Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jun 1, 2011 12:58 PM

most even heating gas range burner? - any that heat in middle?

I am shoping for a new gas range - I moved to a new house - My old one a GE - was fine but I didn't like how ther burners only sent heat more to the outside - around the little circle cap. Are there models that heat also right in the middle? - I am wanting to stay under $3000 Can. and need a 30". I've looked around but haven't seen any yet
Thanks much for your time.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have a Blue Star cooktop; the burner pattern is a star (so yes, it heats in the middle). I think I paid about $3,500 for it about 7 years ago. Hope this helps...

    8 Replies
    1. re: Niki in Dayton

      Thanks - I'll look to see if they make ranges - seperate cook top and oven would be nice but it wouldn't fit into the space we have.

      1. re: frznrth

        Just bought a Blue Star 30" range on Saturday--$4,000. That includes convection oven, killer infrared broiler and good selection of burners.....and you can pick the colors, ours will be French Blue with Red Orange knobs. Can't wait! Oh, end Blue Star heats in the middle as Niki said, up to 22,000 btus.

        1. re: escondido123

          We've had a 36" Blue Star for 6 years. I love it. That said, it's very simple and lacks bells and whistles. I also don't know that I'd get a 30" one with the standard burner configuration (2 high output burners out of 4 total is too much for how we cook).

          Part of the difference that makes the Blue Star and Capital (just based on reading about it) better at even heat distribution is that they have open burners. A lot of the sealed burners I've seen (I'm sure there are exceptions now) force the flame out through the sides of the burner, which means it isn't hitting the middle of the pan.

          And open vs sealed just sends you down the rabbit hole of range features (all gas vs dual fuel, oven size, etc, etc). I'd think about all the different things that are/aren't important to you and do lots of research.

          1. re: ted

            We've considered them all, and since we can only fit a 30" Blue Star is the one for us. We've been doing research for 3 years on this and it's definitely not for the burners alone. We had convection and the infrared broiler in a Viking and loved them both but the burners were a bother so Blue Star for us. Are you saying the 2 high output burners are more than you need or not enough?

            1. re: escondido123

              I think having 2 of the 22k BTU burners on a 4-burner, 30" Blue Star is too much. Unless you're cooking most of the time for a big group/family. They're great on high for boiling a pot of water for pasta or for the wok. And they turn down surprisingly low, but you won't simmer a 1-2 qt pot of anything on there. We're a one-Chowpup family, so most of the cooking we do isn't mass quantities and the standard size burners work fine for that. Having 2 of 4 burners as high-output to me limits your cooking flexibility for the kind of cooking we do.

              The other thing you have to get used to is turning the big burners straight to low to keep them from coming on with a ka-whompf!

              1. re: ted

                We have pasta almost every night so that will take up one of the high burners and we do most of our stovetop cooking in a 12 inch skillet so that will take care of the other one. So it works out perfectly for us--and we're just two too. It hadn't occured to me that those burners could be too much for some, but I see what you're saying. Good thing we've got choices ;) PS Thanks for the warning on the ka-whompf!

            2. re: ted

              Thanks for the info - I need to look more to see just what open and closed burners are - I like the idea of a blue star but I am sort of torn as I would miss things like a heating drawer and delayed on -

              Do some ranges have burners that are more adjustable - can do a simmer as well as heat a large pot of water?

              1. re: frznrth

                Yes, you can simmer on all of them, even the high output burners. I have six burners on my cooktop, and I have a ultra low simmer burner that's easier to adjust, but they can all be used on low.

      2. Capital Culinarian heats pretty evenly (the guy from Eurostoves posted some videos that show the way the heat is dispersed). If you want the cooktop only, may be able to stay within your price range - not sure, but you could check.

        8 Replies
        1. re: will47

          Thanks but I need a range - no room for cook top and ovens - couldn't crack open the wallet anyways to blow whole budget on just a cook top.

          I talked to a blue star salesperson. He was saying blue star is good but he doesn't think they heat anymore evenly than other stoves - he said it is more about using good pans and using the right size pan on the right burner - any thoughts?

          1. re: frznrth

            I think the heat will be more even on the Blue said it yourself in the OP, the others do make more of a circle...not that I think it is THE reason to by a particular range.

            1. re: frznrth

              Thermador also has a star shaped burner. I looked at them, not totally convinced it will make a significant difference, a little difference maybe, but I think the Blue Star salesperson is probably spot on. A good conductive pan will make up for a lot of localized heat.

              1. re: frznrth

                There's a lot to be said for using a good pan with a heat-diffusing bottom. In my 30+ years of cooking, I've found that to be the most significant factor. I can make effortless rice in my heavily-clad pan regardless of the heat source. "Even heating" is not all that important in most circumstances (does a stock pot really care where the heat is coming from?) and in the few instances where it may be important a diffusing bottom will more than compensate.

                1. re: ferret

                  Thanks - that would open up more options - what is a good "heat-diffusing" bottom? - the best pans I have are some really heavy steel ones and a couple of cast irons.

                  1. re: frznrth

                    The cast iron should be fine, less prone to hotspots (assuming you fit the pan to the burner). The pan I was referring to above is an older Cuisinart. Extremely heavy for its size it has a very thick bottom. Lots of different options available for clad stainless. As another poster mentioned, if you do occasionally experience uneven cooking with a pan, a heat diffuser over the burner will help greatly.

                    1. re: ferret

                      Counting the moments until kaleo arrives to document copper's superiority for even heating...

                      1. re: ellabee

                        Here's the link, in which the poster measured temperatures in the center and sides of pans of different materials:

            2. I took some advice from Modernist Cuisine and got a metal fabricator to cut me a thick piece of steel the size of my burner. Place it over the burner and voila, you now have the best burner you have ever cooked on.

              4 Replies
              1. re: twyst

                At the cost of an extra step of heat transfer that de-rates your burner output. Maybe OK for a burner that doesn't simmer well, but for full output, you're just wasting gas.

                1. re: twyst

                  I've been wondering for a little bit now how Modernist Cuisine justified their "expensive cookware is not worth it" tag-line they had on their website. Having a metal fabricator cut you a piece of steel to use on your burner is one hell of a catch, IMO.

                    1. re: ferret

                      I was typing quickly and did not proofread, I said steel when I should have said ALUMINUM. Due to the conductive properties of aluminum and its low density the concerns voiced by Ted are largely minimized. You want a piece between 1-3 cm thick