How Does Gas Stoves Work

Published: 12th March 2009
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GAS RANGES.--A gas stove for cooking, or gas range, as it is frequently called, consists of an oven, a broiler, and several burners over which are plates to hold pans, pots, and kettles in which food is to be cooked. As is true of a coal range, a gas range also requires a flue to carry off the products of unburned gas. Gas stoves, or ranges, are of many makes, but in principle all of them are practically the same; in fact, the chief difference lies in the location or arrangement of the oven, broiler, and burners. The oven of this stove is located above the top of the stove, instead of below it, as in some stoves. An oven so located is of advantage in that it saves stooping or bending over. The door of this oven contains a glass, which makes it possible to observe the food baking inside without opening the door and thereby losing heat. The broiler, which may also be used as a toaster, is located directly beneath the oven, and to the right are the burners for cooking. The gas for these parts is contained in the pipe which is connected to a pipe joined to the gas main in the street. To get heat for cooking it is simply necessary to turn on the stop-cocks and light the gas. The four burners are controlled by the stop-cocks and the oven and the broiler by another stop-cock The stove is also equipped with a simmering burner for the slow methods of cooking on top of the stove, gas to this burner being controlled by a stop-cock To catch anything that may be spilled in cooking, there is a removable metal or enamel sheet. Such a sheet is a great advantage, as it aids considerably in keeping the stove clean.

Some gas stoves are provided with a pilot, which is a tiny flame of gas that is controlled by a button on the gas pipe to which the stop-cocks are attached. The pilot is kept lighted, and when it is desired to light a burner, pressing the button causes the flame to shoot near enough to each burner to ignite the gas. However, whether the burners are lighted in this way or by applying a lighted match, they should never be lighted until heat is required; likewise, in order to save gas, they should be turned off as soon as the cooking is completed.

To produce the best results, the flame given off by gas should be blue. A flame that is yellow and a burner that makes a noise when lighted, indicate that the gas flame has caught in the pipe, and to remedy this the gas must be turned out and relighted. When the gas flame coming from a new burner is yellow, it may be taken for granted that not enough air is being admitted to make the proper mixture. To permit of the proper mixture, each gas pipe extending from the stop-cock and terminating in the burner is provided with what is called a mixer. This device, as shown in Fig. 6, consists of several slots that may be opened or closed by turning part a, thus making it a simple matter to admit the right amount of air to produce the desired blue flame. If burners that have been in use for some time give off a yellow flame, it is probable that the trouble is caused by a deposit of soot or burned material. Such burners should be removed, boiled in a solution of washing soda or lye until the holes in the top are thoroughly cleaned, and then replaced and adjusted. As long as the flame remains yellow, the gas is not giving off as much heat as it should produce and is liable to smoke cooking utensils black. Therefore, to get the best results the burners should be thoroughly cleaned every now and then in the manner mentioned. Likewise, the pan beneath the burners, which may be removed, should be cleaned very frequently, and the entire stove should be wiped each time it is used, for the better such a stove is taken care of, the better will it continue to do its work.

FIRELESS-COOKING GAS STOVES.--A style of gas stove that meets with favor in many homes is the so-called fireless-cooking gas stove. Such a stove has the combined advantages of a fireless cooker, which is explained later, and a gas stove, for it permits of quick cooking with direct heat, as well as slow cooking with heat that is retained in an insulated chamber, that is, one that is sufficiently covered to prevent heat from escaping. In construction, this type of stove is similar to any other gas stove, except that its oven is insulated and it is provided with one or more compartments for fireless cooking. Each of these compartments is so arranged that it may be moved up and down on an upright rod, near the base of which, resting on a solid plate, is a gas burner , over which the insulated hood of the compartment fits. When it is desired to cook food in one of these compartments, the hood is raised, and the gas burner is lighted. The food in the cooker is allowed to cook over the lighted burner until sufficient heat has been retained or the process has been carried sufficiently far to permit the cooking to continue without fire. Then the insulated hood is lowered until the compartment is in the proper position It is not necessary to turn off the gas, as this is done automatically when the hood is lowered.

To learn about cooking pinto beans and cooking sea bass, visit the Easy Home Cooking website.

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