Electric ranges with smooth cooktops: Perfect for small kitchens.
I’m sometimes asked about this because the electric range I have in my small apartment has a smooth ceramic glass hob. Are they easy to clean? Do they work efficiently for cooking? Do they retain their good looks?
The range I have is now twelve years old and it looks and works as good as new, despite daily use. They are excellent for any size of kitchen but are just perfect for small kitchen like my own.
Why are smooth cooktops ideal in small kitchens?
One reason is that they fool the eye into making your small kitchen appear larger. Because the cooking surface runs along the same eye-line as the countertops, it creates a smooth, clean look. It’s an optical illusion that works brilliantly.
Because the surface is flat, these hobs are so very easy to clean. There are no awkward burners or raised rings – no little crevices for crumbs and food debris to hide away. Although specialist cleaners are available for these cooktops, I’d advise that you don’t waste your money on them. Under normal daily use, they clean up just fine simply by wiping them with a damp cloth. Sometimes I use a branded all-purpose cleaner such as Fabuloso.
The surface ends up with a great shine and any reflective surface will make your room seem larger. (This is also a great reason to make sure that your other appliances, such as your refrigerator, are clean and shiny). It’s a good idea with any cooking surface to wipe up any spills as they happen as they are harder to remove if they become baked on. But a paste of baking soda with a little water (or with vinegar) will do the trick.
An added work surface
Because the surface is completely flat, it’s invaluable in a small kitchen to create a little extra working space. Although my range has four burners, most of the time I use just one or two at a time and by placing a chopping board on the unused burners, I have an additional food preparation area.
I also use this extra work surface for serving up and plating meals. This is a great advantage when counter space is at a premium.
In our tiny kitchen it can be difficult to find the space for the dishes to drain when they have been washed.(We don’t have the space for a dishwasher). For a small number of dishes, we use an over-the-sink drainer (see here) but for more dishes, we use a drying mat that we spread on the ceramic hob. (A dish towel does the job too but the drying mat is anti-bacterial and well-padded).
You’ll notice too that the top of the upright panel that contains the controls, the timer, the clock, etc. forms a small shelf above the cooking area. This is useful too. I keep items there that I often grab when I’m cooking – normally a pepper mill, a cheese grater and a dish towel. (And I have never had the dish towel drop onto the hot cooking area but if you are particularly accident-prone, keep nothing on your ‘mini-shelf’ that is flammable.)
If I’m cooking something that uses a lot of spices – a curry for example – I line up the spice containers (they have magnetic bottoms).
If there were particular herbs and spices that I used very often, then I’d probably keep them on this shelf permanently. Some weeks my mix of Italian herbs might live there for days. I don’t keep them there permanently because the heat might affect them.
All in all, a ceramic topped range is ideal for any kitchen but it’s an absolute bonus in a small kitchen.
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