how to use a gas hob

Learning how to use a gas hob can be an essential part of successfully running your home. If you’ve always been more familiar with electric or induction hobs until now, making the transition to a gas stove can be complex. After all, you may need to light your gas stove manually or discover the trick to getting your gas burner to work correctly.

Gas hobs can offer many unique benefits to cooking enthusiasts, from extra control over your cooking temperatures to the ability to manage a dedicated gas flame. You can also continue to use gas stoves even when the power goes out, provided you have a match to light the burner.

Here’s everything you need to know about cooking or heating food using a gas stove.

How Do You Turn on a Gas Hob?

hand turning stove's control knob

Perhaps the first thing you’ll need to learn when considering investing in gas stoves is how to turn the gas flow on.

You need to be able to turn your gas stove on and turn it off effectively to ensure the gas doesn’t continue to flow when you’re not cooking. The exact method you use to light your gas stove will depend on whether you have a manual gas flame or an automatic igniter.

Automatic Ignition

Igniter General Button

If you have an igniter, you’ll need to push down on its button to produce a flame. You’ll hear a clicking sound when pushing the button for the igniter down. This means your stove uses electricity to create the initial spark required to fire up your stove.

When the gas from your burner reacts with the electric spark, it will create a flame. Turning the knob on your stove should let you control the height and intensity of the flame. When you turn the stove flames off, the gas will shut off, and the burners will no longer light up.

Built-In Igniter

Some gas stove models come with a built-in igniter for each individual burner knob, so all you need to do is press down the same button or adjust the dial to manage the amount of fire you have access to. This is usually the most common ignition option for today’s gas stoves.

Manual Ignition

Very old-fashioned gas stoves may require you to ignite the gas yourself. This can be difficult to control and will require you to spark the gas with your own match or lighter. When you want to use a gas stove when your electricity goes out, you can also use this method. Turn the gas supply on with the knob on your stove. Use a long match or lighter to ignite the fuel.

After you’ve lit the burner manually, you’ll still be able to adjust the temperature and the height of the flame by turning the knob.

How Does a Gas Hob Work?

In many ways, using a gas hob is similar to using electric burners. You can still adjust the temperature your stove hobs burn it with an electric or a gas cooker. However, gas hobs do give you more freedom to determine how hot your flames burn.

Gas stoves use a combination of electricity and gas in most cases. When you want to use your hob, the first thing you’ll do is press a button or push a knob for your burners, which turns the gas flow on. A small flow of gas needs to be released from a valve under each burner to fuel your flame. Your hob will then use an electric spark to light the gas.

As long as the valve remains open to facilitate gas flow, your burners will continue to produce flames. Once you turn the knob for your burner back to the “off” position, this will cut off the flow of gas, causing the flame to go out.

The Importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Because gas stoves, unlike electric stoves, rely on a pilot light and gas for heat, it’s important to ensure you have a carbon monoxide detector in place. The flow of carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide in your home can be hazardous if you don’t turn your burners off correctly.

You should also have some additional safety precautions in place with your gas cooktop, like a fire extinguisher you can access if your flame grows too high because gas may be leaking from your stove.

How Should a Gas Hob Burn?

Gas hob in the kitchen

Gas stoves can be a little trickier to use than electric or induction hobs because natural gas isn’t always predictable. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your gas stove to ensure it’s producing the right amount of heat for cooking without releasing excess gas. If you cook with gas regularly, you may have a registered professional come out to check and service your appliance from time to time.

A sign that there’s something wrong with your appliance is you can feel your room quickly fill with heat when you’re cooking, or you can smell something odd outside of the butter and food you’re cooking. If your pilot light burns weakly or goes out easily, this could be an indication something is wrong.

Remember, an unsafe gas hob doesn’t just produce inefficient heat for your food; it can also lead to gas leaks which can be extremely dangerous. One of the simplest ways to check whether your gas ignition is working properly is to pay attention to the colour of your flame.

Examining Your Flame

When your ignition is lit on a gas hob or oven, it should emit a cold looking blue flame. A blue flame on your gas cooktop should not have any signs of orange or yellow in it.

If you’re cooking with a colder yellow or orange flame, this could be a sign that you’ve burned food into the appliance, preventing the gas from flowing correctly. Alternatively, you could be using the wrong cookware and pans for your appliance.

Using Gas Hobs Safely

If you’re new to using a gas stove with special cookware, it’s important to take extra precautions. Remember, gas can be harmful if it is allowed to build up in a small space or around your home. CO detectors must be installed to ensure your air is safe to breathe.

As anyone who cooks with gas regularly will tell you, it’s essential to keep a close eye on the colour of the flame and call a professional if it changes from blue to orange. You should also check your stove regularly for signs of gas leakage. You can always call the local fire department if you can smell something indoors that you’re concerned might be natural gas.

Extra Safety Tips

Other points to keep in mind when cooking with gas include:

  • Ignite the gas immediately: Remember to turn the flame on as soon as you start the gas flowing to reduce the flow of unnecessary carbon monoxide in your house.
  • Turn the burner off immediately: After cooking, ensure your gas burners are fully switched off and there are no signs of gas leaks.
  • Be aware of any symptoms: If you suffer from nausea, headaches, or fatigue, the problem could be leaking gas, so get in touch with a professional.

Using a Gas Stove in the Kitchen

Gas stoves can be an excellent tool for any cook or would-be chef who wants more freedom to experiment with different temperatures when cooking food. However, a gas hob will have many unique features that separate it from your standard electric cooktop. Learning how to use your gas stove safely will be crucial to ensuring your home.

Remember, if you ever notice anything unusual from your gas stove or think you might be suffering from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s crucial to seek help as quickly as possible.

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