How It Works: The gas range

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.

Gas Intro

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.

How gas stoves fit today’s modern kitchens

Kitchen design trends are pointing toward a sleek, stylish appearance while maintaining power and functionality. To achieve those goals, some manufacturers are topping their gas stoves with glass-ceramic, which allows for a lower burner profile and polished look, while maintaining the cooking power home chefs equate with gas.

Because the heat source is closer to the cooktop underneath, the surface must withstand the heat, and glass-ceramic’s thermal-resistant properties keep it protected. Plus, with a smooth glass-ceramic base, the cooktop is easier to clean and maintain. While stainless steel gas cooktops may tarnish over time, a glass ceramic cooktop will keep the unit’s appearance looking as good as the first day it was used.

Gas Cleaning
Kitchen designers are redefining the look of modern kitchens by infusing elegance with functionality. By choosing gas glass-ceramic cooktops, kitchen designers achieve the design and aesthetic benefits they seek while giving home cooks a powerful stove that’s reliable, safe, and easy to clean.

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Hello, I’m Ted Wegert, Director Applications Engineering at SCHOTT North America. I specialize in product and material development and design, and mechanical analyses for glass and glass-ceramics. I’ve worked for SCHOTT for more than 18 years, leading product development for appliances, fireplaces, armor, and other industry applications. I’m an active member of the Association of Home Appliance Members, UL Environment, and the American Ceramic Society. I earned my bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University. When I’m not working, I enjoy mountain biking, cyclocross, reading, and forming glass art. I’m also a frequent home renovator.

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