Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Apr 21, 2008 11:49 AM

Wind Crest Gas Cooktop CTG365D

We're planning a kitchen renovation and want to switch from an old Modern Maid electric coil cooktop to a gas cooktop. We've never had or used a gas cooktop so we're not exactly sure what we need in terms of BTU's. My sister-in-law says she never turns her gas burners anywhere near high so not to be concerned about having a large BTU output burner but to look for something that has a low simmer burner. She has a Bosch and says the 5500 BTU burner is her lowest and it's still too high to simmer soups without burning.
We had seriously considered getting the Wind Crest CTG365D because we like the metal knobs and their placement, the burner configuration of highs and lows and the overall apperance of quality. Then a female saleperson pointed out how the stainless steel tray under the burners is not one solid piece and how liquid and other gunk could get into the seams and be extreamly hard to clean out. She recommended a Dacor cooktop because of the bead blasted top that would be much easier to keep clean. I would need to go with the PGM365 model to get a similar burner output to the Wind Crest and I'm not sure I like the placement of the knobs or the fact that they are plastic. I've also read several reviews that say the knobs crack, can easily melt, that the painted markings wear off easily and Dacor has very poor service. I would also have to pay about $300 more for the Dacor than the Wind Crest.

Does anyone have any experience with cleaning the Wind Crest. Would I end up hating it because I can't keep it clean? What comments do you have on the Wind Crest, Dacor and Bosch? Is there anything else out there I should be considering under $1800. Since I'll have to go to the huge expense of having a gas line run to my kitchen (another $1800) I want to make sure I won't regret my decision to cook with gas! I can't afford the high end names like Viking or Wolf.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Deciding between the WC and the Dacor was hard for me. I went with the Dacor because I thought it looked a little easier to clean. If you don't boil over regularly I guess it wouldn't be that much different. The grates on the WC cover up the seams for trace gunk that you don't bother to clean up.

    The Dacor grates and your pans will come up to speed just a little bit faster since the grates are lighter than the ones on the WC. But I think the burner layout on the WC would be superior for a stirfry that puts off a lot of smoke and grease since the main burner is set further back under the hood.

    Induction or gas are the only choices in my mind. I went with gas because induction is expensive, would require a difficult electrical service upgrade for me, and could trigger a pots and pans upgrade. It won't boil water as fast as induction, but otherwise gas is a joy to cook with. The simmer function on the Dacor is amazing. I cooked some chicken breasts in a tomato olive caper sauce the first time I used the cooktop. I found that the simmer zone on the dial was moving too slow for the last minutes of cooking, and I had to turn it back up to low. I bet the WC also has a good simmer. I guess your SIL must be very patient if she boils, sautes, or frys. High heat and cooking are synonymous in my mind. The difference in cooking with the new 18,000 BTU burner, and my old cheap gas range is like hammering a nail with a hammer instead of sitting there and waiting for it to drive itself.

    I don't see how the knobs would melt. If they crack I will just order some new ones. Maybe I will order a replacement set in advance.

    I bought the black enamel Dacor because they say the stainless starts to look yellowed around the burners despite the bead blasted surface. Although, the porcelain will chip. There is already a slight chip under one of the burner skirts. I am guessing that the high heat of the burner, and a quick temperature change due to a boil over may have caused this. But it is only visible when the burner is disassembled.

    The choice is about aesthetics and maybe cleanup. You will be happy either way. I would love to hear about your experience when you start cooking.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Romanmk

      Full disclosure: I DO NOT WORK for Wind Crest. Get a Wind Crest. We did research for months and looked at many middle/high end cooktops. This cooktop is not for the weekend warrior cook, this is a serious cooktop and I dare you to even compare to cooktops for 2x the price. I was a chef for 10 years in only the finest restaurants (3&4 stars) in NYC and San Fran. so I do have a little experience. WindCrest is/was hard to find and we bought it on it's features (unseen) - was so hard to find in the best of shops. It far surpasses Dacor in quality (and Dacor is a great cooktop)! The quality of this stove is of Gaggenau, Viking, Wof (humor), Thermador (real cheap grates). Cleaning or "seams"...well, you have been misinformed - not a problem. Bosch is for washing dishes (quiet, excellent dishwashers)! Wind Crest is the only way to go and keep an eye on them, because they are going to give the big guys in cooktops a run for their money!

