Using a gas stove for the first time can be daunting, but most modern gas stoves have an electric igniter that makes the process a breeze. One of the main benefits of having a gas stove is that you can continue to use it even if your electricity goes out by simply lighting a match. Other reasons why people choose to use a gas stove over an electric one include better control over the temperature and intensity of the flame, more even heating across cookware, less heat dispersed into the kitchen and faster cooling when the flames are turned off.
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Regardless of why you're drawn to a gas stove, using one remains just as easy as using an electric stove. The main difference you'll encounter is in igniting the stove and adjusting the flames. Depending on the model you have, ignition can involve a separate igniter or knobs with built-in igniters.
Using an Igniter
If your gas stove has a separate igniter, you need to push it in with one hand while using your other hand to turn the knob that corresponds to the burner you want to use. The igniter is powered by electricity and creates a spark to light up the gas. You'll hear a clicking sound while pushing the igniter, which indicates that it's sparking. Turning one of the knobs will open up the gas line, and when the gas collides with the spark, the flames will appear.
Turning the knob further will control the height of the flame. In essence, higher flames equal more heat and lower flames equal less heat. Turn the knob all the way back to the start position to shut off the gas, which will immediately remove the flames.
Using Knobs With Built-In Igniters
Another type of gas stove model has a built-in igniter with each burner knob. When you turn any of the burner knobs, you'll hear a clicking sound that indicates the igniter is firing. Keep turning the knob until flames appear and the clicking sound ceases. The flames typically start out high, so you'll need to keep turning the knob to achieve a lower flame, which can feel counter-intuitive when using a gas stove for the first time.
Lighting a Stove With Matches
Did your electricity go out? You can still cook dinner using a gas stove even if your igniters use electricity. Instead of the igniters, you can use a match or lighter. However, in order to safely light a gas stove this way, it's best to have the ignition flame lit before you turn on the gas. This prevents you from accidentally leaving the gas on long enough to create a cloud that can burst into flames when the match is struck.
Using a long fireplace match or lighter (or exercising caution and keeping your hand out of the way), put the flame near the gas burner. Then, turn the burner knob to allow gas to come up to the appropriate burner. The blue flames should pop up immediately. Put out the match or flick off the lighter and adjust the knob as usual to control the flames on the stove.
Turning the gas flame off is the same as usual — just return the knob to the starting position. This will close off the gas valve to the burner.