Both Thermador and Wolf are defined by Consumer Reports as high-end kitchen appliance brands. They both manufacture professional kitchen appliances, including gas cooktops. Their cooktops are in the same basic price range, but each brand has its own unique features.
Wolf describes its burner style as "dual stacked sealed burners," which means that each burner consists of two levels of flame ports. The upper level is for the highest heat delivery, whereas the lower level is for fine-tuning and simmer settings. The Wolf 36-inch cooktop has five burners: one large burner that provides 15,000 BTUs per hour, one medium burner providing 12,000 BTUs per hour and three small burners providing 9,200 BTUs per hour each. All the burners are capable of the simmer setting.
Thermador has a unique, patented Star Burner design instead of a circular burner. The perimeter of the burner is 56 percent longer than a circular one and has more flame ports. This configuration allows more even heating, according to the manufacturer. Thermador's 36-inch cooktop also has five burners: one large burner delivering up to 16,000 BTUs per hour, two medium burners delivering 12,000 BTUs per hour and two small burners delivering 9,100 BTUs per hour. Two of the burners are capable of simmer settings.
Grates for the Wolf model are cast iron with a porcelain matte finish. When the grates are in place, they provide a continuous surface for sliding pots and pans from one burner to the next without having to lift them. Wolf's grates are dishwasher safe.
Thermador's grates are porcelain enamel on cast iron. They, too, provide a continuous cooking surface when in place. Thermador recommends cleaning the grates by hand with mild detergents.
The bottom of the cooktop under the grates and surrounding the burners is called the pan. Both the Thermador pan and the Wolf pan are seamless stainless steel for easy cleanup. The pan seals each burner so no spills can fall under the pan.
The Wolf cooktop is Star-K certified for kosher cooking.
Both brands have a single-point ignition system and automatic re-ignition if flames go out.
Wolf cooktops bear a Canadian Standards Association's (CSA) safety rating for both the USA and Canada. Thermador cooktops are CGA (Compressed Gas Association) and AGA (American Gas Association) approved.
Both Wolf and Thermador provide a full one-year warranty on parts and labor for their cooktops.
Both brands are available through authorized independent retailers such as Famous Tate. The prices for both brands are in the same range, and various sales and specials can make either brand less expensive depending on the retailer. For example, Famous Tate lists the price for the Wolf 36-inch cooktop model CT36GS at $1,869, and the Thermador 36-inch cooktop model SGS365 at $1,899. Abt.com, an online retailer, delivers the Wolf model at $1,899, while the Thermador model costs just $1,599.
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