Many of us are most familiar with the dynamics of cooking with fire, from a backyard grill to a campfire, and the image of an open flame has become synonymous with cooking. Gas cooktops, equipped with almost instant flames and precise controls, are commonplace — they’re the primary source of open-flame cooking for many chefs, both at home and in professional kitchens.
While gas stove cooking involves the same principles as an open fire, cooktop improvements have created safer and more beautiful stoves that have become an eye-pleasing focal point in countless kitchens.
Here’s how those gas stoves work, and why kitchen designers of today still love gas cooktops.
The ease of cooking with an open flame
Many professional chefs and home cooks rely on gas ranges, which are known for instant response and superb temperature control, for all of their cooking needs. Here’s the entire process of how heat is created with a gas stove, and why the cooking process begins and ends with the turn of a dial.
1. When the cooking dial is switched to the ignition state, a mixture of gas and air ignites at the pilot light, hot surface igniter, or electric piezo igniter (this is what creates the clicking sound you hear), and the blue flame travels from piping to the burner.
2. The open, even flame directly heats the bottom of the cookware. The side walls of the pot are also warmed by the emanating heat.
3. The stove’s dials adjust the flow of gas into the burner, which in turn controls the intensity and size of the flame. Once the dial is turned to the off position, gas stops flowing, the flame ceases, and cooking stops.