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Gas and electric ovens are two of the most widely used cookers in the world. However, some people argue on the merits of using either oven. They say using electric stoves are better because they are safer than gas ones.
On the other hand, some would argue that using a gas one is the more prudent option as it can save the user money. To answer which is better, one has to know how each type of stove functions including what kind of gas do stoves use.
To know the advantages of both gas and electric stoves, one has to understand how they work.
A gas stove uses a gas, which penetrates the oven from the gas supply. The gas is brought to the burner and mixed with air inside the mixer tube. More air is added to the mixture of air and gas when the mixture is released through the burner holes.
The gas stove has an ignition system lights, which create a blue flame when it is lighted. Turning the burner control knob will let users adjust the fire and turning the knob higher will release more gas.
Gas stoves come with either an electronic ignition system or a pilot light. The electronic ignition system makes a spark only when the users turn open the burner.
On the other hand, the pilot light burns the blue flame located near the burner continuously. The pilot light becomes more expensive to use because it consumes more gas since the fire is always turned on.
On the other hand, an electric stove has wires found inside its coils. When one turns the dial on the stove, then power will flow to the loop, and heat it up. The coil is metal which makes it a good conductor of heat. When the coil becomes orange, then it means that electricity is already flowing through the stove.
Just like with the gas stove, turning the dial higher will result in a higher temperature as more power goes to the burner. However, one has to know that the electric stove’s control is not as precise when compared to gas stoves.
When one talks of energy efficiency, then the winner between the two would be the gas stove, but only if it is the electronic ignition system rather than the pilot light. Three times more energy is used just to deliver power to the electric stove when compared to gas stoves.
In terms of cost saving, the California Energy Commission says cookers with gas stoves can save as much as half of what they would be paying for the consumption of electricity on electric stoves.
Gas stoves are also flexible since several kinds of gas can be used. So, what kind of gas do stoves use?
Gas stoves can be powered either by propane, butane, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas.
Propane is a by-product of the petroleum refining and natural gas processing. This kind of gas is widely used as a fuel. It is part of the liquefied petroleum gases or LP gases along with propylene, butylene, butane, and isobutylene. It can be compressed for it to become transportable.
On the other hand, natural gas is one of the fossil fuels that are sourced from the deep underground hard rock formation. It is a fuel power source widely used for cooking, power generation, heating, and fueling of automobiles.
Butanes are highly similar to propane as both belong the to LP gases. It is highly flammable and colorless. Butane readily vaporizes at room temperature.
Liquefied petroleum gas as mentioned above can either be pure butane or propane or a blend of highly flammable hydrocarbon gases. Around the world, it is widely used for heating appliances, or powering vehicles.
Many people choose gas stoves over electric stoves because of one or both reasons. First, it is has a more precise temperature control than electric stoves, which is crucial especially when one is baking. The second reason is the cost savings as gas stoves are relatively cheaper to use than electric ones.
However, there is a downside to using gas stoves. For example, if one is not careful in its use, then gas leaks may happen. Since it is a highly flammable substance, it can cause burns or fire. Hence, it is essential to keep in mind safety tips when using gas stoves.
Gas appliances can be sources of carbon monoxide, which can deprive anyone of oxygen and can result in either injury or even death.
Hence, gas stoves should never be used as a heater since doing so will increase the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is best to place a carbon monoxide detector in places where appliances running on gas such as gas stoves are frequently used.
It is also essential to check the items, especially highly flammable ones located near the gas stove to prevent fire. As a rule, materials that can easily catch fire should be placed away from the gas stove. For example, plastic kitchen utensils and ditch towels should be away from the stove.
When cooking the flame should not go past the sides of either the pan or pat. If you notice that such is happening, then lower down the fire immediately.
When cooking, make sure to pay attention to the stove as you do not want the pot or pan to overheat or for the flame to flare up. When boiling food, make sure that the liquid does not overflow as ingredients from the pot might flow over to the burner and catch or cause a fire.
Checking the stove after cooking is critical, too. The cook or anyone in the area should check whether the knob has been turned off. Check if the flame adjustment knob is indeed set to off. If one can hear some hissing sound coming from the burner, then it is possible that the stove was not completely turned off.
Additionally, if one can smell gas within the area, then immediately check the gas stove. If the area smells of gas even when the stove has been turned off, then call the gas firm immediately. Do not delay seeking help from the gas company.