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Jan 7, 2012 07:21 AM

Gas cooktops recommendations

My wife and I are looking to replace our electric cooktop with a gas unit (it is a countertop cooktop; our oven is a separate wall unit). Does anyone have any recommendations with the best brands to look at or specific features that would be ideal?


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  1. You don't say what your budget is. Also, do you have a readily available gas line for hook-up?

    My personal like, and one that I own, is the Bluestar. It is not a countertop unit but rather a full range. We have had good service from the range and could not want any more in a gas appliance. We have found it utterly reliable.

    4 Replies
    1. re: dcrb

      Thanks dcrb!
      I was looking at a budget of anywhere from $800-1200, but willing to go higher if that meant significantly more efficient and SAFE. The gas line will not be an issue, as our basement is unfinished with a gas furnace almost directly below the kitchen.

      1. re: pezzuto

        You're welcome. Our range has 8 burners (we did a complete kitchen remodel which involved adding on to the house) and we enjoy all the extra range real-estate. We may have had all 8 going simultaneously maybe 3 or 4 times since installing it in 2008; typically only 5 or 6. It is a simple user friendly range, but certainly was not inexpensive.

        1. re: pezzuto

          I would second the Bluestar recommendation.

          About $1500 for 30" cooktop and ~$2100 for 36"

          It is much more efficient than your typical cooktop and puts the heat directy to the bottom of the pan.Relative to typical cooktops,very little heat is wasted going to the side and up of the pan.

          If that is above your budget you can get a 36" Dacor Distinctive delivered for $1099. 30" is a little cheaper.

          1. re: DeeAgeaux

            Thanks Dee!
            I actually got my budgets mixed up (have several projects in the works), the BlueStar would definitely be within our budget. Thanks!

      2. A lot depends on what you want in a cooktop. We jsut recently made the switch from electric to gas and looked at a lot of cooktops and rangetops. I didn't know there was a difference between a cook top and range top until we started looking. In short cooktops drop in while rangetops slide in from the front. Rangetops also have more horse power, higher BTU burners, and tend to be more expensive. For the money the Electrolus Icon Gas rangetop with 6 burners model E36GC75GSS about $1200 seemed to be a very good buy and it works very well for the short amount of time we've had it. With the knobs on the front rather on the top, it's a little easier to clean than the cooktops with the knobs on the top surface.

        1. We moved into this house in mid-2000, and one of the first decisions we made was to replace the electric cooktop with gas. A rangetop would not have been a viable option, since the countertop is tile, and we wanted something that would simply drop into the existing hole. We went to the appliance place my father-in-law recommended, and looked at six or eight different makes and models; the one whose features were most appealing was from Bosch. All the knobs are lined up on the right, there are two big burners in front and three smaller ones at the back, and the three grates are interchangeable, easy to clean, and present a single-level surface so that pots can simply be slid off or onto burners. The price was just shy of $800, at the time an upper-middle level.

          Okay, now the fun part: all of my previous experience with Bosch equipment in cars should have warned me off, but there I was, once more blindly believing in the inherent superiority of German machinery. First, the burners wouldn't light. When they did, the gas was flowing too heavily, and I was getting flames eight inches high. After some jiggering around the problem was lessened, but the Low setting is really a Medium. On the other hand, High is less than impressive. Within the first year, two of the knob/switch thingies froze up, and were replaced under warranty. A week after said warranty ran out Big Burner #2 stopped spark-igniting. It's better than a hot plate, it's better to use than the electric thing, but I will not be sorry when we can remodel our kitchen completely, and replace this thing with the perfect 1950-something 42" Wedgewood that's waiting out in the garage …

          2 Replies
          1. re: Will Owen

            Thank guys! I'll be looking at a cooktop to simply drop in. As for Bosch, I just bought a Bosch dishwasher; I hope I don't have as many problems as you did!

            1. re: Will Owen

              Bosch ranges,ovens,and cooktops for the North American market are made in New Bern,North Carolina. So are all but their most expensive dishwashers.

