GE Monogram range burners - hot enough?

JimJohnApril 9, 2013

I am considering a 48" GE Monogram range for our renovated kitchen but have read two independent posts that complain that the burners don't perform well when you want them to get high levels of heat to the pan. For example, one post said it wouldn't produce a rolling boil without a lid on the pan. Both said they wouldn't get a wok hot enough. The suggestion is that the architecture of the flame doesn't get enough heat to the pan as needed, although you would think that 18K BTU would be sufficient.

So, all you Monogram range owners, have you had these problems? Or are you completely satisfied with the high heat performance? Any other comments about this range?


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I have not seen that to be the case. They get plenty hot on high and have a very good simmer. My complaint is with the in between. There is not much knob travel in the mid settings to finesse the Med. - Med high flames.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:52AM
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well, an 18K burner may sound hot, but if it's a sealed burner that throws the flame to the outside edges of most normal sized pans, then you may notice that the burner fails to produce a rolling boil, hot wok or great sear that you'd expect from a burner of that magnitude.

i know there's all kinds of people on here who love sealed burners. i'm not one of them. i love an open burner design. i have a 36" 6 burner bluestar, and b/c it's an open burner, the heat goes directly upward right to the bottom of the pan, no matter what size pan you use. even the regular old 15K burners get things blazing, and the 22K is like a jet engine. as for simmer, those work incredibly well too, as the burner head is set into a deep bowl design, so the pan has some good distance between the simmering gas ports. and the burners do any temp range inbetween.

as a caveat, i myself don't have the GE your'e talking about, and haven't even checked it out at all. however, i was very close to ordering a Viking, but changed my mind after actually cooking on it for the above-mentioned reasons (most specifically, the way it throws the flames out to the edges). i cook alot for just one or two people (my wife and I), so i'm not always using large sized pans. the Viking's flames, when on high, actually went beyond the perimeter of the pan, so i'd have to turn it down to have the flames actually hit the pan bottom, which of course made everything take longer. so even though the Viking has alot of BTU's per burner, that didn't actually translate to the pan itself.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:56AM
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gtadross - I'm not looking for a tussle here, but 18,ooo btu IS HOT.

Of course the size of the pan will make a difference - it does on your open burner model just like it does on a traditional coil burner or a glass smoothtop. And lets not even open up the induction cooktop can of worms.

One type is not superior to the other, but the sizing issue is one thing to consider alone with things like cleanability , your pot pan collection, home's infrastructure , ability to buy said cooktop, and some other things.

With regard to rolling boil - either the water is 212 degrees or it's not. If you REALLY need or want a super turbo tsunami boiling pot - better ditch that bluestar and get yourself a dedicated induction burner that will be faster an more efficient at that task.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:42PM
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Just wokked veggies on my GE Monogram rangetop last night--perfectly done!

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:59PM
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If an 18K Btu burner cannot get water to boil, it is not producing anywhere near its rated capacity. It has NOTHING to do with whether it is sealed or open. It is malfunctioning!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 2:14PM
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I think Xedos makes good points and gtadross suggests another good idea, which is testing out the burners for yourself.

Pretty much every stove design involves compromises and trade-offs, and pro-style stoves are no exceptions. A lot of pro-style stoves are set-up for larger pans. Whether that is good or bad depends on what and how you cook with what.

Let me give you an example. I could care less about making coffee in those little 3" diameter Mokka pots by Bialetti. Don't own one, don't plan to buy one, and just don't care. But maybe that is your preferred way of making coffee. And maybe you want to make morning oatmeal in a small, 4" diameter sauce pan, So, I tell you I have no trouble bringing 2 gallons of water to a rolling boil in 14 minutes on my stove's 15k sealed burners. I'm doing this with a 12" diameter stock pot. So, if I tell you this, does it say you'll be fine with the Monogram's 18k sealed burners? Nah. If you wanted to use that little Mokka pot or the small saucepan, they might not get hot enough to work for you --- maybe the flame pattern just barely gets the saucepan to just the edge of a boil and that little Mokka pot never gets hot enough to make the coffee because the flames are going around it. To me, the stove gets plenty hot enough but for you, it doesn't. The difference in our experiences is not (usually, anyway) differences between the stoves but, rather, differences in out preferences, how we cook, and what we cook with.

So, therefore, I strongly recommend that you find some place for a test run of the Monogram burners to find out for yourself how well or poorly they will work for you.

For the kind of money that the big stoves cost, there ought to be somewhere in your area that will offer you that opportunity. Pretty much any size Monogram stove will do as (AFIAK) they all use the same burners --- the 48" model just has more of them.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 21:52

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 4:24PM
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As always, JW, great stuff.

