Chef preparing food on a commercial cooktop

Best commercial cooktop 2023: Buyer’s Guide

Inside this buyer's guide


  1. Introduction
  2. Types of commercial cooktops
  3. Commercial cooktop configurations
  4. Ignition
  5. Commercial cooktop BTUs
  6. Installation requirements
  7. Best makes of commercial cooktops
  8. Frequently asked questions
  9. Cooktops glossary 
  10. Keep your cash, use ours!



The commercial cooktop: an unsung hero in restaurant kitchens, driving success from dawn to dusk.

Achieving culinary perfection requires a dependable and versatile cooktop that tackles every challenge.

Gas cooktops shine in Chinese cuisine, while induction cooktops complement Italian dishes.

Efficiency is paramount, effortlessly handling frying, boiling, sautéing, and blanching.

Embrace your cooktop as a steadfast ally, elevating your culinary artistry.

With an extensive range of options, our comprehensive guide guarantees you discover the ideal match for your specific needs.

Let’s get started.




Types of commercial cooktops

When it comes to cooktops, there are three primary types distinguished by their heat sources.


Commercial gas cooktop

Gas Cooktop

A gas cooktop usually includes burners and a gas-fueled base, making it an excellent option for frying, grilling, and boiling.

These cooktops can rapidly attain high temperatures, which can be easily adjusted using intuitive knobs, ensuring precise heat control for all your cooking requirements.

They are offered in 2-burner, 3-burner, and 4-burner configurations.



  • Provides instant heat control, ranging from high to low.
  • Versatile and ideal for grilling, searing, and simmering.
  • Precise temperature control enables effortless cooking.
  • Compatible with a wide variety of cookware.



  • Ventilation may pose challenges, resulting in the build-up of greasy residue.
  • Cleaning a gas cooktop can be time-consuming and laborious.
  • Pilot lights on gas cooktops may require frequent replacement.
  • Igniting the burner can be occasionally difficult, making it challenging to start the cooktop.



Commercial induction cooktop

Induction Cooktop

Distinguishing itself from gas or electric cooktops, the induction cooktop employs magnetic fields to heat cookware instead of relying on direct burner heat.

Featuring a sleek glass surface, this cooktop accommodates your cookware, while the underlying induction coil and generator create a magnetic field for efficient heating.

With its innovative technology, the heavy duty induction cooktop ensures fast and even cooking, making it an efficient and stylish choice for your kitchen.



  • Offers precise temperature control.
  • Demonstrates high energy efficiency.
  • Maintains a cool cooking surface.



  • Involves a higher cost compared to alternative cooktops.
  • Requires specialized cookware such as cast iron, enameled cast iron, and stainless steel. Ceramic, copper, and aluminum cookware are not compatible.
  • Rapid heating time may increase the risk of overcooking.
  • Susceptible to scratches.



Commercial electric cooktop

Electric Cooktop

Electric cooktops are a popular and economical choice for commercial kitchens, available in a range of shapes and sizes to suit different needs.

While they heat up quickly, they may lack the efficiency and precision of gas or induction models.

However, recent technological advancements have improved their efficiency, with newer models providing faster and more uniform heating.

The heating components are now tightly wrapped, ensuring improved heat distribution and greater consistency in cooking.

With these improvements, electric cooktops have become an increasingly viable option for chefs looking to elevate their culinary game.



  • Easy to clean due to the smooth surface.
  • Simple installation with just an electrical connection required.



  • Possibility of scratches.
  • Lowest energy efficiency among the cooktop options.
  • Only certain types of pots and pans are compatible. Avoid using copper-bottomed and aluminum cookware, as they can permanently damage the cooktop surface.




Commercial cooktop configurations

Here are the top commercial cooktop configurations:



Charbroiler in action

A charbroiler, or chargrill, is a commercial cooktop that utilizes cast-iron or stainless-steel grates to cook food at temperatures of 550.4°F or higher.

Gas or electric-powered radiant heating elements are commonly used for charbroilers.


Combination surface

Many commercial cooktops feature combination surfaces that offer two or more configurations to accommodate different cooking methods within a single range.

Since open burners are essential in commercial kitchens, most combo cooktops include at least one.

Popular combinations include open burners with a griddle, open burners with a griddle and broiler, and open burners with a hot top.


