30' Gas Cooktop 12,500 versus 18,000 BTU (long)
Hello, I appreciate anyone that can stick with my long post and give me advice. We bought a home with an older 30" 4-burner gas cooktop, that had been painted by flippers with a non-heat tolerant paint, so it needs replacing fairly quickly.
I am an average home cook that very frequently boils a large pot of water for pasta or potatoes (5 qts in a 9" pot) or soup (8 qts in an 11" pot). I want it to be on a back (or centered) burner so it isn't in my way and to keep it from the front of the cooktop for safety.
I need to know if a cooktop with a max of 12,500 BTUs will be enough for me. Along with MANY other threads and reviews, I have read the thread, What do you need high BTU for? (http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/appl/msg0402111118842.html?0060c1fd8632a578f18cfcadb5c225a7&rnd=JEbp2), which seemed to imply that 15,000 BTU minimum is what I might need.
Unfortunately, my husband talked to a salesperson and found out that cooktops start at around $400. So when I told him that after my research I had narrowed it down to two cooktops, he basically had a cow when he found out they were both just under $1100. FWIW, they were the LG LCG3091 30" Gas Cooktop and Dacor Distinctive DCT305S/NG. Both are only available in SS (black would be preferred, but not a deal breaker). The highly rated LG has a 19K dual center, but may be cramped on the other burners, and ironically put both of the next largest burners on the front which hems in the knobs. The relatively unreviewed Dacor has 18K on the center with its next largest on the rear and a small simmer very accessible in the front, which is a better configuration for me. I wasn't looking for 5 burners since I would rarely use all 5, but these had their high output burner centered as opposed to in the front as with most 4 burners. (I also considered the Bosch NGM8054 but many reviews said the grate height was higher than normal, leading to a lower actual cooking temp).
My fall back is the black Whirlpool W5CG3024XB. It has a 12.5K BTU burner on the front right and another on the rear left, nicely staggered, allowing the hottest cooking in the front and my boiling in the rear. The other burners are 5K in the front and 9.2K in the rear. It also has continuous grates. It is way less expensive, on sale for around $500.
So, I would have to totally convince my husband that 18K versus 12.5K BTUs is worth $600 more. This is our forever house, so we are erring on the side of more expensive when push comes to shove, but he simply believes that any old gas cooktop will be good enough.
I just want to boil water quickly. Per its sticker, my current cooktop is a 1995 Frigidaire, model NF71203179. It lists all burners as 9K, 1.6 mm. All of its burner caps are the same size, just over 2.5" in diameter. On the highest flame, the pot just covers all of the flame and fills that burner's grate. I just tested it and it took 18 minutes to boil 5 qts in my covered 9" stainless steel pot. After about 10 minutes, I pretty much felt like it should have been boiling already.
Any experienced guesses on whether the the proposed 12.5 BTUs will save me only a couple of minutes or more like 6-10 minutes? Do I need to jump to the 18K BTU to boil my 5 qts in more like 10 minutes?
I appreciate any comments regarding gas cooktops.