Empava’s 30-inch gas cooktop is finished in stainless steel for a professional look. It will work well in either traditional or contemporary kitchens.
It fits in five different sized burners, with bags of power. The largest offers 12,000 BTU, and there’s also a 10,000 BTU and double 6,500 option for serious heat. And when you need something gentler, the smallest burner goes up to 4,000 BTU.
Operation is by four simple knobs, one for each burner. They’re finished in smart stainless steel to complement the cooking surface.
It can be used with either LPG or natural gas, and both nozzles are included as standard. You’ll get exactly the same levels of power, whichever fuel you use.
It’s compatible with any under-counter oven by the same manufacturer. That means you’ll be able to position it directly above the oven, creating a single cooking zone in your kitchen.
It uses pulse ignition but can work without electricity if needed. That’s great if you’re in an area that experiences power outages.
The safety functions here mean you’re in safe hands. The cooktop will detect if the flame fails and automatically shuts off the flow of gas. As with any gas appliance, though, you should get this installed by a professional. A gas leakage test must be performed before the first use.
If you’ve ever had to pick food from gas burners, you’ll be relieved to know that here they’re sealed. No liquids or debris will be able to get inside. And the stainless steel surface is robust and won’t discolor in the heat.
The cast iron grates here are heavy-duty and butt up directly against one another, preventing food sticking between them. They can also be placed straight in the dishwasher to make cleaning a whole lot easier.
So is there anything that’s less than ideal?
Well, at 30 inches wide, this is fairly compact for a cooktop with five burners. If you have large cookware, it may be a bit of a squeeze to use all five at once.
And the ignition can be a little slower than some models. We’ve found it gets quicker with use.
But these are minor niggles with what is an attractive, powerful and keenly priced cooktop.
Five powerful burners
Sealed burners prevent liquid or food particles getting inside
Cast iron grates can be cleaned in the dishwasher
May be a bit narrow if you’re using larger pots and pans
The ignition is a little slower than some other cooktops.
If you’re looking for a compact cooktop to suit a small space, consider Ramblewood’s GC2-43N. This offers two burners and is just 12 inches wide.
Like the Empava, the finish here is stainless steel, and we love the coordinating stainless steel knobs. This may be small, but it looks every inch the professional cooktop.
It’s also very shallow – only a couple of inches deep overall. So if you’re positioning this over a cupboard, it’s possible to fit a drawer underneath.
The two burners here are different sizes, the larger positioned towards the rear of the cooktop. That will give you up to 8,400 BTU. The smaller burner in front will deliver up to 5,800 BTU.
The pan stands are made of cast iron. They’re a traditional design, narrow and high. That means there’s less flat surface to scrub at than with models like the Empava. It means you’ll need to employ slightly more elbow grease when it comes to cleaning.
There’s a flame-out detection system for safe use. If the flame fails for any reason, the gas supply will cut off automatically. And as ever with gas appliances, make sure you get this installed by a fully qualified professional.
The cooktop can be used with natural gas or converted to LPG with a valve included in the package. The ignition is electric, powered with a 1.5-volt battery, also included as standard. And if the battery is out of juice, you can light the burners with a match until you replace it.
One thing to bear in mind is that the regulator that’s included in the package will only work with tanks that have a low-pressure valve. If your tank doesn’t have that, you’ll need to buy your own regulator.
The real selling point with this one is its size. You won’t get quite as much power, but it will fit pretty much anywhere.
We’ve heard of people using it in outdoor kitchens, kitchenettes, and RVs. And at the other end of the spectrum, if you have a very large kitchen, it works equally well as a secondary cooking area on an island.
At just 12 inches wide, this will fit in the smallest spaces
Smart stainless steel cooking surface and knobs
Able to work without electricity
The cast-iron grates aren’t the easiest to clean
If you don’t have a low-pressure gas tank, you’ll need to buy a regulator separately.
For those with more room to play with, the Frigidaire FFGC3612TS offers five generous burners in a 36-inch wide cooktop.
The cooking surface is made of stainless steel, so it’s strong and won’t stain. In this case, though, the knobs are black plastic. They’re neatly angled away from the front of the cooktop, so they’re very comfortable and easy to use. But they don’t look quite as smart as stainless steel versions.
The five burners here are configured with two at the back, two at the front and one in the center. The two at the back are smaller. That allows cooked food to be kept warm at the rear. And it means those pans won’t get in the way while you’re cooking on the front burners.
One thing to note is that the burner in the middle is very big. If you have larger pots on the outer burners, you’ll find they’re heated by the central flame too.
The gas burners are sealed, so you won’t have to worry about particles of food getting trapped. Even better, if any liquid boils over it won’t get in the burners and make your flame gutter.
