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Old 05-02-2007, 01:35 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Gas cooktop questions

My wife and I are moving into another house. I'm considering a gas cooktop.

We aren't high end, gourmet chefs or anything, but we do enjoy cooking and put more thought into it than most people. We have two small kids, so most of our cooking is the throw-something-together-quick type, but we enjoy putting together more complex and involved meals every few weeks.

I've always cooked on electric, but I'd like to get gas because a) it seems pretty unanimous among semi-serious cooks that gas is better and b) anything you do is automatically more fun when an open flame comes into the picture.

Anyway, getting on with it... Based on my research here, it looks like good simmer control can be an issue with gas. From my experience, I'm also concerned about getting a model with enough BTU's. For some reason, one gas cooktop I used took 30-40 minutes to boil a pot of water for pasta.

The cooktops that seem appealing to me are the GE profile smooth top, sealed burner models. I'll get the 36" if the space is there, but I expect to settle for a 30".

On the 30" the burners are:
1 15000 BTU/180degf simmer
1 11000 BTU/150degf simmer
1 9100 BTU/150degf simmer
1 6000 BTU/140degf simmer

As marketed, it appears that this setup offers some pretty nice power at the top end with decent simmer control on the lower end.

My questions:
1) On the high end, is 15,000 BTU's going to be enough?

2) On the low-end, do the simmer controls work well?

3) I'm also kinda interested in the modular models where you can swap bewteen griddle/grill/burners on the left side. Only problem is that these models don't have the variety of burners. They're effectively a 4x10,000BTU cooktop. How are they in terms of top-end heat and low-end simmer control?

Sorry for being long winded. Just curious if anyone has any experience with these..


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Old 05-02-2007, 02:14 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 57
I prefer gas but we have electric. Our electric is way easier to clean due to the glass top.

We used to have a Chambers gas stove just like the one Rachel Ray has on her TV show. Man, do I miss that thing. I not sure of the BTU rating on the burners but I was told they were about 12K to 13K and it took anything we could throw at it. One burner was in a well and was less BTU because it could be used as a double boiler or soup warmer. The far left section was a griddle on the top and a broiler on the lower section. The oven was rather small but was very accurate and held temperature for a long time. The top was stainless steel which was very easy to clean up. It was the heaviest appliance I ever moved in my life.

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Old 05-02-2007, 03:12 PM   #3
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The arrangement you listed looks goodbut, if possible, try to find a model with two high output burmers, a regulad and a simmer. You can always turn a high output burner down to regular heat if needed but can't turn a regular burner up to high output levels.

The simmer burners work well.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:04 PM   #4
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Location: SE Pennsylvania
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Wolf makes cooktops w/ sealed burners with great control. Sears has a new pro line out worth seeing, as does kitchen aide. 6000btu is not simmer (but that may be the high for that burner.) Anyway, there is a lot to look at. GE does make some high end equipment.
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Andy M.
The arrangement you listed looks good but, if possible, try to find a model with two high output burmers, a regulad and a simmer. You can always turn a high output burner down to regular heat if needed but can't turn a regular burner up to high output levels.

The simmer burners work well.
Andy offers excellent advice. We have a wonderful Whirlpool gas cooktop with sealed burners and love it.

There are only two things I would change about it. One, add another high output and the other would be to have the units a little farther apart from each other. Sometimes when we are cooking with several large pots/skillets, things get a little close.

The simmer is perfect and boiling a 12- or more quart pot doesn't take long at all. We're going to put it to use in about 10 days when we steam a lobster for my birthday. Can't wait.

Love, love, love the sealed burners. I'm not much of a "spiller/boiler-overer," but when it's happened it's been sooooo easy to clean up.

We'll be remodeling our kitchen in the future and will most likely choose Whirlpool again.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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