Gas stoves are one of the most popular and efficient ways to prepare food. Many households and professional chefs prefer gas stoves because the immediate heat response provides superior control – especially for grilling and sautéing. Plus, while modern gas stoves use electricity to ignite the burner, you still have the option to light it manually during power outages.
Despite this, cooking on a gas stove for beginners can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you are using a gas stove for the first time, fear not – it’s not as frightening as you might think. A gas stove is an excellent addition to any kitchen when you know how to use it. Check out our helpful and practical tips for cooking on a gas stove that will make things easier for you.
Differences Between Gas Stoves And Other Types Of Stoves
The main differences between cooking ranges are their heat source (gas, electricity, or induction), general efficiency, and resource consumption.
- Gas stoves use gas from a pipeline supplied to your home or commercial kitchen. For the most part, culinary professionals prefer gas hobs for two reasons the instantaneous heat control and visual gauging of temperature; chefs learn how to read the flame.
- Electric stoves use electricity to create heat; between 65% and 70% of the energy consumed is transferred to the cookware. Some households feel that electric ranges are safer than gas-fueled stoves because there is no risk of gas leaks or harmful NO2 emissions.
- Reportedly, induction units are the most efficient heating source available. About 90% of the resource used is transferred to the food (gas is around 40% to 55%). This means the heat doesn’t escape but is transmitted directly to your cookware. Induction cooktops also use electricity to produce heat.
Benefits Of Gas Stoves Vs. Electric
So cooking with gas stove vs electric – which is better? Three significant benefits of gas stoves set them apart from standard electric cooking ranges: (i) responsiveness, (ii) cost-effectiveness, and (iii) the ability to operate without electricity.
The Responsiveness Of Gas Stoves
This feature is essential for foodies and trained chefs. Normal electric ranges take some time to heat up and cool down, but gas eliminates this need. The immediate response of heat control will result in faster, even cooking, and stop the cooking process when you turn it off.
In contrast with electric cooktops, you don’t have to turn the heat down a minute or so before the timer is set to go off.
Gas Stoves Are Generally Cheaper To Run
In most states, the cost of running a stove on gas can be less than using electricity. You’ll have to find out if this is the case where you live, but generally, gas stoves can reduce your monthly electricity bill.
Gas Stoves Still Work During Power Outages
Aside from its responsiveness and energy efficiency, gas can be considered superior because gas stoves can operate without electricity.
Gas Stove Safety Tips
As with any kitchen or household appliance, there are safety risks that we need to consider. And your stove presents one of the top 5 kitchen hazards. Apart from common cooking hazards, like burns, there are two significant risks we need to look out for with gas appliances; leaks and fires.
How To Identify A Leaking Gas Stove
Because natural gas is highly combustible, it can be perilous when there is a leak. Generally, you won’t have to buy gas leak detectors to know there’s a gas leak somewhere – unless you have a clogged-up nose and can’t smell anything.
However, you’ll probably notice the smell if there is a big leak. Suppliers add a noticeable rotten egg (sulfuric) odor to gas because of how dangerous an undetected leak can be. When you turn the stovetop burner knob, you’ll notice the smell for a second before the ignitor sparks to life, and the little blue flames appear.
You don’t have to worry about it unless the ignitor fails and the gas is still flowing freely from the burner. But then again, modern stoves come equipped with fail-safes for such instances, making it very unlikely.
But if it does happen, simply turn the knob back, and you’ll notice the soft whooshing sound and the smell disappear almost instantly. You can always turn the gas supply off after each meal to be safe. If the ignitor often fails, it is a good idea to have an expert take a look at the stove.
How To Prevent Kitchen Fires When Cooking With Gas Stoves
Most house fires start in the kitchen. Indeed, almost half of the house fires in the US arise from cooking. While this is a terrifying statistic, many of these accidents are avoidable. Here are the do’s and don’ts for preventing – or in the worst case, extinguishing – kitchen fires.
- Use your stovetop as a counter or a general storage area.
- Let the handles of pots and pans overhang.
- Cook with loose sleeves that might catch fire.
- Extinguish a grease fire with water.
- Use the stove if you are not feeling well or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Leave the kitchen when you are cooking.
- Follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines; take the time to read the user manual.
- Keep baking soda close; in the case of a grease fire, simply turn off the burner if it’s safe and pour the baking soda over the fire.
- Keep the kitchen a play-free zone. (No toys. No running through.)
- Educate your household on fire safety.
- Have your stove checked annually by a professional.
Should I Use A Gas Oven If There Is A Power Outage?
Gas ovens have an electric start, making it somewhat challenging to ignite with a match or long nose lighter. While older ovens can be lit like a gas stove, the position of the gas burner can make it difficult to reach.
Modern gas ranges are different, especially those manufactured after the 1990s; a built-in safety feature prevents gas flow when there is no electricity. Without that, it would be impossible to light the oven manually.
Be very careful when you ignite the stove or oven manually, don’t turn the gas knob to the max; you only need a small gas flow to light the unit. The more gas you release, the bigger the ignition flame – don’t stick your head into the oven or try to light it with long, loose sleeves covering your arms.
What Are Some Potential Harmful Effects Of Cooking With Gas?
