looking like brand new. The only one I ever got even a scratch on was the last one when I was using my 16 qt Presto pressure canner - and I didn't lift it fully before trying to adjust it on the burner. Wasn't much of a scratch - but I knew where to look. I had that stove for 6 years and other than the scratch, when cleaned it looked brand new. I hated cleaning them though, probably why I only did it when it got so bad I couldn't handle it anymore (we almost never have company so I wasn't worried about that). ALready cooked on yuck didn't seem to hamper performance and once it was cooked on, it didn't seem to get any worse from being cooked on about 20 more times before I cleaned it. Ok, sounds like I'm a total slob. I'd wipe up what I could, but there would always be a a few spots of something that got cooked on, but it wasn't like the whole burner. I waited to give it a good scrub until I had lots of cooked on spots.

In all that time, I only found one cleaner I thought did a good job, others didn't seem to be able to get every single bit of burned on yuck off the stove, and I would scrub until every single speck was gone (you can feel them even if you can't see them well).

Got an induction cooktop installed this spring. I would have gone with slide in, but at the time I started looking, I didn't find one I wanted, then got use to the idea of double wall ovens so that is the route I went. There are some nice slide-ins available now.

This makes cleaning a non-event. Nothing gets cooked on so everything wipes off easily. Even boiled over cocoa-wheats. I'm use to glass/ceramic topped stoves so I don't use it any different, but the difference in performance and ease of use is wonderful.

About two days after installing it, my DH told me we would NEVER go back to regular electric. I'm OK with that.

I have no idea if they are subject to breaking if you drop something heavy on them, I guess in 20 years I've never dropped anything heavy on it. Even when I had a OTR microwave for several years. Raised 2 kids during that time and they never broke it either - and who knows what they may have done in the teen years. Even my DH didn't manage to break it, and he's rougher than I am.

Hopefully I have not jinxed myself - I'd hate to have my induction cook top get...

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 9:41PM
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OK, so induction sounds ideal in every way other than cost. I looked at Sears and they are still in the $2000-$3000 range.
There is a cheaper Samsung model, but it has 1 star ratings. There is a new lower end Kenmore induction that is in the $1600 range, but it is so new, there are no reviews.

I'm also thinking that I could just find another gas range that's easier to clean. Maybe one where I can just throw the grates in the dishwasher and wipe down the sealed burner surface.

I might be able to go to $2500 and get an induction if that was total cost out the door with delivery and installation, removal of old range, sales tax and a 5 year warranty.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 9:59PM
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What Macybaby said.

I had an electric smooth top range for years and it was no fun to cook on and NO fun to clean, either. Looked awful in just a few years, discolored more than scratched. Never again.

I had gas before that, and while it was better to cook on than the smooth top, it was a bear to clean, and since I am not a person to baby and fuss over my appliances, it, also looked less than good most of the time.

Enter induction cooktop this summer. The control is superb, and it's so easy to clean that I do it nightly and don't even dread the task, even if it's spattered with grease or sludge from something that got spilled on it. If you can find one in your price range, or can stretch a bit to get one, you won't be sorry.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 11:50AM
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I was all set to go for induction until I looked behind the existing gas range and saw that there is only a 110v power plug and induction requires 220v.
I assume adding a new line or converting the existing 110v to 220 would be a major project that would add hundreds more to installation costs assuming it is even possible.

I think I will have to stick with gas.
Which types of grates are easiest to get burned on spills off of? I have shiny gray grates now and burned on grease will not come off. Will the rough cast iron style grates be easier or even worse? Can you pop them in a self cleaning oven or turn the stove on high to burn off things that will not wipe off?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 4:57PM
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Yes, thick cast iron grates in black, are easier to clean, the problem then becomes the thinner usually black porcelain metal surface beneath or between the burners. Here stainless is better because you can scrub with barkeeper's friend and you aren't dulling the porcelain.

Bluestar makes a gas range where the entire top is removable cast iron (porcelain coated). not just the grates but the 'bowls' beneath and between the burners. They are a bit heavy to lift out, but nothing really sticks because they are so thick. A little water and scrub pad and a wipe and you're set.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 1:35AM
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I would not discount the option of running a 220V line out of hand. It really depends upon the distance from the breaker panel and ease of access to the installation point. You might be able to get one run for 200-300 bucks, maybe less, depending upon the degree of criminality of your local electrical contractor pool. Since you have a free-standing range it means that a line could be run inside the wall through an attic.

What you cook on is such an important part of your life that is just seems a shame to spend the next several years of your life cooking on (and cleaning) something you really don't want. Personally, I love gas cookery, But if I couldn't have it, I'd get myself an induction unit even if I had to run the wires myself.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 7:01PM
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I got quotes in the $500-$600 range just to install the electric line. Then $2000-$3000 plus installation and taxes for lower end induction ranges that don't even have double ovens.
I'm not sure it's worth that much when it looks to me the reason my existing gas range is hard to clean is mostly because the 2 multi-burner grates are so huge that they cannot fit in the sink. This makes it very awkward to clean them without scratching up the sink.
If I got a new sealed burner gas range with smaller ceramic grates for individual burners that can be easily submerged in one side of a double sink, it would be less of a pain to clean.
Or maybe cast iron grates would need no cleaning at all. Just lift them off to wipe up spills under the grates and the fire would keep the grates clean.

