Will a Gas Stove Work Without Electricity?

If your gas-powered stove was made in the last few decades, it most likely requires electricity to light the burners during normal operating conditions. But you can bypass the electric ignition during a power outage by using matches to light the burners instead.

Bypassing Electric-Ignition Stove Burners During an Outage

Step 1

Shine a flashlight or other light source -- even a flashlight app from a cellphone -- near the stove if it's too dark to see the stove well.

Step 2

Turn all the stove burner and oven dials to their "off" positions.

Step 3

Set the flashlight on a counter near the stove, aiming the light toward the stove burners and controls for the burners. Skip the light if you can see well without it.

Step 4

Light a long wooden match and hold the flame near the holes located around the center of a burner.

Step 5

Turn the dial for the same stove burner to a low setting while holding the match in place. Act quickly to light the burner before the match burns down toward your fingers.

Step 6

Remove the match from the burner area once the burner lights. The burner should light within a few seconds. Blow out the match.

Avoid the Oven

Although the burners on an electric-ignition gas stove may be lit by hand, the cooking flame inside the oven works differently on models from the 1990s and newer. As a safety feature, these require electricity to light and cannot be lit by hand -- so skip the oven and cook on the stove burners instead until the power returns.


Kathy Adams

Kathy Adams

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.