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Dec 10, 2006 04:31 PM

Propane-fueled Cooktop???

I'm FINALLY going to replace my ancient Jenn-air electric cooktop and I'd like to consider getting one that's gas-fueled, but the only gas we have access to here in the house is LPG. Is it worth it to get a gas cooktop that's designed to be used with LPG, or am I better off with some other type of electric cooktop? I'm soooo tired of the unresponsiveness of the heat controls with the Jenn-air, and I haven't shopped for cooktops in over 20 years, so I'm not really sure how recent innovations have made cooking with electric more manageable. I also don't want to replace my cookware, so I've pretty much eliminated those "magnetic" cooktops. What would you do if you were me?

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  1. Because I live in the boonies, my cooktop choices were limited to electric or LPG. For many reasons, almost all negative, I eliminated electric in favor of LPG. Four and a half years later, I'm gladder than ever that I made this choice.

    I chose a 6 burner Viking cooktop w/ griddle and would do so again. It breaks down completely and is very easy to clean. The low, low simmer is a great feature. High is not quite as high as it would be with natural gas - this is a drawback that is the reality with LPG - so stir-frying is not screaming hot. The versatility and instant response of gas more than makes up for this small negative.

    Good Luck on your hunt.

    P.S. I should add that we buried a large tank (500 gallons) some distance from the house. It has only been filled twice in our 4+ years. In addition to the cooktop, LPG is also used to heat an outdoor spa, run fireplaces, BBQs an a couple of other minor things.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Sherri

      I'm pretty sure that propane burns hotter than natural gas, so you're likely cooking hotter than most! Any chemists out there that can confirm...?

      1. re: HaagenDazs

        Propane BTU per therm 92,000
        Natural Gas BTU per therm 100,000

          1. re: Alan408

            I think that should be "per 1 CCF", i.e., per 100 cubic feet of gas at standard temperature and pressure. A "therm" is, by definition, a unit of measure equal to 100,000 BTU. The heat produced by 1 CCF of natural gas is approximately 1 therm.

            Also, I think you're both right about which gas is "hotter," because heat is used (non-technically, of course) to refer to both temperature and (correctly) amount of heat. Propane has a slightly higher adiabatic flame temperature than methane (the principal component of natural gas), so burns "hotter" in the sense of temperature, but methane has more BTUs so burns "hotter" in the sense of producing more heat per volume of gas burned.

      2. Same as you, no NG. When we arrivd here 2 years ago we opted for electric. I was not keen on a big tank next to my house and I have safety issues with propane. Still, I now regret the choice. I don't know about your jurisdiction, but here in Ontario, peak time and volume surcharges are in the offing. Volume discounts apply with propane. We have vicious winds and snowfalls and thunderstorms that leave us without power - some of us for days on end. It's smart to have two sources of heat. And, of course, electric ranges just doesn't respond, so they?

        As a young child we had wood and it was amazing. You're in Pennsylvania. Do you have Amish near you - we do and they cook and heat with wood. Where are they getting their appliances I wonder?

        1 Reply
        1. re: DockPotato

          There's a company in London, ON, selling Amish wood heaters and ranges. I haven't got the website handy, but google should be able to find it. We're planning on buying a farm next year, I will definitely install a wood burning stove and range.

        2. I have both an electric range and an LP range. It's swell, but can you believe this: we ran out of propane the week of Thanksgiving!

          I am happy to have both ranges (they're basic GE models) but surprisingly, we tend to use the electric range the most. My husband - who is a very good cook - actively dislikes cooking with gas and therefore uses our electric stove far more than our gas range.

          I'd go with whichever you enjoy cooking with more.

          1. Also in the boonies and nneded to get a generator so we went with propane and a 250 gallon tank. Year later we went for new kitchen and went with the Viking 6-burner (no griddle). I LOVE IT!!!! The big burner will go real high and the simmer burner actually simmers. Downdraft does an OK job.

            With a 250 tank we use about 10 gallons a year on the cook-top.


            2 Replies
            1. re: jfood

              We have a 100-gallon tank that's been used to fuel our outdoor gas grill and a small gas heater in an office in our otherwise unheated basement. I'm wondering if that size tank will continue to serve our needs with a gas-fueled cooktop.

              1. re: CindyJ

                Just have the propane company put you on a monthly refill for a few months to get a feel for the amount you use.

                I have a 250 for the house and a 500 for the pool. I buy 50 pounds a year for the house and 100 pounds a week for the pool (thank god for the budget that we can only use the pool from May 1-Oct 1).

            2. I have a Viking 48" dual fuel (natural gas cooktop, electric oven) range at home in the city. When we bought our country house last year, which had a 30" all-electric range I couldn't imagine going back to an electric cooktop. I bought a dual-fuel G.E. Profile range, and had the local propane company install a tank outside and hook it all up. I'm very happy with the range (considering I'm comparing it to a Viking, that's pretty good!), and with the fact that I chose to go this route.

              We also hooked up a new propane grill (a Napoleon) to the main propane tank. Since we're up there mostly for weekends only, our tank is not huge - about 40 gallons, I believe.