We favor stainless-steel, 36-inch cooktops with five or more sealed burners. (Most units listed are also available in lower-priced 30-inch, four-burner configurations; black or white finishes also reduce costs.) When researching the models, consider your cooking needs (how many BTUs do you really need?). Another factor to consider is whether you can easily detect burners with different heat ratings—for instance, if you want to boil water on one burner and saute on another burner, is it clear which burner to use. Finally, if you prefer freestanding ranges, take a look at 10 Easy Pieces, European-Style Ranges.
Below: The Viking 36-inch Professional Series Built-in Cooktop—VGSU163-6B is the only countertop six-burner cooktop available in a 36-inch width. It offers the professional look and commercial power without the heft. Strong ratings for high-powered burners and great features (such as child-safety knobs). Comes with six sealed burners; $1,949 at AJ Madison.
Below: Dacor 36 inch Preference Gas Cooktop - RGC365. Continuous grates, spill basin, and powerful burners. $1,659 at ABT Electronics.
Below: The Viking 36-inch Pro-Style Rangetop (VGRT3624QSS) with four pro-sealed burners and a 12-inch chargrill in the center. $3,119 at AJ Madison.
Below: GE Profile 36-inch built-in gas cooktop, JGP975. Deep recessed cooktop with sealed burners, control locks, continuous grates (dishwasher safe). $1,349 for the stainless model at AJ Madison
Below: DCS 36-inch Professional Drop-in Cooktop, CTD-365 with five sealed dual-flow burners and continuous grates. $1,199 at AJ Madison.
Below: My personal favorite, the powerful, rugged-looking Bluestar Drop-in 36-inch Pro-Style Cooktop with five open burners, including 22,000 BTU UltraNova burners, electronic reignition system, and heavy-duty controls. Power doesn't come cheap: $2,299 at AJ Madison.
Below: Thermador 36-inch Masterpiece Cooktop—SGSX365FS with five-star burners, 15,000 BTU power burner, continuous grates, and electronic reignition; $1899 at AJ Madison.
Below: If you prefer the more professional look, consider the Thermador 36-inch Professional Series Cooktop with 6 Star BurnersPCG366E with a 12-inch back guard. Burner power is the same as the drop-in cooktop listed above. We like the range-like apron control panel. $2,829 at AJ Madison (back guard extra).
Below: The Bosch 36-inch Stainless Steel 5-Burner Gas Cooktop—PGL985UC has a triple flame burner for even cooking, continuous grates for pan wrangling, and a very low profile, all at a reasonable price of $854 at AJ Madison.
Below: A great budget option, the Maytag 36-inch gas cooktop (MGC5536BD) with five sealed burners, one simmer burner, and continuous grates. The lower price brings a slightly lower burner power of 12,500 BTUs. $589 in stainless; $519 in white, black, or bisque, at AJ Madison.
Below: And, featured in our earlier post, we love the Binova Fires Line Cooktop, that offers a single row of burners. Contact USA dealer Haute Living at (312) 329-9000 for pricing and ordering information.