When it comes to gas cooking surfaces, there are several different burner types to consider. First is the open burner. This burner configuration is the least expensive, but performs very well. One downside to the open burner configuration is that spills can pass through the top surface and into a pan below, which must be cleaned periodically.
Sealed burners, on the other hand, are the most popular type today. This burner is sealed to the surface and contains spills, making cleanup a breeze. The heat output of the burner is measured in BTUs. The higher the BTU rating, the hotter the cooking surface. High output burners are great if you're looking to bring a large pot of water to a boil quickly, but it's not all about high output burners.
Today, you'll find most manufacturers boasting about their low output burners as well. Too much heat can ruin a fine sauce. These low output burners, also known as simmer burners, can go as low as 5000 BTU, which can hold the most delicate recipes at 140 degrees.
All gas ranges have grates to support your pots and pans over the burner. The grates are designed to work with a particular model, so that the flame can provide the greatest contact with the cooking vessel and avoid the grate. Basic ranges will have individual grates that are lightweight and leave spaces between each of them. With the higher-end ranges have porcelain enamel cast iron grates. Many of them are continuous, allowing you to easily slide heavy pots from one burner to the other.
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