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A Guide to BTU Ratings for Gas Ranges
A GUIDE TO BTU RATINGS FOR GAS RANGES
You may be surprised to learn that not all burners on the same stove are created equal, and some offer higher BTUs and higher heat than others. BTUs measure the amount of heat output from gas or stovetop burners. You may need to use different burners for different types of dishes. Learn more about BTUs so you can be sure you are buying a gas range or cooktop that meets your needs.
BTU - WHAT DOES IT STAND FOR?
The British Thermal Unit, or BTU, is a unit of heat energy. The amount of energy required to raise one pound of liquid water one degree Fahrenheit is equivalent to one BTU. In practice, BTUs tell us how much heat we can produce. On ranges and cooktops, you'll see that gas burners are labeled with a BTU value while elements on electric ranges or cooktops use wattage to measure how hot they can get.
HOW DO BTUS WORK, AND HOW ARE THEY MEASURED?
As a way of quantifying cooking power on a gas stove top, BTUs measure heat energy. When the BTUs are high, you can generate more heat with that burner, as well as have a larger flame. Gas ovens also measure heat in BTUs, with most ovens delivering between 16,000 and 26,000 total BTUs. In addition to cooking appliances, your air conditioner and gas heater probably use the same unit of measurement as your cooking appliances.
CHECKING BTU INFORMATION
The BTU rating for a gas range or cooktop is easy to find in the owner's manual. When shopping for a new oven, check the spec sheet posted near the appliance in-store or the specifications section of the product page. If you are interested in any model, a sales associate should be able to provide you with information regarding its BTU.
AVERAGE NUMBER OF BTU'S FOR A GAS STOVE
A residential gas range or cooktop can have burners ranging from 500 BTUs to 18,000 BTUs or more. In a 4-burner range, there will usually be one high BTU burner, one low BTU burner, and two mid-range BTU burners. In older ranges, there may be less variation, with all four burners having around 10,000 BTUs, enough for most home cooks.
Low: 500-2,000 BTUs.
Because the BTU range is smaller, these burners are good for low-heat cooking such as simmering and braising. Because they have a smaller BTU range, they are also more controllable to help you avoid burning ingredients.
Middle: 2,000–10,000 BTUs.
Typical everyday cooking uses mid-range BTUs, such as sautéing and frying.
High: 12,000–18,000 BTUs
In some cases, these high BTU burners can deliver up to 25,000 BTUs, but they will require proper ventilation in your home. They should be used for high heat cooking such as searing and stir-frying. Check out the Power™ Burner on Maytag cooktops or on Maytag ranges, which cranks out 18,000 BTUs of intense heat.
Flexible: A stove's burners can range from 1,000 to 15,000 BTUs.
Some stoves have extra-wide ranges of BTUs or even stacked burners that can use two different BTUs simultaneously. A good example of this is the Flex Choice Simmer Burner™ on select Maytag cooktops. For example, use these burners when bringing soup or stew to a boil, then reducing the heat.
SHOP GAS AND COOKTOP RANGES
Now that you have a better understanding of BTUs, you can browse our gas cooktop and range selection.