30-inch gas cooktops can vary with four to five burners. If you so happen to be looking for a new 30” gas cooktop at this moment, I've narrowed the choices between the industry’s best.
All of these brands have strong histories in the appliance world. 30 inch refers to the width of the cooktop. 30 and 36 inch are by far the most popular sizes.
But what’s the best choice? The criteria will be burner layout (performance), cleanup, and service (reliability).
Rangetop vs. Cooktop
Rangetops have the controls on the face and have grill and griddle capability. Cooktops have the controls on the top and tend to be less expensive. The burners were at one time way more powerful on the rangetop. However, rangetops now have one or two power burners equivalent or hotter than a rangetop.
If you're replacing an older cooktop with a new one into an existing cutout, (as no two homes are alike) it can be difficult to find what works with what you have. For this article, measurements are not an issue (though I stress the measure twice, cut once rule).
What to look for in a new cooktop
- Cleanup: Look for removable knobs and an upswept lip or rim to contain spills. Look for sealed burners and grates that are dishwasher-safe.
- Burner Layout: Many cooktops come with burners specifically designed for low-heat tasks (like simmering) or high-heat tasks (boiling). There should be enough space between burners to use several pots at once without juggling them. Smaller burners should be in front so that you attend to tasks that require close attention, like simmering.
- Controls: Make sure they're easy to access and are legible. Touchpad (electric only) controls are easier to use than knobs or dials. Knobs on the front of the cook top (rather than the side) offer more cooking space and are further away from the burners. Making your hands less vulnerable to burns. They can also be easier for children to reach; some models have a push-in and turn feature for safety.
Thermador and Bosch
Part of BSH Home Appliances Corporation, a fully owned subsidiary of BSH Bosch. Did you know they are the 3rd largest appliance manufacturer in the world? Founded in 1916 in California by William E. Cranston, and began as a manufacturer of electric items, most notably portable and built-in heaters. In 1932, Thermador established its appliance manufacturing as Cranston merged with business owner H.H. Fogwell to form the Thermador Electric Manufacturing Company. Thermador is now owned by the Bosch Company. The Bosch Benchmark line launched in early 2014 as the premium line within the Bosch product line.
The Sub-Zero Freezer Company was founded in 1945, by Westye F. Bakke in Madison, Wisconsin. For more than 70 years, Wolf has been synonymous with professional cooking equipment for restaurants and hotels. In March of 2000, the company became part of Sub-Zero and was adapted for the serious in-home cook. Adapting to an ever growing kitchen design segment. Sub-Zero, reinvested in Wolf and redesigned the line completely with better simmers and double convection technology in the ovens.
The original Jenn-Air Products Company was founded by Louis J. Jenn in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1947, later becoming simply Jenn-Air. In the early years, the company focused on manufacturing and marketing of industrial fans for use in a variety of commercial and industrial applications. In 1961, Jenn-Air's integration of one of these fans to a cooktop range lead to the invention of the first self-ventilated downdraft range. The company grew its product line to include many other kitchen appliances including microwave ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, and small appliances such as mixers and blenders. Unfortunately, the brand languished after being purchased by the Maytag company as well as the demand for downdrafts dissipating in the 1990s. With investment from Whirlpool, once again, Jenn-Air is a brand to be considered in the professional range category.
As I look at all the brands, all were independent niche brands. All were acquired by much larger companies interested in selling premium products, mostly because they could not sell with their existing portfolio...and all have been successful.
