What are Electric Coil Cooktop Stoves?

One of the most underrated cooktops that people tend to overlook is the electric coil cooktop. It’s one of the most affordable stove options you can find. If your stovetop suddenly stopped working like it used to, it’s time for a replacement, and electric coil cooktops are a great option, considering it’s a sudden expense.

What are Electric Coil Cooktops?

Electric coil cooktops are made of solid metal coil elements. Sometimes called rings or burners, coils are fashioned from spiral steel tubes that house a heating element. Anything placed on the coils is heated directly. Stove dials control temperature by adjusting the resistance levels in the heating elements. Coil temperatures rise and fall depending on dial settings, but it doesn’t happen instantaneously as with gas.

When turned on, electricity flows through the solid metal coil spiral and heats the burner to the desired temperature. This coil is sturdy and durable, making it a great choice for anyone looking to get the most out of their cooktop. The burners and heating elements can be replaced as they need repairs.


  • Affordable
  • It can be used with any type of cookware
  • Durable


  • Heat levels are not as precise as gas
  • Heat can be uneven
  • Takes a long time to heat up
  • It can be hard to clean

Electric Coil Cooktop Stoves vs. Smooth Top Stoves

Coil ranges are the original electric kitchen stoves. They have been around the block for decades now, meaning they are reliable. The coils are made of metal tubing that encases an electrical wire that conducts heat. You will see that the burners come with an orange glow as they warm up. The heat intensity is controlled using the temperature knob on the range.

Meanwhile, smooth top ranges are more modern-looking. They also contain electric coils, but they are hidden under a tough, smooth ceramic surface. Each heating element is outlined on the stovetop. The power of heating elements usually depends on their size.

Here are some of the ways they compare with each other:

1. Heat conductivity

Generally, coil ranges heat more efficiently than smooth top stoves. With the turn of a knob, you can quickly heat your food up. However, they take longer to cool down, which can turn the stove into a burn hazard if you are not careful. One must not touch the coils when the heating elements are glowing red. And it’s best to wait for it to cool before

With continuous use over time, coils can tilt, leading to uneven heating and cooking. And since the coils sit on top rather than beneath the surface, they emit more heat into the kitchen.

On the other hand, smooth top ranges take longer to heat up since heat has to transfer through the ceramic. But because of its flat surface, smooth top ranges tend to heat cookware more evenly than coil tops. The heat of the smooth top stovetop is targeted to the stovetop it directly touches, more effectively restricting the heat to the burner and keeping the rest of the top cool. The smooth top also cools down much faster after it’s turned off.

2. Cost

The budget is a significant factor for every home improvement project. Especially if you are limited to a specific price range, there are stovetop models you may not be able to afford.

Electric coil cooktop stoves are generally cheaper as compared to smooth top ranges. It’s because coil stoves have a much simpler technology. However, some manufacturers offer different rates. You may find a high-end coil range that costs the same as a low-end smooth top cooker.

The drip pans and heating components of an electric coil range also cost less, so you won’t need to shell out big cash when you need to replace parts. On the other hand, if a ceramic and glass top on a smooth top stove breaks, you’ll find that it’s costlier to replace. Simply speaking, the purchase and upkeep of a coil top stove are more economical.

4. Cleaning

Just by looking at their appearance, you already know that a smooth cooktop is easier to clean. A common complaint with coil tops is food dropping beneath the coils, making it hard to retrieve and clean. The nooks and crannies in electric coil stovetops are gunk magnets. But even if they are tedious to clean, they can withstand heavy-duty cleaning products and aren’t sensitive to rough scrubbing, as they are made of steel.

The ceramic or glass of a smooth top is easy to wipe down, as long as you clean up quickly. However, it’s more high-maintenance because there are limited products and tools you can use to deep-clean it to keep it looking pristine. If you prefer a smooth cooktop, be sure to use a gentle, bleach-free cleaning solution and a non-abrasive cloth when cleaning.

4. Durability

In most cases, coil-top stoves beat smooth tops regarding durability. The steel coils can handle anything from a non-stick pan to a heavy, cast-iron griddle. It can even withstand neglect and abuse. If you like to grill on a stove, the coil range would be more suitable for you.

While a smooth top range can also be durable, its most significant drawback is its lack of resilience to a point. The surface can be scratched by a rough and abrasive cleaner or by the bottom of a heavy skillet. If a heavy object drops on it, it may even crack. But a smooth top would fit your lifestyle if you only do basic cooking, using light to medium skillets over high heat.

5. Aesthetics

Many people with modern homes prefer the looks of a smooth top cooker because they are sleek, smooth, and easy to clean. However, coil ranges can look better, depending on your preference and other stove features like the color, material, and hardware.


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