Gas Appliances Buying Guide

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What is a Gas Appliance?

A gas appliance is a kitchen appliance such as a gas stove,which uses natural gas or propane. The source of energy in a gas appliance is through the combustion of these gaseswhere liquefied gas mixes with about 50% of atmospheric air and combusts, igniting the gas burners.

Why should you buy a Gas Appliance?

No matter how advanced the cooking appliances technology gets, gas-operated stoves and cooking ranges are still the most versatile and widely used cooking appliances.They can be used for all types of cooking,from heavy-duty cooking to making something quick and instant.All you have to do is switch on the knob, light a lighter (in case you do not have an auto ignition feature in your stove) and get started.

A gas stove has clear advantages over electric stoves.There are many reasons why you should buy a gas stove.

The operational costs of a gas stove is much lower than an electric stove.Although, you may spend more in buying and installing a gas appliance than an electrical stove, the longer-term return on investment is worth the cost when buying a gas stove.Cooking on a gas stove having auto ignition can cost half as much as cooking on an electric stove.

Gas appliances are easier to operate compared to electric stoves that can involve a number of complicated controls.

It is easier to manage temperature in gas stoves as compared to electric stoves.Gas appliances respond quickly to temperature change controls.Again, since you can see the flame, you can easily control the amount of heat generated.You can minimize or maximize the flame easily in a gas stove according to temperature requirements.The open burner tends to generate a greater amount of heat than electric burners.

You can continue to conveniently use a gas burner even in the case of power failures.However, electric stoves are of no use in the absence of power.

Gas burners do not transfer much heat to the surrounding stove surface.This keeps the stove surface cool and prevents you from getting burnt in case you accidently touch the surface of the stove.Also, there is comparatively less heat transfer to the surrounding atmosphere,thereby keeping your kitchen much cooler than an electric stove would.

What are the different types of Gas Appliances?

The three basic types of gas appliances are:

A gas cooktop is a gas stove that can be placed on the kitchen counter.It may or may not be equipped with an oven. Cooktops occupy less space.They are basically less complicated, easy to operate, and easy to maintain owing to their limited features.

A cooking range is a standalone gas stove that has an oven integrated below the gas stove.Cooking ranges occupy more space.The size of the cooking range depends on the size of the oven.Cooking ranges have numerous features and are slightly difficult to operate initially.They are comparatively high maintenance and cleaning them could require some effort.

A gas tandooris another unique product that functions both as an oven and a tandoor and works on a regular gas stove.It is useful for grilling of vegetables and non-vegetarian dishes such as chicken tandoori, kababs, et cetera.You can use it as a tandoor to make parathas, naans, and tandoori rotis.

What should you look for when buying a Gas Appliance?

Cooking on a gas stove is advantageous both in terms of cost as well as cooking efficiency.This makes a gas appliance a must-have kitchen appliance.When you go to buy a gas stove, you will be flabbergasted to find that there is more to a gas stove than just knobs and burners.There is all this talk about glass-topped stoves, auto-ignition with multiple sparks, flame-failure protection, and spill-proof gas burners.

Before investing in an expensive gas stove, let us go through the basic features that you should check for when buying a gas appliance.

Depending on your kitchen design and the availability of space, you can choose between a cooktop or a cooking range.Cooktop can be easily placed on the kitchen counter.On the other hand, if you want to buy a cooking range, you will need a pre-designated place for installation.

Slide-in models of cooking range can be slid between cabinets and need planning for space in advance.In case you are opting for a gas cooktop, you may need to check whether it has a stainless steel surface or a glass-topped surface.Glass-topped models are high on style, but equally high on maintenance.You will need to be very careful while cooking on a glass-topped cooktop so as not to accidently touch the glass with a hot vessel thereby cracking it.On the other hand, stainless steel cooktops are durable and low maintenance.You will need to choose the appropriate type of gas appliance based on your kitchen’s size and configuration.

Next, you need to ask yourself how many members are there in the house,and depending on that, the size of a gas cooktop or the oven size of a cooking range can be determined.More members in the family means more quantity of food required to be cooked, bigger the cooking vessels and wider the gas stove width required.Gas cooktops are available in the sizes of 30, 36, 42, 48, or even 60-inches width.Therefore, in case you have a big family, it is better to buy a gas stove bigger in size with more number of burners to allow you to cook more food at the same time.

In the case of cooking ranges, size of the gas appliance is based on the size of the oven.Manufacturers of these units recommend that for one or two people, oven size of 2, 3 cubic feet will be sufficient.For three to four people, 3, 4 cubic feet oven size and so on.For more number of people, oven size of 4 cubic feet is necessary.

The size and the number of burners vary between gas cooktops and cooking ranges.A gas cooktop can have anywhere from two to four burners whereas cooking range has generally four burners.Of these four burners, there is one large-sized burner, two medium-sized burners, and one low flame burner.Again, the size of the family should determine the size and the number of the burners that your gas stove should have.

When cooking, you are bound to produce a lot of cooking gases and fumes.Ventilation is therefore an important requirement in the case of both types of gas appliances.There are basicallytwo types of ventilations, an Updraft or a Downdraft.An updraft ventilator is the most commonly preferred type of ventilation.It has an overhead hood.Downdraftventilators are mostly used in cooktops where there is no space to install an overhead ventilator.There is another type of ventilator called the telescopic ventilator that is storedin a cabinet and when required, you can push a button and bring it up.You need to bear in mind that for downdraft ventilation, an additional duct needs to be installed to carry the air outside.

Another important thing to note when purchasing a cooktop or a gas range is the design of the appliance.You will need to check for the spacing between the burners.Burners should be placed at a distance from one another leaving enough space to cook two big vessels at the same time.In case you are buying a four burner stove, the spacing between the burners should be such that you can conveniently cook on all four burners simultaneously without knocking the vessels off.

If your budget is going to influence your buying decision, it is necessary that you compare the prices of cooktops and cooking ranges before making a final choice. Cooktops are cheaper than a cooking range, but in case you want to buy a combination of a cooktop and a wall oven,the duo will tend to be more expensive than a cooking range. Cooktops and cooking ranges are available in low to high price range, with prices varying based on additional features, type, and size of the appliance.

What brands are reliable and available in the market?

The most popular brands for gas appliances in India are:

Glossary of Terms:

Multi-spark auto ignition is an automatic ignition mechanism operated by batteries.It generates multiple sparks.

Flame failure protection is a safety feature of gas appliances which automatically cuts off the supply of gas when the flame extinguishes while cooking due to a spillover or wind.

Simmer burners arelow-heat burners ideal for cooking sauces and other temperature-sensitive foods items.

Wokburners are high flame burners having a size more than 30,000 BTU.

Sealed burners come with a steel plate that conceal the gap between the gas stove and the burner, thereby preventing the food stuff from falling under the stove while cooking.

Agrate is that part of gas appliance on which you place your cooking vessels and pans on.

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