One negative associated with cooking on a gas stove is that doing so can potentially contribute to indoor air pollution. A gas range is a must if you live in an area that experiences many power outages. However, recent studies may give you a reason to carefully consider all your options before selecting a range for your home or culinary business.
Gas stoves emit Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). And the effects of this can be exacerbated if you don’t have (or use) ventilation.
Nitrogen Dioxide emissions occur with any appliance that burns gas for heating purposes. Using gas heaters during the winter when all the windows and doors are closed to keep the heat inside can be a significant health concern.
Generally, these pollutants aggravate respiratory diseases, is detrimental to people with heart problems, and cause various other health issues like:
- Airway irritation
Small kids are most vulnerable to the harmful effects of Nitrogen Dioxide. Risks include asthma and other respiratory issues, cardiovascular concerns, and higher sensitivity to allergens.
While it might not always be possible to keep your kids out of the kitchen while preparing a meal on a gas stove or in a gas oven, you can reduce the risk by keeping the area properly ventilated. Ideally, you could use a range hood that’s ventilated to the outdoors. Alternatively, open windows or doors (to the outside) to ventilate the space.
Cooking Tips For Gas Stoves
Some people complain that gas stoves run too hot, charring the meat instead of searing. The trick here is to invest in good-quality pots and pans. If you have old cookware that needed to be replaced ten years ago will make your mealtimes a nightmare.
Proper cookware is also vital to keep the heat where it’s supposed to be; inferior versions lack adequate heat retention and results in uneven cooking.
Quick Tips For Cooking on a Gas Stove
Follow our cheat sheet guidelines below to get the best results when cooking on a gas stove.
- Use room temperature. Remove your food from the fridge and bring it to room temperature. If the food is cold or partially frozen, it will delay the cooking process. Because the food still needs to heat up or thaw, soggy vegetables and horrible steaks may result.
- Cook small batches. If you’re having a diner party for many guests, cook in batches. Overcrowding a pan reduces the direct heat transferred to the food, and you’ll end up boiling when you want to sauté.
- Manage cook times. If you want to simmer on low heat, remember that the heat is gone once you turn off the flame. Electric stoves take some time to cool down, and if you are used to taking that time for the last stretch, you’ll need to adjust this method for a gas stove, or you might end up with undercooked food.
- Choose proper burner. Some gas stoves have one or two burners that produce more heat; make sure you use the right burner for the intended purpose. You’ll want a hotter flame for boiling a large pot of potatoes but more control when you sear a salmon steak.
Why Do Chefs Prefer Gas Stoves?
Trained chefs prefer cooking on a gas stove because it provides superior heat control. Electric stoves take longer to heat up – and cool down – whereas gas burners provide instant heat that is controlled easily. Gas is also the best option when you want the cooking process to stop immediately.
With that being said, it appears that baking in an electric oven is preferred over baking in a gas range. So, the dual-fuel ranges, with gas burners and electric ovens, might be the best option for home and commercial kitchens.
Can You Cook Directly On A Gas Stove?
If you are thinking along the lines of holding burger meat over the open flame of a gas stove, you might want to reconsider. In theory, you can cook using this method, but it is not recommended.
First of all, the clean-up from all the drippings will be a nightmare, and secondly, it is not very safe. Just as you get flare-ups when you grill meat on a gas grill, the same will happen when you use the open flame of a gas stove.
When fat drippings fall on the open flame or onto the gas burner, you can start a fire that could get quickly out of control. You’ll probably be OK heating something like a tortilla or roasting some bell peppers, but anything that drips onto the flame and burner is dangerous.
Cleaning Tips For Gas Stoves
Now that you have some idea what to do and not to do when cooking on a gas stove, you’ll want to know who to clean up the remnants of the delicious meal you just made.
How To Keep A Stainless Steel Gas Stove Clean
Most modern gas ranges have stainless steel tops, and they can be tricky to keep spotless. One easy solution can be gas stove protectors. They protect your stovetop from food and grease spatter. And they can be easily cleaned by tossing them in the dishwasher.
Cleaning Your Gas Stove: Step-By-Step Instructions
- Wait for about twenty minutes for the unit to cool down, especially if you have cast-iron grates over the burners – these get pretty hot.
- Add hot water to the sink and squirt some high-quality dish soap
- Remove the grates and caps and let them soak while you tackle the stovetop.
- Use a paper towel to remove any excess sauce splatters or food particles that is not yet dried on.
- With a non-scratch pad or sponge and a bucket of warm soapy water, wipe down your stove until all the stains are gone (don’t forget to wipe down the wall behind the stove)
- Get a clean damp rag to remove any traces of the soap water
- This step is perhaps the most crucial to get that steel sparkling, dry the surface with a couple of kitchen towel sheets; this process mops up any excess water to prevent unsightly water streaks
- On to the soaking bits in the sink, they should clean reasonably quickly with a mild scrubbing brush
- Dry off the grates and caps, and place them back on the stove
Cooking with gas stoves can cut back on energy bills and give you better control over the heat. Professional chefs prefer gas stoves because they provide more precise cooking options, which is why we wanted to share these tips for cooking on a gas stove. Check out the links below for more tips and tools for your kitchen!
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