Natural Gas

How Do Gas Ovens Work?

Consisting primarily of methane, natural gas can be piped directly into homes and businesses by a public utility service. Those outside the reach of these services often purchase large tanks of compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to fuel their appliances, much like a small tank fuels a gas grill.

Heat Production

Heat is produced in gas ovens by a mixture of natural gas and air. When the thermostat is set, a fuse lights the gas as it seeps through a burner snaking inside the oven. The burner has multiple holes in it for the lighted gas to escape from, allowing the heat to spread throughout the oven's interior. Burners shut off when the temperature that was set has been reached.

Gas Oven Designs

Most gas ovens are heated from the bottom only and come with broiling compartments under the oven's interior floor, eliminating on-board storage (available in most electric ovens). Some gas ovens have burners on the top as well as on the bottom, allowing for broiling in the main compartment of the oven. Gas ranges have a vent usually located under the middle of the display panel, which pushes the oven's heat down onto the stove top. This area can become dangerously hot when the oven is on. Gas wall ovens that do not come with a vent require the purchase of a vent kit and its separate installation.

Differences from Electric Ovens

Gas ovens retain heat longer than electric ovens and can therefore be used more efficiently as a warmer once the thermostat has been turned off. However, because the burners shut off automatically when the set temperature is reached inside the oven and turn back on when the temperature inside the oven drops below said temperature (during the cooking process), the heat in the oven is not as steady as it is in electric ovens. Also, typical electric oven settings like "keep warm," "delay" and "cook and hold" are not as readily available on gas ovens.