November 2005
Natural Gas, Preferred by Most Chefs

When it comes to cooking, most professional chefs prefer cooking with natural gas.

Natural gas ranges and cooktops allow you better temperature control and heat distribution. So you not only have instant on and off controls, it will take you less time to prepare meals using natural gas.

Most of the new gas ranges and cooktops come with an electronic spark ignition. The ignition prevents you from paying to run a continuous burning pilot light.

Save Money in the Kitchen

When cooking with natural gas, there are several ways you can save money using less energy. Since gas ovens heat up quickly, shorten the pre-heating time for your oven before cooking. Also, turn the oven off a few minutes before a dish is fully cooked. The oven should remain heated long enough to fully cook the dish without leaving the oven turned on.

Try preparing several meals at one time. You'll make the most of your time, while using less energy. Always coordinate your pots to the size of the cooking elements. A small pot on a large element requires more energy than needed.

While cooking with natural gas is safe, you should still practice safe kitchen habits. And with the holidays approaching, you'll probably be spending more time in the kitchen than usual.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicate that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Here are some easy tips from the NFPA to help you prevent cooking fires, especially during the holiday season.

  • Never leave cooking food on the stovetop unattended. And keep a close watch on food cooking inside the oven.
  • Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles: potholders, towels, washcloths and food packaging.
  • Keep children and pets away from cooking areas.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Avoid wearing loose clothing that can dangle on to stove burners.
  • Never use a wet oven mitt. The moisture on the mitt can heat and scald someone.
  • Keep a potholder, oven mitt or lid handy when cooking in case of a small fire. Put on the oven mitt and carefully slide the lid over the pan smothering the flames. Remove after the lid has cooled. Never pour water on a grease fire or discharge a fire extinguisher onto a pan fire. Burning grease can spray around the kitchen and cause the fire to spread.
  • In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Have the appliance serviced before using again.
  • Make sure your gas appliance is vented to the outside of your home.
  • Have a licensed gas contractor inspect and tune up your gas appliances annually.
Fore more safety tips, log on to nfpa.org.