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May 28, 2009 06:19 AM

Gas Cooktops: Suggestions?

The house we are planning to buy has a new Maytag electric range with a convection oven and a glass (UGH!!) cooktop over conventional coil elements.

At this point we are are considering a number of options, but the most likely is keeping the range as is, but adding a 4 or 5 burner natural gas cook top next to it. I think there is enough space for both. The glass cooktop would then become working counter space most of the time and cooking space some of the time.

What experience and recommendations do you have for high quality gas cooktops? I am willing to consider something in the $1,000 price range. Any strong feelings?

Since the existing glass top will probably be adequate for simmering purposes, the main point of the gas top will be quick high heat cooking.

Any strong feelings about DCA, Thermador, Viking etc.?

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  1. Have looked at JC Perreault and none of the three brands are anywhere near your $1K for 4 burners. Seems to be a general dislike for Viking based on what I've read in other threads and the DCA cooktop I've cooked on a couple of times has been inreliable (hard to control temperature, one or another burner malfunctioned and waiting for repair guy).

    I've used Wolf and GE Monogram (again, others) and they were both very nice. I personally lean to induction but that's another discussion.

    2 Replies
    1. re: wattacetti

      I wrote DCA, but meant to say DCS. The price range I found on their website, but I would be far happier with a high BTU unti that cost much less.

      As for induction, I am not happy at the thought of buying new cookware, quite apart that installation and service is not great, if I have read the reports correctly.

      I have some good copper and aluminum pots and pans that I would prefer not to have to discard.

      1. re: VivreManger

        Anybody know Caldera? They have a 5 burner 30" with about 18,000 btu in the middle. And the price is as low as $800.

        There is an enthusiastic discussion of the product at this site:

    2. When we were looking not very long ago, I came to this conclusion:
      Outside of bad track records for customer service, gas cooktops are basically pipes that carry gas to a flame that keeps the flame lit. Outside of appearance, what is your criteria of what you need? I wound up with the 36 inch 5 burner kicthenaid in stainless with the scratch resistant coating. Here's why:

      The grates were continuous. Able to slide a big pot off to the side without picking it up

      18K btu big burner, I think. I have been able to do get some decent wok hey.

      The scratch resistant coating REALLY works, and for stainless, that is HUGE.

      The knobs seemed really sturdy. Thermador knobs were instant dealbreakers, for me. Super flimsy.

      The knobs were not set up in a stupid area that took space away from the cooktop.

      In the end, it came down to the regular Elctrolux (not the Icon) the GE monogram, and the kitchenaid. The scratch resistant coating made it a no brainer. DCS, as I recall, had a bad customer service track record, and Viking was too expensive for what it was IMO. Are DCS, Thermador and Viking the three you've narrowed down your search to? If so, then your own reasoning will probably make your own decision for you.

      3 Replies
      1. re: gordeaux

        I will look into Kitchenaid, but if it is available I want to learn more about the Caldera cook top.

        Unfortunately that has not been so easy.

        I have found the top I like on eBay, but....

        Is Caldera still in business? I found two numbers for them on the web, (800) 725-7711 and (802) 253-3008. Neither worked. It may be too good to be true.

        1. re: VivreManger

          We put in a Kitchenaid gas 5 burner cooktop when we redid our kitchen and immediately regretted it. There were constant problems with the igniters breaking. We pulled it out after 11 years and put in a Viking, which we really like. We've had no problems with the Viking, which we've now had for 9 years. Granted we bought the KitchenAid 20 years ago, so our data on KA is old. But, the keypoint is that, despite all of the rumours of service issues with Viking, that has not been our experience at all.

        2. re: gordeaux

          When building our new home, I decided on the Kitchenaid 5 burner cooktop and have not regretted the choice. The large burner puts out plenty of BTU's to do just about anything you want. As you mentioned, the scratch resistant coating DOES work. The cooktop has been in operation for almost 2 years now with zero problems. BTW, we don't have natural gas on the island we live on but propane works just fine and was an easy conversion.

          We purchased all of our appliances from US Appliance on line and got great deals. No sales tax and free shipping at the time we bought.

        3. VivreManger: "glass (UGH!!) cooktop"

          Just curious: why the "UGH!!"?

          4 Replies
          1. re: Politeness

            I don't like electric and I like glass-topped electric cook tops even less. IMHO they are for people who prefer to clean a stove than to cook on it.

            1. re: VivreManger

              Further update on Caldera.

              A dealer who carries them believes that they were bought and moved to New York, but the Caldera saleman in the store was out for the day, so he was not certain of the details.

              1. re: VivreManger

                RTMonty, thanks for the KitchenAid suggestion. I will keep it as a back-up, but I am still more interested in the Caldera since it seems to be cheaper. In addition, it may be the only 5 burner 30" cooktop out there. I have just learned some more news about their current source.

                I just got off the phone with a dealer who told me that EuroChef in New York City now distributes (and manufactures??) them.

                Any experience with EuroChef?

                1. re: VivreManger

                  Kitchenaid also offers a 5 burner 30 inch. I'm not sure if they offer it with the scratch resistant coating yet if you are going with stainless. I'm not trying to SELL you on Kitchenaid at all. Just letting you know that they have one.