Natural Gas Cooking Tips
The holidays are here and with any holiday and family gathering, food is always a centerpiece. Christmas and New Year’s gatherings are filled with smells of cooking ham, baking cakes, and simmering sauces.
In preparation of holiday cooking, Santanna Energy has put together a list of natural gas cooking tips that are sure to make your holiday meal preparation a snap whether you’re working on a stovetop, oven, or grill.
Natural Gas Stovetop Tips
If you have a combustion stovetop, try not to turn on too much gas before you light the burner. Allowing too much gas out can make the flame jump up too high when you finally light your stove and risks a fire inside the house. It’s much better to let a little gas out, light the burner with a low flame, and adjust.
Remember that natural gas stovetops don’t require the same warm up time as electric stoves. If you’re used to placing the pan on your stove and walking away to let it warm up, the same cannot be done for your gas cooktop. Working with an open flame means faster warm up times. When you turn on your gas and light the burner, you need to be ready to go to make sure you don’t burn the bottom of your pan or cause a fire.
Similarly, remember that cool down times are just as fast with natural gas grills. Some cooks, after their food is done, like to let their food sit on the pan and cook for a little bit longer as the heat dissipates from the coil. Cool down on a stovetop is almost instantaneous. Be sure that when you turn off your stovetop, your food is completely done and doesn’t need extra time.
Gas Oven Tips
For using gas ovens, take care to note what type of dish you’re making. When making baked goods such as breads, cookies, and cakes, make sure to preheat the oven five to ten minutes until it has reached optimal temperature before placing in your cookie or cake batters. Breads and other baked goods need precise temperature in order to rise and cook correctly. Make sure your gas oven’s interior has reach the specified temperature before placing baked goods inside to bake.
Meat dishes such as casseroles or roasts need less precise temperature, however. Note that any food baked in a non-preheated oven will take a longer time to cook than if placed in a preheated oven. This is because the temperature inside of the oven must reach the temperature hot enough to cook your food along with the time it takes for the dish to finish.
Additionally, since baking relies on an oven’s bottom heating element, make sure when baking that you avoid crowding the bottom rack with food. This tip is especially important when holiday cooking is involved, and you are trying to cook multiple dishes at the same time.
In general, try to avoid opening the oven door to check on your food, as well. Opening the oven door could let in colder air into the oven’s interior and cause uneven oven temperature. For more consistent, faster, and more accurate cooking temperatures, try to keep your oven door closed while cooking.
Natural Gas Grill & Broiler Tips
Gas broilers or grills sear and cook foods by exposing it directly to a gas-powered flame. The best cuts of meat for this type of cooking are the more tender cuts such as tenderloin steaks or boneless chops.
Less tender cuts of meat, such as top round steaks, fare much better after being marinated. Sometimes, marinating a meat for up twenty-four hours will help your meat cook better on a grill or broiler. Remember also that meats cooked with flavorful sugar-based rubs such as barbecue or honey rubs need to be grilled at lower temperatures to prevent charring. Take a more “low and slow” approach to grilling meats with sugar-based sauces when working on a gas grill.
In terms of meat doneness, if cooking steak to medium doneness, place food closer to the flame or heat source. For well done foods, it is best to place food farther from the flame or heat element and cook for longer periods of time.
Additionally, when working with a gas grill, flame flare ups can occur. When fire gets too high, the flame should be controlled not fought. It is best to keep a section of your grill vacant so you can move food to that section should flare ups occur during grilling. Let the fire in the flare up burn down before replacing food in that section. If the fire gets too out of control, remove all food items, turn off the grill and gas, and let the fire die down on its own.
There are many benefits to working with a gas grill this holiday season. They allow for more precise cooking temperatures and more varied food preparation. If you need gas services for your natural gas cooking appliances this holiday season, contact the knowledgeable staff about the best prices for your family. Take advantage of our rewards program for even more savings this holiday season.