Over 50% of the ranges offered for sale on the market are electric, as this energy-type becomes an increasingly popular choice among buyers. Most brands will offer two or three versions of each stove, so buyers can choose their preferred energy type - gas, dual fuel or electric - and occasionally brands will even offer two different kinds of electric models (more about that later). Electric ranges come in all sizes and prices, including several great inexpensive options as well as many high end ones. The majority of electric models on the market come with a convection setting and about half have a self-cleaning feature.
Electric ranges certainly have their benefits:
- No need for a gas hookup. If all you have is an outlet, you're good to go.
- Safety. Gas leaks will no longer be a concern, neither will open flames. In addition, electric ranges often have locks on the controls to prevent curious little fingers from causing trouble.
- Users love them. Opinions on electric ranges are pretty clear cut - there is no competition. The list of the Best Stoves on the Market includes mostly electric models. Users report that electric stoves are easier to use, much easier to clean and have higher value.
While you won't see much difference in the ovens among electric stoves, there are two different types of electric cooktops:
- Smooth-tops, like their name, offer a flat surface with several heating areas. Often the heating elements will differ in size, with one element offering several different size options. Some smooth-tops even feature an elongated element to keep platters warm before serving. Smooth-tops are immensely popular among users, as they not only provide a sleek look to the kitchen, they are also incredibly easy to clean; a quick wipe-down will take care of most spills. Users also report fewer hot spots with smooth-top surfaces than with coils, and appreciate the visual validation of heat. However, keep in mind that many smooth-tops have limits as to what cookware can be used on them: stoneware and cast iron are a no-no, as they are likely to scratch the surface. Smooth-tops may also consume more electricity than coils.
- Coils, the other option for electric stoves, are becoming increasingly less popular and harder to find. Similarly to gas burners, these can be a hassle to clean and aren't as visually pleasing as smooth-tops. They are usually the less expensive option though, and reportedly take less time to heat up to the desired temperature.