ovens
Expert Score
6.7

Kenmore 32553 Gas Cooktop Review

This cooktop struggles to perform, despite its sleek appearance

Credit: Kenmore
August 23, 2017
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This 36-inch Kenmore is one of the most affordable gas cooktops of its size on the market. We put the Kenmore 32553 gas cooktop (MSRP $970)] through the same battery of tests we use on every cooktop we evaluate to see how well it performed.

We evaluated its features, checked high and low temperatures for each of the burners, examined how quickly it can boil water. We scored on a scale of 10 compared to the rest of the cooktops we've tested this year. Here’s what we found.

Pros

  • Cast-iron grates cover the entire cooktop to easily move pots and pans around
  • Reasonably priced for what it offers

Cons

  • Can’t reach high or low temperatures effectively
  • The center burner gets hottest, despite having 6,500 BTU less than the Power Burner (front right)

Features

  • Power Burner—The right front burner boasts 16,000 BTU for searing and quick cooking. However, it didn't perform like a powerful 16,000 BTU burner in our tests.
  • Continuous grates—These porcelain-coated, matte-finish grates allow you to slide pots and pans across burners with ease and make cleaning simple.
    Kenmore BTUs
    Credit: Kenmore

What we found

TIME TO BOIL 48 OUNCES OF WATER
9:45 on average, but as fast as 5:16 on the center burner. The right rear burner should only be used for simmering: It takes 20 minutes to boil. The other burners make up for it with times between 6 and 9 minutes, giving this cooktop a fine score of 7/10.

MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE REACHED ON BURNER
A pan reached a temperate 500ºF on the center burner, other burners hovered between 359º-440º F. These aren’t standout scores, leaving this cooktop at a score of 6.3/10 compared to our other ranges.

MINIMUM TEMPERATURE REACHED ON BURNER
A pan reached 148ºF on the right rear burner, other burners hovered between 150º-194º F. This is a very poor score compared to the other ranges we’ve tested with a score of 2/10. A range should be able to hit much lower temperatures than this.

Should you buy it?

Probably not. This cooktop is currently on sale for less than $600, and in this case, you definitely get what you pay for. The burners can’t reach low temperatures, so kiss any hope of simmering soups and sauces goodbye. Its high temperatures are also fairly unimpressive, which makes this cooktop a pass.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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