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aaron_underwood16

Anyone have a range with 4 burners and 24" griddle?

Aaron Underwood
6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago

We are about to start our kitchen remodel and the range top is a big one for me! I've noticed that I haven't been using more than 4 burners at a time in any of my cooking and I really like the idea of a 24" flat top or griddle. Doing scallops, steaks (I souv vide a lot so an easy sear would be great), bacon, pancakes, eggs......seems like having that much real estate over a 12" griddle would be nice. Looking at 48" range tops and like the American or Wolf.

Comments (13)

  • wekick
    6 years ago

    Wolf and American are very different burners. Have you looked at BlueStar?

  • John
    6 years ago

    Here is a link to the BlueStar:

    BlueStar RNB 48" Rangetop with 24" Griddle


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  • Aaron Underwood
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Yeah totally different burners and haven’t made up my mind there yet either! Loving the open so far.

  • just_janni
    6 years ago

    If you really use the griddle, I agree that 12" sucks. I don't use mine for that reason - there are small "sides" in it to separate it from the burners and it's a PITA to flip pancakes, etc because it's not really flat if you have to get the spatula DOWN on the griddle.

    I CANNOT imagine cooking bacon on a home griddle. I have a drip tray, but that would not contain it and it would be every-damn-where in ever single nook and cranny.

    If you would still want the griddle, I'd buy the range with the best / most usable / easiest to clean griddle as the differentiator - as you'll get equally vociferous opinions on the open / sealed burner debate.

  • M
    6 years ago

    I am very torn on whether I do or do not like a permanent griddle. On the one hand, there definitely are a couple of dishes where it would make cooking really easy. And I keep dreaming about one day having a big enough stove to have a permanently installed griddle.

    But then on the other hand, a full-size griddle takes a long time to preheat; whereas my carbon steel skillet is at perfect temperature in less than a minute. And when it comes to clean up, my skillet takes mere seconds, whereas a griddle can be quite messy (depends a lot on the design, though).

    As for frying bacon. Yes, that's always messy. The best solution that I have found is a big disposable aluminum tray on top of my BBQ. Just throw a pound or two of bacon into it when you start barbecuing. When the bacon is almost done, I take it out of the aluminum tray and set it on a rack that drips any excess fat into the tray.

    That's maybe not ideal for breakfast bacon, but works beautifully when using the BBQ for other dishes already (e.g. burgers, skewers, ...). Comes out perfect each and every time, has a light smoke flavor, and clean up is a non-issue.

  • Julie B
    6 years ago

    My sister has a Thermador with 4 burners and a 24" griddle. They used the griddle a lot for a few months, and now it never gets turned on. It's difficult to clean and they use skillets and sauté pans more often than not. I think either no griddle or a 12" griddle would be good. The smaller griddle would be good for pancakes, burgers, other things when you need more real estate than a standard skillet. I can't imagine wanting to give up precious burners for more griddle. I personally think 6 or 8 burners would be great because then larger pots and pans wouldn't get too crowded, even if you only have 4 on at a time.

  • wekick
    6 years ago


    I cook my bacon in the oven. Very little mess if you cook it between two trays.


    The best griddle?

    There are some differences but they do not arbitrarily make one better than the other even though they are often pitched that way.

    Wolf has a 3/4" thickness compared to BS which has both 3/16" and 3/8" reported on this forum. Not sure on the American Performer, you would have to ask. The thicker griddle takes longer to heat and change temperature but holds a lot of heat. It can be more even. Wolf also has an infrared burner which heats more evenly. Wolf also said they changed the surface of their griddle in 2016 but it would be just the same after seasoning.-Not sure what that means. They also redesigned the grease trap so you might want to make sure you get the new design if you go that way. Both Wolf and BS have 15K BTUs to heat a 2 burner size and 30K for 4 burner size.

    It isn't just a choice of built in or no griddle. There is also the option of an add on. It is a personal preference on which is easier to clean of the two types.

    Some advantages for some would be that you can have a choice of metals for different purposes. Heavy aluminum heats much more evenly than steel or cast iron so is great for pancakes and sandwiches. These also come in nonstick and are priced reasonably. They only come in 2 burner but you have about a 50% bigger cooking area than a built in 2 burner. The bare aluminum seasons eventually too. This is from Royal Industries.


    You can also get something cast iron or steel like this Chef King. It is a little bigger than the built in. It is a beast to lift for me. I have a a few 12"-14" cast iron skillets instead. You might need to find a place to store these if you take them off, but you gain flexibility if you want a 2 burner size, (2)two burners or 4 burner.

    You can also have a lot more heat with an add on as the built ins only have 15K between the two burners. You could have 30K or more with an add on but it is a little more trouble to adjust as the built in is thermostatically controlled. There was someone here a year or so ago who stir fried on their griddle so that might be a consideration for some. Occasionally someone complains about the 15K being anemic.

