Kitchenaid’s newest, low-price gas cooktop – the 30” Architect II KFGS306VSS – sports a serious facelift, five burners (!) with a seriously powerful center burner. At a current retail price of around $1,000 USD, it’s one of the more aggressively priced units in its class.
To begin though, a quick note: Touting the “industry’s first 30” gas cooktop with 5 burners” as the main selling point, just doesn’t do it for me. While having 5 burners is nice, who are these mythical people who are ordering 30” gas cooktops and complaining that it’s missing a burner. In my mind, four burners are plenty in this size, and stretching it to five limits the size of pans you can use at the same time. For instance, with the massive burner in the middle, you might naturally use a large 11” saute pan for searing some steaks. But in doing so, you’re inevitably encroaching into the available space for all the other burners.
If that doesn’t bother you than there is good news; there’ s not much else that will. The center burner is double-tiered and very powerful at 15,000 btu’s. There are three solid cast-iron grates, each completely flush, making it easy to move your pots and pans around during cooking. Automatic re-ignition which will immediately reignite a burner if the flame goes out. Sealed burner system for easy cleanup. As with all sealed burners, be careful to not have a large spill, or fluid may get into the burner box and possibly disrupt the electronic ignition system.
At this price range, you can’t get a perfect cooktop. But the Kitchenaid Architect II tries hard, and in our opinion makes it worth the money. Couple of small gripes customers have reported so far; The knobs, while large and easy to operate, stick out higher than the cooktop surface, putting them in the way. They are also plastic, which will melt if you happen to put a hot pan on them. Also, note that the cut-out required for this particular cooktop is non-standard and may require some additional work to an existing cabinet.
Pros: Low price for high quality burners, flush grates, 15k btu’s mean it can get very hot, very fast.
Cons: Five burners is unnecessary in our opinion, plastic knobs feel cheap, odd cut-out dimensions.