The grates here are welded steel rather than cast iron. They’re less heavy-duty, and that’s reflected in the more economical price point. Some people have found, though, that they’re a little slippery – so take care not to knock your pots and pans.
The ignition is nice and responsive, so you won’t have to press it repeatedly to get the burners going. You’ll need a power source to wire it in. But if the power fails, you’ll be able to light the cooktop with a long match.
It’s designed for natural gas but can be converted to propane. The hardware to do it is included in the package.
And if you’ve got a Frigidaire under-counter oven this is guaranteed to fit above it.
Five generous burners
Stainless steel cooking surface and sealed burners for easy cleaning
If a black finish will work better in your kitchen than stainless steel, check out this cooktop from GE. The cooking surface, grates, and knobs are all a uniform black.
There are four differently sized burners with this one. They offer a range of options to suit different pots and pans.
The controls are situated on the right-hand side. They’re solid and the markings are clear, making it easy to see what you’re doing. And when you switch them off, there’s a satisfying click so you can be confident the gas has stopped flowing.
The ignition is good too, reliably lighting the flames without needing repeated clicking. It wires up to your electrics, rather than needing a battery. And if you experience a power cut, you’ll be able to cook by lighting the burners manually.
The grates are lighter weight than some, but durable enough. They do, though, sit on rubber bumpers which will be more vulnerable to degrading over time.
The glossy black cooking surface looks very attractive and will work equally well in a modern or classically styled kitchen. It is, though, a little more difficult to clean than some. You may find you need a bit of trial and error to find the right cleaning product to remove grease.
On the plus side, the burners are sealed, so you won’t have to worry about liquid or food getting inside. Anyone who’s ever had to deal with water boiling over and putting out the flame will appreciate this feature!
As with any gas appliance, make sure you get this installed by a qualified technician. They will need to test for any leaks before you use it.
Stylish black finish
Solid, well-designed controls
Responsive ignition, with no battery required
Grates are lightweight and the rubber bumpers are vulnerable to wear and tear
Gasland’s Chef model includes five different burners, despite being only 30 inches wide. Its combination of a stainless steel cooking surface and wide cast-iron grates effortlessly blends traditional with modern. As a result, it will fit with either classic or contemporary kitchens.
The central burner is designed for woks, with three rings to ensure heat reaches every part of the pan. It produces a massive 12,000 BTU. There’s also a 10,200-BTU rapid burner on the rear left-hand side, great for bringing water to the boil quickly.
Finally, two 6,000-BTU burners positioned on the front left and rear right are good for smaller pans. And at the front on the right-hand side, there’s an auxiliary 3,400-BTU burner for gentler heat.
With five burners in a cooktop just 30 inches wide, though, there are some compromises to be made. Don’t expect to be able to heat your wok in the middle without limiting the space on the other burners. So while five burners give you plenty of choice, you’ll struggle to use them all at once.
The burners are surrounded by three good quality pan supports made of heavyweight cast iron. They fit together neatly, avoiding food debris and grease getting between them. The burner covers are made of black cast iron too, contrasting with the stainless steel cooking surface.
Each burner is controlled by a sturdy bakelite dial with a smart stainless steel finish.
There’s automatic electric pulse ignition, which means the cooktop will need to be wired into your electricity supply. Make sure it’s installed by a professional technician.
The cooktop runs on natural gas but comes with a conversion kit to enable it to work with LPG too. But beware – if you want to do this, the manual isn’t as detailed as it could be.
If your installation engineer runs into difficulties, contact the manufacturers. They’ll provide clear instructions. It’s just a shame they’re not part of the manual in the first place.
Five burners including a triple-ring wok burner
Economical in its use of space
Heavyweight cast iron pan supports
You’ll find it tricky to use all five burners at once
The instructions for conversion from natural gas to LPG are short on detail.
If five burners aren’t enough for you, Thorkitchen’s HRT318U goes one better with six.
The look here is industrial, with a stainless steel frame and control panel, and heavy-duty cast iron pan supports. The burners sit on a black porcelain drip pan that’s easy to keep clean.
They’re set out in a simple configuration, with three at the back and three in front. Those at the rear are smaller. You can keep pans warming there, and you won’t have to reach over them to cook on the larger burners.
This is an extremely powerful cooktop. The two largest burners each provide a massive 18,000 BTU of thermal energy. Between them sits a dual burner offering up to 15,000 BTU. The smaller burners at the back each provide 12,000 BTU – the same as the largest burners on other cooktops.
Not surprisingly, these kinds of specifications come at a price. This cooktop costs three times as much as others on our list. But if you need power, it’s well worth the investment.
The control knobs are made of high-quality zinc alloy. They turn smoothly and look great. A particularly nice touch are the blue LEDs that light up the relevant dial when a burner is switched on.
