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Feb 9, 2010 05:13 AM

Gas stoves & power outages

So in the wake of (and anticipation of) the snow storms, we are bemoaning our electric stovetop, if only for the fact that, in a power outage, we won't be able to cook. While we love gas much better than electric, we also love the fact that it is not dependent upon electricity.

Many people on this board like induction over gas; however, induction can't be lit with a match. Does any other chowhound prefer gas over induction because of this?

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  1. I have gas at home, and will have induction in the new studio... I wouldn't let the occasional power outage dictate what I use to cook with day in and day out. Even if the power went out 3-4 days in the winter ( I live in Canada), there are still 360 or more days of cooking.
    Last winter storm that put out the power we cooked outside on the grill - didn't matter that it was cold and blustery, it was kind of fun and a very minor inconvenience considering what some people in the rest of the world endure on a daily basis.


    1. Induction will not warm your house when the power fails. I don't know of one restaurant (where the professionals work) that has switched to induction. There is something to be said for induction. You can boil water in about 30 seconds. If you boil water on gas or standard electric and stand there waiting for it to boil, let's talk about multi-tasking.

      6 Replies
      1. re: brucearugg

        I've shot in several restaurants that use induction - two that have Michelin stars even ('that's where the professionals work' your words not mine). Just about everyone in those kitchens (except the hard core"it was better in the old days" types) loved them and couldn't imagine going back to gas.


        1. re: legourmettv

          Perhaps you would be so kind as to name those restaurants. I would like to stop in some time and get their thoughts directly.

        2. re: brucearugg

          Restaurants use gas appliances primarily because of one reason. It's not the miraculously better cooking ability, or the open flames that set things on fire. It's cost. Gas appliances traditionally have been cheap. And gas was dirt cheap until quite recently. Go somewhere where gas isn't cheap, or the modifications to the building required for gas stoves are difficult, and you'll find plenty of induction ranges.

          1. re: brucearugg

            Gas ovens and/or stove tops should not be used as an alternative heat source. You can do the research yourself on why that's not advised.

              1. re: brucearugg

                Whatever you want to call it is fine. Here's but one of a bunch of articles I found on emergency heating. Just to keep people informed in case they stumble on this topic.


          2. My Therimidor pro range has electric spark start and with no electricity - no gas flow. That is way better than a pilot light for 99.99% of the year and really useful for sauce making. For power outages I have a turkey cooker burner base that I connect to my propane grill tank so I have both the grill and the burner (both can run since I have a spare LP tank) and with a fireplace for heat my only concerns are no power in the summer for the frigo and the freezer. Don't want to lose all that venison and pheasants in the big freezer. Last summer it was dry ice all around.

            1 Reply
            1. re: goatgolfer

              Are you sure about that? My new Frigidaire has the electric spark start, too, but the Owner's Manual gives instructions for match lighting each burner in case of a power outage, as well.

            2. When the power is out... I don't think I want to cook at home.

              The dishwasher will not work
              I won't be able to see what I'm cooking / eating (no, candles aren't the same unless there're 100 of them surrounding me)
              I may trip in the dark

              Not a pretty picture

              And we heat the home with electricity (geothermal to be more specific), so we need to find something, like a generator, to make electricity anyway.

              1. My understanding is a lot of modern gas stoves won't light with a match because no electricity means no gas flow (in addition to the obvious no electronic ignition). If you want one that is capable of lighting with a match you may have to specifically look for this, if it still exists. I'm guessing the no gas flow is in there as a safety measure.

                2 Replies
                1. re: CrazyOne

                  I think that's more the case for gas ovens, but not stovetops. As long as you have a knob to turn, you should be able to use a match/lighter to get it going. Ovens, on the other hand, have some variety of setup that doesn't let the gas flow until a thermocouple gets hot enough from the ignition device (a glow plug on mine, not sure about the rest).

                  1. re: CrazyOne

                    Our 'electric spark' gas stovetop will light with a match if the power goes out, but the gas oven only starts if there is electricity.