Thread Number: 79826  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Eek a solid element
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 1037274   7/5/2019 at 23:23 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Sure looks pretty clean though, and hey, it has a panel light :)

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size

Post# 1037288 , Reply# 1   7/6/2019 at 06:10 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Always thought these represented the worst of both worlds: Slow to heat up; slow to cool down.

Still, a rare find on this side of the pond. They were trendy for a couple of years, then most manufacturers quietly dropped them from their lines.

Post# 1037291 , Reply# 2   7/6/2019 at 07:04 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
My aunt, seemingly interested and in on the latest craze of newest design contributed to the demise of solid burner elements...

That was the one thing she (even at the time Frigidaire introduced them in some of its electric ranges) didn’t buy...

Yes, over a few years, they appeared less in a typical appliance store’s stock, though I occasionally saw at a resale/thrift outlet with the equally obsolete electronic oven control/clock/timer that one has...

— Dave

Post# 1037319 , Reply# 3   7/6/2019 at 13:54 by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

I remember when these were in Sears catalogs.  

Post# 1037328 , Reply# 4   7/6/2019 at 16:16 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

My now deceased neighbor Edith got a Frigidaire range sometime around 1990 that had the solid elements. She didn't like it at all, and wished she had kept her Avocado Frigidaire she got in the early 70's.

Post# 1037329 , Reply# 5   7/6/2019 at 16:21 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

"I remember when these were in Sears catalogs."

Yes, and at one point in the early 90s at least, there was a similar Lady Kenmore version with a smooth top and an expandable element. This model was right below that. There was also a gas version with round burner grates on the black glass.

All were made by Roper ranges, but I've always thought they were very nice looking.

Post# 1037342 , Reply# 6   7/6/2019 at 18:38 by Xraytech (Rural southwest Pennsylvania )        

xraytech's profile picture
Those burners were horrible.
When building her new home in 1993 mom chose a Frigidaire range with these burners.
Canning was nearly impossible. She had it until 2007 when I bought her a new smoothtop Kenmore.

Our neighbors down the road had a Maytag with the same burners, theirs was a few years older.

Post# 1037360 , Reply# 7   7/6/2019 at 21:04 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
I suppose the main attraction was that they looked easier to keep clean. Whether they actually were is another matter.

You may still find them on new hotplates.

Post# 1037367 , Reply# 8   7/6/2019 at 22:23 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

"I suppose the main attraction was that they looked easier to keep clean. Whether they actually were is another matter.

You may still find them on new hotplates."

Yeah, there are a few brands of hotplates with them, I've seen them at Sears and Walmart. I have a Walmart "Farberware" one with two burners (formerly under the "GE" Walmart brand.)

Plus the majority of commercial electric ranges use them. In that environment the retained heat probably helps, since they're left on for long periods of time.

The main issues I see with maintaining them is if they're not kept completely dry, the cast iron tends to rust. They used to sell some kind of product you would put on them and then turn on the burners to burn it in. I think a light coating of vegetable oil should keep them looking black and prevent rust as well.

I think the long preheat and cool down times are the main issues they weren't as good as traditional coil or even smooth top ranges, and hence went out of favor here. It seemed they were usually only seen on the "posher" brands such as Jenn-Aire, KitchenAid, and otherwise TOL models when the "Euro" look was big.

Guessing they are still popular for hotplates because of the easier cleaning, and smooth top radiant hot plates were never really offered until recent years here, and even at that don't seem nearly as popular as induction.

Post# 1037392 , Reply# 9   7/7/2019 at 06:13 by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

I had that exact same stove in a house I had bought. It was the worst stove I had ever used. Impossible to use with a pressure cooker. Too slow to heat up and too slow to cool down, it would have been easier to use on a wood stove, where you could move the pressure cooker around to a cooler area on the surface. Then the oven was horrible. No heat from the top unit. No browning on tops for cakes etc. Then the bottom of the oven was starting to rust and holes formed around the edges. I think it maybe last a month or so before it went out to the garage as a second stove and got used very little.


Post# 1037396 , Reply# 10   7/7/2019 at 06:53 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

mrboilwash's profile picture
Both types have their pros and cons and both are far away from being perfect.
American coil type burners are wonderful for their ease of control. They almost respond as quickly as gas.

Solid cast iron burners are much easier to clean. If something has cooked over all it takes is a green Scotchbrite and any kind of cleanser. Same holds true if a wet pot is left on them long enough for rust to develop. Just scour it off.
Another advantage is that you can use lots of water for cleaning as there are no bowls underneath and no electric contacts. (Unless it`s still a prewar design of a solid plate)

Solid plates are 100% flat and even and they will stay this way for a lifetime which makes them very energy efficient as long as your pots and pans are 100% even too.
Have not seen too many heavily used coil type burners that were not at least a little bit skewed and distorted.
From personal experience I find that solids don`t take longer to heat up than a coil that is not even anymore, but they take forever to cool down which is a real nuisance.
We call it use of residual heat and simply had to get used to it. You just have to turn down the heat a few seconds before a full boil or if anything fails take the pot from the burner or push it a little bit aside.

