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If you’re designing your dream kitchen or just looking to replace an old stove, a new gas cooktop is a great way to level up your home cooking and give your space a bit of a facelift. Compared to electric cooktops, most chefs prefer to use gas for several reasons.
First of all, gas heats up faster than electric, making it more efficient for high-heat cooking. In addition, the raised grates on a gas stove mean you can use pretty much any cookware, even if the bottom is slightly rounded. Gas ranges also offer greater heat control, which is essential for precise cooking. And the open flames allow you to grill, smoke, and sear food (not to mention make indoor s’mores!). Gas stoves may be a little trickier to clean, but it's not difficult.
"When it comes to cleaning your stove...soap and water does the trick after regular use...using a degreaser is very effective once a week or every two weeks to remove grease on the burners/grates, but always read the manufacturer’s instructions," says Brenda Backal, private chef and owner of BB’s Kitchen in Los Angeles. "[Avoid covering your stove with aluminum foil], which traps the grease and bacteria on your stove and is a fire hazard."
Before making a final decision, you'll want to confirm the measurements of your cooktop space. While the width is important, you'll definitely need to consider the depth of your countertop.
There’s a lot to love about gas cooktops, but choosing the right one for your kitchen is an important decision. I’ve narrowed down the best gas cooktops to ignite a spark in your kitchen.
Best Overall, 30-Inch: GE JGP5030SLSS 30-Inch Gas Cooktop with 5 Burners Including Power Burners
What We Love: Power boil burner and simmer burner, dishwasher-safe grates, ADA compliant
What We Don't Love: No indicator light
While gas cooktops can be as small as 24 inches wide, most models are built as either 30-inch or 36-inch and sometimes both sizes are available. GE is known for making high-quality, durable appliances, and this sturdy 30-inch cooktop is no different.
It packs five sealed burners into a compact space, making this a great gas range for smaller kitchens. And despite the size, this cooktop delivers high heat for fast, efficient cooking. The Power Boil burner delivers up to 15,000 BTUs, while a simmer burner lets your bolognese develop its complex flavors for hours. The recessed design helps contain spills, so you can easily wipe them up after cooking. I also love that the cast-iron grates are continuous, which allows you to seamlessly slide pots and pans from one burner to another without having to pick anything up and risk a spill or burn.
When it comes to clean up, you really can’t beat stove grates that can be washed in the dishwasher. There is an optional griddle sold separately, and the entire cooktop does come with a 1-year limited warranty.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 21 x 30 x 5.5 inches | Maximum Power: 15,000 BTUs | Number of Burners: 5
Best Overall, 36-Inch: KitchenAid KCGS556ESS 36-Inch 5-Burner Gas Cooktop
What We Love: High BTUs, large simmer burner, easy to clean, ADA compliant
What We Don't Love: Knobs can get hot from front burners
If you have the room for a full 36-inch cooktop, this gleaming stainless steel cooktop from KitchenAid can be your kitchen showpiece.
First, It has five burners in four different sizes for any kind of cooking. With the center dual-ring 20,000-BTU burner, you can boil water faster on this gas range than most, making pasta night so much easier. The larger central burner, meanwhile, has a precise simmer knob for extra control over your food, whether that's a sauce or a skillet chicken Parmesan. Luckily, this gas range also has a little more space between burners, which means you can cook in larger batches without crowding.
When it’s clean-up time, it’s easy to keep this stove bright and shiny because it’s treated with KitchenAid's CookShiled Finish, which doesn’t need serious chemicals to maintain its gleam. The full-width cast-iron grates are safe to go in the dishwasher, and KitchenAid offers a limited 5-year warranty on parts.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 21 x 36.35 x 3.7 inches | Maximum Power: 20,000 BTUs | Number of Burners: 5
Best Budget: Empava EMPV-30GC5B70C 30 in. Gas Stove Cooktop with 5 Sealed Italy Sabaf Burners
What We Love: Sealed burners, 2-year warranty, dishwasher-safe grates
What We Don't Love: Lower BTUs per burner
This small kitchen-friendly cooktop from Empava packs plenty of features and power for its price tag. The 5-burner range has four different burner sizes, including a 12,000-BTU dual-ring burner for boiling and a 4000-BTU burner for simmering your favorite winter stew.
It works with both liquid propane and natural gas (and comes with a conversion kit to switch from one to the other) and can even be installed in RVs and mobile homes. This stove can also be installed over a compatible Empava under-counter oven. The edge-to-edge cast-iron grates are dishwasher-safe for a low-maintenance and high-performance cooktop.
Dimensions (DxWXH): 30 x 20 x 4.1 inches | Maximum Power: 12,000 BTUs | Number of Burners: 5
Related: The Best Gas Ranges
Best with Downdraft: KitchenAid KCGD506GSS 36-Inch Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop with Downdraft
What We Love: 3-speed downdraft fan, quiet fan, automatic re-ignition
What We Don't Love: Simmer burner only reaches 5,000 BTUs
If you don't want to install a new overhead vent with your cooktop, you could go with a downdraft cooktop. That's when the ventilation is integrated into your cooktop. A good downdraft system can make cooking at home—especially in a small space—much more enjoyable. No one wants to smell last night’s salmon all day long.