French top

The French top is a commercial cooktop inspired by traditional French cuisine, where chefs simmer soups and sauces over low heat while other dishes are being prepared.

The central ring is used for high-heat cooking, such as heating soups and stews, and can be removed to create an open flame for high-heat stir-frying with a wok.


Griddle top

Griddle Top Cooktop

A griddle top is a highly versatile addition to any commercial kitchen.

The large, flat, heated surface can cook a wide range of dishes, including eggs, pancakes, hamburger patties, bacon, sandwiches, steaks, and even delicate seafood dishes.

Choosing a cooktop with an integrated griddle ensures you get the most value for your money.


Hot top

A hot top is a flat cooking plate heated using atmospheric gas burners, with premium models reaching temperatures of 500°F to 1,000°F.

While a hot top may not have the concentrated heating zones of open burners, some types allow for creating a temperature gradient from front to rear.

This allows chefs to slide a large pot of stew from the hotter front portion to the cooler back section, where it can continue to simmer until it's ready to serve.


Open burner

Open Burner Cooktop

The open burner is the most popular configuration due to its versatility.

Fueled by gas, it produces an open flame that concentrates heat on pots and pans of food.

It consists of a burner head that emits the flame and a burner cap that covers the head.

A drip tray is typically included to catch any food spills.





The two most common types of ignition in commercial cooktops are:


Pilot ignition

If your cooktop utilizes a pilot-ignition mechanism, it will maintain a small pilot flame continuously.

This ensures the stability of the thermocouple's temperature and keeps the gas valve open.

When the burner knob is turned, gas flows to the burner, and the flames ignite.

However, since a pilot ignition system consumes gas to keep the pilot light burning, it is less energy-efficient compared to a spark ignition system.


Electronic/Spark ignition

An electronic ignition generates a spark using an electric current.

When an electronic ignition range is turned on, you'll hear a distinct clicking sound, indicating that the spark has been initiated.

The spark then comes into contact with the gas, igniting it and producing an open flame.

Unlike pilot-light ignition, electronic ignition eliminates the need for a constant gas supply to maintain a pilot light, making it a more energy-efficient option.



Commercial cooktop BTUs

BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a measure of heat output in commercial cooktops.

Cooktops with higher BTU ratings generally offer faster heating capabilities, making them suitable for high-heat cooking techniques like searing.

When selecting a commercial cooktop, it's important to consider your specific cooking needs.

Lower BTU cooktops (3,000 - 7,000 BTUs) are ideal for simmering and warming, while mid-range BTU cooktops (7,000 - 12,000 BTUs) work well for general cooking tasks such as sautéing and frying.

For heavy-duty tasks like searing or rapidly boiling large volumes of water, high-BTU cooktops (above 12,000 BTUs) are recommended.

Choosing the right BTU range ensures optimal performance and efficiency in your commercial kitchen.


Installation requirements

Proper installation of a commercial cooktop in USA commercial kitchens requires careful consideration of several factors, including:


Electrical connection

The cooktop must be connected to a reliable electrical source and installed in compliance with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and local regulations.

This involves running electrical wiring to the cooktop, connecting it to a circuit breaker, and ensuring proper grounding.


Gas connection

If you're installing a gas-powered cooktop, it must be connected to a gas line in compliance with the National Fuel Gas Code and local regulations.

This involves running a gas line to the cooktop and installing a shut-off valve with proper safety measures.



Most commercial cooktops require adequate ventilation to ensure proper operation and reduce fire risk.

Install an exhaust hood above the cooktop, connect the hood to the ductwork, and ensure that the hood and ductwork comply with the International Mechanical Code (IMC) and local ventilation codes and regulations.



The cooktop should be placed in an area that is easily accessible to your staff, allows for smooth movement around the kitchen, and is near electrical and plumbing connections.

Furthermore, the cooktop's location must comply with local safety codes and regulations, including required distances from other kitchen equipment and fire protection measures.




Best makes of commercial cooktops


 Vulcan Logo

Founded by German immigrant Hartmann C. Rausch in 1865, Vulcan is an esteemed American brand specializing in commercial kitchen equipment.

Over the years, Vulcan has demonstrated a commitment to producing robust and efficient ranges, ovens, fryers, griddles, and cooktops, earning the trust of professional kitchens worldwide.

Vulcan is also revered for its continuous innovation, seamlessly blending cutting-edge technology with its hallmark durability and superior performance.