One thing that takes a little getting used to, though, is the positioning of the knobs. The ones for the front burners are on the right, and those for the rear are on the left. It would be more intuitive if they were the other way around.
And if you remove the burner covers for cleaning, be prepared to fiddle around to get them back on. It’s not a big deal, but it takes a few more seconds than we’d like.
These are minor issues, though, with what’s a powerful and attractive cooktop. If you’ve got the money, the space and a love of cooking, this is a great investment.
The whole thing comes with a two-year warranty on parts and labor. And we’ve heard good things about Thorkitchen’s responsive customer service too.
6 powerful burners with settings from a low simmer to fast boil
High-quality zinc alloy control knobs with attractive blue LEDs
Two-year parts and labor warranty
The positioning of the knobs takes a little getting used to
The burner covers are a bit fiddly to replace after cleaning.
If you prefer the high gloss of a glass cooktop but want to cook on gas, check out HBHob’s offering. This has the kind of shiny glass surface more usually seen on electric cooktops. And its low-profile design looks sleek and modern.
It offers five burners on its 30-inch wide surface. A 3.5-kilowatt triple-ring burner sits in the middle, perfect for cooking with a wok. There’s also a 2.75-kilowatt burner for rapid heating, great for boiling water. A 1.75-kilowatt burner and a one-kilowatt auxiliary burner complete the array.
Together, you’ll get plenty of versatility. Just remember that you’ll still be working within the cooktop width of 30 inches. If you place a big wok on the central burner, you’re unlikely to fit large pans on the others.
A glass surface with powerful gas burners means that glass needs to be tough. With this cooktop it’s tempered, as well as being backed by an anti-explosion cloth. But take care – it’s not as robust as a stainless steel or porcelain cooktop. If you drop a heavy pan on it, you can expect it to crack.
The ignition is designed to be wired into your electrics. But if you want to use it without, it’s possible to light the burners manually. Make sure you use a long match or taper. Don’t rely on a lighter – it’s dangerous.
The burners are controlled by well-engineered metal knobs. They have a stainless steel finish and look great against the black cooking surface.
The pan supports are made of cast iron. They’re also coated in enamel to prevent rusting and help resist damage from high temperatures. They sit on top of a metal base around the burners, so they won’t scratch the glass surface.
The cooktop is configured for use with LPG, but it can be converted to work with natural gas. You’ll just need to replace the nozzles.
As with all gas cooktops, don’t try to install it yourself. That goes double for this one, which has some non-standard fittings. Get in a professional who’ll connect everything up safely and perform a gas leakage test before the first use.
Sleek and attractive design
Five burners with a range of different sizes
Good quality pan supports and control knobs
The glass surface isn’t as durable as stainless steel
That brings us to the end of our reviews. But if you’re not sure what features to look out for, take a look at these questions. They’ll help you find a cooktop to match your needs.
Space or capacity?
Is your priority minimizing the space taken up by your cooktop, or giving you plenty of versatility for cooking?
If you don’t have much room and don’t cook complicated meals often, a small cooktop may be a good choice. The smallest on our list has two burners and is just 12 inches wide.
But it stands to reason that it won’t give you as much flexibility when you’re cooking. A 30-inch burner can be a good compromise. The models on our list offer either four of five burners. But remember, if you’re using big pots, you may not be able to fit them all on at once.
If you’ve got the space for a larger cooktop, a 36-inch model is a good choice. Whether you choose four burners or five, you’ll have more room to use all of them simultaneously.
And if you need maximum versatility for complex cooking, choose a six-burner model. It will be money well spent.
Natural gas or LPG?
Gas cooktops will be configured to work with either natural gas or LPG, also known as propane. Some models offer the option of converting to the other type of fuel, but this can be tricky.
The easiest option is to purchase a cooktop that works with the fuel of your choice from the outset. But if you prefer a model that will need to be converted, make sure it comes with the relevant hardware.
What about cleaning?
Gas cooktops can be difficult to keep clean but there are features that will help make the job easier.
Look for pan supports that can be put into a dishwasher. Sealed burners will also prevent food debris or liquid from getting into the burner holes.
And look for cooking surfaces that can be wiped clean easily. Stainless steel and ceramic are usually good bets.
Ready to choose?
That brings us to the end of our run-down of the seven best gas cooktops on the market today. We hope it’s given you what you need to make the choice that’s right for you.
Our favorite is the Empava 30GC5B70C. It offers bags of power and a design that’s easy to keep clean. And it won’t break the bank either.
But if you’re looking for professional specifications and are prepared to pay for them, consider the Thorkitchen. Its six burners, high power, and rugged construction will suit even the most demanding cook.
Whichever option you pick, we hope you’re soon enjoying meals prepared on your new cooktop!