The Advantages of a Gas Stove

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gas-stoveThe Advantages of a Gas Stove

Any kitchen fanatic or budding chef will be confronted at one time or another in his culinary life with the question: which would he prefer an electric stove or a gas stove? It will help if he knows the advantages of one over the other.

A lot of cooks swear on their preference for gas stoves over electric ones due to the many proven advantages of the former. On the surface, there is the accuracy of the temperature setting which sits at the heart of stoves and any other cooking appliances. In the case of electric stoves, the change in temperature is very gradual whereas in gas stoves, you can go from a simmer level to high-temp boiling level in an instant with the heat change that is instantaneous, too. You can set the temperature from low to high at the touch of the dial. Such ability to change temperature is crucial in cooking as the slightest nuance may result in over- or under-cooking and affects subtle changes in the taste of the food. You can only do that with a gas stove, and safely at that, too, as the gas levels flowing into the burners are controlled with safety valves.

The accuracy radiates to the kind of burner tops in a gas stove. Where the heating top of an electric stove need to be very flat as this is the only way that heat will be evenly distributed, a gas stove provides more room for observation and flexibility. This is so because a space is provided for by the burner grills or grates in a gas stove which are absent in an electric stove. This little room allows the cook to have a bird’s eye-view of the flame as he cooks with pans or pots. And that little room space allows for complete gas ignition at completely safe and flexibly manageable levels. The gas that fans the flame can only get to the burners through the gas stove’s safety valve that accurately measures and feeds only gas that will definitely be ignited, that is, used up by the burner. Heat is more evenly controlled and distributed this way. And the cook sees for himself the instantaneous effect of adjusting that heat. As he flips the control to high, he sees a bigger flame; conversely, as he flips to low, he sees the flame lower to a flicker. He cannot see any such bigger or smaller flame in an electric stove; he can only imagine how hot the electric stove burners are.

Surprisingly, even if a gas stove emits flames from its burners, it does not make your kitchen any hotter than an electric stove. A gas stove tends to generate less heat in the kitchen in the overall because of the combustion of the flame which goes directly from the burner portholes to the pot or pan used for cooking. The flame does not touch the grate nor the stove top or sides so heat is not dispersed to these parts and does not radiate to the external environment that is the kitchen. An electric stove with the burner plates on the flat top of the stove and the pots or pans directly sitting atop those plates tend to spread the heat to the stove’s flat top, sides, and front, even the dials or controls. This heat in practically the whole stove structure heats up the kitchen temperature more than a gas stove does.

With less conducted heat in your gas stove, aside from the lesser ambient heat in the kitchen, there is less a chance of getting burned accidentally from a gas stove than an electric stove. In a gas stove, at least you know that only the flame, the grate, and naturally the porthole that emits the flame are hot. But in an electric stove, especially one that is set to high temperatures, you are not sure if the heat has been conducted or transferred to the stove top or even the dials or controls already.

Another clear advantage of a gas stove is the control the cook has over the source of heat or the fuel. In a gas stove, the gas that flows from the main gas tank through the safety valve is measured and shows you how much gas fuel remains in your tank. Thus you are in a position to determine if the remaining amount of gas in the tank will still suffice for you to finish that dish you are cooking. In an electric stove, unless advanced notice had been served by your electricity provider, you cannot be sure about power outages. What if the electricity was cut off at the time when your dish is already simmering? You will be left with a half-cooked dish, no doubt.