Whether you are installing a new gas stove or replacing an old one, before selecting a gas stove, it is essential to determine the type of gas supply in your home, whether it is natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, or artificial coal gas.
If you live in a condominium, you can inquire with the property management to confirm the gas supply, or you can also call the local gas supply company. Remember that gas stoves are not interchangeable between different types of gas supplies. Distinguishing by Appearance。
Currently, kitchen stoves are mainly divided into freestanding and built-in types. The advantage of freestanding stoves is that they do not require drilling holes for installation and can be placed directly on the countertop for use. However, the drawback is that they are somewhat ‘bulky’ and may not be suitable for modern kitchen interior styles. On the other hand, built-in stoves require countertop planning and hole drilling for installation, which has certain limitations, but the end result is undoubtedly excellent.
Differentiated by Panel Material, there are mainly three types: stainless steel, tempered glass, and ceramic panels.
Stainless Steel Panel: Sturdy, durable, resistant to impact and high temperatures. However, cleaning can be an issue, and the surface is prone to scratching after prolonged use.
Ceramic Panel: Attractive appearance, high-temperature resistance, easy to clean, a simple wipe with a cloth is sufficient. However, it is not very impact-resistant, and the material cost is relatively high.
Tempered Glass Panel: Elegant appearance, now commonly using explosion-proof tempered glass, good resistance to high temperatures and impact, and easy to maintain.
How to Choose the Heat Output?
Normally, we can judge the heat output size by the rated heat load marked on the nameplate. For an ordinary household, a range with 3.8kW-4.2kW is usually sufficient, but if you like high-heat cooking, you may need 4.5kW-5.0kW. Heat outputs exceeding 5.5kW are more commonly found in commercial kitchens. However, it’s not just about the heat load; we also need to consider efficiency.
Efficiency is marked as a percentage, with higher values indicating better gas utilization and greater energy savings. Nowadays, regular gas stoves can achieve over 60% efficiency, while high-end products can reach 70% or even 75%. Therefore, when selecting a gas stove, it’s essential to pay attention to the efficiency value, rather than just focusing on the heat load.
Stove Burners and Burner Caps
Stove burners consist of a burner cap and a base. As burners are in constant contact with flames, they can be considered the core of a gas stove. Common stove burners are typically made of materials like copper, aluminum alloy, or cast iron, with an all-copper burner cap being the best option. However, all-copper burners are also the most costly, so the most common configuration is a copper burner cap paired with an aluminum alloy or cast iron base.
Moreover, the copper content also determines the lifespan and cost. The significant price differences between brands or products are often attributed to the burner. Following the principle that you get what you pay for, it’s advisable to choose products from well-known reputable manufacturers.
Ignition Method Distinction
Currently, gas stoves use two ignition methods: piezoelectric ceramic ignition and electronic pulse ignition. Piezoelectric ceramic ignition is only used in freestanding gas stoves, while built-in stoves use electronic pulse ignition. To enhance ignition efficiency, many manufacturers employ dual-pin ignition. From a safety perspective, electronic pulse ignition is more user-friendly.
Safety and Protection
When it comes to anything related to flames, there will inevitably be some safety risks. Since 2009, China has explicitly mandated that all gas stove products for sale must have flameout protection devices. The most common flameout protection devices currently in use are ion-sensing and thermocouple types.
Ion-Sensing: It cuts off the gas supply by sensing the ions produced by the flame and typically shuts off the gas in about 6 seconds.
Thermocouple: It uses a temperature-sensing thermocouple to cut off the gas supply, typically shutting off the gas in about 10 seconds.
In the market, most manufacturers use the thermocouple flameout protection method. This is mainly due to its simple circuitry, stable performance, and low failure rate.
In addition to flameout protection, each manufacturer has its own protective measures, such as flame arrestors, child locks, temperature sensors, gas-electric separation boxes, water-blocking sealed knobs, and more. The aim is to make cooking safer and more worry-free for users. Of course, the more protection features a gas stove has, the higher its selling price will be.
Ease of Cleaning
As a kitchen product that deals with cooking and oil fumes regularly, many users often overlook the issue of cleaning when making their selection. After a busy session in the kitchen, how much energy is left for post-cooking cleanup? This is especially relevant when dealing with oil splatters from stir-frying. To make cleaning easier, it’s advisable to choose gas stove products that come with easy-to-clean features. Examples include black crystal glass panels, separate burner heads, and porcelain enamel drip trays, among others. In any case, it’s essential not to turn post-cooking cleanup into a frustrating chore.