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Old 02-10-2003, 04:14 PM
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Default Cooktop - BTU question

"Justin Won" wrote in message news:3tRbb.550[email protected]
I want to buy a new drop-in cooktop. I am trying to get calibrated on the
relative BTU range.

I am considering a DCS cooktop whose center burner puts out 17500 BTU with
lowest simmer setting is around 1200 BTU (I got this number off a vendor,
the DCS website says 140 degrees at the lowest setting). The other option
is the Thermador with XLO. In this case, the hottest burner is 15000 BTU
but the XLO burners can go down to 200 BTU.

So my questions a

Will I notice the extra 2500 BTU (17.5k vs 15k) of the DCS (wok/stir fry,
boiling time)?
How are effective are simmer plates on a1200 BTU burner?
What is the effective low end BTU to simmer a sauce without burning or
boiling? I haven't seen many cooktops go below 850-950 BTU except for the
Thermador. Someone told me you can melt chocolate on a paper plate on the
XLO burner. Neat, but not that useful to me.



(1)To return to the original post. My guess is that the 1,200 BTU
figure for the low end of the DCS is incorrect. A simmer at 140
degrees is pretty good, and I bet the low end BTU input rating to get
that simmer is well below 1,200. (The DCS site does not say; it just
reports the 140 degree figure.) So I would certainly not assume that
the Thermador simmer is better than the DCS on the basis of a supposed
1,200 vs. 200 BTU comparison.

(2)WindCrest ( makes a 36" drop-in cooktop with a
dual center burner that is 18.5K BTU at the high end and 500 BTU at
the low end. In addition, there are two 15K burners, one 12K burner,
and one 9K burner. It is a bit of a drawback that the high BTU power
burner and the low simmer burner can't be used at the same time (as
they are the same dual burner, rather than separate burners). But
that might not be fatal for you -- and there are those 15K burners as
an alternative if needed. (WindCrest is a small company, based in
California, well known for high end range hoods; the cooktop is a
newer venture, but has generally been well received.)

(3) Wolf has a cooktop with simmer burners that go down to 300 BTU,
but the high end is only 12K BTU, which, for me, is not enough.

(4) Someone mentioned BlueStar (which I am strongly considering), but
that is not a drop-in cooktop of the sort you appear to want. Rather,
it is what generally is referred to as a rangetop -- basically, a
range without the oven. These sorts of "professional-type" units are
generally about 8" to 9" deep, with the knobs on the front (vertical
plane), and are much heavier than a drop-in cooktop. (BlueStar --
made by Prizer-Painter -- calls its unit a "cooktop," but that
terminology just confuses matters; it's what is more usually called a
rangetop, within the meaning I've just stated.) By the way, the
BlueStar supposedly simmers at 130 degrees, with the low end BTU on
that dual burner of 250; that futher suggests that the BTU figure for
the DCS is much less than 1,200.

(5) In addition to this forum, you might check out the appliance forum
at; a wealth of informatino over there.

Good luck.

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