The Best 36-Inch Gas Cooktops (Reviews / Ratings / Prices)

You would think buying a cooktop would be easy. In reality, it is the top half of a stove, yet none of the recognizable names like GE, Whirlpool, Electrolux, Haier, Samsung or LG sell far less than the premium companies.

So, we will look at the output, simmer, and configuration of the most popular cooktops.

However, there seems to be confusion between a rangetop and a cooktop, so let me start there.

Rangetops vs. Cooktops

rangetops vs cooktop comparison

Rangetops also have higher BTUs (but that gap is narrowing) and a griddle or grill option on the top. A cooktop has controls on the top and is inset into a countertop, whereas the rangetop has controls on the front and is wrapped along the sides and the back, with a countertop.

Most importantly, there is a huge difference in installation. Rangetops are placed on base cabinets and require more work than a simple drop in cooktop.

The Best 36-Inch Gas Cooktops


Bosch, Jenn-Air, Thermador, Viking, and Wolf are the best 36-inch wide gas cooktops. For comparison, I will use these categories: highest BTU burner, lowest BTU simmer burner, burner configuration, rebates and value.

Bosch Benchmark NGMP655UC – $1,399


Jenn-Air JGC7636BS – $1,899


Thermador SGSX365FS – $1,899


Wolf CG365P/S – $1,989


Viking Professional VGSU5366BSS – $2,259


Highest BTU Burner

  1. Bosch Benchmark – 20k BTU’s
  2. Thermador – 18k BTU’s
  3. Wolf – 18k BTU’s
  4. Jenn-Air – 18k BTU’s
  5. Viking – 18k BTU’s

The high output on all of these cooktops is either the same or only 2k higher, which in reality means most people using these would not notice a significant difference in performance.

Bosch wins with their center burner being 20,000 BTU’s, which means it will boil a little faster than the rest.

However, Thermador has their star shaped burner design which gives them an advantage over the other brands. The star distributes the heat more evenly over the bottom of your pans, whether using a small or larger pan.

Lowest BTU Simmer Burner

  1. Thermador – 200 BTU’s
  2. Wolf – 350 BTU’s
  3. Bosch – 500 BTU’s
  4. Viking – 600 BTU’s
  5. Jenn-Air – 650 BTU’s

All the brands allow you to simmer soups or sauces, but if you need extra low heat, then your two best options are Thermador and Wolf. They both offer heat so low that you can melt chocolate on a paper plate and you can also do so without using a double boiler.

Wolf is a constant 350 BTUs. Thermador is an intermittent (on/off) 200 BTUs on two burners.

Burner Configuration

  1. Thermador
  2. Wolf
  3. Bosch
  4. Viking
  5. Jenn-Air

The placement of the burners and control knobs are important for style and performance reasons and for that I feel the Thermador is the best designed. First, their highest power burner is located in the center of the cooktop, this is important for venting reasons. If you are using a range hood then the burner will be centered under the hood. If you are using a downdraft this burner will be right next to the intake, so on both venting options the most used burner has the best capture.

The control knobs of the Thermador and Bosch Benchmark are located at the front center of the cooktop. This configuration allows for the most useable room within the cooktop compared to controls on the side… Big advantage.


  1. Bosch
  2. Thermador
  3. Jenn-Air
  4. Wolf
  5. Viking

We have had all brands tested by local chefs in our showroom kitchens, except Viking…To be totally transparent, we opt not to sell Viking any longer.

Based on their feedback and my opinion, the Bosch Benchmark is the best value at $1,399. This is significantly less that the other four, and not only does it offer a great configuration, but the power of the burners gives some of these other brands some competition.

They offer the highest output on their largest center burner of 20,000 BTU and offer a pretty good low-temperature range as well. Bosch is consistently rated well, often with rebate incentives and has potentially everything in every category to complete a whole Bosch kitchen.

Overall, Thermador will offer the broadest range of temperature management and has a great burner style offering the star shape. For someone that is really looking for a low consistent even heat, the Thermador is a great option.

Aesthetically, I think the Jenn-Air has the most to offer. They, with Viking, will offer a 6-burner configuration, whereas most brands only offer 5 burners. The Jenn-Air’s output all around is very good, reaching a super high 18,000 BTU, as well as a really low simmer.

They also offer brass burners which typically deal best with high heat. In addition, this cooktop is definitely a must see! It’s super sleek and almost flush with the countertop surface. It’s very appealing and because it’s made of one piece of galvanized stainless, it does not only reduce fingerprints but is also very easy to clean.

Wolf is 100% American made and consistently among the least serviced in premium appliances. They also offer a great range of power, and I like that their signature “red” colored knobs are on the side. It makes the access to the front burners super easy, especially when cooking with large heavy pots, you do not have to reach over the knobs to get to the burners.

Viking offers a three-year warranty, whereas Jenn-Air, Thermador, and Wolf, all offer a two-year warranty. Bosch offers the traditional one year warranty.


  1. Jenn-Air
  2. Thermador
  3. Bosch
  4. Wolf
  5. Viking

Jenn-Air and Thermador have similar rebate programs. Cooktop and wall oven purchases receive a free dishwasher with Thermador and a $1,300 credit towards additional Jenn-Air Appliances, with that respective brand.

Bosch is also very aggressive offering a whole suite of appliances and currently has a 10% mail in rebate.

Wolf is very strong with a $1,000 rebate (plus the potential of additional Wolf Gourmet Gifts) for qualified Sub-Zero/Wolf purchases.