Specific models to consider include the Vulcan VCRH24-1C 4 Burner Hot Plate, which boasts four 25,000 BTU/hr open top burners with lift-off heads, providing powerful and reliable heat.

In addition, it features a full-width pull-out crumb tray for easy cleaning.

On the other hand, the Vulcan VCRG24-T cooktop offers a polished steel griddle plate for uniform heat distribution and an easy-to-use manual control for each 12" section of the griddle, giving chefs precise control over their cooking environment.

Shop Vulcan commercial cooktops today.



 Waring Logo

Waring Commercial, founded in 1937 by inventor and bandleader Fred Waring, is a prominent manufacturer of commercial kitchen equipment in the United States.

The brand is acclaimed for its top-tier kitchen appliances, such as cooktops, blenders, food processors, and more.

Waring's commercial cooktops are engineered for durability and precision, offering features like effortless cleaning surfaces, dependable heating elements, and user-friendly controls, all of which contribute to their popularity among chefs and foodservice professionals globally.

We recommend the Waring WGR240 Electric Cooktop which stands out for its 24" griddle made of extra-large 330 sq. inch, fully removable grilling surface. It offers 240 volts of power, ensuring fast and even heating for a variety of cooking needs.

Also, the Waring WGR140 Cooktop offers a more compact 14" griddle ideal for small to medium-sized kitchens.

This model also includes an adjustable thermostat to 570°F, providing precise temperature control for various cooking tasks.

Shop Waring Commercial cooktops today.



 Garland Logo

Established in 1864 by the Garland brothers, initially involved in the furnace and stove-making business, Garland Commercial has evolved to become a leading brand in commercial kitchen equipment.

They specialize in producing cooktops, ranges, and ovens.

Today, Garland is celebrated for its top-tier, reliable cooktops designed to cater to the demands of bustling commercial kitchens.

Their cooktops are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations, engineered to endure daily intensive use while providing consistent and precise culinary results.

Top picks include - The Garland ED-15H Cooktop - a standout model with its two burners and Hi-Lo valve controls that allow for versatile cooking applications.

The cast-iron burners deliver powerful heat, while the stainless steel construction promises long-term durability.

The Garland INSTINCT Induction Hob 7 GIIC-DH7.0 exemplifies the brand's commitment to innovative technology.

This induction hob provides rapid, precise heat control with seven independent cooking zones.

It also features a user-friendly touchscreen control panel for easy operation, and its energy efficiency makes it an environmentally conscious choice.

Shop Garland commercial cooktops today



 Hatco Logo

Established in 1950, Hatco has grown into a recognized name in the commercial kitchen equipment sector.

The company's commitment to innovation, quality, and customer service has positioned Hatco as a dependable choice for commercial cooktops in the United States.

Hatco cooktops are designed with a focus on durability, functionality, and precision, making them perfect for high-traffic commercial kitchens.

These appliances stand out due to their innovative technology and sturdy construction, promising outstanding performance and longevity.

Two noteworthy models from Hatco are the IRNG-PC2F-29 High-Power Heavy-Duty Dual Induction Range and the IRNG-PC2F-36 High-Power Heavy-Duty Dual Induction Range.

The IRNG-PC2F-29 model offers a high-power, dual induction range with knob control, operating at 208-240V and 5760W, delivering fast and efficient heating.

The IRNG-PC2F-36, on the other hand, operates at a higher power of 7200W, providing rapid and powerful heating for more demanding cooking tasks.

Both models epitomize Hatco's dedication to superior performance and efficiency, making them exceptional choices for any professional kitchen.

Shop Hatco commercial cooktops now.



 Omcan Logo

Established over six decades ago, Omcan has been a reputable name in the industry of commercial kitchen equipment.

The brand has grown considerably since its inception, steadily gaining recognition for its commitment to quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

Omcan's long-standing history and unwavering dedication to excellence have positioned it as a reliable choice for commercial cooktops in the United States.

Two exceptional models from Omcan include the CE-CN-1800 Induction Cooker and the 3.4KW Commercial Countertop Induction Cooker CE-CN-0034.

The CE-CN-1800 provides swift and efficient heating, along with digital controls for precise temperature adjustments.

On the other hand, the 3.4KW model packs substantial power within its compact design, utilizing induction technology for quick heating and optimal temperature control.