    Only the BS and AP come with all burners on the 48" rangetop. I know you can order burner sizes where you want them on the BS but you would have to ask about the AP.

    The built in has more stability unless you can find an add on like this that fits.

    ________

    "you'll get equally vociferous opinions on the open / sealed burner debate"

    This happens when people insist that one type of burners are best for all cooks in all situations and if you don't have them you are somehow not a real cook. This goes back to some marketing you see. There are seriously, appliance blogs from appliance companies online right now that claim more oxygen can get to the flame on an "open" burner so you get more heat. Most touting an "open" burner are not even referring to the open vs sealed burner but rather to the higher BTUs, capped vs uncapped burners or some other aspect of the burner. Burners have evolved so in order to really compare you have to look at the characteristics very specifically and evaluate how they fit with the way you cook and your cookware.

    For instance in this discussion you have-

    American Performer which is a semi sealed, uncapped, 25K BTU star shaped burner. It is semi sealed because the burner tray comes close to the burner, containing messes but lifts off for cleaning.

    Wolf is a sealed, capped, up to 20K but can go less than 300 BTUs for simmer and has a dual stacked ring burner to provide this range. They used to make a semi sealed or semi open burner but it was still capped. The dual stacked burner keeps the flare smaller than it would be with a single burner that has a big range of BTUs like 5 star's ultra hi- lo burner(350-21K).

    BS RNB which is open, uncapped, 22K, star burner. or the RCS which is the same but tops out at 15K. They also make a sealed, capped ring burner that is rated at 21K on the biggest burner.

    The star burner disperses heat better if the pan is sized to the burner. If the pan is too big, you wind up with heat in the center. The star is useful if your cookware is cast iron, steel or stainless. If you have heavy gauge copper or aluminum the pan disperses the heat. Plied cookware varies depending on what the layers are.

    There is a lot to consider picking a rangetop but at least the OP is not trying to pick a range and have to consider the oven.




  • opaone
    6 years ago

    We've had a Wolf AG 4 burner + 12" griddle for many years. It's served us well. In our new house we're doing a Bluestar RNB 4 burner + 24" griddle. As mentioned above, a good thermostatically controlled griddle can also work well as a flat-top. An extra 12" of griddle / flat-top is more valuable to us and more versatile than 2 more burners.

    Note that there is a huge difference between a good thermostatically controlled griddle and a griddle placed on top of burners. IMO, if you can only afford a 4 burner range to begin with then a griddle over burners might be a good option (and this is what we did in our first house), otherwise a thermostatically controlled griddle is the ticket.


  • wekick
    6 years ago

    "Note that there is a huge difference between a good thermostatically controlled griddle and a griddle placed on top of burners."

    The only advantage to thermostatic control is that it is reproducible by being able to set it by a number. You can also control temperature with an overlay griddle but it is by looking at the flame as you do your pans. It is a little more trouble but I am so used to mine, I can set them by the position on the knob. One of the big advantages to a built in would be an infrared burner which would be an even heat source for the steel used in a built in griddle, that does not heat evenly. BS does not have this but Wolf does. Because of this and because the BS is a thinner griddle, you may have more of a zoned heating with BS not necessarily a bad thing though.

    " if you can only afford a 4 burner range to begin with then a griddle over burners might be a good option"

    Consider that for some cooks, there is much more to it than that. Some people prefer the flexibility of an overlay. There are people with 8 burners who might use all 8 burners one day or use different types of griddles for different cooking the next day. There have been posters here that want high heat for their griddle. I would not want a built in at all, others love them.


  • opaone
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "The only advantage to thermostatic control is that it is reproducible by being able to set it by a number."

    Sort of, but not really? The big advantage to a good thermostatic griddle or flat-top is controlled recovery time. For example, when you put cold patties on a 375° griddle the temp will sink to about 250°. A good thermostatic will immediately turn up the heat, then lower it, then up, then down, etc. It will keep the surface temp quite even within maybe 5°. You can't do that manually unless you weld a temp probe to the griddle surface and constantly turn the knob up and down.

    Most people with a burner-top griddle practice set & forget. They find a flame level that produces the temp they want and leave it. When you put cold patties on (or pancake batter or a steak or whatever) the temp immediately sinks but instead of the heat being turned up it remains the same and so the griddle very slowly recovers it's temp. So while you thought you were cooking at 375°, you were actually cooking at about 250° to start and then slowly warming up to some temp but likely much less than the 375° that you desired.

    Here are patties on a good thermostatic griddle. Notice how often it turns the heat up — approx once per minute and maintained about a 1° tolerance.

    Here is a cheaper griddle. It was only adjusting about every 5 minutes and kept only about a 30° tolerance.