              Bosch Linea refrigerators are made by Daewoo of Mexico and the only German thing they have is the name.

              No appliance line is lemon free. In general,German made appliances are very good. A German brand name does not necessarily mean they are designed and made in Germany.


              JD Powers says Bosch overall has the 2nd most reliable dishwasher after 100% German Miele dishwashers. In their last dishwasher rating,Consumer Reports had two Bosch modles at the very top.

            2. After extensive research, I've decided on a hybrid system with a Capital Culinarian open burner range top with two Thermador induction wok burners. The best of both worlds. Don't rule out induction without giving it a serious, unbiased look. Much safer from burn injury, less waste heat in the kitchen, much easier to keep clean.

              10 Replies
              1. re: davidahn

                If induction is so great why did you get a CC rangetop?

                Induction fans always mention safety but where is the proof of all the supposed burns caused by gas burners? Induction is more mechanically efficient than gas but electricity is so much more expensive than natural gas in almost all the USA that gas cooktops are cheaper to operate. A good rangehood remedies excess waste heat in kitchen.

                All that is needed to clean a CC is a wipe with a green scrubbie and toss and replace the aluminum foil from the drip tray from time to time. What is so hard about that?

                1. re: DeeAgeaux

                  I'm a rational purist, but the wife is a traditionalist. She insisted on a CC, and it's her kitchen!

                  Why CC? It's the best gas range available today. In researching induction's claims of fastest boiling times, I looked at boiling performance tests; I can't find that site now. It showed a minimal difference between induction and the CC (5 vs 6 minutes); I also looked at the evenness of the flames all the way to the center.

                  Certain assumptions are made by gas fans about the "intuitiveness" of gas. Anything you've done for years will feel "natural." Driving a car feels very natural and intuitive if you're 40, but not so much if you're 15 1/2 and just learning. If you've been taught your whole life about not touching the cooktop during or after cooking, you will steer clear and therefore avoid injury. That's not inherent safety, that's conditioned safety in the operator.

                  As for inefficiencies in the production of electricity, I'll give you that. There is cost involved in the conversion of fossil fuels to electricity, though that's done using a process that limits waste heat. A burner that puts up to 60% of the heat created into MY kitchen is suboptimal to put it lightly. As for sucking it out with a powerful hood, why should we have to suck out waste heat that shouldn't be in my kitchen in the first place?

                  I've seen videos on how to clean major spills on a CC; it's relatively simple but involves putting on an oven mitt (only safe if you take the precaution and the time), removing all the grates, 3 trim strips, the drip tray, the major drip tray, and the burner head, and clean it all. Is it a major hassle? No. But it is considerably more involved than wiping up a a major spill on an induction burner.

                  Anyway, you're sort of preaching to the choir, as we are indeed getting a CC, as it is the best of the breed. But I'll probably be using the induction burners quite a bit.

                  1. re: davidahn

                    The improved safey of induction is theoretical.

                    There is no empirical evidence. People get burned by hot pots and hot contents of pots not by flame. On induction cooktops, pots and their contents are also hot. If I speak English I am not going convert to speaking French just for the hell of it.If there is an invading army which forces the conversion and you need to speak a new language to move about in the world then I would switch.

                    Why should I convert from a proven mature technology that works for one with complex electrical parts with unknown longterm reliablity and availablity? At worst,a match or light starts a gas burner.

                    In major spill that would require the complete disasseble of a Culinarian would produce a spill all over an induction cooktop and onto the floor and countertops.Cleaning the edges where the glass panel and the border join require more than a wipe in my experience.

                    1. re: DeeAgeaux

                      It's just a tool, but people have emotional attachments to their tools. Each tool has its pros and cons, but if your tool works for you, who's to say you should switch?

                      As for your arguments, umm, thin. An invading army? It's just a cooktop. If you say you don't want to buy new pots/pans, fine. If you say you're comfortable with gas, fine. If you say you don't want to change, fine. My wife is fine admitting she doesn't want to change. And you shouldn't feel like you should have to justify wanting to keep using gas either.

