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Jan 8, 2006 11:41 AM

choosing a new kitchen stove

  • t

There have been threads here in the past about what to look for in choosing a new stove/cookstop. I found this excellent discussion wiht some ideas not covered in past threads. I'm definitely taking my 12" skillet when looking for a new stove. Thanks to Nancy Berry for the lead to this site!


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  1. Loved the link that you provided, thank you. As you noted, there was a pretty good "cooktop" thread a little while ago. One poster made a comment about the importance of continuous grates and this should be shouted from the rooftops. They are wonderful! Being able to slide heavy pots around without lifting is a joy. Also having room for oddly-shaped, large bulky pieces needs to be taken into account - both what you own today and what is likely to come in the future. A 12" skillet is a great example. I took my 16" rondeau with me and insisted that it fit flat in the sink as well as not hog the cooktop space.

    In some circles, often including the non-cooking status-conscious, having a large numbers of burners is important. How many burners can you realistically watch simultaneously? Viking now makes a 12 burner residential cooktop that I expect to see in the kitchens of every red-fingernailed lady from the East to West Coast.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Sherri

      12 is excessive but I find 5 to be just about perfect especially one burner that can obtain a real low simmer.

      1. re: Candy

        yes, a simmer burner! I miss my old O'Keefe & Merritt which had little interior flames (diameter 1 1/2 " or so)which could simmer pots for hours w/o hot spots or burning! Why don't the major cooktops come this way now? or at least as an upgrade option?

        tsk tsk

        1. re: toodie jane

          Our new Dacor cooktop has two simmer burners. It comes with a 18,500 BTU, 2-14,000 BTU and 2-8,000 BTU. Cost without installation was about 1,500. Plus blower and hoon and installation total cost to 4,500. Good for cooking but not cheap. The 18,500 BTU and one of the 14,000 BTU has the simmer control.

          1. re: yimster

            We just finished a total kitchen reno and we also went with a dacor cooktop and downdraft vent (the kind that pops up). Love the cooktop (our second dacor) because of the continuous grates and the simmer burners. However, I would advise against the downdraft vent. While the vent is powerful (1000 cfm), it actually creates such a draft that it pulls the flames towards it and wrecks the even heating. On the plus side, it looks really cool when it rises from the counter... :o)

            1. re: TorontoJo

              Some friends of ours have that very fancy power vent that separates grease etc. from the vented air by centrifugal force instead of sucking it through mesh. Very powerful, very quiet, works like a charm and a breeze to clean. Also really expensive, but as they were keeping their fine old Magic Chef range they didn't mind the expense.

              1. re: TorontoJo

                I have a similar problem with a gas stove. Our ceiling fan pulls the flame from the stovetop burners in all sorts of directions and plays havoc with the heat. I hate it!!

          2. re: Candy

            My THERMIDOR has four burners, two with on/off low simmer settings. The other 2 spaces are grill and griddle instead of two burners.

            I have it for 9 years, and highly recommend it.

        2. I have a THERMIDOR I love.

          My first choice would be La Cornue, the French Rolls Royce of stoves, if it fits in your budget.

          1. Whatever you look at, I would urge you to avoid any Bosch cooktop. Yeah, it had all the great features, the continous grates and the knobs on one side and the two big burners and three small, and BOY was it pretty! And that old superstition about German Craftsmanship sucked us right in, too, even after years of dealing with Bosch equipment on cars...and after the repairman replaced a lot of nonfunctioning parts and got it to sort of work mostly, I figured we'd learned a $700 lesson. And now I'll keep it until we can afford that Dacor we wanted in the first place.

            1. do you know the difference between the la cornue and the la cornue fe. has anyone used the la cornue fe?

              1. I'm going to be replacing my very old Jenn-air electric cooktop with a gas cooktop, but I'm dealing with several major considerations. Now, after reading Lynn Kasper's interview, I'm more confused than ever. First of all, we have only LP gas here. Most of the gas cooktops I've looked at lose a considerable amount of BTUs when a conversion kit is used. Next, I'm really on a limited budget. My whole kitchen is seriously outdated and I'm not about to take on a whole remodeling project. We'll only be in this house for maybe 5 years more, so I just need a cooktop that will get me through that time; this is NOT a high-end kitchen remodeling job. Finally, I'm limited to a 30" cooktop because that's all the space I have to use.

                I saw the Dacor SGM304, ( and thought that would fit the bill, but now I'm uncertain. One advantage of this unit is that it's manufactured for LP at the factory, so the BTUs stated in the product literature are what you get - no conversion kit necessary. But are they enough? There's one 14,000 BTU burner, one 12,500 BTU and two 8,500 BTU. Also, I wasn't aware of the danger of raised grates until I read the Kasper piece. Now I'm thinking that this might be a dangerous design.

                Is there another 30" gas cooktop priced at under $1,000 that I should consider?