Visiting Laura last week, we got to talking about her new electric stove and the pros and cons of different stove tops. Hers is electric, I currently have propane gas, and next month I'll have natural gas.
As we were talking, I got to ranting about the salesmen who were giving me the pitch about sealed burners being so easy to clean. When I previously had sealed burners, it was the hardest-to-clean stove I ever worked with. Every time the potatoes boiled over, every time something spilled while I was cooking, it would burn on. No matter how much scrubbing, no matter how much chemical, no matter how much elbow grease, no matter how quickly you attacked the spill, the process of cooking the food caused the spill to bake onto the stove top. It drove me nuts.
The next time we needed a stove, I refused to consider anything with sealed burners. We ended up getting a much cheaper appliance. Apparently the unsealed burners are less desirable. The salesmen told me how much harder it is to clean the stove when the burners aren't sealed. Poppycock. The spillovers will spill down the hole, under the cook-top, onto the part of the stove where the burners are attached to the gas. As long as that part is nicely sealed, it's a breeze to wipe it up. Nothing there burns on! Of course, I may not clean underneath the stove-top as frequently as I should. It may get cleaned underneath only a couple of times a year (unless there's a gloriously messy spillover) but the stove-top stays nice, and the part where the food goes stays nice.
I think the stove in the new house has sealed burners. Bummers. But, hey, it's a black stove, so whatever burned-on messes I have won't glare as badly as they do on a white stove-top.