Even after reading peoples experiences on the board, I am still confused about soothtop electric stove. i have always cooked on electric coils and I like it ( I have a gas = KABOOM fear ). We redid our kitchen and needed to replace got our old stove - a 40" coil - kenmore. It could have been replaced but I didn't trust the change in quality I expect after 40+ years. We downscaled to a standard 30". Picked the top rated coil top (I know thats not saying much) from Consumer Reports. It was really cheaply made. When the broiler was on high or the oven at 450 the stove top got too hot. It was over 220 ! I worried of its safety. I often cook with my granddaughters and need a safe top. So its going back.
Now I need to decide on a 30" smoothtop and whether induction or not. Money wise I can't afford high end but can get a mid-range price. I worry about using my cast iron, or large pans - like for sterilizing jars for canning, or high heat for searing, or long cooking times. Can I do and use all those on a smoothtop like on a coil ?.