The Best 30" Gas Cooktops
Bosch NGMP055UC - $1,299
- Heavy-Duty Metal Knobs for a Premium Look and Feel
- Low-Profile Design for an Integrated Appearance
- Distinctive red indicator light lets you know burners are on
- Centralized Controls for Easy Use and Intuitive Operation of the Cooktop
- Powerful 51,000 BTU Burners (Natural Gas)
- Two 10,000 BTU burners, two 5,500 BTU burners and a 20,000 BTU burner
- Sealed Burners Prevent Spills from Entering the Burner Box
- Push-to-Turn Knobs
- Automatic Electronic Re-Ignition --In Case Flame Goes Out, the Burner is Automatically Re-Ignited
- LP Conversion Kit Included for Easy Conversion from Natural Gas to Liquid Propane
Thermador SGSX305FS - $1,699
- Most powerful 30" cooktop in the market (amongst leading manufacturers) with an overall 52,000 BTU output
- 30" - 5 burner gas cooktop provides functionality of a 36" cooktop in a compact kitchen environment
- Powerful 16,000 BTU Center Burner
- Single point ignition - only burner that is being used is ignited
- Exclusive 200 BTU ExtraLow burners for perfect simmering
- Exclusive, patented Star Burner provides superior performance
- Continuous grates allow pots and pans to glide smoothly across the cooktop
- Progressive illuminated control panel with metal knobs
- High-grade, quality die cast metal knobs
- Sleek control panel features glass and stainless steel
- Chiseled, angular design coordinates with the suite of Thermador Masterpiece Collection appliances
- Knobs feature a safety "push to turn" system
- Automatic electronic re-ignition
Wolf CG304P/S - $1,699
- Stainless steel top construction
- Four dual-stacked, sealed burners with automatic re-ignition on all settings
- One large 18,000 BTU burner, one medium 12,000 BTU/Hr sealed burner and two small 9,200 BTU burners
- True simmer setting on all burners
- Individual spark ignition system
- Illuminated control panel with two-tiered control knobs
- Low-profile cast iron continuous burner grates with matte porcelain finish
- Signature red, black or stainless steel control knobs
Jenn-Air JGC1530BS - $1,399
- The most powerful cooktop burner offered by Jenn-Air, the 19,000 BTU dual-stacked PowerBurner can sear, create a rapid boil or achieve high heat for wok cooking, but is still gentle enough for soups, sauces and delicate simmering.
- Electronic Ignition and SureFlame Ignition Protection - SureFlame ignition protection prevents the burner flame from being extinguished by a sudden draft.
- Cast Metal Knobs - These sleek controls offer substantial heft and precision while complementing the cooktop’s surface.
- Low-Profile Design - With an extremely low profile, you can have a minimal look —nearly flush with the countertop — for an integrated transition to the cooktop.
- 12,000 BTU Burner -Experience a sturdy burner that’s ideal for everyday cooking but can also be used for sautéing or pan-frying.
- 9,000 BTU Burner- A burner that reaches a maximum power level of 9,000 BTUs and fulfills most everyday cooking functions.
- 6,000 BTU Simmer Burner - Melt chocolate and butter or simmer sauces just below boiling with a high-precision burner that offers a wide range of power.
- May Be Installed Over Jenn-Air 30" Electric Single Oven - This luxury electric radiant cooktop can be installed over a Jenn-Air® electric single oven, offering additional design flexibility
Jenn-Air and Thermador have the best rebates programs. Buy a cooktop, qualifying wall oven and receive a free dishwasher. Jenn-Air also has a $200 mail in rebate when you combine this cooktop with a qualifying wall oven. Wolf’s rebate is pretty decent with up to $2,500 in incentives for Sub-Zero and Wolf purchases.
Which is best?
Ultimately, these are all good choices but….
The Thermador has the most features, nodes and flexibility to cook in different ways. The control panel is very intuitive and easy to use. Thermador has the star burners for more even cooking
Jenn-Air is a good looking, relatively inexpensive cooktop with a 19,000 BTU burner (you are using about 12,000 now). It is also part of our best selling package. I also like the Wolf with the ability to simmer on all burners consistently, but the product is a tad more expensive compared to their competitors.
Bosch, as is the Thermador, is a solid, dependable product. It is actually one of the most reliable brands in the industry and has a 20,000 BTU burner.
Base your decision on knob ergonomics that make sense to you, and consider the possible savings with a package too.
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