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Old 03-03-2008, 11:18 AM   #1
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I MUST replace my cooktop!

I've been using an old Jenn-air smooth glass top electric cooktop with downdraft, and I absolutely hate it. The burners are slow to heat up and take forever to cool down. I find myself using two burners when a recipe has instructions like, "Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer..." I want to convert to gas, but here are my dilemmas: (1) I don't want to do a whole kitchen makeover; ideally, I'd remove the old cooktop and drop in a new one. (2) I'd like to keep a downdraft setup because there's no way I can install an overhead exhaust fan in that location. (3) We have no natural gas available. We do have LP that's presently used for a fireplace and that gas line can easily be run to the cooktop.

Is there ANY hope for a solution here? I saw a Jenn-air gas cooktop that looks like it'll fit into my space (30" wide) but with the LP conversion kit, the highest output is only 11,500 BTUs; the other three burners would be 9,800, 9,800 and 4,000 BTUs. I have no experience with BTUs -- is that grossly inadequate?

As an alternative, is there a high-functioning electric cooktop that I should consider -- one that has responsive elements that will be almost as good as gas?

Thanks so much for your input.

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Old 03-03-2008, 11:23 AM   #2
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My one piece of advice is to NOT buy another Jenn Aire. I think that was the reason you hated your other cooktop.

I think if you noodle around on the internet you will find substantial dissatisfaction with their product, one frequent complaint being that they are underpowered.

My old one took 30 minutes to boil pasta water.
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:24 AM   #3
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Those BTU outputs are not professional stove levels but probably higher than the average home gas stove. You will be able to cook just about anything you want.

You can also consider an induction electric stove that eliminates the slow to heat up/slow to cool down problem.
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:14 PM   #4
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CinCin - I also have a Jenn-Air. I've searched all over and can't find any other make that is downdrafted.

My Jenn-Air sits in an island. Kitchen lighting above. No way to put in an exhaust system, without tearing up the lighting and ceiling. No practical way to run gas to it.

My Jenn-Air, combination cooktop and oven, was installed in 1984 and needs to be replaced. They are expensive. I see no options. If you find one, I'd like to know.

One thing you might want to consider - look down at the top of your stove. Each two burner unit is encased in a rectangle. These units are called cartridges. They are removable and can be replaced. I have seen cartridges in glass, coils and grills.

I replaced my cartridges 3-4 years ago. They are transferrable to a new unit.
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:37 PM   #5
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The only other downdraft cooktop I found is made by Dacor. It's a wonderful unit, but the downdraft is to the rear of the cooktop, not in the middle like the Jennair. The Dacor would require me to replace my countertop. Once I do that, I might as well consider a kitchen makeover.

I'm aware of the replacement cartridges; I presently have the grill and griddle accessories (neither of which I use). Buying new cartridges wouldn't solve my problem.

Another piece of information I don't have, which might put things into perspective for me, is the wattage of my present burners, and how those numbers convert to BTUs. I might find that even 11,500 BTUs provides more heat than I presently have. I have no idea how to find out the present wattage though.
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:36 PM   #6
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Thanks. I've never seen or heard of a Dacor. I'll look for it. Replacing a countertop is a minor problem for me.

If you come up with anything else, I'm all ears.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:33 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Dacor, DCS, Thermador, GE

There are a number of alternatives for you in a 30" size for LP. I would check Thermador for openers and then look at the others. If you look at US Appliance on line you can see many options there. You can buy on line or purchase locally.
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CinCin View Post
(3) We have no natural gas available. We do have LP that's presently used for a fireplace and that gas line can easily be run to the cooktop.
How big is the tank? I have seen these set ups, some had tanks only large enough to drive the fireplace. Others had tanks large enough to heat a house.

Thing to keep in mind is the colder it gets the less heat you can get from a LPG tank.

Also, you may need a 2 stage system, and plumbing one isn't that hard but needs done correctly.


Quote:
but with the LP conversion kit, the highest output is only 11,500 BTUs; the other three burners would be 9,800, 9,800 and 4,000 BTUs. I have no experience with BTUs -- is that grossly inadequate?
Yes.

1 watt = ~ 3.4 BTU
1 BTU = ~ 0.293 watts

11,500 BTU is 3,368 watts, not even 3 good hair driers. No rolling boils in stock pots in that future.
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:03 AM   #9
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jennyema,
I have a 30" Jenn Air natural gas cooktop, not downdraft and is absolutely great.
Never had a problem with it and the only time I called them inquiring about some parts, they sent me the replacement parts for free even though I didn't need them. Note that I use cooper cookware, I don't need to use the cooktop on high heat settings.
Was I lucky or you are referring to electric versions?
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:22 AM   #10
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those btus are pretty standered .. the 4000 one is a bit low ..
ge has a nice one ..
JGP989KKCC - GE Profile™ 30" Built-In Gas Downdraft Cooktop - Product Details
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