The gas cooktop is the favorite of all chefs and chefs from Julia Vysotskaya to Gordon Ramsay. The reasons why it is better than the electric stove, there are at least 3:
- Firstly, it does not increase the electricity bill, and gas is quite inexpensive. By the way, electric cooktop - This is one of the biggest "consumers" of energy in the house.
- The instantaneous appearance and switching off of the heating, as well as a sensitive reaction to its adjustment, make the gas stove ideal for solving all culinary tasks: cooking, stewing, languishing, frying, etc.
- There is a widespread opinion that food cooked on gas fire is healthier and tastier than food cooked on an electric or microwave oven, since this source of heating is the most natural and close to the ideal - open fire.
In this material we will tell how to choose the ideal built-in gas cooking surface: effective, safe, beautiful and easy to clean.
Step 1. Choose a panel material, and at the same time color and design
The hob can be made of stainless or enamelled steel, as well as of glass-ceramic or tempered glass. All surfaces have something in common - they are equally prone to scratching and are about equally easy to clean from burned food debris. But the difference is:
Stainless steel. The material is good for its durability, it can withstand even aggressive cleaning products, for the ease of cleaning it can be awarded a confident 2nd place. But there is a nuance: the surface must be matte, otherwise fingerprints will be noticeable on it.
- Stainless steel gas hob is ideal for modern interiors, which already have silver or chrome parts.
However and in the classic kitchen it is also appropriate.
Enamelled steel. On ease of cleaning the enameled surface takes 1 place. To bring a very dirty stove to the state of a new one, you can use only Fairy or oven cleaners. However, it is less resistant to abrasives, and over a period of many years of use, small chips and abrasions may appear on it.
- But the gas cooktop made of enameled steel can be not only white, but also cream, beige, brown or black. Best of all, such a stove will fit into a classic kitchen interior (especially beige in color with brass switches), an interior in retro style or in an ultra-modern setting (in black).
Glass ceramics. The glass ceramic gas hob has the marketing name gas on glass. The surface of the glass-ceramic wear-resistant, easy to clean it, but still somewhat more troublesome than stainless steel or enamel. For example, to clean the stove from grease stains, it will have to be wiped several times.Its second drawback is that the stove may crack or shake from a strong blow. The color of the glass ceramic gas panel is most often white or black.
Strained glass. This material is stronger and thicker than glass ceramics, otherwise it almost does not differ from it - tempered glass is no less beautiful and heat-resistant, it is cleaned about as easily.
- The tempered glass hob can be not only black, white or beige, but in rare cases colored - red, copper, lilac, etc.
- The most impractical color of a gas hob is black. Against this background, even the smallest specks of dust, drops, crumbs, stains, and, of course, fingerprints are noticeable.
- The most non-staining color is beige, white or grayish white.
- Choosing the color and design of the gas stove, you can navigate to the color of other kitchen appliances (for example, hoods and ovens), as well as the color of the apron / countertops / facades / other interior elements.
- It is desirable that the switches do not have grooves and ribbing (so they are easier to clean), and also not too glossy, otherwise they will always seem dirty.
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Step 2. Which gratings are better - cast iron or steel?
Enameled steel gratings are good for their strength and stability. They are not deformed either by gravity or by prolonged heating. However, they are very heavy and difficult to maintain due to their porosity. Unfortunately, it is undesirable to wash them in the dishwasher, since after such a “bath” the cast iron may rust.
- The smoother the cast iron, the less grease and dirt stick to it and the easier it is to wash it.
- It is good if a separate grill is provided for each hotplate - this makes washing the stove easier.
The advantages of enamelled gratings: low cost, ease of cleaning due to the smooth surface and low weight. However, over time, the enamel coating is damaged, and the structure itself can be deformed and sag. In addition, the steel lattice is less stable compared to heavy cast iron.
When choosing a gas hob in the store, make sure that the grills are resistant and have special lining to protect the surface from scratches.
Step 3. Evaluate the burners
On gas stoves burners can be standard, with double or triple row of flame.
- Triple crown ring. This is the most effective burner. Well, if the hob has at least one such. Boil a large pot of water on it in minutes.