                      1. re: davidahn

                        Thin arguments? How about a solution to a problem that does not exist.

                        An epidemic of people burning themselves on gas cooktop flames?

                        When a person ask for gas cooktop recommendations stearing them in the direction of induction because it is "much safer from burn injury and much easier to keep clean" muddles the decison making process with weak arguments. Making them feel like they may be making the wrong choice for simply chosing gas is also incorrect.

                        My analogy to language is that most people don't change unless there is a compelling reason to change. Most people are not early adopters wanting change for the sake of change.

                        Then there are situations that are better suited to induction. Like the situation pezzuto may find himself in with a limited abilty to ventilate.

                        1. re: DeeAgeaux

                          We are agreed that the majority of people are resistant to change. I'm definitely in the minority, and that's probably a good thing!

                          You say I'm muddling the OP's decision. I disagree. I gave a recommendation on a gas range top, same as yours, the Capital Culinarian, along with advice to also consider induction. I find that a lot of kitchen noobs are bullied by gas-heads into believing that a high end kitchen MUST have gas! So if you bully people into choosing gas when they might have been happier with induction, who's muddling the decision?

                          You may not personally be aware of anyone injured by gas range burns, and to tell you the truth, I'm not either. But your assertion that open flames indoors carries NO RISK sounded quite cavalier. So I researched fire and burn statistics. Not that it will change your mind, as your affinity for gas is emotional and not rational (as is my preference for induction and all things newfangled). :)

                          - Forty-two percent of all home structure fires are started by cooking equipment.
                          - Of cooking equipment fires, ranges are responsible for 58% of burns but 84% of deaths.
                          - Of range fires, the majority are due to unattended ranges, preventable with timers on induction.
                          - "Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 14% of the cooking fire deaths."
                          - "90% resulted from contact with the HOT EQUIPMENT or some other non-fire source." As I keep asserting, hot grates and surfaces
                          - Children under 5 are at greater risk of non-fire burns

                          In addition to burn risk, there's also risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, etc., a significant portion of which would also go away with induction.

                          So what do the percentages above mean in lives affected?
                          - Approx. 1776 burn injuries a year from cooking equipment fires (37% of 4800/yr
                          )- Approx. 58 deaths a year (15% of 390/yr)

                          Am I saying all these injuries and deaths will go away if everyone switched to induction? By no means. Risk of injury from hot pots and liquids is unchanged with induction. Cooking is inherently risky due to the necessarily high temperatures. Proper safety measures must ALWAYS be taken no matter what cooking modality you use. But I have no doubt that there would be a significant reduction in fires, and burn injuries, and deaths.

                          Your position is crystal clear as evidenced by your denial of even the risk of burns, but ask anyone who has no horse in this race whether they prefer to have open flames and hot grates or a cool cooking surface and see what they say. For me, the above statistics are sobering, as we will have a large gas rangetop in our home. We will certainly have to exercise caution, especially when we have children.


                          1. re: davidahn

                            Maybe another point of agreement is that we are insomniacs:)

                            - Forty-two percent of all home structure fires are started by cooking equipment.
                            - Of cooking equipment fires, ranges are responsible for 58% of burns but 84% of deaths.
                            - Of range fires, the majority are due to unattended ranges, preventable with timers on induction.
                            - "Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 14% of the cooking fire deaths."
                            - "90% resulted from contact with the HOT EQUIPMENT or some other non-fire source." As I keep asserting, hot grates and surfaces
                            - Children under 5 are at greater risk of non-fire burns"

                            None of those fact sheets indentifies open gas flames nor grates on gas cooktops/rangetops.

                            Nor even gas ranges in particular.

                            Hot equipment in almost all cases is pots and pans.

                            Non-fire burns in children under 5 mostly involves hot liquid spilling onto them.


                            The scientists examined the records of all kitchen thermal burns that resulted in a child's visit to a statistical sample of 100 emergency departments nationwide, over a period of five years, 1997-2002. They looked at all cooking-related thermal injuries, excluding accidents where a child pulled on an electrical appliance's cord and was injured by the toaster, coffee maker, etc and/or its contents.

