Gas hobs in South Africa have proven to be our best friends as ongoing load-shedding coincides with family meal preparation time. In those moments when you can’t even boil the kettle for a calming cup of tea, the usefulness of a gas cooktop began to dawn.
Inadequate electricity supply from power grids in most cities and suburbs is not going to go away. Sensible South African homeowners install gas hobs or buy gas stoves to maintain a semblance of normality in the chaos. Thankfully, there are plenty to choose from and you need to know what’s out there to select just the right product for you.
Why Choose Gas?
Did you know that a gas burner is essential to top restaurant chefs who cannot prepare many of their signature dishes without them? The open flame enables the burning off of peppers and brinjals in piping hot pans for specialized menu items.
Like chefs, home cooks are starting to appreciate both the heat control capability and heat distribution delivered to cookware possible via the humble gas hob. Experience unmatched cooking as you sear your steak to perfection on a high flame or slowly tumble your scrambled eggs on a gentle setting. Alternatively, ratatouille loves the medium heat that gas hobs visually assure you of time and again.
We will guide you through key considerations such as:
- Are gas hobs being phased out in South Africa?
- What should I look for when buying a gas hob?
- Which gas hob surface options are right for me?
- How many gas hob heating zones do I need?
- What about stovetop cleaning?
- Are there gas and electric hob combos available?
- Are gas hob and electric oven combs stoves a good idea?
After taking this quick tour of options, benefits, and key factors that will weigh in on your choices, you can look forward with confidence to selecting the best option for your situation.
Are Gas Hobs Being Phased Out In South Africa?
The short answer to this question is, ‘Not yet, not by a long shot.’ Thanks to Eskom’s ongoing problems with inadequate electricity grids in one place after another, gas hobs are actually becoming more popular than ever. South African householders are ready to replace the electric stoves of yesteryear with today’s innovative gas hobs.
Cooking-oriented reality TV shows continually demonstrate what can be achieved using the open flame in cooking and home cooks are being duly inspired.
Remember that your hob is likely the visual epicentre of your kitchen, so eye-appeal is the real deal here! It mustn’t only cook good, it needs to look good too.
What Should I Look For When Buying A Gas Hob?
First off, remember that open flame burners are susceptible to wind, so ensure your hob is situated away from drafts. Available space is your other limitation. After that, the world is your oyster when it comes to what’s available out there for you.
Which Gas Hob Surface Options Are Right For Me?
Stainless steel surfaces are the most familiar along with coloured metal surfaces. The benefit here is the shallow wells for each gas point that keep cookware stable for one thing besides facilitating easy spillage containment and cleaning.
Ceramic/Glass top gas hobs are very popular although you need to watch out that you don’t crack or scratch them. A glass hob is sleek and stylish of course, so where design and decor matter, they don’t disappoint.
Which Gas Hob Ignition Options Are Available?
Every kitchen appliance needs to be easy to operate, right? Automatic ignition means at the bush of a button or the turn of a knob gives you instant flame. The only time you’ll need a match to light your gas stovetop is in the event of load shedding or if you are just opting for a little two-plate gas stovetop for emergencies.
Check out the safety features of your preferred brand, and look out for the convenience of a flame failure safety device.
How Many Gas Hob Heating Zones Do I Need?
Depending on the size of the hob, you can exceed the regular 4 burner gas hob and add a fifth or sixth burner. Often a specially fitted wok burner is situated in the centre, some even boast a tripe flame wok burner.
You will also need to consider how many burners you might run at once and the size of the cookware you use most often. For single people, even four burners may be excessive. Rest assured that there are handsome 2 burner gas hobs for small apartments or holiday homes.
What About Stovetop Cleaning?
However lip-smacking your last meal was, no one wants to see traces of it all over the hob. Self-cleaning hobs are still to come!
The best you can do is to choose a hob with dishwasher-proof pan supports. Good quality cast iron pan supports can be soaked in hot, soapy water in the sink to remove grime.
Are There Gas And Electric Hob Combos In South Africa?
Though not available in all South African stores, this is not a tall order at all. It is entirely possible to have three gas burners and one electric burner or, two of each. When it comes to your kitchen appliances, you deserve to get exactly what you need seeing that cooking is a central part of life and much time is spent on it.
The beauty of combination cooking on a hob is not only that you can cook when the power outages hit, but you can use the open flame precisely when you need it and keep the electric plates for slow-cooked stews and soups.
Are Gas Hob And Electric Oven Combination Stoves A Good Idea?
Gas hobs win hands down on efficiency and cooking ease. However, for some, a hob may be out of the question. No problem. Free-standing gas stoves are simple to install and work a treat. The jury is out, however, on whether a gas oven is better than an electric one. Some prefer the uniform heating of an electric oven, while others trust the tech and are happy to work with a gas oven.
Conversely, convection or electric ovens heat evenly and often have fan capability to ensure even distribution of heat. Enter the gas stovetop and electric oven combination. It is the perfect answer for most home cooks.
Of course, the downside here is that you can’t cook your roast or bake the cake in an electric oven during load-shedding. You will no doubt rediscover the joy of pot tasting and pancakes!
Credit to Hirsch’s