A number of manufacturers, including Wolf, J. Dynasty Utility, FiveStar and Jenn-Air, now make professional-style gas cooktops, with one or more 15,000-Btu burners, for the home. Viking's gas cooktop, with a 14,000-Btu burner, comes close. (For an explanation of Btu's, see "Power Tips" at right.) With this restaurant-stove level of power--two or three times what older burners could put out--you can bring a 10-gallon pot of water to a boil in no time.
Miele offers an attractive home-style model with a five-burner configuration including a simmer burner. Thermador features a simmer burner that cycles on and off to maintain a 375-Btu level, which generates a heat so low that it can melt chocolate without a double boiler. (Many simmer burners are in the 1,000-Btu range.) In contrast, La Cornue,the French luxury-range manufacturer, recently weighed in with a five-burner cooktop featuring a large 20,000-Btu burner in the center.