Worth replacing: gas range

For years I endured an electric range and oven (and yes, before you say it out loud, I will admit habitually overstating my misfortunes!). Since statistically few Canadian homes had gas, I couldn’t indulge my chef’s preference for this kind of appliance and still develop recipes for cookbooks, magazines and major corporations and be able to say that the cooking times would work for most people. I was sad in a stoic, noble way.

Thankfully, today many more Canadian (and American for that matter) households are installing gas stoves so I can have one again, too. (Although readers should know that I often do a final test of recipes I develop on an electric stove if I have any doubts about timing.)

When choosing my gas range I went for one with heavy-duty cast iron burner racks and pilot lights with automatic starters. Although I didn’t realize it until my range was installed and in use, another benefit of the model I chose is that it has a very low simmer setting. I use this ultra low setting often for braising since it makes slow cooking very efficient and allows me to coax the maximum tenderness out of tough cuts of meat such as brisket and shanks. Likewise, it makes regulating the temperature for poaching very easy, too. Interestingly, a friend of mine who purchased a very high-end gas cook top found that her flame could never be tamed adequately to use these two cooking methods. In fact, she had to use a slow cooker for all braising because her stove was just too hot on its lowest setting.

Whether I move one day or live long enough to wear this unit out, I’d replace it in a heartbeat. I love my gas range!

What kind of a stovetop do you prefer? Although all comments are welcome, I’d love to hear from any of you that have chosen the new induction models. I’m very curious to hear how home cooks like this technology.

12 Responses to Worth replacing: gas range

  1. Gas – all the way! I first cooked with gas 20 years ago when I did a semester in England. I burned everything, even the hair off my arm, for the first little while. Once I got the hang of it, I swore I would never go back.

    Today I cook on a 14-year-old, plain Jane, 24″ gas stove. I LOVE it. When I replace it, and that day is coming sooner than I’d like to admit, I will buy another gas stove. In the age of McMansions, I hope they still make 24″ versions.

    I’m curious about induction stoves, but can’t justify the price. Plus, I would have to replace a lot of my pots and pans…which might be an incentive….

  2. danamccauley says:

    I learned to cook on gas as a kid and always felt deprived when I had an electric.

    I’m not sold on induction at all. I think if I lived in a high rise where gas was not allowed that I’d go for it but that would likely be the only scenario I can imagine making that choice.

    One thing I’d love to have is an old fashioned wood stove and oven. My grand mother had one and it was quite a wonderful experience to see her cook on it. If I ever get a cottage (come on lottery!) I might have one installed in a summer kitchen.

  3. Rosa says:

    It looks great! I’d love to have such an stove! As a kid, I cooked/baked with gas, but now I have an electric stove… Gas ones are better, though!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. veron says:

    Our range is almost the same, yours have a wider center. You will love the extra low simmer. I use the small burner on the lowest simmer for melting chocolate – works like a charm. And yes, the cast iron continues grate was a big plus when we chose Wolf.

  5. I’d like to have a combo system. I like gas for when I need quick high heat, but electric for long term low to high heat. I’m stuck with electric where I live, but I’ve learned to preheat burners when appropriate. But I never worry about leaving a large stockpot over low heat for 8 hours. I also like induction for quick, high heat. When I’ve had gas in previous homes, I found that it was harder to keep the kitchen clean in those hard to reach areas.

  6. Cheryl says:

    I never realized how special gas was until I got my first gas range in the late 90s. I remember thinking, “Wait a minute. You mean it really heats up that fast?” Um, yeah — it’s FIRE! I’ll never go back. (The only problem is that when the kitchen is hot and I open the window next to the stove, the flame tends to blow and sway.)

    I think induction looks cool but I only know 1 person who has it.

  7. Terry says:

    I prefer gas all the way too. We are moving at the end of the year and we have already ordered our Wolf gas range, partially because of your recommendation, Dana. I’m sure we’ll love it as much as you love yours. Can’t wait!!

  8. danamccauley says:

    Yikes! Now I feel anxious – what if you don’t like it?

    Good luck with the move Terry!

  9. jasmine says:

    Oh how I envy your gas stove. Beelzebub is a horrid creature…

    Back in the 1970s Sears sold gas stoves and my parents bought one that lasted until a few years ago-it turned out to be one of a handful of gas stoves (three or four, if I recall a later conversation with a senior sales clerk) the local shop sold.

    One of these years…I will go back to gas, but until then…

    j

  10. […] Poaching Saved by pedromaltese on Wed 24-12-2008 poached Saved by funpower on Sun 14-12-2008 Worth replacing: gas range Saved by SDCLQuickPicks on Fri 12-12-2008 Snow leopards in Pakistan threatened by poaching in […]

  11. Good day!
    It’s great! As of this, it is very efficient and convenient if you have that kind of stove. Stove that will last for good.

  12. Gas Stove Tops…

    […]Worth replacing: gas range « Dana McCauley’s food blog[…]…

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