Are you in the middle of a remodel?
And of course, functionality is key. You want a cooktop that can compete with the best of them. You need to be able to boil water in a flash. Pop popcorn in a jiffy. Sear your tuna with the greatest of ease.
You get the gist. Basically, you’ll want to whip up a smorgasbord of 5-star food as fast as your fingers can work the knobs. And it has to look good.
Not necessarily the food, but at least the cooktop. Want to make your mother-in-law green with envy? The right cooktop is just the thing to do that. But how do you choose the right one?
There are so many cooktops on the market, it can be difficult to wrap your head around which one is the best one. After all, every brand claims to be the best. That’s true in every market, not just the cooktop market. While it is to be expected, it doesn’t make your choice easier.
You need an honest, unbiased opinion. That’s why we’re here. Today we’ll be reviewing the GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS. Sound like a mouthful? That model number is not kidding around. But neither are we.
We’re about to dive so deep into this gas cooktop, you may be begging us to stop with all the information. So, get ready to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know and more about this cooktop, and find out if it’s the one you’re so desperately searching for.
What Exactly is the GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS?
The GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS is a high-efficiency, gas-powered cooktop that has the potential to take your kitchen from drab to fab in no time flat.
That’s because this cooktop is one sleek machine. We’re talking absolutely gorgeous. Not only is it an accomplishment in modern kitchen design, but it’s absolutely chocked full of special features.
However, no matter how good a machine looks on paper, there will inevitably be problems once you get it out of the box and installed in your counter. No machine is perfect, but some are better than others.
Is this one all looks and no substance, or will it stand the test of time and daily use? Read on to find out.
Technical Specs and Special Features You Need to Know About
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Dual-flame stacked burnersProvide complete 140f simmer-to-rapid-boil flexibility on all burners; the burners are sealed to the cooktop for easy cleaningHigh-output cooking powerDelivered by an 18 000 BTU burner totaling 62 000 BTUsSilent precise simmeringDelivers a consistent 140f temperature without cycling on and off; no simmer plate requiredElectronic ignitionEnsures a continuous flame and reignites automatically if accidentally extinguished
Let’s examine the functionality of this cooktop, along with some of those special features so you can get the real low-down on the GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS.
- Special Features
Oh, the design. Have we mentioned how awesome it is? This 5-burner cooktop is laid out very nicely, with the largest burner in the center surrounded by the smaller four. The continuous cast-iron grating is set against a stainless-steel base to emphasize cleanliness and shine.
The GE Monogram is designed to be functional as well as beautiful. You’ll find cooking to be a breeze on these dual-flame stacked burners, each of which allows for both controlled simmering and rapid boiling. An 18,000 BTU burner delivers more than enough power, while easy electronic ignition allows you to light the stove with a simple twist of the knob.
The knobs are designed specifically to increase the functionality of this cooktop. They are easy-twist knobs which give you as much control as possible, while a red indicator light gives you an idea of heat settings — no more crouching down to peer under your frying pan.
However, some customers still had difficulty with the heat settings. They were reportedly confusing and, on some occasions, just plain wrong, with food getting burned on low settings and other similar horrors. Yikes! That’s not going to impress your mother-in-law.
Special features abound. With the GE Monogram, you’ll get safety, security, and easy usage. The flame will re-ignite itself if for some reason the power is cut off, so you don’t have to worry about your food not being cooked in case of a short outage.
EasySAFE lighting technology ensures that you don’t have to worry about leaking gas in the event of a non-ignition. But one has to wonder, does this happen a lot? Consumer Reports says maybe. Many consumers had problems with the ignition system, and some had to replace it constantly.
The ignition isn’t the only part that needed replacing, either. There were reports of nearly everything failing on the gas cooktop, from the actual burners to the knobs — which are plastic, yet $60 to replace. Uh-oh. Customers also reportedly had problems with customer service trying to replace the parts.
Can the technical specs redeem the GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS? Let’s check them out. This cooktop is a 36”, 5-burner cooktop made of stainless steel. The continuous grating is made of cast iron, and the burners themselves are sealed to the stainless-steel base to make for easy clean-up.
The unit weighs 61 pounds, which is on the heavy side for a gas cooktop, but that could just mean it’s a bit more durable than most. Make sure this cooktop fits in your counter space before you buy. As stated, the width is 36”, while the depth is 20.44” and the height is 3.06”. The GE comes with a 1-year parts and labor warranty. This is standard for the industry, but they’re not exactly going above and beyond.
Ge Monogram ZGU385NSMSS Pricing and Vendors
The GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS has actually been discontinued. You can no longer buy it off the GE website, or from any of the authorized dealers.
This is kind of a shame because some customers seemed to really love the cooktop. If you do want to purchase it, there is hope. You can try buying from a private seller. There are a few for sale on eBay, where you’ll pay $1,065 dollars for it.
