Kitchen appliance innovator, Smeg, has once again utilised its highly critical eye to fine tune the semi-commercial cooktop.

There are two new cooktop models to choose from, both with five burners, front-mounted controls and durable heavy-duty cast iron trivets – and both with a rapid or intense wok burner cleverly positioned quite separately, to the left of the other four burners.

The advantages of this configuration are immediately apparent – no more over crowding of the hob when the wok is in use, plenty of room for all burners to be used simultaneously and no more reaching over steaming pots to access the wok.

The CIR900XS and CIR597X cooktops have many features in common but also some quite unique attributes. The CIR900XS cooktop stands very slightly proud of the benchtop, has a very linear look and is a generous 580mm deep.

The wok or ultra rapid burner, suitable for stir-frying, pasta cooking etc has 15 megajoules of heat an hour – there is also a 12.5mj/hr rapid burner, two 6.0mj/hr semi rapid burners and a 4.8mj/hr auxiliary burner.

The CIR597X cooktop meanwhile, with a more robust-looking profile, has a wok burner with dual controls for an inner and outer ring of flame that together total 15mj/hr. Other burners comprise a 12.5mj/hr rapid burner, two semi rapids of 3.0mj/hr each and an auxiliary burner of 4.8mj/hr.

Both hobs feature flame failure devices on each burner and are of 18/10 satin stainless steel, pressed in one piece – there are no joins or ridges to trap food particles or grease.

The CIR900XS and CIR597X five burner cooktops, by Smeg, are available from Omega Appliances .