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The importance of BTUs?

Posted by misswriter (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 26, 12 at 14:41

We are in the process of building a new home and picking out our kitchen appliances. I need help choosing the right gas cooktop or rangetop for my needs.

I love to cook, but am by no means a professional. I do cook a lot, usually at least 2 meals each day.

My first choice is a Wolf rangetop, but I'm not sure if we are going to be able to fit it in the budget. If we are not able to get the Wolf rangetop, we are trying to decide if we'd be better off with a Wolf cooktop or a Kitchen Aid rangetop (which are about the same price).

I like the look of a rangetop better and I like that it has 6 burners instead of 5. What I'm not sure of is how important the greater BTU range the Wolf offers is. The Wolf cooktop offers a lower BTU on each burner than the one simmer burner on the Kitchen Aid--what I don't know is how important that is to me. We have rented our last 2 homes and both have been electric, which I know I hate. Before that I had GE gas range that I cooked on for about 3 years that worked well for me; I have no idea what the BTUs were on it.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: The importance of BTUs?

It really depends on how you cook and what you cook. How they are laid out is also a factor We have an gas range - left front is the "high power burner", right front is probably a "regular" burner, left rear which is almost never used is a "simmer" burner, right rear is a "higher" powered burner (some where between "high power" and "regular"). I use the high power burner most of the time. The regular burner is good for simmering and making things like rice but is lousy for something like a sauteing veggies or browning meat. The higher power burner is nice but the back splash makes it hard to get large pots over the burner. Frankly, I wish they had but it on the right front.

I would suggest thinking about how you cook meals and how you would want the pots laid out.

RE: The importance of BTUs?

Thanks for your input. It seems like the Wolf would be easier overall since each burner has a pretty big range of BTUs, whereas the Kitchen Aid each burner is different. I'll have to study them some more.

RE: The importance of BTUs?

FWIW, we have a Wolf AG range, and one of the reasons we chose it vs. another is the uniformity from burner to burner--we wanted a range with all the burners the same size and ability. Our old 4 burner GE range (a builder's special apparently) only had one simmer burner (which provided too high a flame besides). I hated juggling pots/pans when I had more than one that required a low flame.

The only other range we might have considered at the time, was the Bluestar. Despite the different size burners, I think it would have allowed enough flexibility, and I believe some degree of customization of burner sizes??? At the time, Bluestar owners were reporting more problems (igniters, fit/finish issues, oven door hinge issues) which may or may not have been resolved at this point, so we opted to get the Wolf. We find the range of BTU's to be quite good for our needs.

We really like being able to utilize any burner for any of our stovetop cooking needs without having to think about which one would best work for which "dish."

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