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Ceramic Cooktops Explained

Are you considering a new cooktop? Get to know ceramic cooktops and why they are an attractive option for many homeowners.

Ceramic Cooktops: What Are They?

KitchenAid Ceramic Cooktop KitchenAid Ceramic Cooktop

A ceramic cooktop has a smooth and even surface made of ceramic glass. In appliance stores, ceramic cooktops are commonly grouped together, but there are several types to choose from:

Radiant cooktops
Radiant heating consists of metal coils under a ceramic glass sheet.

Induction cooktops
Induction cooktops contain a copper wire coil under the cooktop that generates electromagnetic energy. This magnetic energy then interacts with compatible cookware to generate heat.

Radiant vs Induction Cooktops: What’s The Difference?

In comparison with other electric range/cooking options, induction cooktops tend to produce greater cooking efficiency by heating the cookware directly, rather than merely warming the surface, as is the case with other electric range/cooking options.

Cooking on a KitchenAid induction cooktop Cooking on a KitchenAid induction cooktop

The cookware then becomes the heat source, while the cooktop won't heat until a pan is placed on it. Induction cooktops are growing in popularity because they are highly efficient, easy to clean, and can reach a boil or drop in temperature quickly. This can result in a faster cooking time, especially in pots, with water coming to a boil sooner.

Ceramic Cooktops: Pros and Cons

To help you decide if ceramic cooktops are right for your kitchen, here are some pros and cons to consider. 

The advantages of ceramic cooktops:

  • They look great in any kitchen! There is a growing trend towards seamlessly integrated appliances, and a ceramic cooktop blends in beautifully with its surroundings. 
  • A ceramic cooktop is easy to clean, making it a great alternative to a gas range or stovetop. Because of the grates and burner caps on gas ranges/cooktops, you'll need to remove them or clean around them. Meanwhile, ceramic cooktops are completely smooth with no grates to collect oil on.
  • Heat indicators are available on many radiant cooktops, and induction cooktops do not heat until a pan is placed on them. 

Additionally, induction can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Cooking results improved due to better temperature control
  • Improved efficiency can tend to result in faster cooking times.  The Department of Energy reports improved efficiency as 85% of the energy arrives directly to the cookware with induction ranges. 
  • With induction cooking, less hot air is released into the kitchen.
  • An instant response to a temperature change.

The downsides of ceramic cooktops:

Generally, ceramic cooktops have few disadvantages. Here are a few to consider:

  • If you choose an induction range or cooktop, it is important to note that not every type of cookware is induction compatible. Ferro-magnetic iron cookware is required.

The KitchenAid brand offers bonus cookware when you purchase an induction cooking appliance. Terms and conditions apply, the offer is subject to change at any time.

Collection of KitchenAid cookware Collection of KitchenAid cookware
  • Some owners may be concerned about scratched glass. Scraped or cracked surfaces can be caused by pans with rough bottoms or items dropped on them.
  • The heat delivery on radiant cooktops tends to be less responsive or slower than that of gas or induction cooktops. Induction, on the other hand, offers high heat output, high control of temperatures, and very fast heating time. This makes it a great choice for cooks looking for the professional-like results you get with a gas range.
  • Ceramic cooktops typically come at a higher price than traditional coil cooktops.

Maintaining Your Stovetop: Good Habits to Follow

Below are a few helpful suggestions to help with the maintenance of your smooth-top electric range or cooktop. 

  • Make sure your cooktop does not get damaged by leaving a hot lid on it. It is possible to trap air between the lid and the cooktop as it cools, and the ceramic glass may break when the lid is removed.

Cleaning a ceramic cooktop Cleaning a ceramic cooktop
  • Food containing sugar should be cleaned up immediately if spilled. Allow the cooktop to cool slightly. While wearing oven mitts, remove spills with a scraper while the surface is still warm. If you let the top cool down after the sugary spill, you can get permanent marks on it.
  • Cookware and bakeware should not be slid across your cooktop. Using cookware or bakeware with copper or aluminum bottoms or rough finishes can also leave scratches or marks on the cooktop. 
  • It is not advisable to cook popcorn in prepackaged aluminum containers on the stovetop. They could leave aluminum marks that are difficult to remove.
  • Keep jars and cans away from the cooktop. The cooktop could crack if you drop a heavy or hard object on it.
  • Do not touch any part of the cooktop with metal or plastic items that may melt, such as aluminum foil.
  • The best way to conduct heat is with flat-bottomed cookware. Uneven heating and poor cooking results may occur in cookware with rounded, bent, marred, or dented bottoms. Measure the flatness of a cookware's bottom by using a ruler's straight edge. It should not be possible to see any space or light between your ruler and the cookware while it is rotating.
  • It is important to ensure that the bottoms of pots and pans are clean and dry before using them. When water and residue are heated, they can leave deposits.
Woman cooking on ceramic cooktop Woman cooking on ceramic cooktop
  • Do not use the cooktop as a cutting board to avoid damaging it.
  • In addition to ceramic and stoneware cooking vessels that have unfinished, rough bases, other cookware can scratch the glass. This should be your oven bakeware instead.
  • When cleaning, use soft sponges or cloths instead of metal pads, which can scratch the surface. Use a cleaning solution made specifically for ceramic or glass cooktops.
  • Avoid standing directly on top of (to reach ceiling height) or placing anything weighty on top of a smooth-top cooktop. At first glance, it may seem that the glass can support the weight, but when the glass or ceramic is heated, the glass or ceramic may shatter or break.
  • When cooking, do not place stirring utensils on a warm cooktop. Cooktops can be marked or burned when utensils which have foods on them are used, which can take longer to clean.
  • On a smooth top cooktop, you should not place hot glass bakeware to cool (from the oven). Glass bakeware should be placed on a dry towel on a counter to cool.

Ready to Upgrade to a Ceramic Cooktop?
You may now be more interested in a ceramic cooktop to maximize your cooking experience. 

Shop all of our induction cooktops and radiant cooktops to see our full selection 

Get started with KitchenAid Buying Guide today.