These two models encapsulate Omcan's commitment to quality and efficiency, making them solid choices for any commercial kitchen.

Shop Omcan commercial cooktops today.



Commercial cooktop FAQs

What is the difference between a cooktop and a range?

A cooktop is a standalone appliance featuring burners or heating elements positioned on a countertop or installed on a kitchen island.

It is commonly paired with a separate oven, either mounted on a wall or located below the countertop.

On the other hand, a range combines both the cooktop and oven functionalities within a single unit.


How much does a commercial cooktop cost in the USA?

The cost of a commercial cooktop in the USA can vary widely depending on the brand, type, size, and features of the unit.

On average, a commercial cooktop can range from $1500 to $12000. Gas cooktops tend to be more expensive than electric or induction models, and larger cooktops with more features typically cost more.

 The cost may also vary depending on the manufacturer and the retailer. It's crucial to carefully evaluate your needs and budget when selecting a commercial cooktop for your kitchen.


How many BTUs should a commercial cooktop have?

In commercial kitchens, robust cooking equipment is essential, and a cooktop with a BTU range of 12,000-25,000 is perfect for high-heat cooking methods such as searing and stir-frying.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to establish adequate ventilation to accommodate these potent appliances and guarantee a secure and pleasant working atmosphere for your staff.


What is the lifespan of a professional cooktop?

With proper care and maintenance, both electric and gas cooktops have the potential to last a decade or more.


What are some safety tips while handling commercial gas cooktops?

  • Ensure safety with gas cooktops by utilizing a carbon monoxide monitor.
  • Schedule regular cleaning and maintenance of your cooktop to mitigate potential hazards.
  • If you detect the scent of gas, promptly turn off the cooktop and wait until the odor dissipates before resuming use.
  • After cooking, remember to turn off the burners to prevent accidents.
  • Safeguard against burns or injuries by using heat-resistant cookware handles & accessories while cooking.




Commercial cooktop glossary


The component of a gas cooktop responsible for applying heat to your pots and pans.

Burner cover

An accessory for gas cooktops that safeguards burners against food spills and stains, while also providing a neat and fresh appearance.

BTU (British thermal unit)

The BTU serves as a unit of measurement to quantify the heat output produced by a gas range or cooktop.

It indicates the speed at which the cooktop's surface will heat up and is typically higher for models requiring high heat, such as for searing meat.


Control knobs

Switches or knobs used to regulate the heat output of a cooktop's burners.


Drip pan

A tray positioned beneath the burners of a cooktop, designed to collect spills or drips and facilitate effortless cleaning.


Electric cooktop

An electric cooktop employs heated metal coils beneath a smooth ceramic-glass surface to cook food.


Flame-failure safety

A feature that automatically shuts off the gas supply if the flame extinguishes, preventing gas leaks and potential fire hazards.



Components of the cooktop situated above the burners, ensuring even heat distribution beneath your cookware.


Megajoules per hour (MJ/h)

A measurement denoting the heat output of a burner per hour, expressed in megajoules (MJ).

A higher MJ/h rating signifies a more powerful burner capable of cooking food faster and more efficiently.


Open burner

A burner design featuring an opening around the burner area, promoting improved air circulation and higher temperatures.

This type of burner delivers more direct heat and flames compared to sealed burners, albeit it may require additional effort for cleaning.


Pilot light

A small flame that continuously burns to ignite the main burner of a gas appliance when needed.


Sealed burner

A type of gas burner with a sealed construction surrounding the gas outlets, preventing spills or debris from entering the ports.

In contrast to open burners, sealed burners offer less direct heat and flame, yet they are easier to clean and maintain.




Keep your cash, use ours!

Hospitality equipment can be expensive and paying for it outright can put pressure on your business’s cash flow.

Our finance solutions allow you to get the equipment you want now and to pay for it in small, regular amounts out of the revenue it generates for you.

Rent–Try–Buy® not only helps you maintain your cash flow, it also gives you unrivaled flexibility to adapt your equipment to the changing needs of your business.

You can upgrade or buy the equipment at any time or, after 12 months, return or continue renting it.

If you decide to buy the equipment, we’ll give you back 60% of the net rent you paid in the first year and 20% of any rental payments thereafter — to put toward the purchase price.

Read more about Rent–Try–Buy                                    

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