Do you really use 6 burners?

meek95November 29, 2012

We were trying to decide between a 30" range and a 36" range with a griddle and 4 burners. Now my DH wants to get a 36" range with 6 burners since the griddle adds about $700 to the cost. We would then use a stovetop griddle.

I have been cooking for the past ten years or so with only 3 burners (1 is broken). I can't imagine ever needing or using all 6 burners.

Is it worth the extra money to get the 36" with 6 burners? Am I better off keeping the extra 6" for countertop/cabinets? It is a small kitchen.

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I have a smallish galley kitchen with a 36" range.

It was a tiny 50's galley kitchen but I busted the wall between dining room and kitchen and replaced two tables with one.

Then I busted the wall between tiny kitchen and tiny laundry room and put the washer and dryer under covered porch on the side of the house.

So the Kitchen is still narrow and smallish.

I have been using my range for four about months now and have never used more than four burners.

But I love the cooktop space. Being able to use two very large pans and small pot at the same time without pans squeezing out over the countertop.

And I love the big full-size 36" oven.

There was a thread like this similar to this one in Kitchens a few weeks ago. Out of the 30 resposnes only one person said they used 5/6 burners but only one person said they would go back to a 30" range.

I would not go back myself.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:02PM
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I've been using my 36 inch, 6 burner for a couple months now and its great for that extra room. The pot of pasta does not interfere with the sauce or the sauteing veggies or the browning meet...
plus there is almost always some room to move a pan off the heat, or to lay down a hot dish out of the oven even with lots going on the burners.
another benefit is that my wife and i like to cook together and with the extra width, we can both be at the range without being in each other's way.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:18PM
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space, space, space

one of the best things I did in my new kitchen was going to a 36" range. We got a grill but even if we hadn't, we would have done the 36" anyway. I have hardly ever used more than three burners, but as you have figured out by now, the number of burners you actually use is only part of the story.

The real estate is really important.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Saving 6 inches of countertop or cabinet will not give you the same joy of having an extra large oven or the ability to use 3 back burners without using the front burners.

A place to pull things out of the oven and set them while your using a couple burners on the cooktop. etc. etc..

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:32PM
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I had a 30" cooktop and went to 36" cooktop in new kitchen. I agree its the space that is so useful not the number of burners. I have one big burner and 4 regular size burners and maybe i've used 4 at one time occasionally.

ALso I couldn't justify the space for a 36" size oven in a range so i decided to essentially split them into a 36" cooktop and 30" oven. Then i have second speed oven elsewhere. I am happy with that choice. Lots of flexibility and efficiency.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:22PM
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On the griddle:I say skip the built-in one and just use a stove-top one when you need it. Check out Chef-King's carbon steel 14" x 23" pan. Much less expensive ($100 for the ChefKing versus $700 for the built-in), much easier to clean and can be stashed and stored when not it use.

I have a small kitchen as well and will echo what has been said about there being trade-offs between getting a 36" versus a 30" range.

A 36-inch range does have the conveniences outlined above.For example, with my 30" range (pro-style), if I am using three pots, there really is no place to take anything bigger than a bread pan out of the oven and stash it on the stove top.For moving a pan off heat -- not something I do frequently because for what I cook, I'm usually either taking the pan someplace else or else its is usually enough for me to simply shut off the burner --- it is sometimes feasible and sometimes not, depending on what else I've got on the stove top and the size of the pan I need to move. My left side and right side burners are 17-inches on center. That leaves a space of about 6 inches wide in which to move a small pan from the heated burner grates. (The heavy cast-iron pro-style burner grates do hold some heat).With a 36 inch stove, each line of burners will be about 11 or 12 inches inches wide. That gives a center or side space of 12 inches where you could move a pot from its burner to a cool zone.

However, there are four doors in my century-old 9' x 11' kitchen, which leaves me with with room for a single L-shpaed run of counters and cabinets. I have the fridge and some shallow shelving on the other walls, and one of the doors is for a walk-in pantry, so it is not quite as cramped as it might be.For me, expansion would be a bigger project than what Deeageaux described and more a lot more money than I am willing to spend.

