Ovens

What’s the easiest type of cooktop to keep clean?

This one's a no-brainer.

Credit: Getty Images / Cunaplus_M.Faba

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Cooking makes a mess. And I’m not just talking about the meal prep mess, most of which can go in the trash or the dishwasher. I’m talking about what happens after you’re done cooking dinner—when your cooktop is covered in burned-on stains.

A good gas cooktop may be coveted when it comes to cooking, but they're dead last when it comes to cleaning, thanks to tricky grates and open flames. Plus, gas cooktops can get vent clogs, which you need to poke out with pipe cleaners. Pretty gross.

Cleaning burned food off the metal coils of an old-school electric cooktop can be a challenge, too. Before you scrub it off, you need to unplug and remove the burners to avoid getting the connections wet. And the drip pans need to be washed separately. You could spend the whole evening at the sink.

So, are any cooktops easy to clean? Oh, yes.

Induction and smoothtop electric cooktops are the easiest to clean

Induction cooktops (including our top-rated induction ranges) are the hands-down winners in the easy-to-clean club. They are simple to keep sparkling, since they use electromagnetism to heat pans directly. This means that when food splatters onto the cooktop, the surface is quite cool and the food doesn't get baked on. Because there are still a lot questions about induction, we put together an FAQ of real-world questions people have about induction cooking.

Smoothtop electric cooktops, also known as glass ceramic cooktops, can also be easy to clean, as long as you get on the spills before they burn.


Before we describe the cleaning process, let’s establish some Do’s and Don’ts.

  • Do maximize your cooktop's efficiency by keeping the cooking surface clean.
  • Don’t wait until your cooktop is covered with gunk before cleaning it, because burned-on food is hard to remove.
  • Don't use an abrasive sponge on your cooktop. It will scratch the surface.
  • Don't use spray window cleaners containing ammonia on your cooktop. They're too harsh for your cooktop, and can etch the finish.


How to clean your induction and smoothtop electric cooktops

Okay, this isn't much fun, but it's super simple.

1. Turn off the cooktop before you start cleaning.
It's just basic safety.

Turn-off-burner
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Always turn off every burner and wait for the cooktop to cool, before you start cleaning.


2. Wait until the cooking area cools down completely.
This step is essential for both glass ceramic tops and induction burners. Although an induction cooktop works with electromagnetism, so it it only heats the pan, and not the cooktop, you still need to wait. Cooking pots and pans transfer some of their heat to the induction cooktop while they're cooking. Again, basic safety.


3. Apply a small amount of cooktop cleaner.
You can even buy a cleaning kit that contains Cerama Bright cleaner, a gentle cleaning pad, and a safe scraper. Or just get the Cerama Bright on its own. There are plenty of cleaning agents out there, including simple vinegar and water, but Cerama Bright seems to have a lot of fans. We also have our own recommendations on kitchen sponges, naturally!


4. Spread the cleaning agent around evenly, using a circular motion.

Spread the cleaning agent around evenly
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Use a circular motion to spread the product over the surface of the cooktop.


5. Wipe off the product with a microfiber cloth, or paper towel.

Wipe-off-cleaner-with-soft-cloth
Credit: Getty Images / filistimlyanin

Wipe off the cleaner. You can use gentle pressure to remove any nasty, burned-on food stains from the cooktop.


Now, your cooktop is clean, just in time to cook the next meal.

Now your cooktop is clean
Credit: Getty Images / s-cphoto

Keep your cooktop clean, and it will perform more efficiently.