Kitchen Tip Tuesday: I need your input

Ladies, it's Kitchen Tip Tuesday and seeing as I'm moving into my new house in about 2 weeks I need some input...please feel free to pass this along to anyone else who may have input. I am in the process of choosing a stove, dishwasher and microwave. I think I have found the microwave I like, and I'm going to just get a simple dishwasher. We are on a tight budget for all these appliances: $1200 for all three including I'm really trying to get something that will be good. Here is my predicament. I thought of trying a smooth ceramic cooktop, but now I'm not so sure. I'd love to hear your pro's and cons of owning them, or if you don't own one maybe you know someone who has and can share their thoughts. I'm beginning to lean back to the regular coil ones. I tend to:
  • have food boil over or spill out of the pans.
  • When I stir food, some of it always manages to end up on the stove top
  • I want to get back into canning which would require the use of a pressure canner.
  • Would like to use some cast iron and not sure how that works.

The smooth tops are a bit more pricey and you get less options. The coil tops have more options and well, I've used them forever so it's not like I'd be disappointed in one. Then maybe in the next phase I'd get a nicer smooth top...not sure. I've seen some great smooth tops, but they were over $1,000...which obviously is not an option in this part of the building process.

I really would love your thoughts or someone elses thoughts! Thanks ladies.

With Joy UNquenchable,


  1. I had a smooth top in our last home and I loved it! Someday I'll get another one. They are so easy to clean and look so nice. If you can swing it financially, I would do it.

  2. At times I love my smooth top and at times I hate it. It was in the house when we moved in. It took some adjusting to cook on it. It does cook different. I also think it never looks clean. It is like glass it shows any streak and mark but it is easier to clean than a coil. Also, I have never canned on mine. I have heard that you can use a large pressure cooker on smooth top and I have heard that you can't. I would check on that before you buy one. Each manufacture may be different on what they suggest. I would be curious to know if any of your readers have canned on one. If you get a smooth top I would reccomend the cleaner that is for them. Walmart and other places sell it and it work really good. A bottle of it lasts a long time. I don't know if my thoughts help or not. I hope you get something you like.

  3. I had a smooth top at my last house - LOVED it. When I first got there, it had a solid burned-on black ring around it from the previous owner. I wasn't thrilled, but my dear mother-in-law used a little paring knife on it and got it looking brand new! There are special cleaners that do a great job getting spills off (I, too, boil stuff over lots). My opinion is that they are way easier to clean than coil tops.
    I never tried to can anything - I agree with Lynn and make sure that you are able to do that.
    I am definitely hoping to get one for our house ... someday!
    Hope that helps.

  4. My parents had one until the top cracked. It was nice looking, but it has drawbacks. (There are always, always finger prints). And all the user manuals say no canning. I have heard of people canning on them anyway, but others say to get the little camping stoves for the pressure canners.

    I have heard some brands don't forbid canning, but they might be the $1000 models.

  5. We've had everything: smooth top (in white and black), gas, and coil. I am a messy cook, too! My preference is a smooth top, but only the black tops (not white; they are always dirty!). You can get off burned rings with the side of a razor blade and sof scrub (or baking soda) works great. I have canned (pressure and water) on them, too. On a coil stove, my drip pans get dirty, same on gas; a stove just needs cleaning. We've also found that the smooth tops were not much more... One thing to note is that they seem to take longer to heat up than coils and gas ranges!
    Good luck choosing one!

  6. There was a flat ceramic cooktop in our house when we moved in, and I sold it and am using my MIL's older one with coils. :>)

    I always seem to boil over and didn't like cleaning it off the flat stove, although if I think about it, it probably was easier than honest to goodness cleaning out the drip pans and underneath - which I've never bothered to do. Eek.

    I also worried about using cast iron on the flat stove, although I have some friends that do, no problem they tell me. I think you back off from seasoning the outside some, perhaps.

    I think it just depends on what you can work with your budget and what you really like! I've cut out articles on induction cooktops in case I win the lottery and redo the kitchen. :>)

  7. I love mine and I make all kinds of messes!

    ONE tip for you is...don't pay a fortune for those fancy bottled cleaners! Use baking soda and a wet sponge....the kind of sponge that has a green side (or blue). It will work just as good, if not better and I have no scratches from it at all. :-)

    This is a far easier clean up than the old ones. Taking them apart, scrubbing and them never coming clean, foil or no foil, etc. Best wishes on your move!

  8. Thanks ladies for all the tips. I think I may just go with coil for now until I can afford to get a really nice smooth top (if I ever go that route). But we'll see.

  9. I had a black glasstop stove that we left when we sold the house we lived in last. I LOVED that stove. Cast iron is fine on it (I wouldn't season the outside of the pan -- why would you do that anyway?!). If something extra-tough got on the glasstop (like you left a plastic bowl on a burner and turned it on by accident, for instance) you can use one of those flat razor blade scrapy things to get it off (the kind you use to remove decals from your car windshield). Even if yuck gets burned on (even milk), what I did was take my cleaning cloth and soaked it in water and laid it over the burned-on mess or squeezed the water out of the cloth onto the mess and let it soak and dissolve. You may have to repeat a few times and if there is still some left, just use Bon-Ami. Do NOT NOT NOT waste money on nasty chemical (expensive) cleaners. You don't need the chem around you! Bon-Ami works great for the really tough stuff. I had that flat-top stove for almost a year and when I left it, the top looked almost brand-new (I don't recall having any stubborn spots at all left on the cooktop). And that means something because I am a heavy cook and am hard on stoves. I liked cleaning the cooktop WAY better than cleaning out the drip pans and the underneath of a coil top electric stove. I HATE drip pans. Boil something over on a coil stove and it gets in the drip pan, underneath the top, everywhere. What a hassle. Too bad the place we are renting now does not allow me to get my own stove (they have a coil-top stove provided). Oh, well. Someday when we are able to build our own house... I'll either have a gas stove or a glasstop electric stove.

  10. For me, I prefer gas over ceramic type. Ceramic heats up and cools down so it can maintain a lower temperature so the ceramic doesn't crack. So boiling a pot of water for pasta takes FOREVER.

    I like gas. Heats quickly. But I suggest getting white. On both black and stainless steel, streaks show when you wipe up spills and clean.

  11. We have a black ceramic top and LOVE IT. I wanted one for many years and when we found a like new one at an auction, we bid and got if for $195. WOO-HOO! Beats the heck out of cleaning those coils and drip pans.

    I have the special cleaner stuff and I have a regular ol' box of baking soda. The baking soda works better than the cleaner!

    I don't know many people with gas stoves. I can see the convenience (especially when the power is out!) but I'd personally be scared to death of one with children in the house. Of course, that stems from a bad babysitting experience 15 years ago... (fire!)

    Good luck with your decision. I've only purchased one new appliance in my lifetime...


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