7 mistakes everyone makes with gas hobs

The most common gas hob mistakes and how to avoid them

Mistakes everyone makes with gas hobs
(Image credit: Callum Hill / Unsplash)

While it might seem like an old fashioned way of cooking, many home cooks and professional chefs prefer using the best gas hobs to make their meals. The main reason for this is gas hobs offer immediate heat incredibly quickly, give you better control over temperature and respond to heat changes faster than electric or induction hobs.

But with all methods of cooking, it’s easy to make a few mistakes here and there, and the same can be said with gas hobs. From using the wrong pan to not cleaning your stove properly, these simple mistakes can impact the taste, smell and look of your food, and can potentially damage your hob.

In general, you want to be slightly more careful with a gas hob compared to the best induction hobs as they release gas. If you forget to turn the gas off, you can breathe in the fumes which can be harmful to your lungs, and if you set a match, you could easily start a fire.

To help you avoid any mishaps, here are seven mistakes everyone makes with gas hobs and how not to make them.

1. Using the wrong size pan on the wrong size burner

The biggest mistake everyone makes with gas hobs is using the wrong size pan on the wrong size burner. Depending on the gas hob you have, chances are you have at least four burners in varying sizes. Each burner is designed for a different use, for example, a small burner is better for simmering water and slow cooking, whereas larger burners are best suited for heating food quickly as they conduct more heat.

With this in mind, it makes sense to use appropriately sized pans for your burners, so small pans should be used on your small burners and larger pots should be used on large burners. Not only does this ensure your food cooks well and evenly, but it can also help you save money on your gas bill. See our guide to the best saucepan sets for our top picks.

2. Not using the right temperature settings

One of the many benefits of using a gas hob is their responsiveness, as they adapt to temperature changes insanely quickly, unlike electric hobs which take longer to heat up or cool down. While this is very handy for cooking, it’s easy for you to overuse the wrong temperature settings, like blasting the heat to warm up the pan only to burn your food when you add it in.

To avoid these issues, stick to the right temperature settings for the task at hand. For example, if you’re boiling water, a higher heat can get it rolling quicker but then it should be adjusted to a lower heat when food is added. Jumping between low and high temperatures can cause burning, so stick to slowly adjusting the heat to cook your food properly and safely.

Mistakes everyone makes with gas hobs

(Image credit: Pixabay / Pexels)

3. Not checking the flame colour

As gas hobs produce an open flame, it’s important to keep an eye on the colour of the flame to ensure your stove is in good condition and to keep yourself safe. Your gas hob’s flame should always be blue as this means the gas is safe to use. If your flame is yellow, orange or red, this is a sign that there’s something wrong with your hob, like incomplete combustion. Using a flame with the wrong colour can result in carbon monoxide poisoning and other issues, so if your flame isn’t blue, you should turn off the burners immediately, ventilate your kitchen and organise a professional to come and inspect your hob.

4. Ignoring your extractor fan

Oftentimes, many people might forget to turn on their extractor fan or range hood when cooking. Not only does this result in smoke and gas dangerously circulating around your kitchen, but the fumes surround your food, resulting in your meal smelling and tasting wrong. To avoid this, turn on your extractor fan to get rid of any excess gas and smoke to keep your home safe and pollutant-free.

5. Overcrowding your pans

If you’re cooking for a large group of people, you might be tempted to chuck everything in a pan to make your meal quicker. But overcrowding your pan can cause your meal to cook unevenly, so the food at the top is undercooked while the food at the bottom is burnt. Instead, use a bigger pan for bigger portions and avoid putting too much food into one pan at a time.

Best gas hob: Neff T27DS59N0

6. Forgetting to turn off the gas!

This is probably one of the biggest and most dangerous mistakes you can make with a gas hob. It’s also the main reason why I don’t have a gas hob, as I’m terrified that I’ll forget to turn it off and accidentally cause a fire! Unfortunately, gas hobs don’t turn off automatically when you remove your food from the heat, so if you’re used to using induction burners, you’ll have to remember to switch off the gas.

If you forget, the flame from your gas hob can potentially burn someone. If the flame is gone but the gas is still going, flumes can fill your house which are dangerous to breathe in and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. So, as soon as you’ve finished cooking, turn off the gas immediately.

7. Neglecting to clean it and get it serviced

Cleaning your hob isn’t the most exciting task but it’s important to do it regularly to keep everything clean, hygienic and working efficiently. To clean your gas hob, remove the burner grates and wipe down the surface to get rid of stains and food residue. For the burners, you can detach the head of the burner and clean it thoroughly to remove burnt food and to clear the gas flows, although I’d recommend getting a professional to do this for you to avoid any issues.

Speaking of gas flows, you might notice that your ignitor keeps clicking or sparking when out of use. These are signs that the ignition is blocked or damaged. If you notice ignition issues, any strange smells or changes to the flames and burners, you should stop using it immediately and get a professional to come and look at it.

If you prefer an induction cooker, check out these 7 mistakes everyone makes with induction hobs.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!