What every best Cooktops has:
- Easy cleanup.
- The right types of burners.
- A useful burner layout.
ConsumerReports.org rates around 40 gas and electric cooktops, including several induction models. Each cooktop has been tested on its speed at boiling water, its ability to melt and hold chocolate without scorching, and its ability to hold tomato sauce at a steady simmer. Most cooktops fare pretty well, and more than half test strongly enough to earn recommendations. The site also includes a useful buyer's guide and a consumer survey of brand reliability.
While there are fewer cooktop reviews here than at ConsumerReports.org, discussion is bit more detailed. Gas, electric and induction cooktops are covered, with top performers called out as Editors' Choice winners, and where merited, as Best of Year selections. Reviews are testing-based and balanced, and editors are not bashful about handing out a poor scores. Value, performance and available alternatives are all considered in naming top choices.
HomeDepot.com lists dozens of gas, electric and induction cooktops. Most receive only a handful of ratings, but others enjoy much more feedback -- 50 reviews or more, and in some cases over 100. One caveat is that while some of the reviews are unique to HomeDepot.com, others are drawn from manufacturer web sites and appear on numerous other sites as well. Regardless, cooktops receive an overall score as well as sub-scores in areas such as features, energy efficiency, quality and value. Reviewers can also say whether or not they would recommend the cooktop to a friend.
Lowes.com is also a top destination for cooktop reviews. However, the two sites have one thing in common: though some feedback is unique to the site, review totals are inflated by those taken from manufacturer web sites. Owners can again indicate if they would recommend the cooktop.
This appliance retail site sells hundreds of cooktops, more than HomeDepot.com and Lowes.com combined. Some cooktop brands and models not found elsewhere on line are well represented, but only a few get very much feedback. Otherwise, cooktops with numerous reviews are the same models seen on other sites. While some reviews that are unique to AJMadison.com can be found, most are again drawn from manufacturer's sites.
At first glance, Amazon.com looks to have plenty of cooktops to choose from. On second look, you see that the hundreds listed include portable appliances and hot plates. Still, there are a number of full-sized cooktops offered here, and a handful of those have attracted enough reviews to be revealing. Amazon.com has two advantages compared to other retailer sites: Reviews here are unique to the site, and they tend to be longer and more detailed than elsewhere.
BestBuy.com is another retailer-owned, user-review site that does not mix feedback from their own customers with those gleaned from elsewhere, such as manufacturer sites (though a separate link to those is provided). That means that, while not especially plentiful (most cooktops draw just a handful of reviews), the feedback posted here is at least unique.
Sears.com carries lists hundreds of cooktops on its website, including more than 300 sold by the retailer itself. Some cooktops look to have received a lot of feedback but as is typical, that's been inflated by reviews taken from manufacturers web sites. However, Sears.com is the only site where you can get reviews of Kenmore and Kenmore Elite cooktops, and some of those have attracted enough reviews to help separate the top performers from the also-rans.
Yale Appliance Blog offers numerous article on cooktops, including this primer on buying an induction cooktop. These articles are from a retailer's viewpoint, so recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt, but do contain lots of helpful pointers regarding buying and using cooktops in general.