When my sis-in-law had a glass top range installed in her new home, she couldn’t sing its praises loud enough. Not only did the glass top look crisp and seamless in her kitchen, it was super easy to clean. These alone are great reasons for buying a glass top range … if you don’t spend a lot of time cooking. I’ve owned a glass top range myself these past several years which turned out to be one of the dumbest kitchen purchases I’ve ever made. Here are six things I wish I had known first before investing in one of these.
Requires constant cleaning. Glass top ranges don’t just “wipe clean”. They pretty much have to be cleaned after every use using a plastic scrubby and a special cleanser formulated just for glass top ranges. Sometimes the cleaning takes just a few minutes; more often however it takes about 15-20 minutes especially after cooking dinner.
Baked sugar and syrup won’t come off. In addition to making homemade candies during the holidays, I’m also a home canner who puts up lots of jams, syrups, and canned fruit. Syrups that drip onto the hot elements are immediately fused to the surface and won’t come off even with fine steel wool.
Not recommended for canning. This I didn’t know until after reading the owner’s manual. The big problem concern here is that the weight of the filled kettles can cause the glass to crack. I haven’t experienced that problem but I have noticed that it takes forever to heat up water for a water bath canner, about 25 minutes for a 4 gallon pot. The reason for this is that the burners constantly cycle on and off while on.
Not recommended for cast iron. I have had absolutely no problem with any of my Le Creuset cookware on the stove top, but Great Grandma’s cast iron skillet was another issue. Not only does the skillet transfer black gunk to the cooktop every time it is used, the heat is terribly uneven which is a problem when making skillet dinners or crepes.
Permanently stained. About a year after I got my glass top, I noticed permanent pinkish stains developing in the glass directly above the heating elements. Unlike my old electric range where the elements could be covered with decorative tin covers, these stains can’t be covered and look plain old ugly.
Expensive to replace. The last time my glass top was serviced, I asked the repair man about replacing the top. The cost was over $300 which is about half the cost of buying a new oven outright. When I still had my electric stove, a new bundle of drip pans only cost about $30.
While glass cook top stoves look pretty when new, they aren’t at all practical for someone who does a lot of cooking and canning. At this point, I’m waiting for the day that my glass top range stops working so I can justify replacing it with an electric stove.
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