Is a Glass Top Stove More Efficient Than Coils?

At last, you are seeing lots of progress with your kitchen renovation project. You have decided on whether to get a built-in refrigerator or a freestanding one. Another thing you’ve done is removed those outdated cabinets, and you have also fully equipped your kitchen with plenty of supplies. You have even recently considered the pros and cons of having a cooktop on your kitchen island.

But after considering the cooktop kitchen island, you are now leaning toward getting a regular stove instead. You have ruled out gas because you don’t have gas connections. Therefore, electric it is! But between a glass top stove and a coiled one, which is more efficient?

Is a Glass Top Stove More Efficient Than Coils?

The answer to this question is more complicated than it seems. In this situation, it is not easy to say that one is superior to the other. The efficiency of each will be based on how one uses it. To determine which is suitable for your kitchen, it’s a good idea to learn more about each and make a final decision from there.

So, you want to determine which electric stove is more efficient for your space? Keep reading, and you will discover some facts about each to narrow down which one you should use in your newly remodeled kitchen.


History of Electric Stoves

In the late 18th century and well into the 19th century, cast iron stoves were all the rage. These types of stoves and brick ovens were pretty much all households could use since ancient and medieval times. Then, around the mid-19th century, James Sharp commercialized gas stoves. By the end of the 19th century, Thomas Edison had invented electricity. Shortly after that, Thomas Ahearn introduced the electric stove to the world. Both latter inventions revolutionized kitchen cooking, and both gas and electric stoves are still used today.

In the 1970s, a glass-ceramic electric stovetop was introduced to the market. This type of stove uses a “photochemically machinable” glass introduced by Dr. Stanley Donald Stookey. He intended to use the glass, known as FOTOFORM, for color television masks. However, the invention led to the creation of glass-ceramic stoves instead. This glass was much stronger than regular glass and could heat up to very high temperatures.

Dr. Stookey’s invention eventually led to the creation of “cooking countertops,” which were introduced by Corning in the 1960s. Since then, Corning has gone on to produce other ceramic-glass products that are used as household products until this day. And this invention has also been recreated by different brand names throughout the decades, including Frigidaire, Whirlpool, GE, and many others.

How Electric Stoves With Coils Work

Conventional stoves work by heating an exposed coil. Each of the coils is connected to knobs on the stove that control the coils individually. When the knob is turned on, there is voltage that runs through the coils causing them to heat up to the desired temperature. The coil has plug-ins on either end of the coil. These are inserted into a receptacle (also known as the terminal block) which supplies the electricity needed to heat the coil. The stoves typically have four coils that sit slightly above the stovetop, and they can be removed and plugged back in, allowing the user to clean the burners after use.

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Coil electric stove

How Electric Glass Top Stoves Work

Glass top stoves in a similar way to conventional electric stoves. The difference is that instead of using coils, they use radiant heat sources. The radiant heat element receives electricity through a limiter instead of a receptacle like with coils. These stoves may also have additional heating elements than the traditional four heating elements contained on the conventional electric stove. Therefore, the user may be able to use more burners while cooking.

Pros and Cons of Electric Stoves

When choosing your new electric stove, you will need to consider the pros and cons of each and how important they are to your needs. Here I break down the pros and cons into four critical segments. This is followed by a table of the pros and cons for a quick and easy comparison.


In terms of usage, glass top stoves offer some advantages. Some of them have more heating ranges, allowing the user to cook more food on them. If you have a big family and love to cook, this could come in handy. However, if you are in a rush to cook, glass top burners fail in this area because they take longer than conventional electric stoves to heat up.

Another problem with glass top stoves is that they are limited in the types of pans that they can use. For instance, you can use stainless steel, copper, titanium, and aluminum on glass tops. However, it would be best never to use heavy pots, glass, stoneware, or cast iron. Heavy pots and cast iron may be too heavy and can damage the glass. Likewise, glassware can scratch the glass top stove.

As a rule of thumb, if a pot is strongly magnetic, it will likely work well on your glass top stove. This is because magnetic pans work well with the electric currents making food heat up evenly.


Another thing to consider with narrowing down choices is cleaning. Hands down, it is easier to clean the surface of a glass top stove because there are fewer crevices for food to fall into. After the surface cools, you can simply wipe the top. However, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are using proper cleaning products. No matter how caked on an item is, avoid using scouring pads or other similar cleaning products that can scratch the glass. However, you can use a razor to lift the caked-on food, ensuring that you don’t touch the surface by digging into it at a 45-degree angle.

