Cooking appliances

With the even, direct heat and precise temperature control of natural gas, you'll enjoy cooking at exactly the right setting—from a low simmer to a fast boil. That's why top chefs prefer cooking with natural gas.

Natural gas cooking appliances may cost a little more to buy than electric models, but they'll pay you back with high performance and years of reliable service.

Deciding what you need

Your cooking requirements, kitchen décor and space limitations will influence your choice of cooking appliances. First you need to determine whether you want:

  • a free-standing range that combines the cooktop and oven in one unit, or
  • separate cooktop and wall oven, offering more flexibility for installation and greater convenience for a two-cook kitchen.

Ranges

Models can be free-standing or built into a wall or kitchen island. Choose from self-clean or manual clean ovens. Features include fan-powered convection for faster cooking or infrared broilers.

Cooktops

For kitchen islands, or where additional countertop space exists, a natural gas cooktop is ideal. Choose from different widths, models with a downdraft exhaust or vented hoods.

Wall ovens

Wall-mounted ovens are big space savers. Depending on the anticipated cooking needs for the household, choose single or double oven models. Fan-powered convection keeps the food moist as it cooks quickly.

Benefits

Instant on and off

Your burners heat up immediately, so they're ready to begin cooking right away.

Infinite settings

A natural gas flame is infinitely variable, giving more precise temperature control.

Versatile cooking

The open natural gas flame wraps evenly around any size pot, pan or wok to provide versatility in cooking.

Greater flexibility and styling

Depending on your needs, cooktops and ovens can come as separate units and come in a wide variety of sizes, styles and configurations to meet your kitchen's décor.

Energy efficient

Choosing pilotless electronic ignition can save you even more on your energy bill.

Reliable

Natural gas cooking appliances are powered by a home's natural gas supply. So unlike neighbours with electric ranges, you'll still be able to use your cooktop elements during power outages.

Safe

Natural gas cooktops can be shut off instantly.  Residual heat is eliminated after cooking, reducing the chance of burning.

Buying a range, cooktop or wall oven

Ranges - things to consider

Available space

Be sure you know exactly how much space you have available in your kitchen for both the width and depth of the appliance. Be sure to consider the placement of the exhaust venting system.

If you’re buying a new home, make sure the builder has a gas line available for the range. You also may want to upgrade from the model that the builder regularly installs to get some of the special features you would enjoy.

Oven interior size

Models with the same outside measurements may have varying amounts of space inside. Check the oven cavity size to make sure you are getting the size that really meets your needs. An oven with six or seven positions for the oven racks allows you to bake more than one dish at a time.

Controls

Try out the controls on each model you’re considering. Are they easy to reach and use? Are they easy to keep clean? Are they easily understood? Controls should be arranged logically so it is simple to tell which control operates which burner. Front or side-mounted burner knobs eliminate the need to reach over burners to change temperature settings; push-to-turn knobs prevent accidental lighting of burners.

Electronic controls are popular today because they’re easier to clean and set than dial controls. Most will add a little extra to the cost of the equipment. For example, automatic pilotless ignition saves up to 30 per cent on fuel consumption; infrared oven broilers cook food faster, use less energy and reduce food shrinkage; high-performance burners (up to 14,000 BTU) provide faster cooking and higher temperature range for improved heat control, better sautéing and stir-frying.

Cleaning

Determine how easy it will be to clean each model and whether you want to spend a little more money to get an oven that cleans itself or has sealed burners on the cooktop, which makes cleanup much easier. Features like lift-up, removable and sealed-top burners simplify the cleaning of grates, and lift-off doors make oven cleaning easy. Self-cleaning ovens are better insulated and save energy. Options include standard cleaning, continuous cleaning and self-cleaning models.

  • Self-cleaning ovens have a high-heat cycle, with temperatures as high as 1,000 °F (538 °C) . The heat turns oven soil into a grey, powdery ash that can be wiped up with a damp sponge. When the cleaning cycle is in use, the oven is locked. Self-cleaning ovens have a special porcelain enamel on the inside and a special door seal to stand up to the high temperature. This extra insulation saves energy.
  • Continuous cleaning ovens have walls that have been treated with a catalyst that oxidizes oven soil while the oven operates at normal temperatures. This system does not clean as completely as a self-cleaning oven, but eliminating the high-heat cycle reduces its purchase price.
  • Standard cleaning ovens must be cleaned by hand, using soap and water or a commercial oven-cleaning product. Some models have a removable oven bottom or a removable door to make cleaning easier.

Broilers

All ovens feature broilers. You should take its location into consideration. In standard natural gas ovens, the broiler is in a drawer below the oven. In self-cleaning ovens, it’s at the top of the oven, where it’s easier to reach, also freeing up storage space beneath.

Cooktops – things to consider

Cleaning

On cooktops without sealed burners, look for deep wells to contain spills and a top that opens up for cleaning, with two support rods to hold it in place. This frees up both hands for cleaning. Look for other features that make cleanup easier, including:

  • removable control knobs
  • porcelain drip pans under the burners
  • a glass or porcelain backguard (rather than a painted one)
  • a raised edge around the cooktop to keep spills under control corners and edges without seams

Grates

Another feature you might consider is heavy-duty burner grates that can support heavy pots. A porcelain coating on both the top and the bottom makes them scratch- and rust-resistant.

Wall ovens – things to consider

Oven interior size

Models with the same outside measurements may have varying amounts of space inside. Check the oven cavity size to make sure you are getting the size that really meets your needs. An oven with six or seven positions for the oven racks allows you to bake more than one dish at a time.

