How to Use a Gas Oven

Although there are different types of stoves on the market, gas ovens are very popular and still widely used. Many feel gas ovens offer more control while cooking than electric ovens do. Although those heat up more quickly and evenly than gas ovens may, adjusting the temperature on a gas range is possible in smaller increments.

Man putting pizza into oven in kitchen
credit: Wavebreakmedia/iStock/GettyImages
How to Use a Gas Oven

Lighting a gas range is relatively easy to do, as newer appliances come with electric igniters. When an oven's igniters are working correctly, it takes just the twist of a knob to spark a flame. However, lighting a pilot on an older model oven may involve using a match or lighter instead.

How A Gas Oven Works

Modern gas ovens have electric pilot ignitions that create a small, continuous flame that increases in temperature and height by twisting a corresponding knob to the area in use, which is located on the front of the stove. By turning the knobs, the electric current heats an oven's igniter, opening a valve to allow gas to flow through a burner tube. The igniter sparks a flame beneath the burners or inside the oven and a built-in thermostat gauges the temperature of the oven while in use.

Safety Precautions For Lighting a Gas Oven

Before attempting to use an oven, if you smell gas, don't light it. Do not touch any electrical switch. Instead, leave the area, call your local gas company and follow its instructions. If a gas company representative is not available, contact the fire department.

To Use An Oven With Working Pilot Lights

If all the pilots are lit, twist the corresponding knobs on the front of the range to the location you wish to use to the "On" position or to the temperature desired. On an oven that is working properly, that should be all it takes to increase the flame or heat the stove.

To Light An Oven With Pilot Lights That Have Gone Out

In the case of an oven that is older or one with unlit pilot lights, a match or lighter is sometimes needed to spark a flame. Remove the burner grills and any additional stove top accessories before lifting the range top to reveal the mechanics of the burners. Move the desired burner's corresponding knob to "Light." Spark a wand lighter or a long reach match and place it in the space between the two tubes that run underneath the burners on the same side to light the pilot for that side of the oven. Bring the range top back into position and adjust the burners using the knobs to increase or lower the flame. The pilot should stay lit after turning the knob to the "Off" position.

To light the oven or broiler below, locate the pilot assembly inside, between the two draws in the oven. Make sure the knob for that assembly is turned to "Light," and use the wand lighter or long reach match to light the pilot assembly. Then, turn the knob to the desired temperature. As with the burners on top of the stove, the pilot should stay lit after use. If the pilots repeatedly go out, call in a professional to repair the appliance.


Michelle Nati

Michelle Nati

Michelle Nati has written DIY and home improvement articles for The Farmers’ Almanac, ApartmentShowcase.com, and Oddee.com. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.