“Now we’re cooking with gas.” Well – not all of us.
Some people love gas – some love electricity. It’s a bit like a cat person or dog person type of thing. If you’re an electricity fan, therefore, you might need a quick crash course in how to cook on a gas stove.
How to cook with gas
A gas stove burns natural gas to create a flame for cooking. While they are more expensive to install than electric stoves, they can be significantly cheaper to operate thanks to the low cost of gas. They also provide finer control over temperature and respond almost instantly to adjusting the dial.
To ignite a gas stove you need to push in the dial for the burner you want to use, and twist it to the lighting position, usually represented by a flame or similar. You should hear a clicking sound and you might be able to see an electrical spark by the burner – this is how the gas will be ignited. If the gas doesn’t catch, or there is no spark, turn the dial back to the off position to avoid filling the kitchen with gas. Wait a few moments before trying again. If the burner still doesn’t light you may have a fault that needs to be repaired by a qualified technician.
Once the flame catches alight, turn the dial to your desired heat level and you can immediately begin to cook. Turning the dial up creates a larger flame and more heat, while turning it down creates a smaller, cooler flame. When done, turn the dial to the off position.
Because gas stoves use an actual flame, they can heat both the bottom and the sides of a pot, cooking food faster, so you may need to be careful the first few times you use a gas stove not to overcook. You should also watch out for pots overflowing and dousing the flame; if this happens immediately turn the stove off to avoid gas leaking into the room. Unattended stoves can account for up to 30% of household fires, so it is important to monitor your stove at all times that it is lit.
As long as you use them sensibly and safely, gas stoves can offer a cheap, effective way to cook your meals.