    Now imagine no control but only a constant flame. First patties go on and the temp drops to well below 300° and then slowly recovers but likely not fully to 375°

    In the end what's really important is if you'll get the results you want. Typically pancakes done on a burner-top griddle will be thinner, denser, and dryer than those on a thermostatic griddle that maintains constant high heat and so produces fluffier, lighter, and moister pancakes. If you're happy with whatever results you're getting then that's what counts the most.

  • opaone
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "One of the big advantages to a built in would be an infrared burner which would be an even heat source for the steel used in a built in griddle, that does not heat evenly. BS does not have this but Wolf does. Because of this and because the BS is a thinner griddle, you may have more of a zoned heating with BS not necessarily a bad thing though."

    Yes. These are two of my primary concerns with Bluestar. There are 3 of us friends who are either building or remodeling a kitchen. We currently have a Wolf (me), Vulcan, and 5-Star. We are all considering Bluestar and are all concerned about the griddle. A couple of us plan to spend a few hours cooking on the demo unit and measuring the temps to see how it does in reality.

    For me, uncontrolled zoning would be bad. I want as even of temps across the entire surface as I can get. That said, control of each side (each 12" of a 24") independently is good and I'll likely only use one side often and then slide sauces around a bit — kind of like a linear french top perhaps :-)

    On your final point, yes everyone is different and has different needs and desires. I can only post about my own experience and desires. For my wife and I a 24" griddle / flat-top and 4 burners is much more versatile than 8 burners and a burner-top, for you it may be just the opposite. When we did our last remodel my wife wanted 6 burners and I wanted the griddle, mostly for pancakes. We've since learned the versatility of the griddle and that's why we want 12" more.

  • wekick
    6 years ago

    "The big advantage to a good thermostatic griddle or flat-top is controlled recovery time. For example, when you put cold patties on a 375° griddle the temp will sink to about 250°. A good thermostatic will immediately turn up the heat, then lower it, then up, then down, etc. It will keep the surface temp quite even within maybe 5°.

    Do you have a source for any of the data/numbers you provide? Any reference for your charts? It doesn't say anything about what kind of griddles are on the chart.

    Academically it would be interesting to look at various types of griddles noting the specs of the thermostats, materials/thicknesses of the griddles, brands and do temperature mapping to see what happens on all types --thermostatically controlled, griddles that oscillate off and on at a fixed rate for a setting and overlays in various cooking circumstances. There was a guy on another post had a camera that did this but the colors were not that correlated with temperature. It would be helpful to plot when the heat comes off and on, especially after you put food on the griddle. Only then could you draw any semblance of a conclusion about range of temperature and control.


    The thermostatically controlled griddles are not quite as instantaneous as one might imagine. With the built in griddles available like Wolf or BS, they are typically some sort of steel, which has very poor heat conduction. Even Wolf with the infrared heat source says this.


    Consider that if you have a griddle controlled by a thermostat, the temperature of the griddle is measured in one place. Once a hamburger or steak is placed on the surface, you lose some heat there in that place but it takes a long time relative to some other metals for the heat of a steel griddle to move to the cooler area. A thicker griddle would have more heat reserved but takes longer to reheat. Eventually the temperature will drop from that and general heat loss and the heat will come on but it is dependent on the temperature where it is measured not where you dropped your meat. It also depends on the parameters of the thermostat which varies. You might want to speak to the manufacturer and inquire what you can expect at least at the point of measurement if it is important. It will take a bit to heat up where you dropped the meat. Looking at heat transfer properties you could make the case for turning on a flame under a thick aluminum griddle and have much faster heat replacement because of the faster heat transfer of aluminum but in order to prove it or any other theory you would need independent temperature mapping.


    The biggest question though would be what difference does this make in actual cooking?


    "Most people with a burner-top griddle practice set & forget. They find a flame level that produces the temp they want and leave it."

    Really?

    I personally take a more active role than that and I would have guessed that most cooks treat it like a big pan and change the heat up and down as needed much as you would a thermostatically controlled one. I know from experience that once you drop a hamburger patty that the temp will go down, so anticipate that and set the temp a little higher initially. I let it sear and then turn it down. The big advantage to aluminum would be that it is much more responsive with changing temperature because of the faster heat transfer. You would also have more BTUs under an overlay so you would be able to replace heat quickly.

    "typically pancakes done on a burner-top griddle will be thinner, denser, and dryer than those on a thermostatic griddle that maintains constant high heat and so produces fluffier, lighter, and moister pancakes."

    More heat will accelerate chemical reactions producing more leavening. More heat also produces quicker browning so less drying before the pancake is perceived as done but this has nothing to do with a thermostat. You can provide heat in a number of ways.

    "On your final point, yes everyone is different and has different needs and desires. I can only post about my own experience and desires. "

    Yes that is what I am saying but when you say, "if you can only afford a 4 burner range to begin with then a griddle over burners might be a good option" it disregards that some cooks have perfectly good reasons for choosing an overlay vs a built in other than economics and insinuated that it is somehow a lesser choice.