                            The main findings were:
                            - Scalds from hot liquid were the main cause of burns serious enough for an ER room visit (was 2/3rd of the cases), and are the dominant cause of hospitalizations.
                            - Burns from touching hot pots or other surfaces were less common (was 1/3rd of the cases), and seldom resulted in hospitalization. Most burns were from touching a hot pot.
                            - There were 7 total injury patterns: (1) reached up and pulled down pot from stove or other elevated surface; (2) grabbed, overturned, or spilled pot onto self; (3) collided with pot or with person holding pot; (4) put hands into pot; (5) pot contents splashed onto child; (6) other; and (7) unknown. (1) (2) and (5) were the most common, accounting for about 50% of all the injuries. (6) and (7) were less than 10%.
                            - Boys were more likely to climb up on counters and spill pots on themselves. Girls were more likely to have hot liquids splashed on them.

                            Note what was not a significant pattern of injury requiring a hospital visit: chidren touching a hot oven door, chidren holding their hands in a gas flame, children turning on a gas burner and blowing themselves up

                            You also forgot this little tidbit from your own research.....

                            "Households that use electric ranges have a higher
                            risk of fires and associated losses than those using
                            gas ranges".

                            And comparing induction to gas ranges is only half the equation.

                            Because there are mostly induction cooktops,a handful of induction ranges and no induction ovens. Most people who buy induction cooktops buy a seperate oven that increases risk:


                            Dig further and you will find that a lot of these unattended fires are started by unattended self-clean mode in electric ovens in electric/dual-fuel ranges.Not preventable by induction timers.

                            But I think you have indentified one subsection of people that could benefit from induction safety...namely forgetfull senior citizens. People that forget they turned on the gas burners and leave. But these are the people most resistant to induction and most difficult to teach how to cook on induction. And least likely to be reading chowhound for advice.

                            Yes, old and/or poorly funtioning gas ranges can cuase carbon monoxide poisoning.

                            Old/poorly function electric cooking equipment can cuause electrical fires.

                            1. re: DeeAgeaux

                              Haha, yes, we are either insomniacs or night owls! I'm the latter. But posting your rather lengthy reply nigh unto 3 am?!? Probably my fault... sorry I kept you up so late with points to rebut!

                              See how emotions work? [Tongue firmly in cheek:] Houses are burning down, people are dying in fires, and your response is, "you can't prove it was the gas ranges"! Even if 50% of gas ranges caused fires and death, the other 50% of gas range owners would say, "those idiots should have been more careful." LOL

                              I understand electrical safety can (and should) still be improved. And I reiterate that injuries will still occur even if open flames are removed. But a home would be safer without open fires and fewer gas appliances (points of failure).

                              Incidentally, I have had small kitchen fires three times in my gas cooktop from spills dripping into the drip tray where the igniter wiring was (shame on you, GE, your wires should be nowhere near the drip tray!). Luckily, I was present each time and the fires went out without spreading to the structure when I shut off the breakers. Technically electrical fires, but do you know what doesn't have igniters? You guessed it! Induction ranges.

                              As I said, the lack of more granular (broken down) data is not evidence of gas range safety, just evidence that the data is lacking.

                              Everyone but those emotionally attached to gas would still agree that NOT having open flames and hot cast iron grates is without question empirically better. Reducing the potential for injury, fires, and death is ALWAYS better, even if only a few lives a year are saved. [Note that I will NOT be part of the solution, thanks to my wife's insistence on gas! Haha]

                              1. re: davidahn

                                You keep referring to emotional attachments yet you state you are proud to be in the minority of those wanting change and are so adamant about getting induction that you purchased two cooktops;one for yourself and another for your wife.

                                Emotinal attachment to being an early adopter of induction?

                                If I married my GF and she absolutely insisted on induction I would net get a seperate gas cooktop. I would probably say "Well, I am getting a Firemagic BBQ then."

                                "But a home would be safer without open fires and fewer gas appliances (points of failure).Everyone but those emotionally attached to gas would still agree that NOT having open flames and hot cast iron grates is without question empirically better."

