?Isolated experiments aimed at the development of gas stoves were in progress as early as 1820 and though gas stoves were patented in 1826, they only became a commercial success much later in the 19th century. This was largely because of slow developments in gas supply networks. The first gas stoves were very large and did not fit into most kitchens. Smaller designs came on the market and they were also coated with enamel which made the stoves easier to clean than their older counterparts.
Gas stoves employ two types of ignition sources namely standing pilot and electric. A standing pilot gas stove has a continuously burning flame between the front and back burner. The flame ignites the gas when the stove is turned on. Gas stoves that use the standing pilot system do not rely on any other power source. Unfortunately, keeping the flame burning all the time, even when the stove is not being used, consumes a lot of fuel. Modern gas stoves have electronic ignition systems where electric sparks ignite the burner. This usually accompanied by a clicking sound when the stove is turned on. These gas stoves have a heating element that heats up as per users command.
There is much debate about the better of gas and electric stoves that are plugged into an electric power supply. Generally, electric stoves are cheaper to purchase than gas stoves, but in the long run, gas stoves are the economical option because gas is a cheaper fuel than electric power. Both these types of stoves include self-cleaning functionalities. Standing pilot gas stoves require care and vigilance on the homeowner’s part as the constant flame poses a threat of fire. Flammable liquids or substances must not be handled or kept anywhere near the stove. The pilot light must be switched of in an emergency or if the homeowner is planning an extended period of absence. Another danger associated with gas stoves is leaking gas which could result in dangerous explosions. Electric stoves are reasonably safer than gas stoves but the usual safety precautions for handling electric appliances must be taken.