      1. re: umagwa

        Up until today when I discovered my kitchen island (where my cooktop is installed) is 23" rather than the standard 24", I have never heard of Wind Crest. I was set on a Thermador however it doesn't fit the depth space. I'm pretty certain the Wind Crest is my solution and I simply wanted to know if your opinion was still the same after 4 yrs of use? I also live in the SF Bay Area and possibly our paths have crossed. In any case I would appreciate your opinion if possible.


        1. re: scohen850

          scohen - what did you end up deciding - and why? thanks for your help in my decision making!

          1. re: smilingal

            We got our Wind Crest installed about a month ago. If it's possible I like it even better since I've actually been using it as compared to the extensive research I was doing online. First of all, I read where someone was told by a salesperson the stainless steel pan is not one solid piece. WRONG. I also read where someone said it was difficult to clean. WRONG. If you clean your stove top after you use it, (if you spill) it cleans up perfectly fine. I imagine if you let it sit for some time you might get some residual marks, which can be taken off with stainless cleaner. Personally I've used a damp cloth and my pan looks like the day it was installed. Here's what is most important for me. First the BTU's do make a difference. I can boil water much faster than I ever have using the large middle burner. I can also control slow simmer much better than ever before with the ultar low feature. I'm a manufacturer of cookware and not affiliated with Wind Crest in any way, but I have to say the quality is as good or better than any stove top I've used and when you consider the price difference between Wolf, Viking etc. to Wind Crest there's no comparison. If Wind Creast has a problem it's their lack of marketing / advertising and getting their name out there. Personally I'm fine with that because it kept their price less than half of what I was going to spend on a BIG NAME. I've used my new stove top extensively, put it to the hardest tests and if I had to make the decision again it would be a no brainer. Wind Creast is absolutely (in my opinion) the best!

            1. re: scohen850

              now that's a happy customer! thanks!

    2. Does yours sister have one of the stacked burners on her Bosch? She may get a lower simmer rate on that burner than on the small one.

      I was looking at this GE when I was shopping earlier this year. It has a very low simmer (140) as well as going up to 18K at max power.

      1. Full disclosure: I work with Wind Crest and wanted to clarify the concerns you had about cleaning the cooktop. The Wind Crest cooktop is a completely sealed system. The surface area below the grates was designed for “ease-in-access” on the remote chance that the customer would every need a service call. If you remove the grates between the 2 brands, you’ll find that the Wind Crest gas cooktop has a one-piece burner head design, whereas Dacor’s is 3 or more individual pieces. Would you rather clean 5 items or 15? Sort of like a puzzle to put back together. I would opt for fewer items to clean and not want to be bothered with figuring out how to “rebuild” the cooktop after cleaning.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nmn11

          What I'm concerned with is the Stainless Steel base the burners sit in. The WindCrest is built like a box with a flat bottom and 4 separate sides attached with screws leaving seams all around the tray from spillovers and crumbs to get stuck in. All the other gas cook tops that I'm considering build their stainless steel base like a shallow bowl with NO seams inside what so ever.
          If Windcrest had the one piece stainless steel tray I would buy it without any qualms!

        2. I have a Dacor 30" dual-fuel range. The range is stainless steel, but the cooktop has black spill wells with cast-iron grates. It is very easy to use and clean. I have no problems at all (and love cooking on it).

          1. Did you end up getting the Wind Crest gas cooktop? I was almost set on a wolfe rangetop when the guy at the appliance store handed me a print out of the Wind Crest cooktop. The output of the cooktop is higher than the wolfe and all reviews I've found so far (though very limited) have been positive.
            Anyone have this cooktop and anything to say about it?!

