As winter settles in, many of us find ourselves spending more time in the kitchen. Whether you’re an amateur cook or a pro, there’s something quite satisfying about preparing a meal for your loved ones. And even more so if you have an efficient cooker at hand. We take a quick look at what every potential buyer of a gas stove needs to know before swiping that card:
First things first
Before hitting the stores, have a look online to see what’s on the market. Various brands offer different cookers. Make a list of brands that are available in South Africa and do your research on each brand and what they offer, always bearing in mind your budget. Being informed will assist you in finding what’s perfect for your kitchen, lifestyle and family.
The competitive edge
Mercia de Jager of Miele highlights: “The most important thing to look for when selecting a gas hob, and in fact all appliances, is to consider the make. It is always best to select a trusted brand that has built up a revered reputation over a long time. Not only will this give you peace of mind about what you are buying, but it also means that after-sales service, parts and maintenance will be dependable.”
Ana Rebelo of Tecnogas advises: “Compare the best quality with the best price and functionality. Ask questions about the size of the burners (kilowatts); check the quality of the burners; look at the finishes of the stove and query if it’s non-scratch stainless steel.”
To combo or not to combo?
If you’re making the move over from electric to gas, then consider dual-fuel, as it provides the best of both worlds. Dual-fuel ranges provide electricity for oven use, and the cooktop with gas. When viewing different gas cooker brands, take note of what is being said about the oven. Previously, temperature control of a gas oven was not as reliable, precise and achievable as with an electric oven, so ask the sales person about this when enquiring.
With our unreliable electricity situation in South Africa, a gas cooker is one of a home owner’s essential appliances. Helping you to cut down on your electricity bill too (as it’s more energy-efficient), your gas cooker can be used to cook up a hearty meal (even chefs swear by gas stoves), heat up water and even warm up the kitchen. As De Jager points out, “Cooking with gas is the preferred option for many professional chefs. Temperatures can be controlled very precisely and changed in an instant. Cooking with gas conjures up images of cooking over an open fire, which for many people is an emotional experience. In today’s modern and fast-paced lifestyle, cooking with gas feels homely and traditional.”
Does size matter?
According to De Jager of Miele, this all depends on the size of your kitchen, the size of your family, and of course your budget. “However, if space and budget are not an issue, then I think the bigger, the better, as a large hob will allow you to cook for all occasions – both big and small. A better consideration would be to look at burner variations: from the smallest energy-saving burner for slow and gentle cooking to the powerful wok burner for large amounts and fast heating up.”
Play it safe
It’s always important to ensure safety and to keep this in mind when purchasing an appliance. Raig Russell of AGA South Africa advises: “Follow the instructions from the manufacturer. Adhere to local testing and servicing requirements, and diarise when your next test and service is needed.” Adding to this, Rebelo of Tecnogas reminds us of the importance of having your gas stove installed by a qualified gas installer, “in order to get a Certificates of Conformity (COC) as required by the law and for guarantee purposes. Also, when it comes to safety, as per the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa (LPGSASA), all stoves on the market have to have safety valves”.