open burner cooktop - what should I buy?

ashikJuly 18, 2012

I am replacing an old 4 burner GE cooktop. Stupid question - are there none made any more with pilot lights? I think I have decided on open burners. I read great things about Capital but can't seem to find any cooktops with open burners. We are not replacing cabinets - but I am wondering about what limits me to a cooktop versus a rangetop? I have two drawers (side by side) under the cook top and then a cabinet under the drawers. I love to cook and cater parties but am not sure I have ever used all four burners at the same time so I question the need for more. We are replacing the countertops.

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deeageaux

The only open burner cooktop currently available is from Bluestar. After demand slows down for Capital Culinarian ranges and rangetops they will probably come out with one but none in the immediate future.

People also buy 36" cooktops for added surface space.It is much easier to maneuver two oversized pans on a 36" cooktop than 30".

The 36" has 5 burners in a configuration similar to a 36" range but with controls in the spot where the middle front burner would be...

The 30" 4 burner is setup like a 24" range with controls on the side.

If you want the rangetop ask a cabinet maker/installer how much he would charge to alter your current cabinets to accept the rangetop of your choice. The bigger problem is countertops but you are replacing that anyway.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 3:09AM
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ak0402

I think you are also asking about the differences (pros and cons) between rangetops and cooktops, right?

Surface area - cooktops have less real estate for your pots and pans because of the knobs. If you are looking at a 30" cooktop, this is really a problem (see Deeageaux's pic above), and I would not recommend a cooktop in a 30" size. Rangetops have the knobs across the front, like a range, but without the oven, so more surface real estate for your pots and pans.

Aesthetics - cooktops are a more sleek contemporary look; rangetops are a more "professional kitchen" bulky look. A matter of personal preference.

Power - rangetops tend to have more btu's than cooktops, though many find the cooktop's btu's to be plenty, so again, personal preference.

Knob placement - for cooktops, some say they don't like the idea of having to turn knobs while a hot pot and flames are right next to the knobs. Also there have been reports of cooktops' knobs becoming damaged over time by the heat. Others say they prefer the cooktop's knob placement because it's easier to see them (vs. looking at the knobs on a rangetop), and they don't mind that the knobs may or may not be close to heat.

Future replacement - if you need to replace a rangetop, it's a matter of simply switching out. If you need to replace a cooktop, you may or may not find another cooktop with those exact dimensions to fit in your counter cut-out. This problem has been reported several times on this forum and the Kitchens forum, with people having to re-cut counters or find filler for counters in order to fit a new cooktop.

Expense - rangetops cost more than cooktops.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:30AM
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ashik

Thanks - so there is a reason I couldn't find open burner from CC - it doesn't exist - yet! shoot! But I didn't realize that BlueStar is my only option!

Also - I am wondering about those that have the 5 burners - if that 5th is necessary? I cook a lot but don't ever recall having all 4 going at the same time and wishing for a 5th!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:34AM
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bonesoda

@ashik: depends on your cooking/venue... if you have a holiday meal being made or even for a large group with many dishes 5 burners would be a lifesaver!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 9:46AM
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breezygirl

Is that fifth burner necessary?

I have a six burner CC rangetop and cook from scratch every day, almost every meal. I have only used all six burners once. I have used five burners several times; I use four burners fairly regularly. While it seems like having more burners than one might use daily doesn't make sense, it is far preferable to me than having fewer burners. Having elbow/working room around my pans is a requirement for me now after too many years of a tiny cooking surface. My large stock pot makes it difficult to get a large pan on the burner next to it. Ditto my large fry pan. With those extra burners, I can offset my large pans with plenty of space around them. For example, my large stock pot can be left simmering or boiling on the back center burner while I actively use two 12" saute pans on the front left and front right burners. When one pan is finished, I can slide it to an open burner to rest with food or cool down if empty. All this makes cooking so much easier and less frustrating for me. I would never willingly go back to fewer burners or a cooktop.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 1:13PM
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deeageaux

Also - I am wondering about those that have the 5 burners - if that 5th is necessary? I cook a lot but don't ever recall having all 4 going at the same time and wishing for a 5th!

To clarify,I think the space to maneuver on the BS 36" cooktop is more important than the 5th burner.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 1:32PM
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HealthyCook47

I've had a 30 inch Bluestar cooktop for 6 months and am loving it! I don't find that the knobs on the side compromise any "real estate." The heat from the high BTUs is wonderful. I can actually use a wok the way it is meant to be used, sear in a cast iron skillet like a pro and bring water to a boil so much faster than with my old JennAir (which came with the house.) I needed to have a cooktop as aopposed to a range since we did not want to replace our island granite with our remodel. I also have a RangeCraft hood over the cooktop which is wonderful.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 9:53PM
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ashik

ok - so we are moving along and the granite is ordered --- so now it is decision time with the cooktop. I thought I need cooktop vs rangetop because I have a cooktop presently. I think that if I wanted rangetop I would have to give up the two drawers that are presently underneath my cooktop and I really wouldn't want to have to do that. Am I correct in this thinking?

Also - I am wondering if I currently have a 30", if I can increase the width to 36" - as I have found it difficult, as mentioned, to cook with my larger pots and pans at the same time on the four burners - so just for the extra "elbow room" it would be more desireable. Is this possible to do?

Another thought, will I need a different vent for a Bluestar as opposed to the vent that seems to work adequately in the micro which sits under the cabinet above the present cooktop.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 12:43AM
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beekeeperswife

I have the 36" BS Range Top. I have 2 drawers below it. Once you go to 36", you will never go back.

I have a hunch that the micro hood is not sufficient for this baby. I love my big cfm's and capture area when we are wok'n on high heat. And if you do 36", for sure the microwave isn't going to work.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 2:09PM
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