The world of gas ranges is filled with so many amazing and unique models that it can get quite difficult for any budding cook to pick the one that can fit his/her needs the best.
Whether you’re a professional chef in a five-star restaurant or a mother who loves to make her young heroes breakfast waffles, we know how important a gas burner is to you.
So, to help you out on your choices today, we have brought a guide that is bound to put all your doubts to rest.
Not only will we be going through the things to look out for in a gas range but also go over some of the more prominent burner types as well and see how each can benefit you.
So, get you cooking aprons ready for our comprehensive buyer’s guide on gas ranges!
Best Deals On Gas Ranges 2020
The things to keep in mind during purchase
So, before you head on to invest in a gas range which you really fancy, there are certain aspects that we believe you should be aware of.
The aspects that we are going to list below are some of the key features the gas range should house.
The Different Types of Burners
When it comes to the cost and the price tag, we all know that there are a variety of burners that range from the standard to the more pro-style models. However, apart from being categorized through their price tags, the gas ranges also come in types which are primarily determined by their modes of use.
Standard Work Burners
These are the more standard models that are characterized by their intense yet rapid flow. They are perfect for cooking techniques such as stir-frying and fast boiling. They heat up much faster than the large burner category and fits utensils such as stock pots, large frying pans, and round bottom works perfectly.
If rice is a staple to your daily diet, then the medium burners might just be what you’re looking for. The gas ranges with these burners are perfect for cooking food that requires quick responses to temperature change.
Activities such as cooking rice or even simmering a casserole or soup are just perfect with these burners as you can bring them to a high temperature initially and reduce it to a low simmer whenever you want.
Large burners are primarily used for frying and boiling activities. Making some pasta or even some mashed potatoes are what the large burners are all about. In terms of cookware, the large burners support the non-stick frypans and saucepans rather well as they do not reach high temperatures instantly and take a considerable amount of time to heat up.
The simmer burners are the sous chef’s favorite type of burner. These models are just perfect when it comes to dealing with temperature sensitive ingredients and is best used for not just melting butter and chocolate but also to make sauces. The simmers are ideal for the smaller fry pans and saucepans.
When it comes to user safety, basically what we like to talk about is the “Flame Failure Safety” system which is a sort of a device that either cuts off the gas or reignites the fire automatically if the flame goes out for some reason.
Sounds like a very convenient system to have for a gas range now, doesn’t it? And here if you do believe that the flame failure system is a must-have standard for all gas ranges, you might just be surprised to know that there are so many ranges out there today that don’t have it installed in them.
If you ask us, the flame failure system is a must-have. And you should always pick a gas range that supports this.
You may now be wondering, how exactly you can check to see if the gas range you’re going to buy does indeed have the system installed as it’s advertised? Well, it is quite simple really.
Just look out for two small rods that are sticking upwards next to the burner. One of these rods should be for the ignition while the other is kept to detect the flames.
Particularly for models that reignite the flame, you will just see one single rod next to the burner as both the functions are integrated into one seamless system.
Size and Shape
The size and shape (square, or rectangle or oval) of the gas range you wish to get should fit the available space that you have allocated for it. However, space and shape are not the only issues here as you will also have to consider a proper ventilation space underneath as well.
It’s also essential to be well oriented with the specifications of the cooktop as well. As there are minimum requirements for the bottom of cupboards or rangehood above a cooktop, make sure the range that you are getting pits these specifications.
In terms of width, cooktops essentially come in 60, 70, 80 and 90 centimeters. So pick a size that will help you to comfortably move around the kitchen without hampering work.
A wider cooktop will also ensure that the gas range will house more burners as well. So if you have many mouths to feed or you often do a lot of dishes at the same time, then the 60 cm wide cooktop could be the ideal pick, as not only does it come with 4 burners but it also has enough space on deck to house 3 saucepans quite comfortably (then again the size of the cookware can be a limiting factor here).
The Control Knobs
Annoyed of using gas burners that come with beady little control knobs which are rather hard to see and use? Well, as modern technology would have it, a lot of the gas ranges today come with control knobs which are quite ergonomic and extremely easy to use.
Just make sure that the gas range you get doesn’t have the controls positioned too close to either the trivets or the burners.
The control and part labels
When it comes to the labels, always keep in mind that etched is more preferable than bonded.
The bonded labels are like stickers that sit on the surface of the gas burners. These labels can very easily fade, especially if you are using harsh cleaning agents.