                                You have not proven that. The data is not there. Electrical cooking equipement has proven to be more dangerous than gas. Induction has not been sold in large enough numbers to come up in the data.

                                1. re: DeeAgeaux

                                  I agreed that I have an emotional attachment toward the new; no argument. I'm merely suggesting that we not browbeat the unsuspecting newbies into one or the other emotionally arrived at conclusion.

                                  Again, absence of granular data of injury is not proof of safety. There is UNDENIABLE risk of injury from open flames and hot grates, just as with wood burning stoves and fireplaces.

                                  For the emotionally attached (e.g., smokers), even empiric evidence is still not enough. So there's really no point arguing, as our minds are already made up, or rather, we have our "hearts set."

              2. I have the Wolf sealed burners and love them. When I first was looking, I was worried about having the high BTUs of BS but we ended up going with Wolf because BS had no dealers in the area and with a nightmare experience with Dacor, service was important. Amazingly enough I can sear steaks and stir fry on sealed burners! I have never really had to turn the burners up full blast. I like having the heat spread a little further out as I cook in 10 inch pans or bigger usually although there is a smaller burner if you need it. I can easily use a 7 inch pan cooking sugar without the side burning if the flame is adjusted properly. The simmer on all the Wolf sealed burners is great and will hold mashed potatoes without any scorching or browning. This just suits my cooking style in the kitchen better. I would consider the CC if I did a lot of Wok Cooking because the heat is more to the middle. I would go with BS if I did a lot of high heat cooking or need to heat water for pasta rapidly. I think the star shape burner spreads the heat a little more evenly than the cc. The cleaning of all are just different, one does not seem easier for one than the other once you are used to doing it.
                You might also want to check out the appliance forum on gardenweb.

                11 Replies
                1. re: wekick

                  Unlike the BS star burner the CC doughnut burner has angled burner holes and has evenness at least as good as BS. Better IMO. But for the OP,CC only has rangetops and ranges not cooktops.

                  And the CC will boil water faster too.Not by by much but faster. IMO cleaning two piece open burners is objectively easier than cleaning one piece open burners.

                  What is an acceptable sear to one person may not be acceptable to another.
                  I don't find the sear produced on 15k-16kbtu sealed burners acceptable.

                    1. re: wekick

                      What about cooking is not a matter of opinion?

                      1. re: DeeAgeaux

                        Interesting - I'm in the market for a gas range, and the Culinarian made it to my short list but was eliminated for its poor ability to hold a very low simmer. When I mentioned this to the salesman (the infamous Trevor, who appears in many of the CC videos) he attempted to allay my concern by showing me a cast iron diffuser disc that can be fitted on top of the burner to enable simmering. Sorry, but I don't want a range where I need to stop in the middle of cooking something, remove the pot from the stove and fit the diffuser, then put the pot back, and do the reverse if I later want to turn the heat back up. And I spend a LOT more time cooking things at a slow simmer than a high sear. Nor do I really care whether a pot takes a minute or two more or less to come to a boil.

                        Bottom line: I ended up deciding on the DCS, which can sear with multiple 17,500 BTU burners (plus a high intensity infrared broiler), and does a beautiful low simmer as well.

                        I have to say though, I'm impressed (and amused) by the fervent intensity of many Culinarian fans - some of them seem more like religious converts than cooks!

                        1. re: BobB

                          The differnces are more than two minutes to boil water, about three minutes.

                          The Culinarian burner will hold a low of 140 degrees.

                          The DCS of 17.5k btu can not hold a lower simmer and it will do it less evenly.

                          You can keep a heat diffuser on one CC burner if you want simmers of 110-135 degrees and simply remove it and you have a fully functional burner not just a simmer burner. And it will sear much more beautifully than a sealed burner of 17.5k btus.

                          You can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

                          1. re: BobB

                            Interesting, as the videos seem to show a pretty believable low simmer. I can't seem to find it now, but I saw a video a few months back of a disc of paper placed over the low simmer taking MINUTES to brown. I can't find it now.

