Natural gas and electric stove tops are the two most popular cooktops in the US. If you’ve only used one kind for most of your life, you may find it difficult to switch to another.
Many people who switch from natural gas to electric must practice patience since electric stoves take longer to heat up and adjust. Meanwhile, many people who switch from electric to natural gas feel intimated by cooking on an open flame. Keep reading to get some tips for cooking with natural gas for the first time so that you can move through that intimidation to enjoy the cooking process.
Never Forget the Open Flame
Some people resolve to treat a natural gas cooktop the same as an electric one so that they can cook with confidence. While this way of thinking may make you feel more comfortable, it’s also potentially dangerous. You should never forget that there’s an open flame in your home, especially since most stoves have flammable substances nearby, such as food packaging and dish towels. Keep those flammable substances as reasonably far from the open flame as you can. Additionally, you should never leave the open flame unattended.
Expect Quick Temperature Changes
One of the biggest differences between cooking with gas and cooking with electric is the response rate. Since gas uses an open flame that you can quickly adjust, the temperature of your cooking surface can change just as quickly. This feature can create a learning curve for inexperienced chefs as they figure out how to achieve slow cooking processes, such as simmering.
It also means that once you turn the stove off, the flame is out. While the pot or pan you’re cooking on will pass residual heat to your food, the gas cooktop won’t require the cooling time of an electric stovetop.
Learn the Signs of a Gas Leak
A gas leak is often the biggest fear for people who have not cooked with gas. If you compare cooking fuels, even different types of gases such as gas and propane, you’ll find that natural gas comes with one of the most serious risks. Thankfully, issues such as gas leaks aren’t common. However, it’s still essential for you to know the signs in case leakage happens in your home.
Most gas companies add a chemical to natural gas—which is naturally odorless on its own—so that you smell rotten eggs when it starts to leak. You can also buy carbon monoxide alarms, which can alert you to a leak much earlier.
Cooking with natural gas for the first time can feel intimidating, but hopefully, these tips will help you approach the process with more confidence. Give yourself time to get comfortable with this new cooking fuel and discover how it changes your cooking process. Patience and practice are crucial for anyone in the kitchen, including those using a new fuel.