Range top buying guideMake sure you get a stove you love. CNET's comprehensive buying guide will make selecting a new stove or oven much easier.
Hi. I'm Katie Pilkington for CNET. And today, we're gonna be talking about smoothtop cooktops or range tops. We'll be using the Samsung NE58F9710WS as an example to show you some visualization of some of the features that we're gonna talk about. Now I know that this Samsung model is a full range that includes an oven, we'll talk more about that in another video, but you can also buy these smooth tops as just a cooktop that will lay down into your counter space. As you can see electric smoothtops have a very sleek, kind of sexy appliance appearance. People really like this. They like the look and they like the feel in their kitchen and it's a very modern-looking appliance. This particular cooktop is controlled by dials. As you can see, they go from low to high. But you can also find smoothtop cooktops that are controlled by touchpads, or buttons, or dials that maybe placed on the cooktop itself. So, there's a lot of variety there and it really comes down to what your preference is. Most smoothtop cook services will come with four or five burners. In the case of this model, there are five though one of them is meant really primarily for warming. And in a lot of cases they'll come in a couple of sizes. This one has three sizes; there's a small, a medium and a large but a lot of other smooth top burners will be in just two, kind of a larger burner size and then the medium, and they alternate. Another thing that people really like about smoothtop stoves and cooktops is that they will indicate to you when the burner is still warm. Sometimes with electric coil stoves and certainly with gas stoves, this isn't always the case but most smooth tops have an indicator that has lights underneath it that will shine when the surface is hot to the touch. There's a feature that's newer in comparison to other models, this one features it, it's called the "bridge". When it's activated, it joins two burners next to each other into one long kind of oval-shaped burner that's really good for griddles. So for making pancakes, your griddle will be evenly heated all the way across rather than just in the front and the back with the cold spot in the middle. It's important to note with smooth top cooking surfaces, be they in a range or just a counter top drop-in, that you should never use cast iron, as it scratches, nor should you use stoneware or glass cooking materials, as they will also scratch. This is the complaint that we should note that many people have about smoothtops. They do scratch easily, they are prone to it. But you can buff a lot of them out and they can be really easily cleaned with solution that you can buy at any hardware or grocery store. They kind of fit in the middle ground between electric coil stoves and gas stoves. Gas stoves are lotted for their really even cooking. Electric coils get a lot of complaints for having hot spots on the bottom of your cookware. These glass tops, because there's no balancing-issues with the actual coil itself, it's concealed under the ceramic glass top. They ride somewhere in the middle, in terms of even cooking. For both their utility and sleek appearance, a lot of people find electric smooth top stoves to be their ideal kitchen appliance. Check out our reviews page for more in-depth information about specific model, including this Samsung. For CNET, I'm Katie Pilkington.