Coil Range vs. Smooth Top: Which Type of Stove is Best
Is your stovetop kitchen range not working like it used to? If one of the burners is no longer heating, or the control dials no longer function — it’s time for a replacement. But, with all the excellent kitchen range options on the market, it’s hard to know which type to get! Check out this comparison of coil ranges vs. smooth stovetops to help you make an informed decision.
So…What’s the Difference?
Coil ranges are the OG of kitchen stoves — they’ve been around the block a time or two, meaning they are reliable. The coils are made of metal tubing that encases an electrical wire that conducts heat. Typically, all coil heating elements will heat the same except one designated the “power burner,” which packs a more heated punch.
Smooth top ranges are the new kid on the kitchen range block. They also have electric coils, but these sit under a tough, smooth ceramic surface. Each heating element is outlined on the stovetop. The heating element’s power typically depends on its size — i.e., a small element is suitable for heating and simmering, while a larger one is ideal for searing meats and boiling water for pasta.
So, what are the downsides of a flat-top stove? What are the downsides of a coil range? How about the benefits of each? We’ve got the answers below! Read on and decide which stove is better for your lifestyle.
Typically, coil ranges heat more efficiently than smooth tops. You can quickly heat things up with the turn of a knob, but coil burners often take longer to cool down — which may lead to a burn hazard if you have young children (or careless teens) strolling around the kitchen!
Additionally, with time and use, coils can tilt, leading to uneven heating and cooking! Lastly, since coils sit on top rather than beneath the range surface, they emit more heat into the space around them — warming up your kitchen even more during those hot summer days!
Smooth top ranges take longer to heat up since the heat has to transfer through the ceramic surface. However, because of its flat surface, smooth top ranges tend to heat pots and pans very evenly. The heat of a ceramic stovetop is targeted to the object it directly touches, more effectively restricting the heat to the specific burner and keeping the rest of the top relatively cool. The smooth top will also cool down much faster after it’s turned off. If you have young kiddos, a quick-cooling surface may be an advantage.
In most cases, coil ranges beat smooth tops when it comes to durability. The steel coils can handle anything from a light nonstick pan to a heavy cast-iron griddle. If you consider yourself a grill master of the indoor variety (due to poor weather or no access to a grill), the coil range will be your best friend.
Probably the most significant drawback of the smooth top range is its lack in the resilience department. The surface can be easily scratched by a rough sponge or the bottom of a cast-iron skillet and can even crack if a heavy object is dropped on it just right (though this is rare). If you tend to eat clean — favoring medium heat and light skillets over high heat and heavy pans a smooth top should fit your lifestyle.
If you’re looking for the easiest ways to keep your appliances clean, a smooth cooktop may be the way to go. The common complaint of a coil top is food dropping beneath the coils, never to be seen again. However, while it may be tedious to get every nook and cranny clean, they can withstand the heavy-duty cleaning products and aren’t sensitive to rough scrubbing since they are made of steel.
The ceramic of a smooth top is easy to wipe down but more high maintenance in which products and tools you can use to clean it. If you opt for a smooth cooktop, be sure to use a gentle, bleach-free product and a soft cloth when cleaning.
In both cases, take care to clean spills quickly! Oil and moisture can “cook into” your range’s surfaces, leaving “leftover” stains that are hard to scrub off.
Many people say that smooth tops provide a more modern “aesthetic” because they are sleek and easy-to-clean! However, whether coil ranges or smooth tops “look” better depends on your personal preference and other range features such as the color, material, and hardware!
Get Your Top Pick Today
Coil range or smooth ceramic stovetop? No matter your preference, Rent-A-Center makes it easy to get the kitchen appliances you need with the no-credit** payment plans you want! Plus, if you change your mind, you can upgrade to a different appliance anytime. Visit your local Rent-A-Center to browse our full selection of kitchen ranges, refrigerators, and more.