Best Gas Cooktops of 2018

Linda Thomson ·
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We spent 100 hours investigating a range of high-quality gas cook tops choices to narrow the field to the best 10 models. Of these, our favorite was the Thermador Masterpiece SGSX365FS. Its burners have a good variety of heat outputs so you can boil pasta, simmer a Hollandaise sauce and steam asparagus for a meal, all that the same time. This versatile, well-built gas cooktop can give you year of homecooked meals and is easy to clean.   

Best Overall
Thermador Masterpiece SGSX365FS
The Thermador Masterpiece SGSX365FS cooktop has a remarkable range of heat levels so you can cook, simmer, sear and boil simultaneously. The star-shaped burners are designed to distribute heat evenly.
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Best Budget
Maytag Dual Stack MGC9536DS
The reasonably priced Maytag MGC9536DS doesn't have a lot of extras. However, its basic features work well, and it is easy to clean.
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Easiest to Clean
Whirlpool WCG75US0DS
The Whirlpool WCG75US0DS’s hinged grates make it easy to wipe up messes. Also, the cooktop’s grates and control knobs are dishwasher-safe.
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Best Overall
The Thermador Masterpiece is a durable gas cooktop with plenty of features. Want an endorsement? Julia Child used a Theramador.
The 36-inch SGSX365FS has two burners that reach 9,100 Btu, two that reach 12,000 Btu, and a large central burner that reaches 18,000 Btu. In addition, Thermador’s trademarked “ExtraLow” setting cycles a burner on and off to keep it at 200 Btu, which is low enough to safely melt chocolate or simmer sauces that curdle at high temperatures. Because of the burners’ wide range of heat outputs, you can simultaneously sear meat, gently simmer an already prepared sauce and cook a variety of other side dishes. The five burners are star-shape, which Thermador says evenly distributes heat so no spots in the pan are cooler or hotter than the rest. This gas cooktop automatically reignites if the flame goes out. Also, it has continuous grates, so you can move pans from one section to another without lifting them. The grates are dishwasher-safe. However, the SGSX365FS doesn’t come with a griddle or a child lock. This is also one of the more expensive cooktops out there.
  • Star-shape burners evenly distribute heat
  • Good burner variety
  • Very low heat setting for melting and simmering
  • No child lock
  • No integrated griddle
  • Relatively expensive cooktop
$1999.00AJ Madison
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Best Budget
The reasonably priced Maytag MGC9536DS doesn't have a lot of extras. However, its basic features work well, and it is easy to clean.
The affordable Maytag MGC9536DS gas cooktop has enough features and a varied enough burner selection to be useful, and you don't pay for the frills found on other models. One of its five burners reaches up to 5,000 Btu, which is low enough to cook delicate foods like chocolate, which can scorch at higher temperatures. Its hottest burner reaches up to 18,000 Btu, which is hot enough to boil water quickly. The cooktop also has a 12,000 Btu burner and two 9,100 Btu burners. With this assortment of burners, you can heat, boil, sear and simmer simultaneously. The MGC9536DS’s sealed burners keep spills from dripping below the cooktop surface, so it is easy to clean. In addition, the surface doesn’t have seams for gunk to get trapped in, so you can simply wipe up messes. Also, you can remove the grates and control knobs and wash them in the dishwasher. Since this is an economy model, it doesn’t come with extras like an integrated griddle, and its knobs aren’t backlit. It also lacks a hot surface indicator, something more expensive gas cooktops include.
  • Low-heat burner is especially good for simmering
  • Burners are sealed
  • Cooktop can handle big and unusually shaped pans
  • Integrated griddle not included
  • No hot surface indicator
  • Knobs aren’t backlit
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Easiest to Clean
When cooking, there are bound to be spills and splatters. Fortunately, the Whirlpool WCG75US0DS’s grates hinge on the back of the cooktop – you just lift them so they stand upright and out of the way, then wipe up messes below.
You can also remove the grates and control knobs to thoroughly clean them in the dishwasher. Further, the outer edges of the cooktop are raised, which keeps spills on the surface where they are easy to wipe up. The WCG75US0DS’s burners are sealed, so food that overflows from pans doesn’t drip below the cooktop surface. However, this 30-inch cooktop is missing some amenities, including a griddle and automatic reignition.
  • Grates lift
  • Burners are sealed
  • Grates are dishwasher-safe
  • Four burners rather than five
  • No automatic reignition
  • No integrated griddle
$764.99Best Buy
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Best Ventilation
The Kenmore Elite 31123 has a couple distinctive features that set it apart from the competition. It has a unique bridge burner that connects the two burners on the left side of the cooktop so you can cook on long griddles and roasting pans or use them as individual burners.
It has a downdraft ventilation system that draws air from above the cooktop into the ducting below via vents on the cooktop’s surface. The fan of the ventilation system helps draw away heavy odors. A downdraft ventilation is convenient for many kitchens because installing a vent hood can be difficult in a small kitchen. The bridge burner provides 21,000 Btu for plenty of cooking power. There is a simmer burner for gentle heat so you can melt butter or keep food warm. The design of this layout only allows for four burners, while most of the cooktops in our comparison have five.
  • The downdraft ventilation system is effective and convenient.
  • It only has four burners.
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Best Primary Burner
The KitchenAid KCGS556ESS is a uniquely designed gas cooktop with a clean look and a powerful primary burner.
This cooktop has five burners that allow you to do all sorts of cooking tasks, from simmering to boiling and searing. The 6,000 Btu simmer burner has a diffuser plate that lets you control the flame at the lowest setting for precise simmering. The center burner is the crowing feature of this cooktop. It is a 20,000 Btu dual ring burner. You can use a small flame for precise cooking or a dual flame for boiling or searing meat. While the layout of this cooktop is clean and attractive, it does have less space than many of the other cooktops we reviewed, with burners that are slightly closer together. This unit also has a limited overall feature package. It lacks an integrated griddle, child lock and hot surface indicator, but it is effective at helping you create meals for your family.
  • The primary burner lets you simmer, boil water and sear meat.
  • It has less space than other cooktops we reviewed.
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Why Trust Us?