Cleaning method

This is the most important factor in choosing an oven. Options include standard cleaning, continuous cleaning and self-cleaning models. See “Cleaning” for ranges.

Controls

Electronic touch controls and digital display allows more accurate temperature and timer settings. Many electronic controls provide a control “lockout” feature to prevent unintended operation by other members of the household. The lockout feature is also helpful when cleaning the control panel.

Doors & racks

Try out the door to see if it opens and closes smoothly without slamming. Ensure the oven racks provide enough support for heavy roasts and turkeys.

Element options

  • Large multi-loop bake element is located in the bottom of the oven, releasing heat more evenly for better baking results.
  • Hidden bake element is below the oven floor. Spills and spatters or residue from the self-cleaning cycle are easier to wipe up.
  • High–low broil offers the ability to choose high or low broiling. High broiling works for most items. Use low broiling for thicker meats or chicken and fish to ensure that it is completely cooked without searing the outside of the food.

Natural gas ranges

A natural gas range may carry a slightly higher purchase price than an electric range, but it’s about half the cost to operate.

Natural gas cooking equipment comes in many sizes and shapes. Most familiar is the traditional freestanding range, which includes a cooking surface with two to four burners, a standard oven, and a storage drawer. They come in widths of 20, 24, 30 and 36 inches (51 to 91 cm) and wider, with a standard height of 36 inches (91 cm).

Range styles

Freestanding

The standard is 30 inches wide, but 20-inch, 24-inch, 36-inch and 40-inch widths are available. Some ranges have a second oven or a microwave above the cooktop and need more vertical space for installation.

Built-in

These either slide or drop into a space between cabinets. With both a cooktop and oven, these units differ from a freestanding unit mostly in appearance. They have no back panel so they appear to be stylishly ‘built-in’. A drop-in range and drop-in oven sit on a low cabinet base with no storage drawer. A slide-in range sits on the floor much like a traditional freestanding style without the back panel. Drop-in or slide-in ranges are usually 30 inches (76 cm) wide, but may be available in other widths.

Commercial-style

These ranges have chrome or stainless steel finishes, and multiple burners and ovens. They’re specially built for homes with extra safety measures and added insulation. Real commercial ranges, which have a very high heat output, are not recommended for residential kitchens. Commercial-style ranges are available in widths from 30 to 60 inches (76 to 152 cm), with varying heights. Some ranges have a second oven or a microwave above the cooktop and need more vertical space for installation.

Features / options

Convection ovens

These ovens are equipped with a fan that provides continuous circulation of hot air around the food, thereby cooking it not only more evenly, but also up to 25 per cent faster. For most foods, the oven temperature can be reduced by 4 °C (7.2 °F) as well. Convection baking is possible on two or even three racks at one time. Because convection ovens heat up so fast, there's usually no need for preheating. Unlike microwaves, they don’t require special cookware or major adjustments in cooking time.

Ignition system

You can choose a continuous pilot flame on each burner, or a system with an electric spark on each burner. You’ll save energy by going with the spark ignition model, also called electronic ignition.

Exhaust

Although an exhaust system is not required for natural gas ranges, cooktops and ovens, it’s still a good idea to include an exhaust fan in the installation. You’ll eliminate the normal byproducts of cooking such as steam, smoke, grease and heat. Indoor gas grills should definitely have an exhaust system.

Natural gas cooktops

The contemporary, designer look of built-in natural gas cooktops makes them a stylish addition to any kitchen.

They come in widths of 20, 24, 30 and 36 inches (51 to 92 cm). Gas cooktops are made of stainless steel, steel coated with porcelain or glass. Some may allow you to pop in a grill, a rotisserie or a wok. They are available with built-in downdraft exhaust fans or you can use them with overhead fans.

Standard models have four burners, but other models have two, five or six burners. Some have a grill or griddle unit in the centre, or on either side of the burners. Others have a griddle or grill that can sit over regular burners. There are several burner sizes to fit various widths of pots and pans, each with different heat outputs. Cooktops can have burners ranging from 5,000 to 17,500 BTU per hour. (A BTU, or British thermal unit, is a standard measure of heat or energy output.)

You can opt to have different sized burners on the same range. A common configuration is two small and two large burners. Sealed burners range from as much as 12,500 BTU per hour to a small 5,000 BTU per hour burner used for simmering.

Burner styles

Standard, unsealed (open)

This style has large openings for the burner that are much larger than the burner itself. The cooktop lifts up for cleaning underneath the cooking area. They produce about 9,000 BTU per hour.

Sealed burners

These are popular because they are much easier to clean than open burners. Many cooktops with sealed burners offer a range of burner sizes. For example, one model has a large burner for fast heating, two medium burners and a smaller one for simmering.

Natural gas wall ovens

Buying a wall oven is a great space-saving appliance and can make your kitchen space work more efficiently.

A built-in wall oven, unlike a regular freestanding range, is surrounded by cabinets and boasts a sophisticated, professional appearance. Your cabinets are usually built under and above the oven, providing ideal storage space for your cookware.

Space-saving, low-profile natural gas wall ovens are “natural” convection ovens; that is, the normal air movement established during operation allows for faster, more even baking without the use of fans. They come in widths of 24, 27 and 30 inches (61 to 69 cm) and are available with features such as infrared broilers. The height of a wall oven depends on whether the unit is a single or double oven.

Single oven

Single wall ovens are good for smaller houses and apartments. If you want a little more space but not a whole second oven, consider an extra-wide oven (if you have the room). It can accommodate a lot of food.

Double oven

Double wall ovens give you the most space and versatility – you can bake or broil at two different temperatures at once. They’re great for large families and people who entertain a lot.