Gas Range & Cooktop - Burner Size and Normal Operation

When using the surface burners on your Gas Range or Cooktop, the burner flames should be blue or blue with yellow tips. This indicates the burner is cooking at its proper performance level. Long, bright yellow flames are not normal. Normal flames may show signs of an orange tint when well heated or signs of flickering orange due to particles in the gas or air.


Most Gas Ranges or Cooktops have 3 or 4 different size burners. The surface burners can be small, medium, large and often include a center Power Boil™ burner or a center griddle burner.

  • Small Burner: The small burner is used as a simmer burner and for precise low flame cooking. You would not use this burner to boil water.

  • Medium Burner: The medium burner is an all purpose burner.

  • Large Burner: The large burner is a maximum output burner used for faster cooking and boiling.

  • Center, Extra-Large or Multi-Ring Burner: This burner is often a high BTU burner used for a Power Boil™ for fast boiling. This center burner may also be used as a burner for a griddle on models which offer the griddle feature.



  • To reach a boil more quickly, 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 on the burners 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 Surface Burner Positions and Uses:

  • Right Front: This is usually a Maximum Output, Power Boil™ or Performance Plus burner.

  • Right Rear: This is usually the Precise Simmer or lowest BTU burner.

  • Left Front: This is usually an All Purpose or High Output burner.

  • Left Rear: This is usually an All Purpose burner.

  • Center: This is usually a Multi-Ring, Power Boil™ or Oval Griddle burner.