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The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

What factors to consider when choosing whether to cook by gas, electricity or solid fuel

Gas produces heat quickest and is easiest to control: when you turn down the flame on the gas jet there is an instant reduction in temperature. Gas ovens are hotter at the top than the bottom, which is preferable when it is convenient to bake several dishes in the oven at the same time but at slightly different temperatures. The central shelf is usually closest to the temperature the oven is set at, while the top shelf is a few degrees cooler.

Electric ovens and hotplates create no fumes, and ceramic halogen hotplates are almost as quick to heat and easy to control as gas hotplates are. Some electric hotplates can be set at a hand-hot temperature for long periods of time. Like gas ovens, conventional electric ovens do not provide an even heat, but the difference is less acute than with gas. Some electric ovens also offer the option of an automatic timer, which can be set to turn the oven on and off when you are away from the kitchen.

Fan-forced ovens give perfectly even heat throughout an electric oven by means of a fan mounted on the back wall of the oven (which is not practical with gas). This makes the transfer of heat to the food more efficient, so it is cooking at a higher temperature than a conventional oven. Take this into account when setting the oven temperature.

Solid fuel stoves such as Agas and Rayburns use fuel such as wood or coal. They are usually left on all day, ready for use.

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20:32:47 on 07/01/08 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -