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The function of electric stove drip pans is to catch messy drips and spills. As a result, they can be very hard to clean. Those splatters, crumbs, and boil-overs, if not immediately taken care of will eventually become so awful that no amount of cleaning agent or elbow grease will restore their appearance. And to top it off, that gunk buildup can catch fire!
Chrome-plated drip pans can also create other issues if they are not kept clean.
Grimy, darkened chrome absorbs heat rather than reflecting it back for inefficient and uneven cooking results
So, if you are ready to replace your stove drip pans and need help determining which size you need, you've come to the right place.
Because there really isn't a true universal drip pan.
Take a look at your electric stove and answer the following questions:
What's the brand? Write it down.
Can you pull it out far enough to locate the model and serial number? If so, write them down too.
How many large and small drip pans or burners are there? 3 and 1, or 2 and 2? Many replacements are sold in packs of 4, 2 large and 2 small.
Are the drip pans a single piece? Or is there a separate, detachable ring over top the drip pan? This is important as it's a clue as to the kind you need.
Is your stove so old that it doesn't look like most electric cooktops? If so, you may have a harder time finding a replacement, as most of the ones made today are for relatively recent models.
And most importantly,
Although there are a lot of brands of electric stoves out there, surprisingly, there are relatively few stove manufacturers. This means a number of parts—especially stove drip pans—can fit many different nameplates.
So, although there's really not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to drip pans, for most stoves, there are 4 primary styles or types from which to choose: A, B, D, and E. And each style comes in two sizes: Large and Small.
There are also Styles C and F for electric ranges, but they are not as widespread. There are other letters that apply to gas ranges such G, H, I, J, and K.
If you have your stove's manual and/or information from the brand's website, see what it recommends for replacement drip pans in terms of style or type and size. Remember that a manufacturer's direct replacement part will cost much more, so if you can find a third-party equivalent, like those from Certified Appliance Accessories that matches what the factory suggests, you're ahead of the game.
If the manual or website only gives a part number, plug that into your search engine and keep digging. Eventually you'll end up with the style or type.
If you're still having trouble finding something, get ready to measure your existing ones for comparison purposes. We'll cover that in the next major section.
Keep in mind the ultimate goal is to find a drip pan that seats correctly, so the burner element remains level and flat.
Although most people, including me, often use the terms interchangeably, technically there is a difference.
A drip bowl is made from a single piece of metal. It is used under heating elements that are easily removable.
A drip pan actually has two pieces—a removable outer ring and then the separate bowl underneath. The two-piece construction is used for stoves that have hinged burner elements.
We'll use the technical terminology for the rest of this blog.
Both styles use one-piece drip bowls with a complete rim. They can either be chrome plated or black porcelain. They have a cutout that the element itself plugs through. Some bowls may have more cutouts in an attempt to be "universal." Of course, too many cutouts let gunk drop through to areas that are harder to clean, creating a greater fire hazard.
Remember, there may be more brands that accept A and B. We've simply listed the most common.
D and E are designed to fit hinged cooking elements. They have a separate top outer trim ring and then the pan underneath. That underneath part has a notch cut through the rim to avoid the hinged part of the element.
And as with A and B, Styles D and E may fit more nameplates than the ones we've listed.
Once you've determined the style or type, now you need to double-check the physical dimensions. You'll do this by removing one of each size of drip pan or drip bowl. As you'll have to do this anyway once you get the replacements, go ahead and get the feel for it now.
To remove a drip bowl, lift the coiled heating element up slightly and carefully tug it until it disconnects. Then you can remove the bowl. To put the element back, gently but firmly push the contacts back into the terminal and set the element back down.
For cooktops with hinged elements, remove the drip pan's outer ring then remove the pan itself.
The common replacement terms of 6 inch and 8 inch can be misleading, as few dimensions actually match those numbers. It's more of a reference to the size of the heating element that sits on top of the drip bowl or pan. Some companies, to avoid the confusion, just label them Small and Large. Here at Certified, we use both terms.
Many replacement bowls and pans, in their photo carousels, include drawings with measurements. Certified Appliance Accessory replacements (https://www.certifiedaccessories.com/collections/drip-bowls-drip-pans-with-rings), for example, has drawings online with key measurements to help you compare for Types A, B, D, and E. Be sure to click through all the images in each photo carousel in order to find them.
However, to make things easier for you, we've included one of each Style below. Measurements are the same whether they are chrome plated or black porcelain.
Please be aware that not all third-party replacements will have identical measurements. So don't be alarmed as you start comparing different brands. There can be leeway and they'll still fit.
Especially compare those cutout holes. Compare the existing ones to the ones on the replacement. Some replacements may have multiple holes. That's okay, just as long as one of them matches yours. But in terms of keeping the new ones clean, it's more practical to choose a replacement with just one hole.
Replacing those nasty drip bowls and pans isn't complicated. Installing replacements will dramatically improve a stove's appearance. They'll also be easier to clean. Plus, new drip bowls and pans will improve cooking efficiency.
So, if you're thinking about replacing your stove drip pans and drip bowls, check out the replacements on the Certified website section. If you find a match, you can purchase them online at Lowe's, Walmart, Amazon, and other ecommerce sites.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only. Certified Appliance Accessories is not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.