How to Light a Gas Stove or Oven

by Hannah Stephens
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Despite their downsides, gas ovens or stoves give you more control over your cooking by allowing you to adjust the temperature more precisely.

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However, using a gas appliance can initially seem confusing, especially if you're used to more straightforward electric models.

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Step by Step: How to Turn on and Use a Gas Stove

Lighting a gas stove or oven is a little more complicated than using an electric model. The following instructions explain how to turn on a gas stove or oven step-by-step.

How to Use a Gas Stove With a Separate Igniter

How to light a gas stove depends on whether you have a separate or integrated igniter. The igniter uses electricity to create a spark that lights the gas to produce a flame. If your gas stove has a separate igniter, you'll see a button that controls the igniter and separate knobs to control the gas supply to each burner.

Step 1: Push the Igniter Button

First, locate the igniter button and press it down firmly. The igniter will make a clicking sound as it sparks.

Step 2: Turn the Burner Knob

As soon as the igniter starts sparking, turn the knob of the burner you wish to use to the on position. Turning the knob will allow gas to flow to the burner. The gas will ignite when it contacts the igniter spark.

Step 3: Adjust the Flame

Adjusting the position of the burner knob will adjust the flame height by changing the amount of gas reaching the burner. You can turn the burner off by turning the knob back to the off position.

If the igniter is broken or you need to use your stove during a power cut, you can light the stove using a long match or lighter wand. Generally, it's best to light the match before turning the burner on to prevent large amounts of gas from building up around your stove and causing a fire risk. Light the match or wand, hold it over the burner and turn the knob on. The gas should light instantly.

How to Use a Gas Stove With an Integrated Igniter

Using a gas stove with an integrated igniter is significantly easier because the igniter sparks automatically whenever you turn on the burner knob. Depending on your model, you may need to press the knob down as you turn. When you're finished cooking, turn the burner off by returning the knob to the starting position.

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How to Light a Gas Oven

Most modern gas ovens have integrated pilot lights, so lighting your oven is usually as straightforward as turning the control knobs to your chosen temperature. Turning the oven on automatically creates an ignition spark and releases gas into the burner tubes.

However, you may need to light older-style gas ovens manually using long matches or a wand lighter. This can also come in handy if you lose the electricity supply to your oven and need to light it without the electric igniter.

Step 1: Locate the Pilot Assembly

You can usually find the pilot assembly below the range top or between the oven drawers. Remove accessories such as grills or trays before lighting the oven.

Step 2: Turn on the Gas Supply and Light the Pilot Light

Next, turn the corresponding knob on your oven to the on position to release gas into the burner tubes. You should then light the pilot light as quickly as possible by placing a lit match or lighter wand between the two burner tubes. Leaving the gas on too long before lighting the pilot light could allow a dangerous amount of gas to accumulate inside your oven.

Step 3: Know When to Call a Professional

You should now be able to adjust the temperature of your oven without the pilot light going out. If you keep having to relight the pilot light, there could be a problem with the gas supply or oven components. In this situation, it's safest to turn your oven off and call a professional to diagnose and fix the issue.

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Safety Precautions for Gas Stoves and Ovens

Smelling gas when your stove or oven is switched off often signifies a gas leak. You should never use your stove or oven if you smell gas because lighting the igniter could cause any accumulated gas to burst into flames, potentially leading to a serious injury or house fire. Turn off the gas control valve at the meter to shut off the supply to your oven or stove, and open the windows to allow fresh air inside your home. Next, evacuate all people and animals from the building and call a gas engineer to locate and fix the leak.

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