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Aug 16, 2012 07:02 AM

5-burner vs 6-burner cooktop?

Apologies for a naive question, but what are the differences between a 5 and 6 burner cooktop in the way they're used? I've never had anything but a 4-burner and now that I have a (small) family and cook 2-3 times a day I am finding it gets crowded on there. The cooktops I'm looking at are either 5 or 6 burner in the same 36" space and I'm not entirely clear on how that translates into cooking practices. Many thanks!

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  1. togijiru,
    You should find the extra burners a boon to organizing your cooking, keeping items warm while preparing other food. I would prefer a 6 burner over a 5 based solely upon the ability of spanning 2 burners with a large griddle for say pancakes, a skillet for eggs, one for bacon, one for home fries, and one for a tea kettle as an example. Five burners just seems a little off, although I am sure it works. I think you will have to decide not only what you cook but how often you may need (or simply want) the extra burner. If your typical family weekend breakfast or brunch or large special dinner consists of only 3 or 4 stove top items, 5 burners would probably do nicely. Six would be better.

    If you have a really large pan or stock pot (12 or 16 quart), it may crowd out a burner in the 6 burner configuration but might fit comfortably on the 5 burner and leave the other 4 completely open, but it depends upon the stove top configuration. Take some pots and pans to your appliance store and do a dry run and see which makes you happy and comfortable.

    It really comes down to analyzing what you and your family like to eat, and how you go about preparing your meals, the sequencing of events so to speak. Sorry I cannot be of any better assistance in this. Good luck.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dcrb

      That's a huge help, actually. It's a bit tough to imagine why I might prefer one of two products, neither of which I've used before, but your description does give me food for thought. As much as I would *like* to make my own stock, and keep intending to, I somehow never get around to it, while I make breakfasts like the one you describe with the griddle pretty frequently, and have noticed before that having to rotate things out of a limited number of pans to keep things warm & cooking has resulted in a plate with one item served not so warm as the others. It sounds like the 6-burner would suit my cooking style a bit better. Many thanks!

      1. re: togijiru


        I think you are making a good choice. As for the stock pot, my wife uses a a 12 and 16 qt for spaghetti sauce, chili, soups, etc. and then freezes in gallon storage bags for future use. This is usually done on a Saturday and on Sunday it hits the freezer after the ingredients of whatever was prepared have gotten acquainted with each other overnight. Again, good luck.

    2. I can think of only one advantage of a 5-burner cooktop, and that's knob placement. A lot of 6-burner cooktops have their knobs on the front face, right at toddler height. Most 5-burner cooktops I've seen have the knobs on the top, generally where the 6th burner might have been. If you have curious toddlers in the house, a 5-burner may make better (safer) sense. Of course, I'm making sweeping generalizations, because different manufacturers place their knobs all over the place, but it's something to consider.

      8 Replies
      1. re: ricepad

        Ah, you know, I was looking for burners in front for ease of cleaning, had not thought about the safety issue - and my toddler is tall. Thank you!

        1. re: togijiru

          The knobs on the frOnt should lock.

          1. re: CanadaGirl

            I completely forgot about little ones. Ours are grown and gone. Safety of kids is paramount.

            1. re: CanadaGirl

              Oh, I didn't know that was an option -- like the car doors? I will look into it, otherwise as dcrb says below, yes, safety will have to take precedence over ease.

              1. re: togijiru

                Regardless of where the knobs or controls are, nothing will replace proper respect by and discipline of the young regarding the kitchen in general (knives, cleaning supplies, etc.) and the range in particular. A range just used, with the controls off and mounted on a back panel is still dangerous as the burner grates will or may still be hot as are the contents of any pot or pan within reach. Just a thought.

                1. re: dcrb

                  Supervision and education are the ultimate childproofing, of course.

                2. re: togijiru

                  For any range with front controls, they should lock (I think it's the law, but am not sure). I know my sister's locks and unlocks by holding down a specific button for a few seconds.

                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                    It's not a huge issue -- my very tall nearly 3-year-old can actually reach the controls already on the cooktop with knobs on top -- but if there are ways to make the kitchen a bit safer I'd love to know about them. Thank you!

          2. I've got the 5 burner Wolf cooktop and I love i, and it's wonerful having the additional burner to work witht.

            Not all 5 burner cooktops are configured the same way and you need to be sure that you'd be happy with the one you decide on. Mine has 3 burners in back and 2 in front. The knobs are located in the remaining front area where a 6the burner would go if there was one. I find it very versatile.
            On the other hand, my daughter's is laid out with one larger burner in the center and the remainign 4 in the corners. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to make good use of all 5 burners at once. If there is a large pot in the center only smaller saucepans can be on the other 4 and you have to reach over the large pot to get to the ones in back.

            When I redid my kitchen I actually drove around with some of my biggest pots and frying pans when I'd go shopping for appliances, to see how I would be able to arrange them if I were cooking.

            1 Reply
            1. re: helou

              Ah, that's a great idea, thank you. Maybe I'll just bring a cardboard cutout of the widest part of the pan, some of these showrooms look unlike any place where they'd let you set a pan down, haha!

            2. togijiru,

              Here is a link for knob covers with a video. Please note that some of the reviews on Amazon are not encouraging.


              1 Reply
              1. re: dcrb

                The Amazon reviews do seem pretty spotty, but many suggest the alternative workaround of removing knobs from the stove and bringing them out as needed. Clever parents finding ways to work around toddler curiosity!