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High BTU Gas and Electric ranges compared



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2003, 08:39 PM
Joe Doe
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Default High BTU Gas and Electric ranges compared

I have frequently been seduced by the thought of buying a new stove for
the raw horsepower they have. I have done some calculations based on
recently available data that might help people considering buying high-end
gas stoves. Frequently, high-end stoves are marketed based on their
supposed ³professional² performance and ³high BTU² burners. And the high
BTU is sold as essential for Wok cooking etc. In a test measuring how
long it took to heat 6 qts of water to a boil Consumer reports rated
simple coil electric burners as the highest and stated that it took
approximately 12 minutes to achieve this (Feb 02, page 34). Data on
commonly pushed ³high end² gas stoves has not been published by the
manufacturers (to my knowledge). Gardenweb may have had some relevant
information but it is no longer available.

In the December issue at depatures.com David Rosengarten compares the
performance of a Blue Star, DCS a Viking and a Jade (see
http://www.departures.com/ad/ad_1103_cookranges.html).


He reports the following times for boiling 6 quarts of water:

Blue star 18000 BTU, 17.83min
DCS 17500 BTU, 19.50min
Viking 15000 BTU, 21.33 min
Jade 15000 BTU, 24.10 min
My 20+-year-old gas stove 9000 BTU 30 min (my measurement).

So all the stoves perform significantly worse than a simple $300-500 coil
electric stove, that takes 12 minutes (at about 18 minutes the Blue Star
takes about 33% longer).

The numbers Rosengarten has correspond to a burner efficiency of about
28-32%. My 20-year-old stove has an efficiency of 38%!! [Efficiencies
were calculated based on the assumption that it takes 1704 BTU to bring
1.5 gallons of water to a boil. Based on the rated BTU you can predict
how long it should take theoretically (5.68 minutes for the Blue star at
100% efficiency for example)] The useful BTU in terms of water boiling
the stoves are putting out based on the efficiency I calculated for each
= 5733 (Blue star); 5243 (DCS); 4793 (Viking); 4242 (Jade) and 3408 (my
20+ year old stove).

To perform equivalent to the cheap $300-500 coil electric stoves (12
minute boil time for 1.5 gallons), these gas burners at 30% efficiency
would need to be rated at 28400 BTU!!! Considering there is more than
a 10-fold price differential between the two, I would say the performance
of the current high-end gas burners is pathetic. The manufacturers are
careful to advertise BTU rather than the useful work that the BTU is
supposed to perform (like boil water). I know coil electrics are not as
responsive as gas, but for raw horsepower tasks, this is not an issue.
Infact if dual fuel ranges are made, perhaps it would make sense to have
one "power" burner that is electric and actually has more power than
current gas burners.

To put it another way would I want to spend upwards of $3000 to buy a
stove that changes my boil time from 30 minutes to 18 at best (30%
reduction in time)? The answer for me is not likely. I plan on seeing if
I can find a single element 2500 *2800 Watt coil electric for Wok cooking
and the like. Alternatively, I would buy a good Cajun burner that can
probably put out significantly more heat than any of the stoves above and
use it outdoors.

Roland
Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2003, 10:13 PM
Peter Aitken
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Posts: n/a
Default High BTU Gas and Electric ranges compared

"Joe Doe" wrote in message
...
I have frequently been seduced by the thought of buying a new stove for
the raw horsepower they have. I have done some calculations based on
recently available data that might help people considering buying high-end
gas stoves. Frequently, high-end stoves are marketed based on their
supposed ³professional² performance and ³high BTU² burners. And the high
BTU is sold as essential for Wok cooking etc. In a test measuring how
long it took to heat 6 qts of water to a boil Consumer reports rated
simple coil electric burners as the highest and stated that it took
approximately 12 minutes to achieve this (Feb 02, page 34). Data on
commonly pushed ³high end² gas stoves has not been published by the
manufacturers (to my knowledge). Gardenweb may have had some relevant
information but it is no longer available.

In the December issue at depatures.com David Rosengarten compares the
performance of a Blue Star, DCS a Viking and a Jade (see
http://www.departures.com/ad/ad_1103_cookranges.html).


