Cooking with Natural Gas
The “feasting season” is upon us, so it’s time to fire up your stoves for some festive holiday cooking. Making your seasonal fare with natural gas is a smart way to go, so this might be the perfect time to bring gas into your kitchen. Here’s why.
Many professional chefs will tell you gas is the way to go, especially for cooktops, where the immediacy and ease of heat control is essential. “With gas, you can find your perfect setting by sight and feel,” Chef Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley told Washingtonian. A gas range offers even heat, an instant flame, and precise temperature control.
Energy savings. Due to the instantaneous heat controls on gas stoves, their energy-efficiency is generally greater than that of their electric counterparts.
Cost savings. A gas stove with electric ignition (instead of a pilot light) costs less than half as much to operate as an electric stove, according to the California Energy Commission. Even those with pilots, however, are more energy-efficient than electric stoves; they use quite a bit more gas than pilotless stoves, but will still offer you savings over electric appliances.
Variety. Now that you’ve seen the advantages, your only problem will be deciding which gas stove to get. Conventional gas stoves have a single oven and broiler, topped by a cooking surface with four to six burners, one of which might be able to convert to a griddle. You can add a second oven or a microwave to this configuration for more flexibility (and multi-tasking).
Pick between freestanding, slide-in, drop-in, or built-in models. The freestanding units stand independently of other fixtures, while the slide-in units are designed to fit snugly between base cabinets. Drop-in and built-in units are part of the kitchen itself—permanently installed within the cabinetry. Wall ovens can be inserted at a height that works best for the cook.
The advantages of gas cooking are many; it’s no coincidence that you’ll find gas stoves in restaurants around the world and in the kitchens of the most dedicated home cooks. Join them now.