            8 Replies
            1. re: hapahaole

              Hello all
              I had purchased CTG305D MODEL 5 BURNER.
              The price tag(high) paid is not worth. Cleaning is very difficult. Like the other member said(pinkie0 the gap on all sides are very annoying collecting liquid spill, even the tiny seeds gets collected there. The stainless steel -the finish is hard to clean. I spoke to the customer service this morning- they go by the service book cleaning instructions- not at all helpful . I purchased it in the year 2009 - I am planning to replace it.
              Everyday cleaning is your priority, please do not buy this product. I wish ,that I was like Pinkie who noticed the gaps and screws in the first place.
              I overlooked this aspect at the time of purchase and now I REGRET IT.

              1. re: meg905

                Thanks so much Meg for the warning. We got a good deal on our double ovens, so I'm thinking I might splurge and get a rangetop...wolfe, capital or bluestar maybe?

              2. re: hapahaole

                Did YOU end up getting the Wind Crest? I purchased mine today. I also found the BTU rating to be superior to all the other makes and models I researched, the price was significantly lower and for next to nothing ($19.99) I received a 10 yr. burner warranty, which they told me includes the electronic ignition. You can't beat that. I will post my own review once I have been able to use my new Wind Crest for a period of time.

                1. re: scohen850

                  with your research - and this might be a stupid question as I haven't started mine yet - but do all the new gas stovetops have electronic ignitions? Are there any that still use a pilot?

                  1. re: scohen850

                    also - In considering replacing my old gas stove-top - I am wondering how often people use all 5 burners? I don't really think I have ever used all four at one time. Do you?

                    1. re: smilingal

                      Although I did a lot of research I didn't find any residential cook tops using the old pilot light. I was in the restaurant business several years ago and have maintained an interest in the equipment. (I am a cookware manufacture) where you will find pilot versins for commercial use.

                      As far as using all 5 burners at once I can't imagine a scenario where I would personally be doing that. I can think of several applications where I would be using more than 1 (maybe up to 3) large pans that overlap the burner. This is why the flat even grate design is so appreciated. You can slide pots and pans from one area to another with ease. For everyday use I can imagine the large center burner being the most utilized, both for high heat and low low simmering. I hope this is helpful.

                    2. re: scohen850

                      To scohen 850 Have just come across the Wind Crest while doing research. There seem to be problems with all cooktops and it may be more a matter of which ones affect you personally the least. Do you still like the Wind Crest? Where did you buy it from? Who will supply any customer service/ repairs? Do you foresee any issues with cleaning spills? Very interested in what you have to say after having it a while now. Thanks!

                      1. re: sms98

                        I purchased my Wind Crest from a company called Plass Appliances in Chicago. I found them on eBay. I live in CA and bought from them because they offered free shipping, NO SALES TAX and gave me an extended 5 yr. all everything warranty over and above the 1 yr. standard manufacturers warranty. The important part is I LOVE the cooktop, have zero complaints, it does everything as advertised. Easy to clean, boils water faster than any cooktop I've ever had and the low low feature is really something I never thought about until I started using it. When I origianlly contacted Plass they were out of stock but went through the effort to locate one that happened to be close to where I live in CA. I still was able to get it delivered without sales tax! I cook a lot as well as having been in the restaurant business for some time yeaars ago. I can say with authority the Wind Crest performs as well as the Viking ranges I had in all my restaurants. I also have had personal experience with Thermador and like the Wind Crest better because of the traditional shaped burners as well as the cost difference. I didn't find the star shaped burners to be anyything more than a sales pitch. I cannot recommend the Wind Crest more highly, in fact I feel compelled to state, as I read when I was doing the research from a chef who posted his findings, I DO NOT WORK FOR WINDCREST. My email is scohen650 at AOL if you want more detailed info. Good luck.