What every best Cooktops has:
- Easy cleanup.
- The right types of burners.
- A useful burner layout.
Excellent performance, useful features and a stylish look make the 30-inch GE Profile PP9030SJSS smoothtop electric cooktop easy to recommend. It includes two expandable heating elements to handle virtually any size of stovetop pot or pan. Gone are old-fashioned knobs, replaced by easy-to-use Glide Touch controls. Cooking performance is excellent, whether bringing water to a boil in no time flat or gently simmering delicate sauces. The PP9030SJSS has a black ceramic glass top with stainless steel trim, the GE Profile PP9030DJBB (Est. $1,400) is the same cooktop in plain black.
If you only have $500 or less to spend on a cooktop, the Frigidaire FFEC3024LB makes a compelling case for seeing if you'd like to switch to a smoothtop. In spite of the low price, it gets raves from experts and owners for its terrific performance. There aren't a lot of features, and it's only offered in black, but that doesn't seem to bother too many people; especially those who bought it to upgrade their kitchen and say it looks plenty upscale.
If you still love an electric coil cooktop -- as many people do -- you'll be very happy with the GE JP328SKSS. Owners say the JP328SKSS is very easy to install, heats up quickly, and consistently maintains the chosen temperature. The hinged lid with support rod makes it very easy to lift and clean underneath the cooktop, too. This is the stainless steel version, it also comes in black as the GE JP328BKBB (Est. $320) or white as the GE JP328WKWW (Est. $320).
The 30-inch GE Cafe CHP9530SJSS induction cooktop gets great ratings in owner and professional reviews. Performance is excellent, it's very stylish, and it's loaded with features -- including digital Glide Touch controls that allow you to precisely set power levels. Other pluses include a feature that syncs two elements together for use with large pots and pans, or a griddle -- and one is included with the cooktop. The cooktop comes in gray ceramic class with stainless steel trim, and a similar 36-inch version is also offered.
The Samsung NA36K7750TG/AA is a 36-inch, black stainless-steel, pro-style gas cooktop that looks good and performs terrifically, earning raves from experts and owners. It has five heavy-duty sealed burners that range from 5,000 to 22,000 BTUs. The continuous cast-iron grates are easy to remove and are dishwasher safe for cleaning. It's Wi-Fi capable for remote monitoring on a smartphone app, and comes with useful accessories such as a griddle and wok grate. It also available in regular stainless steel, and in 30-inch versions.
The 36-inch Maytag MGC9536DS isn't a pro-style cooktop, but it's one of the least expensive gas cooktops to earn an expert recommendation. In addition, most owners say this made in the U.S. cooktop looks great, and works even better. It features continuous grates to make moving pots and pans on the cooktop easy, and its five burners offer plenty of flexibility. The cast iron grates are dishwasher safe, and most say that cleaning this cooktop is a breeze.