Tag Archives: gas stoves

Cooking, With Gas?

I’ve always believed that government has a limited role in our lives, but this is ridiculous. I near retirement age and the new House majority wants to take away my Social Security and Medicare. And I don’t even have them yet!

Finally get my near dream stove? CPSC wants to take it away because a small child I do not have, may have a chance of getting athsma.

I grew up in the sixties and seventies with some really crummy electric stoves. Too hot, too cold, not reactive enough. One goes from unable to boil to furiously boiling over. Water cleans up easily, milk not so much.

While not currently a professional chef, or certainly of the medical profession, might I ask the folks in government who purport to care about our health to consider the question of ventilation before banning gas stoves outright. Even banning new gas stoves is an issue for me, because I like to cook and electric coil stoves just don’t cut it for me.

I live in an apartment, a nice apartment that comes with a top-of-the-line gas stove with four round and one oval burner and a double oven. One burner even has enough BTU’s to get pasta water to boil quickly. But the vent, unlike in private homes, does not vent to the outside, only in on itself. For air, I have to open a window which is not possible some times of the year because of extreme heat or cold weather.

Kitchens are designed with cooking in mind. At least some of them are. Some I’ve had are so small and badly designed that they’re practically useless, others so large that walking is the principal activity. My time is spent preparing food. Favorite winter meals include a stew that requires pre-cooking of the ingredients top of the range, then a long slow cook in the oven. I don’t want to waste time taking a pot off the stove because it’s in danger of boiling over and holding it until the burner cools down. So, please consider the need for appropriate ventilation in all homes before banning gas.

Here, our maintenance department keeps us in air vents for the HVAC system. We don’t use them because they’re cheap. We buy our own MERV-14 filters at $18 a pop, that even catch COVID! Air and circulating air is important, and we have our own fans for the (air-conditioned) summer and three humidifiers that put 4-5 gallons of water back in our environment these cold winter days. Knowing the quality of our air and how things like stoves, gas or electric heat, washer/dryer et al would be nice so that we can assure a healthy interior living space.

There are many things to consider before an outright ban on gas stoves. Let’s put on our thinking caps and see if there’s a way to keep us and the planet healthier, together. Cheers! Dee


Kitchen Safety

We had a lovely Christmas dinner then dessert with friends. While I was making dinner, I was putting together my new favorite brussels sprouts and cauliflower casserole/gratin. I had steamed the veg, was grating cheese and had separately toasted bread crumbs and pine nuts.

All of a sudden the cream, reducing on the stove with shallots and herbs, boiled over behind me. I grabbed it off to another cold burner and lost a few tablespoons and spent the next 20 minutes cleaning the stovetop and steeping the cream rather than reducing it further. When I turned on the oven 20 minutes later I smelled a little gas, which is normal for the first few seconds as it fires.

We ate, then went for dessert. This morning I got up early and took the dog out and I smelled gas outside our door and when the key turned, it was horrible.

My husband had a headache from it but didn’t smell it, so I called it in right away and repairmen were here in moments. They couldn’t find out what was wrong and tested the line and everything.

Now I know what happened. I am a good cook and have graduated from two cooking schools. Just as I am adamant about cross-contamination and sanitizing dishes, I am about making certain the oven and all the burners are off, and the doors are locked.

When the cream boiled over it cut the flame to the burner but the gas was still on. I spent a lot of time cleaning the stovetop and was doing many things for Christmas dinner so even when I checked that the oven and burners were off, all the burner controls were in the vertical position but one was half-way on, still vertical but the wrong way.

These GE controls do not easily show whether the gas is on without a flame, so my husband put a red dot at the top so we could always know it was off. We have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors but we did not know that for 16 hours we had a serious gas leak in our home.

We’ve had windows open all morning and continue to open them in windy, freezing cold for a few moments every hour or so.

Please check your gas controls. If they are badly designed (cheap) fix them so that you and your family are safe. Glad to still be here, Dee

p.s. Thank you, professional sniffer, our dog Zoe, for pointing out this issue to us. Not! Instead you slept for 9 hours but did kick me out of bed at 5:30 this morning.

Stove knobs with drilled hole filled in with red nail polish

Stove knobs with drilled hole filled in with red nail polish