Are Thermador's Star Burners Worth the Hype?

Saba Wahid  |  June 25, 2021  |  4 Min. Read

Thermador  |  Professional Ranges  |  Pro Cooking

Start finding answers in our Resource Center full of videos, buying guides, and checklists

Start Here

You are probably wondering, "Does a burner with a star shape make a difference over a round burner?"

My team at Yale and I were wondering as well. So much so, we tested the Thermador Star Burner for BTU output, simmering power, and cleanability during our Livestream last week.

In this article, you will learn the differences between Thermador's Star Burner and other manufacturers' burners. Many newer brands have compelling new burners.

It will be an interesting post whether you are considering Thermador or another brand. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.

Let's get started.

Short on time? Get our free Pro Cooking Buying GuideLearn More

Thermador's Star Burner

Thermador-48-Inch-Pro-Range-with-Star-Burners

The Thermador Star Burner varies depending on whether you are buying a range, rangetop, or cooktop.

Thermador's Pro Grand series has a maximum of 22,000 BTUs for one burner, while the rest have 18,000 and 15,000 BTU outputs.

The Thermador Harmony is their shallower series with 18,000 and 15,000 BTU burners.

The Star burner on cooktops is a combination of burners. Their middle burner in a 30-inch stovetop is 18,000 BTU, yet it's 16,000 BTUs in a 36-inch stovetop.

The other burners are underpowered, with a combination of 8,000, 10,000, or 12,000 BTU, depending on the cooktop.

Cooktops have less output than a rangetop in any brand. However, a cooktop will have two burners over 15,000 BTU.

How Does the Thermador Star Burner Compare to Other Brands' Burners?

thermador-pro-range-star-burnerThermador Star Burner

 

At one time, Thermador used to have one of the most powerful burners available in professional cooking. Wolf and newer brands have surpassed Thermador in output.

BTU Output

Signature Kitchen Suite (SKS) has a combination of 23,000 and 15,000 BTU burners. All four burners on this 48-inch range have the option to perform at lower temperatures between 650 and 310 BTUs.

sks-pro-range-gas-burnerSKS Pro Range Burner

 

You have a steady low temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit on the back burners to hold sauces or melt chocolate.

There is also a water bath for sous vide cooking and a two-zone induction cooking surface with SKS.

Wolf's 48-inch range has one burner with a high BTU output of 20,000, two at 18,000, and two at 15,000 BTU.

Wolf-pro-range-burnerWolf Pro Range Sealed Burner

 

Every burner is dual-stacked, which means they all can go extra low. The burners can go as low as 300 BTU for true simmers.

JennAir has 20,000 and 15,000 BTU burners while Wolf has 20,000, 18,000, and 15,000 BTU outputs.

bluestar-burner-(1)

For open burners, BlueStar (shown above) offers 25,000, 22,000, and 15,000 BTU in their Platinum series.

Cleanability

cleaning-a-thermador-star-burner-for-a-pro-range

In this case, the Star Burner is well-conceived. Round burners have removable tops, but you can only clean under the Star Burner with a Thermador professional range.

For the round burners, you have to scrub around them. They aren't removable in professional ranges. Strangely enough, you have to scrub around the Thermador Star Burners in their cooktops as well.

Simmering Capability

Thermador has two extra-low simmer burners at 100 BTU each for an extremely effective simmer. Thermador's extra-low burners turn on and off to stay at the low temperature of 100 BTU.

Before 2020, turning a burner on and off was the only way to keep such a low temperature. However, the SKS "Ultralow" burner is 100 BTU while maintaining a consistent temperature.

Wolf is known to have an excellent simmer burner at about 300 BTU.

Price

Thermador has always presented itself as a lower-priced option, especially to their rival Wolf.

They also have their One-Two-Free program, where you can receive a free dishwasher or hood when you purchase qualifying products.

With the purchase of a professional range, you would receive a free dishwasher. If you add a Thermador qualifying Thermador refrigerator, you will receive a free ventilation hood.

With a cooktop or rangetop, you have to add a wall oven to receive the free dishwasher.

Regardless, let's finally answer whether Thermador's Star Burner works better than a round burner.

Are Thermador Star Burners Worth the Hype?

For that answer, we needed to see it in use. Below is my live stream and test results.

Testing Thermador's Star Burners BTU Output

After conducting the cooking test on various temperatures ranging from 18,000 to 22,000 BTU, the Thermador Star Burner performed well.

The high output burner was great for searing steak. If comparing the Thermador Star Burner to similar 48-inch professional ranges with 20,000 BTU of power, the difference was minor, if any.

However, the type of pan used will make a difference in how the heat is distributed and the type of oil used.

The 18,000 BTU burners performed well. I was able to saute the vegetables, make a quick sauce, and boil pasta water.

However, I moved the pasta water to the 22,000 BTU burner to speed things along.

Testing Thermador's Star Burner Simmering Capabilities

I could also hold the sauce using the extra low simmer feature without scorching, drying out, or burning the food on the bottom.

Although, the gas turning on and off can be annoying to some.

The SKS simmer yielded similar results while maintaining a constant simmer.

Overall Thermador Star Burner Performance

The Thermador Star Burners on a 48-inch professional range performed effectively. The real difference between this burner and competitors is the BTU output and the extra low simmer feature.

Plus, the fact that the burner is raised makes it a lot easier to clean around it.

Should You Buy a Thermador Professional Range With Theramdor's Star Burners?

Thermador-48-Inch-Pro-Grand-Dual-Fuel-Range-with-Star-Burners

BTU output is similar from a cooktop standpoint, whether from a Star Burner or the traditional round burner.

The simmer does work well as the intermittent does keep an overall lower temperature. However, other brands now offer a consistent simmer with similar results.

For cleanability, you will find raised burners are easier to clean under on professional ranges and rangetops.

Thermador has great features and is a good range to consider when you are shopping for multiple appliances. 

However, the burner shape does not lend any advantages other than easy cleaning for professional ranges and rangetops.

Additional Resources

Get our free Pro Cooking Buying Guide with tips, trends, and reviews of all the best brands. Over 900,000 people have already found answers in a Yale guide.

View our Pro Cooking Buying Guide

Related Articles:

Why Should You Trust Us?

It seems that every appliance review has nothing but glowing comments about almost every product, yet you read customer reviews and they are almost universally bad.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

Please consider subscribing or adding to the conversation in the comments below. We appreciate you stopping by.

Saba Wahid

Saba is the resident Chef at Yale. She will teach you how to use your new oven, cooktop, or range. She is skilled in every new feature, including steam, induction, convection of all types, air frying, and sous vide. Saba is also the reigning Chopped Grand Champion crowned by Martha Stewart herself. Saba is incredibly versatile with all different types of cuisine. After just one session with her, you will be a better chef.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

Suggested Articles