I don't understand why most ranges don't offer a linear flame response as you turn the dial up on a burner. They have "jumps" from low to medium-low, to medium-high, etc. The dials themselves turn smoothly, always, but the flame responds erratically. For example, on a numbered dial from 1-10, 1-3 might be low, and then suddenly at around 3.5 it jumps to medium low, where it remains until 5. Seems to me they should just have 4 buttons (low, med, etc..) instead of a dial that fools us into thinking we have fine control.

I really want to get a range with a straight linear burner response, and no "presets." Not only is the information nearly impossible to get from manufacturers (I've tried, and many don't seem to know their own products), but retailers obviously can't leave ranges hooked up in their showrooms, so it's impossible to test them. I'm tired of trying to get the "sweet spots" between the presets that the manufacturer has decided is optimal for my cooking.

I've heard that many commercial-style (Bluestar, Wolf, etc.) offer this. What about other non-commercial-style and less expensive models from other brands (LG, GE, etc.)? Thank you.

  • [shopping questions tend to be off-topic right across Stack Exchange, as any recommendations tend to be short-lived & only applicable to the original asker] However, I cannot recall ever in my life seeing a gas hob with 'notched' burner knobs. What territory are you in?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 6:35
  • @tetsujin I guess we can keep this as long as the answers try to explain the mechanisms behind the availability and don't turn into a suggestion of brands, but of course the community is free to cast close votes if it wishes, as with any question. Also, I don't know if the OP meant that there are actual notches, what I have seen are smoothly turning dials with numbers around them. They work like a faucet, increasing the width of the gas in-hole, which increases the cross section (and amount of gas) quadratically - a very useful feature for me, I wouldn't want linear myself.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 13:34
  • Sorry for lack of clarity. I'm in the U.S. The situation I'm describing is where knobs turn smoothly, from lowest to highest, and yet where flames increase in jumps or plateaus, say 4 or 5 of them, with areas of no or limited response in between. I've found this to be the case in each of my last 4 ranges. "Linear" is wrong (sorry). Maybe "gradual" is OK. There's no spec I can find for this, nor a standard term for the distinction (whether a burner responds gradually or in plateaus). Adjusting a flame to one's liking is difficult with "plateaus." I don't need shopping recommendations per se.
    – troodon
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 18:35
  • Linear is the perfectly correct terminology here. 100% correct. You're saying the "response is Not linear". (Again, as I mention below, purely FWIW I've never had this problem, having had many ranges! Maybe sheer bad luck.)
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 18:05
  • 1
    I ended up buying a top-of-the-line gas range, not commercial-styled but a residential model from a large manufacturer. I asked the company beforehand, and they said response was linear and even from high to low. But it's not the case. It differs from burner to burner, but generally there are large areas of knob rotation (50 or 60 degrees, from a total of 270 degrees of rotational adjustment) that yield no visible or audible difference in flame, and other small areas of rotation (5 degrees or less, even) that yield very significant differences. It makes it difficult to fine tune the flame.
    – troodon
    Commented May 7, 2019 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


This must be a regional "feature". I have 3 different cookers / hobs, and all of them are linear. Ikea (hob), Smeg (hob), Bertazzoni (cooker).

  • Agreed. I've never seen this problem, whether in the US or Europe. Perhaps OP you just had plain bad luck?
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 18:04
  • I don't know -- since I noticed the "plateau" burner function (or started to get annoyed by it) a few years ago, I've tried the burners at several friends' homes, and they all have the same manner of non-linear or non-gradual change. You turn up the knob, and there is little or no increase, and then suddenly there is a sudden increase. Granted, my ranges and those of my friends are on the cheap end.
    – troodon
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 23:51

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