In addition to the traditional burners, there are others:
- Direct Flame. This is a hotplate that releases a flame through a lot of micro-holes, thanks to which the dishes heat up evenly, with the least loss of gas and heat, and above all 20% faster. It is equipped with some Hotpoint Ariston hob models.
- Express ring WOK. Some advanced models of hobs have one WOK express hob. It is a powerful burner with a double or triple crown and an adapter for a wok-pan (with a spherical bottom). In fact, it is quite versatile and convenient just for cooking in any large dish.
- Hot plate grill. It is a small grate under which the burners are installed. On it you can fry meat, fish and vegetables.
When choosing a hob, pay attention to the location of the burners. So, for example, they can be placed not by a square, but by a rhombus. With this solution, the apron gets less dirty, and the hood works somewhat more efficiently. But, as noted by many users in the reviews, this is not very convenient when the burner is fully loaded.
Step 4. Determine the size and shape of the plate
The standard hob has a width and depth of about 60 cm and accommodates 4 burners of different diameters. A stove of this format is suitable for most users - families of 3-5 people and kitchens from 7 sq. M. m
However, in some cases it is better to move away from the usual solution and choose a smaller / larger size and irregularly shaped hob.
- For a small kitchen, a small family (up to 3 people), a bachelor or antifanate cooking will suit a cooker with 2-3 burners.
- For a family of 3-5 people and a kitchen of more than 7 square meters. m is to choose a slab of standard size (60 cm wide).
- For a large family and those who often arrange home holidays, a stove 70-75 cm wide or 90-95 cm wide with 4-5 rings is more suitable.
- If the kitchen cabinet is not deep, then you should pay attention to the narrow hobs - 40 cm wide and 120 cm long (size for 4 rings).
- On corner kitchen an angular hob can be installed (to her, however, it is more difficult to choose a hood).
Depending on personal preferences and kitchen design, you can choose a hob in the shape of a square, circle, boomerang or rectangle.
Step 5. Decide whether you need gas control and electric firing
Gas control - thermoelectric system, stopping the flow of gas in case of flame attenuation, say, due to the flooding with runaway milk or a strong gust of wind. The system works independently of electricity. The advantage of gas cooktops is obvious, but there are also disadvantages:
- Ignition does not work immediately, but after 3-6 seconds, when the thermocouple warms up (sensor element) and gives a signal of the possibility of gas supply. At this time, the switch must be held, which is not very convenient, especially if the ignition is semi-automatic.
- Another caveat: long-term use of the stove wears out gas control, the ignition becomes more difficult and can take more than 6 seconds. However, the failed gas control can be repaired, replaced, or completely disabled.
If there are strong drafts in the kitchen, or you are not too sure about the care of your household, gas control is necessary. Fortunately, most modern cooktops, including inexpensive ones, are equipped with this useful feature.
For chefs who are confident in their vigilance and unwilling to put up with a 6-second ignition, there are models without gas control. In addition, this feature can be turned off in any gas stove.
Electric ignition - they are equipped with all modern gas hobs. It can be automatic or semi-automatic. The first one, of course, is much more convenient: for the burner to catch fire, it is enough to turn the gas valve opening knob.
Child lock - the function allows you to block the gas supply on all burners by pressing a single button. To turn on the gas supply, press the button and simultaneously turn it to the stop.
Some more useful information.
- Connecting the gas hob should be carried out by specialists from the city gas service, and not by an outside organization.
- Those who live outside the city, where sometimes there are interruptions in the supply of gas or electricity, should pay attention to the combined cooking surfaces. In them, one half of the gas burners, and the other - electric.
- Due to open flame, the gas hob is not compatible with MDF apron and plastic. However, the problem is easily solved by installing a glass transparent screen in the zone of the plate.
- Choosing a gas panel, take care of sufficiently powerful hood.
- Keep in mind that the gas panel requires a door in the entrance opening (although it does not need to be closed).If you want to combine kitchen with living room/the hallway, then the gas stove will have to be changed to an electric one. It is not so easy to make it, but it is possible: you will need to obtain official permission, develop a project and replace electrical wiring. Unfortunately, in old homes the electrical network is weak, so the alteration is often not coordinated.
Finally, we suggest watching a video with tips on choosing a gas hob from a user.
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