So, with that small my kitchen, a 36" range would eliminate a section of lower cabinets and eat six inches of countertop at a place that would elminate ready access for a "baking station."Putting my 30-inch range on the open end of the "L" does leave one side of the range exposed to the room.But, this allows two people to cook on the stove at the same time (one facing the front of the stove and the other facing the open right side).

Also, I have a standard depth "pro-style" range, I have no trouble running four large pots and pans at once. By "large" I mean two 12" diameter skillets and two 20 quart kettles.Now, this will vary with ranges because some, such as the Bertazzonis and IKEAs, are shallower in depth (akin to counterdepth fridges) and will not have the same cooktop or oven room.

If you do a lot of baking of large quantities, the ovens in 36" stoves may be worthwhile.They may take longer to preheat and use more energy than smaller ovens.On the other hand, Consumer Reports' testing gives pretty high marks to the capabilities of ovens in 36" stoves and not-so-great to poor ratings for ovens in 30" pro-style ranges.

There have been several threads on this topic as Deeageaux mentioned. You might want to start with the following:

This post was edited by JWVideo on Fri, Nov 30, 12 at 2:30

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:25PM
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Another thing to consider if this is not your last-ever home is resale. People expect 36" in larger/high-end kitchens. We gave thought to combining a 30" gas rangetop with a 2-burner induction cooktop immediately adjacent to it, but concluded it would definitely not look great/"appropriate" and would almost certainly be perceived as weird by potential buyers.

This post was edited by PeterH2 on Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 16:36

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:35PM
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I use my six burners often enough that I wouldn't want to be without them. The most important thing is the depth like JWVideo said though.
As far as a griddle, I have been looking for something in aluminum. I have a small one that doesn't really fit my range now as well but I really like it. I was all set to buy a chef king but picked it up and it is heavy. Aluminum is also much better at heat transfer so no hot spots and it is quick to turn up or down. It does season after awhile like the steel.
I am going to try this one but I am not sure how thick it is,but it is relatively inexpensive and a little wider than the chef king.

Here is a link that might be useful: Royal Industries Griddle

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Thanks for all the comments. Lots to consider but I feel better now about spending the extra money. We are reconfiguring a pantry so I am gaining at least 10 inches on the wall with the range. This helps a lot. I'll check out the other threads too.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:40PM
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I have had a six burner CC rangetop for a year and cook from scratch every day, almost every meal. I have only used all six burners three times. I have used five burners probably about a dozen 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. And an empty burner or two makes the perfect landing spot for a hot item out of my wall oven nearby. All this makes cooking so much easier and less frustrating for me. I would never willingly go back to fewer burners.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:50PM
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I would go with the 6 burner and use a Chef King 14x23" griddle, best of both worlds.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 11:55PM
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I have a six burner cooktop and use 5 regularly, 6 not so much. But it all depends on how you cook. As others have mentioned, even if you don't need all 6 burners, it's really nice to have to the room to space your large pans, plus an extra area to take hot pans off the burner. It's also nice to use 3 large burners when you need them. I'm actually concerned about my upcoming downgrade to a 5 burner cooktop, and DH is encouraging me to consider two 4-burner cooktops instead. :) So I'd say go for the 6 burner, if it won't mean giving up something critical in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:40PM
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What breezy said. We do use five of the six burners at a time, and having the flexibility of moving a pan to the unused burner is priceless to DH and I. Only you know, though.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:38PM
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I am mostly surprised that no one would go back to a 30". You've convinced me. Now I am excited to get it ordered!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:56AM
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Yikes! -- Who would want to wash the six pans that they just used????

Call me lame but you should just get one of those electric countertop griddles (like Rival brand). They are so much better than the griddle that goes over the burners because they heat evenly and you don't get "hot" and "cold" spots -- you don't even have to move the food around. Plus they free up space on your stove for frying bacon or sausage!

$700 more is a lot for more "space". I would also be concerned that that big oven would take forever to pre-heat.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:33AM
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I actually have an electric griddle, not sure if I would replace it with a stovetop one.. I wonder about the larger oven preheat time too. My husband is the one who wants the 36" range and he doesn't even cook!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:30PM
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