Gas Burner Size and Normal Operation

As long as the flame is blue or blue with yellow tips, the burner is cooking at its proper performance level.

Most gas ranges or cooktops have 3 different size burners:

  • Small: Simmer burner is for precise low flame cooking. Don't use this burner to boil water.
  • Medium: All purpose burner.
  • Large: Maximum Output burner for fast boiling.
  • To keep boil times low, the diameter of the flames should match the size of the cookware being used. Using a large pan on a small diameter flame will extend the cooking time. Flames should not extend beyond the cookware. This will reduce the efficiency of the burner because the heat will go into the room instead of the cookware.
  • Using LP (Liquid Propane) gas instead of natural gas will lower the BTU output and will slow the cooking process. The BTU output determines the speed at which a gas range or cooktop will boil water. The higher the BTU, the more heat the burner is able to produce.


Typical burner positions:

  • Right front: Usually Maximum Output, Power Boil or Performance Plus burner
  • Right rear: Usually the Precise Simmer burner
  • Left front: Usually an All Purpose or High Output burner
  • Left rear: Usually an All Purpose burner