Q: Is there a noticeable difference between stove burners with 12,000 BTU's and burners with 15,000 BTU's?
Lynne: Yes, there is a difference. BTU's measure how much heat a gas flame gives off. The average home stove has about 7,000 BTU's per burner with maybe one burner that goes to 10,000 or 12,000. Higher is better. For fast stir frying and searing, the higher BTU burner is best, but you also want to be able to reduce it to about 1,000-1,200 BTU's to allow gentle simmering. Also look for a stove having lots of space between burners so large pots can be used without interfering with use of adjacent burners. Avoid stove tops that have very high burner grids as they invite pans to tip and spill. Finally, when considering a stove purchase take into account your lifestyle, how you cook, and your budget.