Post# 1037397 , Reply# 11   7/7/2019 at 06:54 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
All we had over here for years

ozzie908's profile picture
Since the 80's I believe as coiled elements like Calrods were deemed a hazard so you had a choice of Gas, Ceramic top or solid plate and all solid plate stoves were a nightmare, Made the stupid mistake of having a solid cook top fitted in a spare kitchen and what a pain they were took an age to heat a pan of water and the only good thing was if you switched it off when boiling the residual heat would cook whatever you had in the pan but if you forgot to turn it off there was no way of knowing and when it turned white with heat you realised you had left it on... I know I did it.
All I can say is thank you whoever invented induction hobs as they are the best ever !!!!!!


PS its MHO of course.

Post# 1037413 , Reply# 12   7/7/2019 at 12:20 by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        
Solid elements!

I can't speak for the Roper solid elements, but had the Jennair cartridges for my grill range and loved them!  Kept them in more than my open burners.  Learned to dial burner to medium as I wanted to start cooking, just like I did using the solid element burners on a commercial Garland  range in a big private house.  Loved the solid elements for long, slow cooking especially with a 20 qt or so stockpot on top!  Slow, steady simmer!

My years with the Frugal Gourmet and a solid top range prepared me for using them!  

GE Monogram had a solid element cook top in it's catalog for about 4 years!  

Post# 1037456 , Reply# 13   7/7/2019 at 23:31 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
This sort of confirms what else I was thinking... making smart use of residual heat. Like cooking in heavy cast iron, in a way.

The old Frigidaire thick coil elements were sort of a compromise between the monolithic solid elements and the more typical narrow GE style coils. Except of course they also needed drip pans and could get uneven as well.

I prefer gas for surface cooking and electric for ovens. That seems to be a popular combination, if you can find it.

I'd have to replace a lot of cookware to go to an induction type range. My favorite cookware is mostly aluminum with no induction capability.

Post# 1037464 , Reply# 14   7/8/2019 at 02:08 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Gas is what I prefer, too... If I have to use any electric, I would prefer any coil or even have to resign myself to the ceramic permanently seen on the majority of today’s electric ranges, before I would even ever find any last remnants of this long-gone, but once-trendy design...

— Dave

Post# 1037472 , Reply# 15   7/8/2019 at 04:49 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
I cook on induction, but it's a cheap cooktop. The heat is uneven, turns on and off especially on lower settings. I would love to have a solid burner or two for simmering and slow cooking. My mother cooked on those solid burners most of her life, she made use of residual heat but also turned burners on in advance.

For many years dual fuel ranges have been around here, rather cheap too. Gas cooktop and electric oven were sold by almost every brand.

Post# 1037503 , Reply# 16   7/8/2019 at 12:56 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
I wonder how quickly residual heat disparates on a gas burner... I'm equally afraid to put anything on one right away that I just turned off, and even learned the hard way a burner cover I removed with my bare hands was still hot...!

What's nice about gas vs. any electric is warming contents in a pan or pot with a very low flame, versus what to me, even at a lowest setting, an electric element still being "full on"...

-- Dave

Post# 1037525 , Reply# 17   7/8/2019 at 16:30 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
"how quickly residual heat disparates on a gas burner..&

launderess's profile picture
Gas burners are prized by many both professional and domestic users because of its near instantaneous reaction to adjustment in temperatures. Simply put gas burners have always been more responsive than electric coils to adjustments in temperatures.

Whatever residual heat held by the grates or whatever is minimal and does not affect adjustment (decrease) in temps much if at all.

If one has something boiling and turns the flames down the boil stops at once and things rapidly begin adjusting to new temp. This is especially useful if something begins or actually is boiling over.

OTOH have always equated electric burners with cooking on an AGA or some other sort of similar range. To affect quick changes in temperature best to shift the pot or pan off one burner to another or away from heat all together.

It really is same for any sort of resistive electrical source of heat. Anyone who irons knows the things take longer to heat up than cool down. So if you want to iron silk after doing linen, you'll either have to wait for iron to cool down, or get out another and start from scratch.

Post# 1037573 , Reply# 18   7/9/2019 at 01:53 by Superocd (PNW)        

That range looks like the one my parents had from the first few years of my childhood, except it was coil instead of solid. It was a Kenmore original to the house, as it was built in the 80s. We had that until my parents replaced it with a KitchenAid range in 1997-98.

I believe these Kenmores were made by Frigidaire.

Post# 1037577 , Reply# 19   7/9/2019 at 06:10 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

My grandmother had one in the late 80's early 90's before she sold her house and moved in with my aunt.  She told me then they were slow to respond.

Post# 1037625 , Reply# 20   7/9/2019 at 16:37 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

"I believe these Kenmores were made by Frigidaire."

Newer Kenmores have been, but these were made by Roper, as were many of Kenmore's ranges made before the mid 1990s.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy