Cooking Appliance FAQ: What Are BTUs on a Range?

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If you’re in the market for a new stove the term “BTU” may turn up frequently in your research. You may find yourself asking, “What are stove BTUs, anyway?” or “How many BTUs do I need for my gas range?” We’ll help answer what are BTUs on a range by detailing what the term means and how many you really need for your next range purchase.

What Are BTUs on a Range and What Does That Mean for Me?

It’s easy to believe that bigger is always better. But considering a stove BTU rating that’s very high involves more than admiration of its power. Understanding what are BTUs on a range also includes comprehending if that power suits your daily cooking needs.

What is a BTU?

BTUs are how we measure the heat output of a gas burner. The term “BTU” is short for British Thermal Units, with 1 BTU raising the heat of 1lb of water by 1°F. The higher the BTU measurement of a burner, the more heat it’s able to generate quickly.

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Photo Credit: Sam Bilamjian

What is the Best BTU for a Gas Range?

The best BTUs for a gas range aren’t a particular number. Rather, it’s about the range of BTUs a stove provides. Most home cooks require burners that are ideal for simmering and low-heat cooking as well as searing and rapid boiling. For this reason, typical BTUs of a gas stove are between 3,000-12,000 BTUs, while a commercial stove’s BTUs can reach up to 22,000.

A range with a high BTU output was historically just used in restaurants, where multiple dishes must be prepared rapidly at the same time. However, commercial-level stoves with high BTUs have become increasingly available for residential use. We suggest these additional considerations if you’re thinking about a commercial-grade stove for your home:

  • Will I be able to easily control the power and heat output of a commercial-grade stove?
  • Can my cookware withstand commercial-level BTUs without sustaining damage?
  • Does my vent hood have the capacity to handle increased BTUs?

Does Higher BTU Use More Gas?

Understanding what are BTUs on a range also includes awareness of how much gas a commercial-grade stove uses. A stove with higher BTUs will require more gas than a typical residential range for the higher heat output it provides.

It’s important to understand what are BTUs on a range so that your stove purchase truly serves your cooking needs and preferences. The professionals at Just-in Time Appliance can help answer any range question as well as address any range repair!

Justin Duby

Justin Duby

Justin Duby, a Grants Pass native, opened Just-in Time Appliance Repair in 2014 after working with his grandparents in the appliance repair business for almost 10 years. Just attends various training programs throughout the year to keeps his skills sharp.

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