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Baking soda and white vinegar combined is a good cleaning agent for the glass top. There are also commercial cleaners that you can buy to clean your glass top stove. Even though the surface of a glass top is made of glass, you should not use a window cleaner.

Cleaning an electric coil stove is much more complicated because it involves removing the coils and cleaning the drip pans underneath. You may even have to lift the stove and wipe up any crumbs and other food that have fallen through the hole in the burners. You can use baking soda and vinegar or a gentle dish detergent to wipe the stove down. If drip pans are very dirty, you can soak them in soapy water or vinegar to loosen up food and other grime. However, if the food is burned onto them, you can also use oven cleaner.


Another critical factor to keep in mind is costs. The technology in the glass top stoves is much more complicated than coil stoves. Also, since glass top stove technology is still relatively newer than coil technology, this and the previous factor make glass top stoves a bit pricier than their coil counterparts. On the other hand, the coils and the drip pans for the coil stove are much cheaper to replace than the radiant heat element that powers the glass top stove.


Repairing each of these stoves may be quite different. It can be a determining factor in choosing a stove for your renovated kitchen. Since that is such an extensive topic, I’ve included it in its own section later in the article.

Electric Stoves With Coils Glass Top Stoves
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Cheaper Surface remains hot long after turned off Surface gets cool faster after turned off Limited use of certain types of pans
Can heat up any type of pan, including cast iron Heat up slower Easier to clean Glass can shatter
Easier to repair Limited amount of burners More stable for pots Scratches easily
More Durable Harder to clean Look more aesthetically pleasing More expensive
Heats up faster

Although it is ultimately up to you which stove you choose, many prefer coil stoves, mainly because they don’t have the limitation with pots. So, if you are the type that loves to throw down like Emeril Lagasse in the kitchen without constraints, then the electric stove with coils will be a better option.

Consider the Décor of Your Renovation When Choosing a Stove

Let’s suppose you are not much of a cook and prefer cooking only now and then. Besides this, the décor of your kitchen is far more important than functionality. After all, you barely cook anyway, so there is no real need to concern yourself with how useful the stove is.

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If décor matters more to you, then a glass top stove will be a better option. This is because glass top stoves hide the heating elements beneath the glass and look less bulky than traditional electric stoves. If your décor is modern, it may be a good idea to choose a glass top stove with a modern flair.

Repairing Electric Stove Burners

Both the conventional stove and the glass top have advantages and disadvantages. But one thing that can set them apart is the cost of repairs. Like with repairs on a car, Toyota repairs are most likely less costly than Land Rover repairs. The same is true with electric stoves. One common problem that both stoves have is that the burner may stop working. Here are some simple tips on how to replace these burners should they go out.

Coil Stoves

When things go wrong with stove burners, as they occasionally do, it’s good to have to cheaper option to repair rather than the more expensive one. For example, the cost of one heating element for a glass top stove is the cost of four coil replacements. Even if you must replace more than the coils, the parts associated with the coil burner are far cheaper than those for a glass top stove.

With coil stoves, you may have to replace the coil heating element if the burner dies. However, there may be other issues such as inadequate wiring or a bad receptacle that need to be replaced. These issues are relatively easy to repair and require few tools to replace them. Before proceeding with any repairs on electric powered appliances, make sure that it is unplugged.

If the coil has corroded ends or shows signs of arching, this is an indication that they are burned out and need to be replaced. Changing out coils should get the stove back working in no time. Another problem may be with the receptacle. This is slightly more complicated than replacing a coil but is still relatively easy. It involves lifting the top of the stove and cutting out the old receptacle and rewiring the new one. Of course, if you don’t like to do electrical repairs, you can call in a handyperson to do them for you.

Glass Top Stoves

Repairing glass top stove burners may be pricier than the coil ones, but the process is just as easy. First, you will have to lift the top of the stove to access the radiant heat element. Before removing them, it is a good idea to take a photo of the wiring to ensure that they are hooked up the same way. One more aspect of the glass top stove that you may have to replace is the glass top itself. This is necessary if the surface is broken, cracked, or severely scratched.