Despite the ever-growing popularity of induction hobs, gas hobs remain the weapon-of-choice for armies of chefs – both professional and amateur. The advantages of gas are obvious: primarily the fact you get immediate, direct heat, and that you can easily monitor the strength of the flame (and in turn the heat).
To get the best from your gas hob, however, you’ll need to keep it clean. Let grime accumulate around the burner and it will start to smell (to say nothing of how unhygienic it will be). What’s more, if the burners become clogged, the flow of gas will be blocked and the flame will gradually weaken.
1. Cleaning a gas hob safely
Gas hobs are potentially very dangerous (if you don’t know what you’re doing, at least). Before you do anything else, put out the pilot light – either by flicking the switch, or, if you’re the owner of an older hob, by blowing out the flame.
If you’ve just used the hob, give it around twenty minutes to cool down before you begin cleaning.
2. Unclogging the hob
If the vents themselves are blocked, you’ll need to unblock them. You won’t need to delve too deep – you’re just looking to remove any dirt that’s settled around the port hole. Don’t use anything that’s likely to break off – toothpicks or matchsticks, for example. Trying to fish tiny splinters out of the inside of a gas hob is not much fun! Instead, wipe with a damp cloth.
3. Soaking the parts
Gas hobs come with removable parts that are designed to be soaked in hot water occasionally. For best results, you’ll want a mixture of one-part hot water and one-part baking soda – those bubbles will soften the grease, allowing you to scrub it off with ease. If you need something a bit more abrasive, add a little ammonia to the solution.
Naturally, you don’t want water to find its way into the burner, so dry the plates thoroughly before replacing them.
4. Wipe the cooker hood
The hob itself and the surface of the cooker hood both accumulate grease and grime, so now is the ideal time to get rid of it. Be sure that you don’t spray liquids directly into the hood, and wipe thoroughly to remove any stray pieces of food residue. Don’t forget to wipe the rear wall, too – it’s very common for food to splatter and settle there as you cook.
5. Relight the pilot light
Once everything’s replaced, you’ll be able to relight the pilot light according the manufacturer’s instructions.
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Want to learn more about gas hobs? Read our article: Buying a Gas Hob