Viking Professional VGSU5366BSS 36-Inch Gas Cooktop Review
Professional style, with cooking performance to match
There is a variation of the Viking VGSU5366BSS called the Viking VGSU5366BSSLP. It is very similar to the Viking VGSU5366BSS in most respects.
If the all-new Viking Professional VGSU5366BSS 36-inch gas cooktop (MSRP $2,319) is representative of the brand's new line of cooktops, consider us impressed: It packs a powerful punch when it comes to cooking performance, but it doesn’t sacrifice style in the process.
The stainless cooking surface and heavy cast iron grates are pretty to look at, and the cooktop’s six burners offer lots of space for home chefs to work. But it's not all about looks. In our tests, we recorded some impressively low minimum temperatures for melting and simmering, maximum temperatures that exceeded our expectations, and a burner that brought water to a boil exceptionally quickly.
If you're looking for a pro-style gas cooktop, the Viking VGSU5366BSS is our top choice. It's easy to use, attractive, and supremely capable.
Sleek and spacious
This 36-inch cooktop features six sealed burners. They sit atop a matte stainless steel surface, and beneath three continuous porcelain-coated cast iron grates.
A combination of small dimples in the cooking surface and rubber stops help keep the grates in place and prevent scratches, but we’re a bit concerned that the dimples could pose a cleaning challenge—especially considering that Viking recommends cleaning the grates by soaking them for 15-20 minutes and drying them by hand.
We found the control placement to be less than ideal. The comfortable, two-tone knobs are attractive and felt solid, but they're all clustered on the right side of the cooktop. While that brings the front burners closer to the user, it also makes for a baffling line of identical knobs. The rearmost controls are hard to reach, and—unlike the cooking surface—the knobs do pick up fingerprints.
All burners have a dedicated Simmer setting, along with Low, Med Lo, Med, Med Hi, and Hi settings, plus everything in between. However, the Simmer setting was frustrating to use—its flames were hard to fine-tune and extinguished themselves before the knob reached the “off” position. By comparison, Thermador's Extra-Low feature guarantees reliably low heat, but it cycles burners on and off with a "click" to achieve such mild temperatures.
Despite the shared settings, the burners don’t have the same power capabilities as one another. The powerful left front burner is capable of up to 18,000 BTUs, while the left rear maxes out at 10,000 BTUs. Both center burners have up to 12,000 BTUs at their disposal, with the right side of the range proving the least powerful. The right front burner has just 6,000 BTUs to play with, and the right rear burner has 8,000 BTUs.
There are minimal customizability options for this model, but you can add a matching wok ring to your cooktop for $119, or a cast aluminum portable griddle for $99.
Wide temperature variance all across the board
Overall, the VGSU5366BSS is a solid cooktop, with good temperature reach and a real mix of boiling abilities. Its burners couldn't heat cookware as quickly as an induction cooktop, but all were capable of reaching maximum temperatures that exceeded what we often see from gas. Low temperature performance, however, was simply superb.
The right and left rear burners had the best temperature reach, with the right rear burner hitting its lowest temperature at 142°F and its highest at 460°F after 5 minutes. The left rear burner was able to reach the lowest minimum temperature of all—a downright impressive 89°F—and a maximum temp of 387°F. The front center burner had the highest max temp, clocking out at 462°F, and a low temp of 168°F.
We noticed a pattern by the time we tested the rear center burner, which had a temperature range from 144°F to 405°F. As for the front left and right burners, both held their own. The left front burner hit a fantastically balmy minimum temp of just 91°F, maxing out at 375°F—the cooktop’s lowest max temp. On the right front burner, temperatures ranged from 116°F to 385°F.
Boil times proved a bit of a mixed bag: The powerful left front burner boiled 6 cups of water in just 4:14, which makes it one of the fastest gas burners we've ever tested. However, things slow down a bit if you plan to boil more than one pot of water at a time. The center burners took about twice as long, and the rest weren't worth boiling on.
Viking recently upped its warranty coverage, so the VGSU5366BSS offers a 3-year warranty for the complete product.
However, if you have a service call within the first 90 days of purchase due to a defect, Viking will replace the whole product—including issues with any cosmetic parts. There’s also a 5-year limited warranty, which only covers the gas burners.
Why We Like It
Six burners, all worth using
The Viking Professional VGSU5366BSS gas cooktop makes the most of its 36-inch width. You get a sleek pro-style look, and six sealed burners that offer everything from extremely low simmer temperatures to maximum temperatures—including one that outputs 18,000 BTU. While the simmer setting proved finicky, low temperature performance was superb—and there’s no denying that having a simmer option on every burner offers a great deal of versatility.
We wish that there was more than one burner with a boil time under 6 minutes, but the near-4-minute boil time we measured from the left front burner still deserves praise. Performance aside, the VGSU5366BSS offers a professional-style appearance, and details like dual-tone control knobs are clues to its high-end pedigree.
If you want a straightforward, high-end cooktop with some of the best performance we've ever recorded, look no further.
Photos captured at Poirier Sales & Service in Newton, MA.
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