Gas stoves are valued for their quick heating response and simple temperature adjustment. If you've never used a gas stove, however, you may feel a little confused when first operating one. But once you get the hang of using a gas stove, they are just as easy to use and maintain as their electric counterparts. As long as you take good care of your gas stove and use safety precautions while cooking, you should be able to use it with ease.
EditTurning on a Gas Stove
- Do a body safety check before turning on your gas stove. To prevent any fires while using your gas stove, roll up your shirt sleeves above the elbow and tie back long hair with a rubber band. If you have any jewelry on, remove it before starting the stove.
- If you're wearing footwear, make sure it is nonslip to prevent cooking accidents.
- Turn the stove dial on to light the stove. Most gas stoves are equipped with a dial that lights the burner. You can usually adjust the heat to low, medium, and high depending on what you're using the stove for. Twist the dial and wait for the burner to light, then adjust it to your desired heat setting.
- In some cases, the fire may not light right away. This is common in old stoves and is nothing to worry about—try turning the stove dial on again until the burner lights.
- Try cleaning your burner holes and igniter if it does not light immediately. If your burner is clogged with food residue, it may not light automatically. Clean the burner and the igniter with a stiff toothbrush (without water or cleaning solutions) to remove any grease or crumbs.
- Use a needle to get food out of hard-to-reach places, like the burner holes.
- Call a home repairman if cleaning your burner does not seem to help. Your igniter may be broken and need replacement.
- Light the gas stove manually as an alternative. If your gas stove igniter is broken, most gas stoves can be lit with a match or lighter. Turn the gas dial to medium, then ignite your match or lighter. Hold the match or lighter close to the center of the burner, then wait 3-5 seconds until the burner ignites. Remove your hand quickly to prevent getting burned.
- For the safest option, use a long-handled lighter. Long-handled lighters can be found at most craft or hardware stores.
- If you have never lit a gas stove before or seen someone else do it, you may not want to do it on your own. Lighting a gas stove manually can be dangerous if you have never done it before.
EditUsing Gas Stoves Safely
- Check your stove's pilot light if it is an older model. Most older gas stoves are equipped with pilot lights, which stay on constantly even if the stove is off. Check with your stove manufacturer to see if your stove has a pilot light. For models with a pilot light, remove the burner grates from your stove and open the cooktop panel. The pilot light should be a small flame located directly below the stove panels.
- Always keep your stove attended when it's on. When cooking with your gas stove, never leave the room. A fire can start within seconds if your food is left unattended, and it is important to keep your burners in sight at all times.
- Use your gas stove for cooking only. Gas stoves are made to be used only for cooking food. Never use your stove for heating your home, as keeping the stove lit for extended amounts of time increases the likelihood of a gas leak.
- If you have a gas oven, it also should not be used for heating rooms.
- Watch for a hissing sound or the smell of natural gas. If you smell a sulfurous, "rotten egg" odor or hear a hissing sound coming from your stove, exit your home immediately and call emergency services. Your stove may be leaking natural gas, which can be deadly if it is not fixed immediately.
- Do not light a match, use a flashlight, or turn any electric switches on or off if you suspect your stove might be leaking gas.
- Stock your kitchen with a fire extinguisher in case of emergency. Keep a fire extinguisher in a cabinet near your gas stove in case of grease fires. Store baking soda in the same cabinet as well, as pouring baking soda on the flames can stop small grease fires.
- Never throw water on a grease fire. Grease fires flare up and may spread if they come in contact with water.
- Avoid placing flammable materials near your stove. Flammable items, like low-hanging towels or curtains, can cause accidents if placed too near your stove. Keep flammable materials away from your stove, and avoid using flammable items like cigarettes while cooking.
- Turn the stove off after every use. To prevent fires or burns, remember to switch the stove dial to "off" after you use it. If you have trouble remembering to turn the stove off, try placing a sticky note reminder on your fridge or a cabinet near your stove so you don't forget.
EditCleaning a Gas Stove Routinely
- Remove your stove's burner grates and clean them separately. Take your burner grates off of the stove and place them in the sink. Then, fill the sink with hot, soapy water. Let your burner grates soak for several minutes, then clean them off with a wet sponge or dishcloth.
- Place your burner caps in the water as well and wash them in the hot, soapy water.
- Brush any crumbs off of the stovetop with a dry cloth. After all of the crumbs are brushed away, spray your stovetop with a spray bottle filled with a 1:1 water-white vinegar ratio. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then wipe it off with a wet sponge or dishcloth.
- Put the grates and burner caps back on. After wiping off any crumbs and stains from the stovetop, dry off burner grates and caps. Place the grates and caps back in place to reassemble the stove and make it ready for use again.
- Clean the stove knobs and back panels, if needed. Wipe off the stove knobs and back panel with a wet washcloth to remove any dust or minor stains. If there are larger food stains on your knobs or panels, spray them with the vinegar-water mixture and let it sit for several minutes before wiping them off again.
- Use the back burners instead of the front ones as much as possible to prevent nudging your pans over the edge.
- Inspect your smoke alarm and install a carbon monoxide detector so you can use your gas stove safely.
- To keep your stove in its best condition, clean it at least 1-2 times a month.
- Never ignore gas odors coming from your stove. If you smell a natural gas leak, leave your home and call emergency services immediately.
EditSources and Citations
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