KitchenAid’s Pro KCGS556ESS is a unique, eye-catching gas cooktop with a blistering-hot, 20,000 Btu primary burner. This central burner features dual-ring flames, which provide an even heating surface and enough power to bring water to a rolling boil in short order.
It also includes two 10,000 Btu side burners and a 7,000 Btu side burner, all of which work well for general cooking. In addition, it has a slow-simmering, 6,000 Btu burner for melting butter and keeping already cooked food warm. The Pro KCGS556ESS’s simmer burner gets hotter than the low-heat burners on all the other gas cooktop we reviewed, but KitchenAid provides a diffuser plate to control the flame at its lowest setting, so your Hollandaise sauce won’t curdle, and chocolate won’t scorch.
The control panel spans the width of the cooktop, and while it looks minimalist and clean, you might find you could use a bit more space as you cook. It leaves less room for the burners, and the side burners are closer together than those on most other cooktops we reviewed. The burner configuration may make it difficult to fit some pans, but if you don’t often use all five burners at the same time, that may not be an issue. The knobs have a chrome finish and gnarled grip, so they feel heavy duty and professional.
The grates are continuous, so you can slide hot, heavy pans across them rather than pick the pans up – this lowers the risk of spilling hot food that can burn you. The sealed burners keep spills from dropping below the cooktop’s surface, and it’s easy to wipe the surface clean. You can also run the grates and knobs through the dishwasher, which is easier than cleaning them by hand. The rest of the cooktop is stain-resistant, and even permanent marker comes off easily with glass cleaner.
While the KitchenAid has a good selection of burners and an attractive design, it is missing a few features. For example, it doesn’t have backlit knobs or automatic reignition. If you want automatic reignition, take a look at the Thermador Masterpiece SGSX365FS.
It does include a heat indicator light that lets you know when a burner is on. Also, you can pay extra to buy a griddle that spans two burners. If your kitchen runs on liquid propane, you can convert the Pro KCGS556ESS with the LP conversion kit included with the cooktop. KitchenAid includes a five-year warranty on the sealed burners and a one-year warranty on the rest of the cooktop.