Gas or electric is a long-fought debate. Most of us will have a preference as to which type of oven we prefer to use, although some of us won’t have a choice. Why choose a gas oven? We’re here to answer your most frequently asked questions about gas ovens, including everything from installation costs to cooking times.
Why Choose a Gas Oven?
If you don’t have time to read this full article, we’ll cut straight to the chase: gas ovens are cheaper to run than electric ovens. If you’re used to cooking with gas, then it’s also likely that you’ll prefer to cook using a gas oven than an electric oven.
It’s also worth noting that gas ovens are great for baking bread or and pies, on account of their slightly more humid cooking environment. This means that those lovely crusts are less likely to dry out or become impossibly hard (although this will rely on your baking skills to some degree, too).
Installing a Gas Oven
Once you’ve picked your perfect oven and had it delivered, the next step is to get it installed. You should never try and install a gas oven yourself; a Gas Safe engineer is the only person legally qualified to install your new gas oven.
Whilst you might begrudge paying, and waiting, for an engineer to come and fit your new oven, trying to install an oven can be hard work and, without the right knowledge, mistakes can happen. An improperly fitted gas appliance is dangerous not only for you and your family, but the people around you, too.
Gas safety regulation in the UK states that activities such as maintaining, servicing, adjusting, disconnecting, repairing, altering, renewing, or changing gas fittings in any way, shape, or form must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
How Much Will It Cost for Gas Oven Installation?
Gas oven installation costs can vary dramatically depending on your location, and your local tradespeople. We would always recommend that you ask for a quote from a minimum of two or three different engineers. In order to get the most accurate quote for your installation, it’s best to include as many details as possible including, but not limited to:
- The type of work to be carried out i.e. installing a new gas oven.
- The make and model of the appliance.
- The location within the property where you would like the appliance installed.
- Whether you have an existing gas connection or not.
There are specific regulations that need to be followed when installing any gas appliance and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be sure to choose a Gas Safe registered engineer who is qualified and competent, and don’t just go for the cheapest price. Your safety is at stake.
Heating a Gas Oven
Now that your new oven is installed you’re literally cooking on gas. Whether you’re whipping up a batch of cupcakes, or a Sunday roast, you’ll be pleased to know that it only takes a matter of minutes for a gas oven to heat up. Pre-heating a gas oven, even to peak temperature, will only take between five and ten minutes.
Do I Need to Pre-Heat my Gas Oven?
Pre-heating your oven is only necessary for baked goods like cookies, cakes, and breads, but for your standard dinner fayre like casseroles, vegetables, and meats, you’re fine to skip pre-heating.
How Do I Know When My Gas Oven Has Reached Temperature?
Many modern gas ovens will let you know when they’re at temperature with some sort of alert; be it a buzzer, beep, or light. Older gas ovens may not have any of these signals. For more precise baking, an oven thermometer costs between £5-£10 and will show you the internal temperature of your oven.
Will My Gas Oven Work in a Power Outage?
Gathering all the candles in the house, walking round with a torch, digging out the board games – a power outage can be quite good fun if you’re prepared for it. When hunger strikes, though, the mood can change instantly.
Whilst gas stoves will work during a power outage by lighting them with a match, ovens are a different story. Gas ovens that use an electric glow bar ignition can’t be used during a power cut because the gas valve feeding the oven is electrically connected to the igniter and will not open unless the igniter is working. Looks like it’s takeaway for dinner, then…
How Efficient is a Gas Oven?
When it comes to running costs, an electric oven will use less energy (kWh) to run than a gas oven. However, electricity is more expensive than gas per unit, so running an electric oven will cost you more than running a gas oven.
Does a Gas Oven Cook Faster Than an Electric Oven?
Because there’s no need to pre-heat a gas oven, some might think that a gas oven does cook food faster than an electric oven. However, modern electric ovens heat up very quickly these days, so there’s almost no difference in the time it takes to cook food between gas and electric.
Is a Gas Oven Hotter at the Top or Bottom?
Historically, temperatures in a gas oven were hotter at the top than at the bottom. This meant that you needed to rotate your dishes for an even bake. Modern gas ovens however are fitted with convection fans that help to circulate the heat more evenly.
Gas Oven Safety
As we’ve mentioned previously, your gas oven needs to be installed by a Gas Safe engineer. Beyond installation, there are a few other safety measures that you need to consider.
How Long Can I Leave a Gas Oven On For?
Gas ovens are designed to cook at high temperatures for prolonged periods. Fire hazards only really occur when poor cleaning habits are at play. A build up of grease and fats from food can catch alight, so regular cleaning is highly recommended to avoid any accidental fires.
Modern gas ovens have a range of safety features including safety valves and electric ignitions which reduce the risk of an accident. It’s still important to pay attention to any smells or odd behaviour which could signify a problem. If you do notice anything like that, you should get a professional to inspect it. Remember: if you smell gas never try to resolve problems yourself. Switch off your oven immediately, leave the house, and call your gas company or engineer to fix the problem as soon as possible.