The etched labels, on the other hand, are a lot like engravings and will not fade no matter what you do.
The surface of the gas range
The surface of the gas range is again a very subjective choice, but if you ask us, it’s better to go for cleanliness in this regard rather than anything else. So, try looking for a gas range that has a surface which is relatively easier to clean with minimal dirt traps.
The cooktop should be able to resist a reasonable amount of spillage and not start getting discolored or showing signs of wear anytime soon.
But if you are a messy cook and spill your sauces all over the place, then you can look into some gas ranges that come with their very own spill catchment area. It creates a separation between the burners to contain spills so that you don’t have to clean all that much.
The Burner Trivets
For those who are unaware, the pan supports of the gas burners are called trivets and generally speaking, they should be as flat and stable as possible above the cooktop.
The trivets with rubber feet are the most stable variety and are much less likely to move and scratch the surface of the cooktop.
Most gas ranges out there support trivets that are bulky and made out of heavy cast iron. But these ones are quite difficult to clean and not a very convenient choice for many kitchen spaces. The enamel ones, on the other hand, are much lighter, easier to clean and don’t stain all that much.
Many gas ranges come with trivets with large gaps as well, and you can use them to slide pans across the cooktop without lifting them. However, there are certain ranges that provide different trivet for each burner. But with this model, you will not be able to slide the pan in any way, but they are lighter and you can lift them into the sink easily.
Our suggestion is to try avoiding stainless steel trivets. Their durability might seem attractive to you at first but trust us when we tell you that they stain very easily. And they are heavy and extremely difficult to clean. They will bring more problems than solutions.
A short guide on cleaning and maintaining your gas range
Most people don’t know how to clean a gas range and burner properly, so we thought, “why not add a bit more for our readers to help them out with all their burner problems?”
How to clean the cooktop
To start with, let us establish one thumb rule which you should follow for every gas range no matter what you’re cooking; clean up the cooktop as soon as there is a spill. Spilled food, especially baked residue can very easily clog up the burner, leading to poor gas flow and heating.
Now, when it comes to the surface, you will have to worry a lot about smudges if the cooktop is stainless steel. Enamel, on the other hand, just needs a simple cloth and cleaner spray to clean while the glass surfaces may need a ceramic cleaner.
How to clean the control knob
After you’re done with the surface, it’s time to move onto the control knobs. Remove them carefully and wash them gently in warm soapy water. Make sure not to use any harsh chemicals or subject them to scrubbing as it might ruin the labels (only if they are bonded).
Now for the trivets, if you have a lot of baked residue on them then simply wiping them with a cloth may not wield the desired result.
In such cases, just like with the knobs, soak them in hot soapy water. You can scrub them if you like, but harsh chemicals should be avoided.
And finally… the burner
Finally, when it comes to the burner, it’s crucial to clean out the holes properly to prevent clogging that may lead to uneven gas flow. Burners are typically made out of aluminum, so try not to accidentally use bicarb soda or even vinegar on them as it will wear the metal out and discolor it.
Just soak it in warm soapy water and clean the holes with either a soft brush or paperclip to remove food residue.
Cast iron burners, on the other hand, may be prone to staining but any sort of food residue will automatically burn off over time. So, technically you don’t have to clean them all that often.
Some Frequently Asked Questions About Gas Burners
Exactly how long lasting are gas stoves?
Well, much of the durability of a gas stove will depend on the type of materials that goes into its make and design. But if we’re to draw an average out of the recent consensus, then we would ideally place it between 5 to 10 years of smooth operation. However, maintenance is key, and much can vary depending on that.
Should I go for a brass burner or an aluminum burner?
Aluminum burners may be very budget-friendly, but they need a lot of cleaning and are not at all durable. Brass burners, on the other hand, are extremely resistant to corrosion and also has a much more efficient heat distribution capability.
Auto-ignition vs manual ignition, which will be better?
When it comes to the ignition, much of it will depend on your needs along with the type and mode of use. However, although auto-ignition is very convenient to use, it is not as long lasting as the manual one. Their intricate designing needs a lot of upkeep and wears out easily, while the manual one has a very simple yet effective design and will keep going for years.
From enamel cover tops to automatic ignitions and simmers, gas ranges come in a multitude of builds, designs, and functionality. And if you were having trouble in picking the one that can fit your cooking style the best, then we hope that our guide today was able to sort that right out.
Till next time!