We spent 100 hours researching gas cooktops to find the best models, and we kept in mind that cooks define “best” differently. Cooking style, patience for chores like cleaning up and budget vary significantly from person to person, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all cooktop.

How We Researched

Our extensive reading, viewing, questioning and interviewing produced an abundance of information about gas cooktops. For example, we learned about functionality, extras and even what makes a cooktop attractiveWe compared each model’s specifications against the group, read information on the manufacturers' websites, studied the fine print in manuals, and looked at warranty details to see how long you’re covered if anything goes wrong. We also considered how visually appealing the cooktops are, since they play a prominent role in any kitchen.

Further Information

How Much Does a Gas Cooktop Cost?

You can spend as much for a gas cooktop as an electric one, but there are gas models out there that are much more affordable. The gas cooktops we evaluated start in the $800 range and go up to about $2,000 – and that is pretty representative of the top-selling brands in the industry. You can find gas cooktops for $500 or less, but they don’t have prime features or as much power as higher-priced models.

Why Many Cooks Love Gas Cooktops

Electric cooktops and ranges with glass ceramic burners gained favor when they came on the scene in the 1970s. They heat up quickly, and many consumers liked their sleek, modern appearance. Still, serious food-lovers, home cooks and professional chefs are devoted to their gas cooktops.

Long-time Utah resident Marilyn Pierce, 87, has been cooking since she was 9 years old and has always cooked with gas. She loves the control it gives her over temperature, whether she's making meals or canning produce in the summer. Although some might disagree with her, she's also convinced that gas is a safer cooking method.

"I've never cooked with anything else, but I have seen what people who cook with electricity have to do if a pan is boiling," she said. "They have to move it because turning the heat off underneath a pan – if it's an electric [burner] – it's still hot. You have to move a big, heavy pan, and that's reason enough to cook with gas."

Olga, the author of the blog Olga's Flavor Factory, also favors gas cooktops. She finds them easy to clean and thinks they offer more cooking space and cost less to operate than electric models. She can also do things like roast a pepper right in the burner flames. And she, too, believes a gas cooktop gives her greater control over heat.

"If you want to turn up the heat or turn down the heat, you can do so immediately with a gas cooktop," Olga writes. "If you are using an electric cooktop, it will take some time to adjust. If you have something about to boil over, you will need to take it off the burner, or have an ugly spillage on your hands. With a gas cooktop, all you have to do is turn the knob."

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