Bertazzoni 36" cooktop - good or bad experience?

aimskitchenNovember 3, 2012

I'm looking for a 36" gas cooktop, and really like the looks of the Bertazzoni cooktops. However, I can't seem to find much in the way of reviews, either good or bad. Does anyone have experience they can share? The other brands I've considered are Thermador and Kitchenaid. I first chose a GE Monogram cooktop, but then read pretty negative things here and elsewhere online, so am looking at other options.

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4 years old - love mine, very happy indeed.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Sara thank you for weighing in. The things are gorgeous, so I was hoping for good news. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 12:36PM
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I have had my bert for almost two years now. I can safely tell you it's an awesome cooking machine, but as with any range it has ups and downs which I will try and relay to you.

First, the burners are awesome. They light easily and burn with a really smooth clean flame. I love the layout of the burners as well. I find myself using the front left burner generally the most. I do use the center burner occasionally for big pots and such. The control of the burners is pretty great, and the low settings can go very low on the smallest burner (think melting chocolate or something without burning). The other feature I really like about the burners is that they can be manually lit, which as of this past week was a godsend since I didn't have power. The burners are the best feature on this range by far. They are easy to operate, and super easy to clean.

Secondly, the oven. Now, this oven is great for flatter dishes like casseroles and stuff. It can handle things like a turkey and what not, but this oven is obviously wider and flatter than some other ranges. This is due to a design where there is a fold down cabinet below the oven. Part of me wishes they had just done away with that storage space and made the oven taller. This I feel like is the ranges biggest limitation, fortunately for me I have a wall oven as a supplement. The oven is very even, but it does heat up fairly slowly, and there is no thermometer inside the unit so you'll have to put your own in. One quirky thing about the oven is that it has a "fan failure" light, which seems pretty weird that I would need a light to tell me something has failed. The oven also CANNOT be lit manually, I tried and tried, you can get gas to come out into the oven, but I believe the temperature gauge is electronically controlled.

The build quality is very good, I really enjoy the fact that the burners can be removed and there is a single pressed stainless top to it, making it extremely easy to clean. Another oddity of this range (which my friends have now learned to deal with) is that the burner knobs need to be turned "downward" to turn them down. It's not a big deal once you realize how it works, but it's funny to see someone who has never used this range before try and turn the burners down.

Now, the reason I purchased this range over the other options were as follows. I am not by any means a professional chef, I cook for myself and entertain a lot, but I didn't need 22,000btu burners and stuff. I wanted something that just worked, and looked nice doing it. I also thought the price point seemed much more reasonable when compared to the 'high end' brand names. I also picked this because my friend owns a Viking range and it has been absolutely nothing but trouble. I wanted something unique and I think I got that. It's also a plus that the oven was built in Italy.

However, there are some serious drawbacks with this range. Minus the oven stuff, there is one thing I am very concerned about, which is that there is no way to lock the burners, especially the oven burner/ignite switch. People tend to lean in this area of my kitchen and it's happened so many times that someone will bump their butt into the gas on oven on switch. This causes the range to start ticking and it freaks people out, it also starts the oven releasing gas. The burners also cannot be locked, and they are very easy to move and operate (a plus for the chef) but a major downside when my 2 year old niece is around and pushing buttons on everything in my kitchen. I wish to death that the range had a lock feature for these. My old Jenn-air needed to be pushed in and down to unlock the burners, a design which I felt was much safer. Another upside/downside depending on how you look at it, is that the racks inside the oven are exceptionally heavy, these are by far way too overdesigned. They probably weigh 8 pounds each, which means they won't bend ever no matter what you put in there, but moving them in and out of a hot oven is going to require two people with mittens. The oven when operating also blows warm air into the kitchen, which in the winter is amazing for me, but in the summer it's kind of a drag if you're cooking something for 3 hours, it'll heat up the kitchen space by a few degrees.

Overall, if I had to buy another range again, I would choose this one again. The price simply cannot be beat for the features you get, I think I got mine for $3,100 and the next comparable pro-style range was $6,000+. People automatically assume it cost much more than it actually did ha ha. It performs just as well as my friends Wolf and Viking on the burner front, which is what I use it for the most anyway. It looks beautiful in my kitchen, and it's a good conversation piece since not many people have seen this brand before.

I hope this review helps you, and others who I'm sure are considering this range.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 2:49PM
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OK, I have more time to post now - we just got our power back!

I have the drop-in 6 burner cooktop, which has the controls along the side - so no issue with people leaning on it :) The only time this has been inconvenient is if two of us are cooking and the one at the left wants to adjust their burner while the one on the right is busy with something. But that's just us.
Mine is LPG, and Bertazzoni claim the same output for LPG as natural gas - I'm certainly happy with it.

It's incredibly easy to clean - lift off the grates and simply wipe the top with a soapy sponge, then wipe dry with a microfibre cloth, and it shines. If it needs a bit more, then I use a white light duty scrubby sponge. I've never needed anything more.
I have once or twice put the grates in the dishwasher - I was afraid the rubber feet would come off, but they were fine.

I know some people here complain that the ignition is strange, but for me, it's entirely what I'm used to from cooktops in the UK. You just have to hold the knob down for a few seconds after it lights - it becomes second nature after a week or so.

I got a second simmer ring from Bertazzoni (they actually sent it without charge, when I emailed to enquire if I could buy one) so I can simmer sauce very slowly on the inner ring of the high power burner, as well as the other side. I use the high power ring for stir-frying very successfully too.

I really enjoy cooking on this thing.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 3:08PM
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