Cooking with Gas: Sealed Burners vs Open Burners

Pros and Cons of Sealed vs Open Gas Burners

Burner Types

There are two styles of surface burners for gas ranges: open burners and sealed burners. Imagine a range top as a single piece of metal with holes punched in it just large enough to accommodate a gas line for each of the burners. This cooking surface would have sealed burners. Any spills or debris would contained on the top.

Some cooking surfaces have large openings for each burner so that the entire burner sits in the center of the hole with open space around and below the burner itself. This is an open burner configuration.

There are advantages and disadvantages with each system. Industry veterans often have strong viewpoints prefering one or another. If you are confronted with this decision, here are some criteria to help you choose.

Cleanability

There's no doubt that sealed burners are easier to clean than open burners. Spills are captured on the cooking surface where they can be wiped up, and the burners themselves can also be cleaned with ease. On the other hand, when spills occur with open burners the spill will fall into the hole surrounding the burner. Fortunately, there is a metal sheet below to catch any spills. Cleaning the burner itself can be time consuming and depending on use may be required often.

Appearance

Open burners expose the underneath of the top, and are generally going to have more of an industrial, restaurant-look. Sealed burners will not show anything below the top, and be less obtrusive than the bulky open burners.

Cooking Results

There's lots of debate here. Chefs will brag about the air surrounding the open burners creating more heat, greater flexibility, and better overall control. Tests confirm some advantage here, but as they say, “your results may vary”. Sealed burners are by far the most popular, and few users complain about the lack of air circulation affecting cooking results.

Conclusions

If you do a lot of cooking and are used to using the open burners of commercial-type ranges or rangetops, you're probably going to want to stay with open burners. It's worth noting that open burners can be synonymous with professional or commercial-style appliances that are likely to have a steep price premium.

For convenience and low maintenance, sealed-burners are the obvious choice. Over the years, there have been some advances in both sealed and open burner technology. For example, Viking has recently launched a new sealed burner that is claimed to have a commercial heritage.

For more information, or to compare the two burner-types call the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply for an appointment.


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More about cooktops at Arizona Wholesale Supply

Gas Cooktops

Gas fuel is probably the most preferred cooktop fuel type for pro chefs and enthusiasts alike. They like the instant on and off, the infinite control from low to high and the high heat that is often available on professional duty cooktops and rangetops. We distinguish cooktops, which are inserted into kitchen counters and have controls on the top, from rangetops which have the cooking surface on the countertop, but with knobs located on the cabinet front.

Jenn-Air-Cooktop

6 Burner 36 JennAir Cooktop

Cooktops and rangetops alike come in a variety of widths from 24″ all the way up to 60″. Cooktops are designed to fit into a standard 24″ deep countertop, and are usually no more than 20″ deep. Range tops overlap the countertop front, and may go all they way to the back of the counter, taking up the entire 24″ counter depth.

Cooktops can be made of glass (gas on glass), porcelain, or stainless steel. Rangetops are built on a stainless steel chassis, and can offer a variety of cooking options including grills, griddles, and even French tops. 30″ cooktops are mostly 4 burner models, while 36″ cooktops are likely to have a 5th burner in the center. Sometimes, gas cooktops and rangetops will feature power burners with a higher *btu output than the standard 8-10,000 btu rating. Also, some cooktops will have super low simmer burners going down to 1,500 btus. Modular cooktops over a wide array of options.

While there are a few cooktops and rangetops that have open burners, sealed burners have become standard for most. Sealed burners offer advantages, and in particular are easier to keep clean than open burners.

This blog is one of a series on cooktops. Visit often for updates and new cooktop blogs. Here are the previous cooktop blogs:

1. Choosing a Cooktop
2. Induction Cooktops

*btu = British thermal unit, a measure of heat.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

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Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Choosing a cooktop for your kitchen

Cooktops abound at Arizona Wholesale Supply

If you are remodeling or building new, one of the kitchen choices you may have is separate cooktop and oven configurations vs. a freestanding or slide-in range which combines the cooking surface and oven into a single appliance. If you choose a cooktop and oven layout, you'll have myriad cooktop options in size, fuel type, brands and venting.

Sizes

In general cooktops are made in 24″, 30″, 36″, 48″, and 60″ width usually designed to fit in a 24″ deep base cabinet or island. A 24″ wide cooktop is compact; something you might expect to find in a studio apartment for example. A 30″ 4 element/burner cooktop is a common cooktop size for most starter homes. It gives the homeowner the same size cooking surface, typically 4 gas burners or electric elements, that they'll find on standard size ranges.

Gas Cooktop

30 Gas Cooktop

For additional burners or a griddle, you're probably going to want at least a 36″ cooktop. Make sure to let your designer know early in the process in order to accommodate the larger cooktop width.

For heavy duty cooking, or special needs such as deep fryers or grills, you may elect for even a larger cooktop 42″, 48″, or even 60″. Of course, modular units can be assembled in a variety of widths.

Fuel Types

Gas burners or electric elements represent the vast majority of all cooktops. Gas will be natural gas or in some cases, propane. Standard electric elements are coil, though they are increasingly becoming rare, or glass smooth top where the element is underneath the glass. Induction cooktops have been around for a while, and are becoming very popular.

Induction cooktops use a magnetic force to create heat. They generate heat very quickly, and much like gas, induction reaches full power and turns off quickly. Of course, induction has the advantage of no flame.

  1. Gas
  2. Electric Coil
  3. Electric radiant
  4. Induction
  5. Hybrid

Flexibility – Modular and Downdraft

 
Wolf-Modules

Separate Wolf Modules

Customers may also want some flexibility in a cooktop surface. For this, they may choose individual specialized cooktops, or cooktop bases with optional modules. For example, with Wolf cooktops you may wish to purchase an array of different individual cooktops an place them side-by-side.

Jenn-Air-Downdraft

Jenn-Air 3 Cartridge Downdraft

Jenn-Air offers downdraft cooktops in a modular configuration so that you can quickly replace modules depending on your cooking needs.

Though we've covered a lot of options here, there's more, much more that you might wish to know about cooktops. Consult your designer or builder to get their advice, and of course the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply are here to answer your questions any time.

Check back to this blogsite often for upcoming blogs on advantages and disadvantages of different cooktop fuel types.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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