Electric stoves that have sealed hotplates with the electric element embedded in them are easier to clean than radiant rings, but you may not be able to tell at a glance when the plate is hot. Ceramic tops, which hold the radiant elements under glass, often have 'hot' signals which stay on until it is safe to touch the rings.
Some hotplates have halogen areas which heat up and cool rapidly, but they must be used with saucepans that have dull, flat bases because shiny bases reflect the light back into the hotplate. Another type, the induction hotplate, can heat the contents of a steel or iron pan while the plate itself stays cool to the touch.
Most gas hotplates still have the traditional burners, but with different sizes and innovations such as a revolving oval burner that produces a gentle, simmering heat. And several manufacturers offer a special wok ring which produces the very high heat needed to stir-fry. Some gas hotplates also have a long central plate, which is used mainly for cooking in a fish kettle.
** Asian Recipes