He reports the following times for boiling 6 quarts of water:

Blue star 18000 BTU, 17.83min
DCS 17500 BTU, 19.50min
Viking 15000 BTU, 21.33 min
Jade 15000 BTU, 24.10 min
My 20+-year-old gas stove 9000 BTU 30 min (my measurement).

So all the stoves perform significantly worse than a simple $300-500 coil
electric stove, that takes 12 minutes (at about 18 minutes the Blue Star
takes about 33% longer).

The numbers Rosengarten has correspond to a burner efficiency of about
28-32%. My 20-year-old stove has an efficiency of 38%!! [Efficiencies
were calculated based on the assumption that it takes 1704 BTU to bring
1.5 gallons of water to a boil. Based on the rated BTU you can predict
how long it should take theoretically (5.68 minutes for the Blue star at
100% efficiency for example)] The useful BTU in terms of water boiling
the stoves are putting out based on the efficiency I calculated for each
= 5733 (Blue star); 5243 (DCS); 4793 (Viking); 4242 (Jade) and 3408 (my
20+ year old stove).

To perform equivalent to the cheap $300-500 coil electric stoves (12
minute boil time for 1.5 gallons), these gas burners at 30% efficiency
would need to be rated at 28400 BTU!!! Considering there is more than
a 10-fold price differential between the two, I would say the performance
of the current high-end gas burners is pathetic. The manufacturers are
careful to advertise BTU rather than the useful work that the BTU is
supposed to perform (like boil water). I know coil electrics are not as
responsive as gas, but for raw horsepower tasks, this is not an issue.
Infact if dual fuel ranges are made, perhaps it would make sense to have
one "power" burner that is electric and actually has more power than
current gas burners.

To put it another way would I want to spend upwards of $3000 to buy a
stove that changes my boil time from 30 minutes to 18 at best (30%
reduction in time)? The answer for me is not likely. I plan on seeing if
I can find a single element 2500 *2800 Watt coil electric for Wok cooking
and the like. Alternatively, I would buy a good Cajun burner that can
probably put out significantly more heat than any of the stoves above and
use it outdoors.

Roland


Shhhh! You are going to get the "gas is best" gang all upset. But these
numbers are not surprising. Anyone who has used gas is aware of the huge
amount of heat that escapes around the sides of the pan and into the room.
THis does not happen with electric and is, I expect, a major reason why
electric is so much more efficient about getting the heat into the food
where you want it. For a wok, consider a turkey fryer burner - for use
ourdoors of course. I do not have one (yet!) but many people have reported
good results for wok cooking.


--
Peter Aitken

Remove the crap from my email address before using.


  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2003, 12:52 AM
Don Wiss
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default High BTU Gas and Electric ranges compared

On Tue, 09 Dec 2003 14:39:34 -0600, (Joe Doe) wrote:

I plan on seeing if
I can find a single element 2500 *2800 Watt coil electric for Wok cooking
and the like.


You should look into an induction burner. See:
http://theinductionsite.com/

Don donwiss at panix.com.
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2003, 03:06 AM
Joe Doe
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default High BTU Gas and Electric ranges compared

In article , Don Wiss
wrote:

On Tue, 09 Dec 2003 14:39:34 -0600, (Joe Doe) wrote:

I plan on seeing if
I can find a single element 2500 *2800 Watt coil electric for Wok cooking
and the like.


You should look into an induction burner. See:
http://theinductionsite.com/

Don donwiss at panix.com.





I think Induction is theoretically very good. However, I would like to
see what the performance of Induction stoves is in a standard boil test.
It would be very useful to have this data. Cooktek for example, compares
their 3.5 kW model at about 31,000 BTU, and their 1.8 kW model at about
16,000. Does this mean they assume a gas unit operating at 30%
efficiency or ? Hard data in terms of boiling times would make
comparisons a lot easier.

Does anybody know what pricing on single element induction units is
currently at?

Roland
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2003, 03:26 AM
Don Wiss
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default High BTU Gas and Electric ranges compared

On Tue, 09 Dec 2003 21:06:58 -0600, (Joe Doe) wrote:

Does anybody know what pricing on single element induction units is
currently at?


Well, a google search finds pages like:

http://www.epinions.com/Other_Small_...-Brand_Cooktek

Don donwiss at panix.com.
 




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