We own a recently purchased 30" GE Monogram DF range. Last night my DW boiled water for pasta for 4 people. Rolling boil in minutes in a 12" stock pot. Plenty, and I mean plenty fast enough and rolling enough. We bought a wok specifically because of the grates, and we are by no means experts, but the thing got as hot as we needed it to be very quickly. Last weekend made a sauce over low heat and it worked great.

My DW and I are no experts, and don't know the specs like others, but we like the continuous grates across the cooktop, the size of the grates to hold large diameter pots, the high heat, and responsive controls. Obviously no service issues yet, but we hope that working with GE will be easier than say an Italian brand.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 1:12PM
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I've read a good bit on this site about the sealed vs open burner issue, so I'm pretty familiar with all the arguments. That aside, it's really helpful to have feedback on my question. I haven't found a Monogram range to try out yet, but I'll keep looking. Thanks very much for responding to my question.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 7:03PM
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I always feel that the people who prefer sealed burners base their decision, in great part, on the perceived ability to keep them cleaner than open burners.

But I've had sealed burners most of my life and I have to say, they are VERY hard to keep clean. About the only thing that does stay clean are the tiny ports through which gas flows as they're protected by the overhang of the sealed burner cap.

However an open burner is incredibly easy to keep clean. All the debris just fall through the bowl and onto the drip tray underneath. And anything that falls onto the burner head itself is just burner right off. If a gas port gets clogged, a quick prick with a toothpick takes care of it.

Now my bluestar has seen a lot of use and I'll never get it looking brand new. But the same can be said of my older sealed burner range, or anything else for that matter. In fact, I'd say the sealed burner range top looks worse bc it has thousands of tiny scratches on its surface from the constant scrubbing with hardback sponges and Comet that's necessary to keep it clean. Whereas the bluestar grates, at worst, just look a little greasy. All I have to do is put them in the dishwasher every now and then. To be honest I don't even do that anymore as the dark black cast iron grates really hide the grease well.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 7:37PM
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You just had the wrong sealed burners. I've been cooking on a DCS for over 4 years now and it only requires a scrub with a warm soapy sponge for daily cleaning. Occasionally, like every few months, I may have to use BarKeeper's Friend to remove some stubborn spots. The only thing that keeps this range from looking brand new after daily use for that time, is a discoloured scorch halo, perhaps 1/16"-1/8" wide, around each burner. The matt finish SS deck doesn't show scratches, nor does it get hot enough to burn on spills/overflows. The DCS designers worked very hard to design sealed burners that direct their heat upwards, towards the pots.

I've seen the YouTube vids about cleaning Bluestars and CCs, and my DCS is wayyyyyyyyy easier.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:43PM
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One thing I think gets thrown around here somewhat in error is "open burner". There are residential style open burners that many old basic gas stoves used and some new offerings such as viking and up till recently wolf offered as an option. The debate should be about "commercial style" open burners which as far as I know are only offered by 3 manufacturers (bluestar, capital and american range). Your typical residential style open burner does not offer a huge performance advantage over a sealed burner, but there is a huge difference in performance between a commercial style open burner and a residential style (open or closed) burner. The only way a residential style burner (open or closed) ccould give similar performance (with same btu rating) to a commercial style burner is if the cooking vessel had a huge diameter. Larger than 12" for sure. I have owned a residential style open burner 15k viking and also have 15k commercial style bs burners currently and I can say with real world experience the two burners can not compare on high heat performance.

After owning both and using many, I would say that as long as there is a commercial style open burner available I don't think I could go back to anything else. I was never truly happy with the performance of any residential style burner that I have used or owned. If ther were no options available I'd seriously have to look into what it would take to legalize a real commercial range.

@OP you may very well be happy with the performance of the monogram. We can't tell you if you will be or not. Those of us that own commercial style burners can collectively tell you that you will get better performance with a commercial style burner, but we can't say if its overkill for you or not. I was never thrilled with the performance of my 15k res style.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:29AM
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Posted by tyguy
there is a huge difference in performance between a commercial style open burner and a residential style (open or closed) burner. The only way a residential style burner (open or closed) ccould give similar performance (with same btu rating) to a commercial style burner is if the cooking vessel had a huge diameter. Larger than 12" for sure.

Performance is a very generic term. It would be helpful to give a specific definition of what performance means to you.

FWIW, I can use a 10 inch skillet on my sealed 15K BTU burner full tilt, but it would burn what I am cooking.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:00PM
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Have this same problem...waited 15 minutes to get a boil going for pasta. Never did get a good rolling boil on my 18,000 BTU burner. Pasta needs a rolling boil to keep it moving in the pot. Wish I had not purchased this gas cooktop 5 years ago. Need a good sear on meat? Forget it with this cooktop. Very disappointed with the low heat output on all burners.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 10:41PM
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