OT, BTU cooking table


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?
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Hi Fred,
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.
Cheers, Paul
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# Fred # wrote:

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.
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wrote:

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. http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/kab4_banjo_burner.htm
But you generally don't need those often, and you have to use them outside or you'll asphyxiate yourself.
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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.
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# Fred # wrote:

Some gas stove tops have burners of more less equal output (~8 to 10k max btu/hr)
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
cheers Bob
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