Looks like I should be able to get a reasonably nice double oven gas range for around $1000.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 2:17AM
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I am going to get 2 more estimates for installing the 220 line to see if the first $500-$600 estimates were too high.
I found another induction oven under $2000 that looks better than the Samsung.

There is a GE Profile PHB925SP that several online retailers are selling in the $1950-2100 range including both tax and shipping and Home Depot sells for $2699 plus tax.
For $2500 including the cost of installing the electric line, I might do it, but that is still high for me when I could get a nicer gas range plus a good quality range hood and countertop convection microwave for that price.

It seems to have good reviews, but how does the GE PHB925SP compare to the Electrolux freestanding induction oven?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 9:21PM
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I would visit http://theinductionsite.com/ before buying another induction cooktop. Yes, they sell nearly all brands, but they also list their particulars and compare their performance, as well as providing more information than I thought I wanted to know on induction cooking in general

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 10:14PM
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I got an Electrolux induction installed today.
It looks like it should be nice, but I haven't cooked anything on it yet. I tested boiling water just to verify it was working and I was able to boil water in a small skillet in under a minute.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 8:01PM
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Jaxo who makes your range hood? It looks a lot like what I would like to get. TIA.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 9:42PM
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It's made by Zephyr.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 10:49PM
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Nice looking stove and hood, If you're like most of us that have induction, You will Love it!!

Congradulations on finding the "Resources" to buy it and have it wired too!!!


    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 9:43AM
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Just to answer the cleaning question.

I use Bar Keepers and if that does not work, I put my grates when self-cleaning the oven for about 1-2 hours. They come out like new! and I have done that for 13 years. The porcelain ceramic is still perfect.

So, I don't find cleaning to be a big problem.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 1:17PM
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What's the best cleaner for the induction cooktop?
I bought some Wieman Cook Top Daily Cleaner and I don't like the it works.
It takes much more effort and elbow grease to wipe away the cloudy film residue the cleaner leaves behind than it does to clean the food spills and splatters.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:22PM
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If you don't have 220V then no electric range can work unless you have very large wires because the wattage of a stove will require it. I auspect that gas is your best bet. If you already have had gas, then those on this forum that have experience with gas (not me) should give the answer as to which grates, burners and stove top meets your needs. I think the debates involving various electric stovetops are just taking up space with no use to you.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 10:04PM
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jaxo asks:

"What's the best cleaner for the induction cooktop?
I bought some Wieman Cook Top Daily Cleaner and I don't like the it works."

Weiman is fine -- really good, actually -- but: (1) ignore the "daily" part. (2) When you use Weiman, put the cleaner on the paper towel, and apply the cleaner with the paper towel; never squirt the cleaner on the cooktop itself.

(3) Use the Weiman once every three weeks or a month, for "deep" cleaning. In between, daily, use Windex Vinegar Multi-Purpose Cleaner.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 10:21PM
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The instructions specifically say to "spray directly onto the cooktop."

I'll try spraying onto a paper towel and see if it helps.
I don't like this product because the cloudy residue takes a lot of high-effort wiping to come clean. Windex would probably work better and not leave smearing, but I'm not sure that's safe for high temps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Weiman Video

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 10:38PM
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jaxo writes: "The [Weiman] instructions specifically say to 'spray directly onto the cooktop.'"

What do they know? Have you seen the toothpaste advertisements that show the ribbon of toothpaste folding back over itself atop the toothbrush? The problem you are having is an excess of cleaner on the cooktop, so the clean-up becomes clean-up of the excess cleaner. Speaking of spray, we get Weiman Glass Cook Top Cleaner in the cream form without a spray top; it just drools out of the bottle.

Spraying (or drizzling) the cleaner onto the paper towel reduces the quantity of cleaner that gets on the cooktop in the first place.

"Windex would probably work better and not leave smearing, but I'm not sure that's safe for high temps."

Induction cooktops sometimes get warm from the heat conducted downward from pots above them, but they never get really hot. If you apply Windex to a warm or cool Ceran induction cooktop, you wipe almost all of it away immediately; there is nothing left to burn on.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 11:45PM
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Here's a little hint about "smearing":

Clean your induction cooktop, ensuring all debris is removed with paper towels and scraping if necessary.

Make sure the smearing is nice and uniform and contains no abrasive. Leave it.

Check if smearing still present next morning. If not there, move on.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 1:28AM
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I rinse the Weimann's off with a clean, wet microfiber cloth and then use another dry one to finish. No smears. I have an old smoothtop electric that looks like new (as long as you don't look in my oven). ;)

Congrats on your beautiful induction range! And that hood looks great! May I ask how much the 220 line ended up costing? TIA!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 2:38AM
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It cost about $700 to get the 220 line with 50 amp circuit installed with the wiring going from the outside electric breaker box up into the attic and back down through the walls into the kitchen so there would be no exposed conduit running out the outside of the house. They also included adding a new 20 amp circuit in the kitchen so I could use the 1250 watt microwave and my new 1800 watt toaster oven at the same time without worrying about tripping the circuit they used to share.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 9:18AM
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