If you have never cooked directly on a gas stove’s flame, you might wonder if that’s possible. Especially if you’re new to using gas stoves or planning to get one for the first time, it’s quite normal to have such queries. Well, you may rest assured that you can cook directly on a gas stove. This is, in fact, one of the biggest advantages of having a gas stove – you can both cook in utensils or roast your food in the flame for a smoky flavor.
In this article, I will guide you on everything you need to know about cooking directly on the flame of the gas stove. I hope that by the time you finish reading it, you’ll have answers to all your questions on this matter.
How Is The Flame Generated On Gas Stove?
Let’s first see how the flame on a gas stove is generated in the first place. Your LPG or PNG cylinder contains the gas, but it’s not inflammable yet. Although both LPG and PNG are highly inflammable and contain large amounts of propane and methane, respectively, neither would burn in the absence of oxygen. This is why the flame on the burner doesn’t travel backward through the pipe and combust all the gas along the way.
Now, connected to the control knobs on the gas stove, there’s a nozzle-like component called ‘gas jet’. The gas coming in through the supply pipe gas to pass through this jet to reach the burner. The construction of a gas stove is such that a controlled amount of air from the atmosphere enters the system and mixes with the gas after it has passed through the jet.
Mixed with oxygen, the gas is now inflammable. Upon leaving the burner and coming in touch with a spark or a source of fire, the gas lights up and starts burning. This is how the flame is generated.
In the combustion process, carbon-di-oxide and water vapor are formed from methane and propane. However, in case of incomplete combustion, carbon monoxide is generated. In such cases, the flame color changes to yellow and orange, which indicates the stove needs maintenance.
What Happens When You Cook Roti, Chapati, Or Meat Directly On This Flame?
Baking/roasting rotis directly over a flame is a very common and old practice in India. Although it was traditionally done using wood or coal fires, the use of gas stoves in making rotis has become quite commonplace too. Besides rotis, one can also use a gas flame to roast and char meat to add a nice smoky flavor.
However, while it’s possible to cook directly on a gas flame, you might be wondering if it’s a safe thing to do and what happens to the food when it’s charred by the flame. Well, you can rest assured that it’s perfectly safe to cook on the flame of a gas stove. It will give the food a slightly burnt or charred texture, but that’s quite normal when cooking on a direct flame.
The health concerns over roasting food directly are mostly related to cooking on charcoal, since burning charcoal can release certain carcinogenic compounds into the food. However, both LPG and PNG are much cleaner and don’t release any such harmful elements under normal conditions. You may cook your chapatis or meat directly on the gas flame without any worries.
The Alternative Of Cooking Directly On Gas – Grilling
If you still don’t feel confident about cooking directly on a gas flame or simply aren’t a fan of the method, you may consider grilling your food instead. This is actually a better choice than roasting food directly on the flame, as it delivers much better results. Especially if you’re trying to cook meat, grilled meat would be far tastier than meat charred in a gas flame.
So, how can you grill food on a gas stove? You have two options – you can either use a grill pan or a gas tandoor.
A grill pan is a useful cooking utensil that you may consider buying. It’s simply a frying pan modified to serve as a grill. Rather than being flat, the bottom of the frying pan has several parallel ridges designed into it, resembling a grill tray. You can easily grill meat or vegetables on a grill pan, using it the same way as a regular frying pan.
Your other option is to use a gas tandoor. This is a specialized piece of cookware designed to replicate the function of a tandoor oven. A gas tandoor is essentially a downscaled version of a tandoor oven, usually with a metal body.
Rather than exposing the food directly to the flame, a gas tandoor collects the heat through its base and distributes it to its chamber through a plate placed in between. This chamber contains the food and remains shut with a lid to keep the heat trapped.
You can use a gas tandoor to make a variety of foods, including tandoori naan, lachha paratha, pizzas, etc. Gas tandoors also come with a grill plate that you can use to grill meat and veggies, similar to a barbeque grill. You may even use metal skewers for kebabs and other similar dishes.
Tips For Cooking Directly On Gas Stove
If you’re planning to cook directly on a gas stove’s flame, here are a few tips for you-
- Inspect your gas stove once in a while to make sure it has the right air and gas mixture to prevent carbon monoxide emissions. Cooking on a direct flame may require you to stand in front of the gas stove for long periods of time.
- Cook the food very carefully – you wouldn’t want to burn it by accidentally holding it over the flame for too long.
- Be careful not to burn yourself. Use long skewers to put the food over the flame without getting your hand too close.
Ultimately, you may either cook directly on a gas stove or use a grill pan or gas tandoor. All of these are safe and viable options. As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to worry about any health risks from cooking food on the direct flame. If you like the idea of using a grill pan or a gas tandoor, feel free to buy whichever you prefer. Either one will prove to be a good value for your money.
Between a grill pan and a gas tandoor, the former is lighter, simpler, and easier to use. A gas tandoor, on the other hand, is much more versatile and delivers better results. You may choose whichever suits your needs better. I hope this article has been of help to you and answered your queries regarding cooking directly on a gas stove.