How to choose a gas cooktop and gas oven

10 May 2018

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If you're shopping for a kitchen renovation, or just looking to update your gas oven or cooktop, there's a few key things you should know before you start. 

Gas ovens and cooktops come in a variety of styles and sizes, ranging from the simple upright to large-capacity professional models. So what's available and which one should you choose for your home?

Gas cooktops

The main benefit of a gas cooktop is that it gives you total control over heat. That means that you don't have to wait for the element to warm up, and you can adjust the temperature instantly, which many cooks prefer for dishes.

Other advantages:

  • Instant heat and accurate cooking temperatures that allow you to use high heat for stir-frying and immediately follow with low heat for gentle simmering
  • The even heat distribution offered by a centralised gas flame can help reduce scorching
  • Gas burners have relatively low heat emissions as the gas flame immediately disappears when turned off
  • You can use any type of pot or pan on a gas cooktop.
     
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Gas ovens

The great thing about a gas oven is that flavours are often better preserved due to the fact that the oven allows for a small amount of water vapour. It also helps to reduce the likelihood that food will dry out.

When you're looking for a gas oven, there are two main varieties. Many models allow for both styles of cooking.

Fan-forced or convection ovens

  • Heat is dispersed throughout the oven, so several dishes can be cooked together at the same temperature
  • The use of the fan means heat circulates quickly so there's no need to preheat
  • Food retains natural juices as cooking times are faster and at a lower temperature
  • For conventional cooking, simply switch off the fan.

Conventional ovens

  • The source of heat is either at the top or bottom of the oven chamber
  • As the heat source is stationary, there are three different heat zones all at the same time
  • If the heat source is at the top of the chamber, the top level is hottest and ideal for baking, the middle section is a moderate temperature zone (perfect for roasting meats), and the lowest part is cooler and best for long, slow cooking. All courses can be cooked at once just by placing food at different levels.

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