For natural gas cooking, is there a table of BTU ratings available for
cooking things like steak, using a wok, frying a egg, etc. All I remember
from chem and phys classes were BTU for boiling water at standard STP.
I'm looking at natural gas ranges for the kitchen and see ratings for
burners with something like 12,000 BTUs. Is there any normal cooking
situations where you need more?
Generally speaking, I think 12,000 BTUs in a residential environment
is more than adequate. A 2.5 kW electric element, for example,
produces just 8,500 BTUs.
I have a Heartland Legacy range and each of its six burners is rated
at 15,500 BTUs. Some of the "semi-commercial" grade models (e.g.,
Vulcan and Wolf) climb over 25,000 BTUs. I'm sure if you're heating
large pots of water for pasta or boiling lobsters, the extra BTUs can
speed things up considerably, but I'd be more concerned about how low
you can turn them down.
BTW, auto re-ignition is a great safety feature. With my previous
range, I've walked away from pots and kettles only to return later to
discover they had spilled over and extinguished the flame, leaving the
gas flowing. This Heartland will automatically re-ignite the burner
if it senses the flame has gone out.
We have one 13,000 BTU and 3, 12,000 BTU burners on our gas range which
is plenty for everything except a wok. That amount of heat really isn't
enough to make a wok useful. To use a wok as it should be used you need
a much higher output burner with an appropriate exhaust system.
You don't NEED more, no. You might WANT more.
Depends on how many people you're cooking for, and how fast you
want stuff to boil. Deep frying chickens really needs around
50,000 BTUS, and you can get freestanding propane burners
that put out up to 210,000 BTUs.
But you generally don't need those often, and you have to
use them outside or you'll asphyxiate yourself.
Only a wok. And only if you know how to properly use a wok as 90% of us do
not. Most of the time you are cooking with far less. The only time my
burners are on full high is to boil water and to heat up the cast iron pan
to sear a steak. Anything else is probably half that or less. Simmering
soup or a pot roast is on the tiniest flames.
Some gas stove tops have burners of more less equal output (~8 to 10k
higher end ranges have a couple low output burners (~6k to 8k max) &
a couple higher output burners (12k & 16k)
ranges with the 8 to 10k max output burners will work fine for general
purpose cooking but boiling a large pot of water will take a while.
Using a wok will on a lower output burner will not be great.
I had a professional range (4 burners) at 15,000 btu each .......
worked great with a wok but had a tendency burner pot handles when
doing "normal" cooking. They were just too big.
12,000 btu burners would handle nearly every cooking situation maybe
even a wok
The best choice (IMO) would be a range that had one or two small
burners (6 to 8); one or two medium burners (8 to 10) & one high
output burner (16)
for a total of 4 burners
you really only need one monster burner
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