One of the many cookbooks I own is titled “Help! There’s a Stove in my Kitchen”, written by local gal Annabel Frere. I love the name of her book besides all the lovely home style recipes. Nonetheless, that’s not the reason for writing this article. I am in fact writing about stove’s, however more precisely about my gas cooker.
When I bought my cooker 4 years ago I specifically sought after a large oven with lots of stove top plates for the reason that I was doing a great deal of hospitality cooking thus preparing meals for up to 40 people at a time. I needed a large stove!
The one I chose was an Elba Gas Cooker, it was perfect. It had 5 ring burners; 2 large, 2 small and 1 fish burner. The Elba was even equipped with a rotisserie which, to this day, I still haven’t used. At the time of purchase, the house that my husband and I had bought was still under renovations hence we hadn’t moved in yet. We were living in the Church Manse and were only scheduled to move into our new home in 4 to 6 months’ time, resulting in my beautiful brand new gas cooker remaining bubble wrapped in the lounge of the Rectory until it was time to move.
Four years almost to the month and my trusted Gas Cooker has been working faithfully every day, some days all day long.
What I didn’t realize when it was finally installed in our new house was that the oven was also gas and not electric. That aspect of the oven had completely slipped my mind when deciding on which one to buy.
Most brands of stoves have the option of either an electric oven with gas burners or both a gas oven and gas burners. I didn’t realize that I’d purchased a gas oven. It wasn’t a serious faux pas; I was frankly quite pleased I’d made that mistake. It just meant something new to learn plus get my head around.
I didn’t burn too many cakes, undercook too many chickens or grill the lasagna to a charred brick of mincemeat and cheese. All things considered, it was a short, effective learning experience as I now consider myself quite a gas cooking, gas baking pro.
I thought it would be fun and different if I wrote about some of my favourite kitchen items in between writing about what I’ve recently cooked or baked. I chose my gas cooker as the first article because it’s the busiest workhorse in the kitchen. If I’m not frying eggs and grilling bacon in the mornings, my husband’s making coffee on the stove top with his Bialetti Coffee Maker, I’m cooking lunch and supper or there’s something baking in the oven. Despite the gas cooker being constantly busy, it remains cost effective. I buy a 9kg bottle of gas every 2nd month which costs me in the region of R160.00.
Some of the features of gas which I gleaned from the Gastrek website (www.gastrek.co.za)
1. Gas is the #1 choice for Chefs worldwide
2. Gas gives instant heat and total control
3. Gas costs less and saves time
4. Gas cooks faster than electricity
5. No power failures
6. Gas keeps moisture in when baking with a gas oven
7. Save up to 33% on your electricity bill
One of the features that I without question love about my cooker is that even when there’s a power failure, I can still cook. All you need to do is turn the control knob on for whichever burner you want to use, strike a match and voila! The same applies when lighting the oven burner. Take extra caution all the same when working with gas and the open flame of a match.
The oven and stove top is easy to keep clean. Using a damp cloth with sunlight dish washing liquid, simply wipe clean. I likewise clean the individual plates in hot soapy water. The inside of the glass oven door can be tricky since I found that oven cleaner doesn’t work for me. Instead, I take a wad of very fine steel wool and once more using sunlight dishwashing liquid, I gently wipe the inside of the oven door which proves to be very effective since the glass is as good as new again.
Without doubt, my Elba Gas Cooker is one of my best purchases to date.