The 3-speed downdraft on this 5-burner range from KitchenAid does an excellent job of clearing odors and smoke. With a 17,000-BTU burner, you can easily reach a high enough temperature for searing a steak without filling your kitchen with smoke. There is an optional conversion kit for duct-free ventilation as well. While most of the cooktops on this list have electric ignition, this stove has an additional automatic re-ignition in case the flame goes out. This stovetop does have a slightly deeper recessed surface than other models, which can make cleaning a little trickier.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 21 x 36 x 5,35 inches | Maximum Power: 17,000 BTUs | Number of Burners: 5
Related: The Best Range Hoods
Best 7-Burner: ZLINE RTS-48 48-Inch Porcelain Gas Cooktop
What We Love: Handcrafted burners, reversible griddle, scratch-resistant material, ADA compliant
What We Don't Love: Expensive
If you're cooking for a big family or want a semi-professional kitchen, a larger cooktop would make dinnertime all the more enjoyable. For these larger kitchens, this porcelain 7-burner gas cooktop from ZLINE can be a total game-changer.
Measuring a full 48 inches across, everything from the heavy-duty cast-iron grates to the sealed burners is built to last. The grates do have a continuous design for easy maneuvering around the extra-large cooktop, only slightly broken up with the reversible griddle/grill plate. There are three different burner sizes for various culinary projects, with the largest burner maxing out at 18,000 BTUs and the smallest at 4,200 BTUs. The range works with both natural gas and propane and has a beautiful porcelain finish that makes it shine in any kitchen design.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 27.5 x 48 x 8 inches | Maximum Power: 18,000 BTUs | Number of Burners: 7
Related: The Best Electric Ranges
Best with Built-In Griddle: Samsung NA36N7755TS 36-Inch Smart Gas Cooktop
What We Love: Wi-Fi-compatible, built-in flat top griddle, wok grate
What We Don't Love: Continuous spark ignition
If you're building an entire smart kitchen, there's no reason to leave out your cooktop. The stove is Wi-Fi-compatible and syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth, so you can sync the hood and lights when the burners are on.
This also is a super-charged gas cooktop with a spacious removable flat top surface for making the best grilled cheeses ever. The cast-iron griddle easily sits atop the two left burners, leaving three burners for the tomato soup. Even better, this center dual-burner packs 22,000 BTUs, which makes it one of the most powerful ones on this list. With an included wok grate, this is a great option for home cooks who love to grill, sear, and stir-fry outside the confines of a skillet.
For added safety (and fun), the knobs light up with blue LED lights when a burner is in use. All of the grates are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Keep in mind that this cooktop ignites via a continuous spark, as opposed to electrically.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 22 x 36 x 5.5 inches | Maximum Power: 22,000 BTUs | Number of Burners: 5
If you're in the market for a 30-inch cooktop that can deliver up to 15,000 BTUs, the GE JGP5030SLSS 30-Inch Gas Cooktop with 5 Burners Including Power Burners (view at Home Depot) will check all your boxes. For those who want a stove with downdraft ventilation, the KitchenAid KCGD506GSS 36-Inch Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop with Downdraft (view at Home Depot) is a great cooktop that will keep smells at bay.
What to Look for When Buying a Gas Cooktop
BTU stands for British thermal unit, and it’s how we measure heat energy. When it comes to gas cooktops, the number of BTUs indicates the appliance’s heating power. Higher BTUs mean the range can reach a higher temperature and has a larger flame. The smallest gas burners have around 500 BTUs, while the most powerful ranges can offer more than 20,000 BTUs. Lower BTU burners can be useful for gentle cooking, so a range of options is a nice feature on a gas stove. Look for a cooktop with several different burner sizes to offer the most flexibility in heating.
Ventilation helps direct air around the cooking surface out of your kitchen. This air can include smoke, steam, odors, and even grease particles. If you do a lot of high-heat cooking that produces smoke and other aerosolized particles, having a downdraft can help keep your living space odor- and smoke-free. If your gas range doesn't include a downdraft, you'll need an overhead vent to suck the smoke and particles up and out of the kitchen, as long as you have the necessary ductwork in your home.
Some gas ranges are easier to clean than others. It mostly comes down to the surface material. For example, stainless steel, a popular material for appliances, can be easy to clean with the right supplies. Glass, on the other hand, tends to show streaks. All of the gas cooktops on this list have a recessed design, which means they sit inside the counter and spills can collect on the cooktop surface, rather than running over the edge. This helps keep messes contained, but can also make cleaning a little more challenging, as you have to scoop out anything that jumped out of your pot during cooking. For super-easy cleaning, look for a range with dishwasher-safe grates.
How should you install a gas cooktop?
As long as you know what you’re doing, you can install a new gas cooktop yourself. It’s a fairly simple job, but it does require attention to detail to ensure there are no gas leaks. Make sure you have the proper tools and adaptors to attach your new cooktop to the gas source, whether that’s propane or natural gas. And before you use the stove, carefully check carefully for leaks or kinks in the gas line. If you’re concerned, most of the stores that sell gas cooktops also offer installation services.
Can you use any cookware with gas cooktops?
Yes, unlike induction cooktops, you can use any kind of cookware with your gas cooktop. From stainless steel to cast iron, there’s no need to buy new pots and pans for your new range. Chef Backal points out that this is a benefit of using gas over induction burners, for "which you will need specific pots and pans" that can be pricey.
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This article was written by Lizzy Briskin, a chef, food writer, and recipe developer who’s always looking for new ways to put her gas range to work.
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