That’s a pretty good deal, considering the original price was nearly $1,500. However, keep in mind that you won’t get the warranty. Considering how many problems previous buyers had with the cooktop, that may prove to be a major problem.
Not only that, but because this particular cooktop has been discontinued by the manufacturer, you may have a tough time finding replacement parts. If something putters out on you, you might be in the lurch when it comes to finding a skilled professional to fix it for you.
However, if you’re savvy enough, it could still be a great purchase. For people who don’t mind getting their own hands dirty when it comes time to fix a problem, this stove could fit all your needs. It’s got pretty good technology, and you’ll get it for cheap compared to newer cooktops.
How the GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS Compares to Other Brands
Now that you know everything there is to know about the GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS, it’s time to compare it to other gas cooktops of similar ilk. How does it stand up to the competition? Let’s check it out.
[amazon link=”B074BZVBCV” title=”1. Kenmore Pro 34423 36 Gas Drop In Cooktop – Stainless Steel” /]
[amazon link=”B074BZVBCV” title=”Kenmore Pro 34423″ /]
[amazon link=”B074BZVBCV” title=”Price: $1,199” /]
[amazon fields=”B074BZVBCV” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]
The Kenmore Pro is a 36” gas cooktop just like the GE Monogram. How does it hold up in comparison? Here are its star ratings:
The Kenmore Pro is pretty professional, on paper. The layout is remarkably similar to the GE Monogram, with a large center burner with four smaller burners around it. Continuous grating, electronic ignition, and high-powered burners are all up to par.
It’s got 18,200 BTUs, which narrowly beats out the GE Monogram. Customers seemed to love how fast they could cook on this baby. The burners on the Kenmore are also sealed, meaning it’s easy to clean once you do use. As is the standard, a stainless-steel base supports the cast-iron grating beautifully.
Is there anything not to love about this model? Well, there were some complaints about customer service. The 1-year parts and labor warranty isn’t exactly the best we’ve ever heard of, but it’s pretty normal for gas cooktops.
[amazon link=”B00NN1FJYK” title=”2. KitchenAid KCGS956ESS 36 5-Burner Gas Cooktop with Griddle” /]
[amazon fields=”B00NN1FJYK” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]
This KitchenAid 36” gas cooktop has some pretty raving reviews. Is it up to snuff? Check out its star ratings:
The KitchenAid 36” cooktop has been reviewed quite positively by users. This 5-burner cooktop is a bit different than the GE Monogram in terms of layout. It too has a large burner in the center, but the smaller burners are not so much surrounding it as stacked neatly on either side.
The knobs are different as well, but it’s still a very attractive machine. It’s also a higher-powered machine, boasting a 20,000 BTU dual-flame burner in the middle. The smaller burners are still impressive, however, each one delivering a ton of power and slightly different capabilities.
This cooktop also comes with a removable griddle, which is a must-have if you like to make pancakes, quesadillas, or other tasty treats which require one. Customers absolutely loved this cooktop, with the only complaint being that multiple pots on at the same time was a bit of a tight squeeze. The standard 1-year warranty is ok, but it does include a 5-year replacement on the burners.
[amazon link=”B006G7SUTO” title=”3. LG LCG3611ST 36 Stainless Steel Gas Sealed Burner Cooktop” /]
This 5-burner cooktop from LG Electronics looks pretty sharp. Let’s check out its star ratings:
The consumer base seemed to really love this versatile and sleek cooktop. Its layout is quite similar to all the other cooktops on the list, but its knobs are obviously of a higher design quality. They may be much easier for some customers to use since they indicate heat settings with physical markings rather than lights.
The large center burner has 17,000 BTUs of power, so it’s on par with the others in that respect. Some customers reported that the burners were further apart and thus easier to use, which is a plus when cooking for company or cooking many different dishes at once.
The materials used in manufacturing are largely the same, with a stainless-steel base supporting standard cast-iron grating. It’s also less expensive. The only complaint customers seemed to have is with the knobs — which is a common complaint across the board. The warranty is standard at 1 year.
Pros and Cons of the GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS
Now that we’ve compared the GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS to the competition, let’s go over the pros and cons. This quick recap should help you decide which cooktop you want to purchase.
Our Final Verdict on the GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS
The GE Monogram ZGU385NSMSS is a beautiful and useful gas cooktop with some pretty cool technology, but its looks might not be enough to validate your purchase.
Star Rating: We give this product 3 stars for attractiveness and usability, but it may be more trouble than it’s worth. Searching parts, not having the stability of a warranty, and potentially flimsy construction all contribute to the star rating.
If you’re an extremely handy person (or you have an extremely handy spouse), buying this cooktop could be a good deal — after all, it does come with a pretty big discount. If you wouldn’t know a wrench if it landed right in front of you, it may be best to leave this cooktop to the professionals.