                            1. re: davidahn

                              Bluestar hired a fancy shmancy law firm and threatened a massive lawsuit againt Eurostoves if they did not take down the videos.

                              Eurostoves does not have the cash to defend itself so it took down the videos.

                              1. re: davidahn

                                When I researched this I spent an inordinate amount of time poring through all of the professional and user reports on the Web, on these and a dozen other candidates (there's a huge trove of information on GardenWeb, among others). And yes, I watched all the videos.

                                My informed conclusion: theoretically the CC can simmer, but too many actual user reports say otherwise. And I don't know exactly what temperature I need to hold a pot of bolognese sauce at the perfect "occasional bubble" stage for hours, but it appears the Culinarian won't provide it without using the diffuser. For my style of cooking, that's unacceptable, though I acknowledge it may not matter to others. There are no such complaints about the DCS, it fact it gets high marks for low as well as high heat cooking. For that matter, I found virtually no complaints from actual DCS users at all, with the exception of one guy who had to replace his igniters and thought they were too expensive. The only other brands that had so few complaints were Wolf (but I'm not going to pay $1000 extra for a set of red knobs, iconic or not), and Capital, but the complaints I did find on were the aforementioned inability to simmer well. Plus I like the five-burner layout (I'm limited to a 30" model) and infrared broiler on the DCS.

                                But it really amazes me how many CC converts seem to think that you really can't cook anything on any other range on the market. The worst is that sales guy, Trevor. He was attempting to convince me that with the Wolf (which is functionally very similar to the DCS) you have only a limited number of heat settings, basically just the four click stops. But he had a live Wolf range there, and when I turned it on I had no difficulty adjusting the flame gradually from the lowest setting to the highest, with no misbehavior between click stops. As he continued to stand right there and tell me it's not possible. That certainly didn't help his credibility.

                                1. re: BobB

                                  Sounds like your DCS works well for your needs. Different strokes for different folks. I've never put anything on "occasional bubble" for hours, nor do I see the need.

                                  It appears some people are "delicate simmer" folk, and others are "now THAT'S a FIRE" folk. I want to boil the HELL outta that water (which is also why I love induction), but if you want tiny bubbles instead of a raging boil, more power to you (or less, as it were). Don't think you're more informed than CC folk; we've all done a ton of research as well, we've just arrived at different conclusions.

                                  This is not a CC thing, this is a human nature thing. People are prone to emotional attachments to anything that is THEIRS. Or have you never seen a Mac vs. PC debate, or political or religious debates... or a gas vs. induction debate RIGHT IN THIS THREAD between DeeAgeaux and me, both incidentally CC adherents?!?

                                  The important thing is that newbies get a chance to examine the evidence and make their own decisions based on their own needs and biases.

                                  1. re: BobB

                                    I have read two reports of people complaining about CC simmering.

                                    Both CC and BS attracts the most anal cooks who are absolutely particular about all their cooking.

                                    I have yet to run into someone at the luxury appliance store looking at either the CC or BS that have not done exhuastive internet searches.

                                    Not so with Wolf and DCS.

                                    Part of it is the marketing of BS and CC as the absolute orgasmic top of the line cooking tool in the universe and owners have outrageously high expectations.

                                    But fact remains DCS and CC can both hold a 140 degree F simmer.
                                    BS dedicated simmer burner,when properly calibrated,can hold 130 degrees.

                                    Some people insist on lower temps. You need a diffuser for that.

                                    More btus equals more heat which equals better sear.

                                    More even heat equals better results.

                                    Then again there are over 100 million househoulds in America thart are perfectly satisfied with mainstreem ranges like Frigidaire,Whilpool,Kenmore,and Bosch.

                                    1. re: DeeAgeaux

                                      "Then again there are over 100 million househoulds in America thart are perfectly satisfied with mainstreem ranges like Frigidaire,Whilpool,Kenmore,and Bosch."

                                      Well said, that puts things in perspective. We're really just quibbling about variations among cooktop royalty here.