There’s more than one great option for these revered cooktops.
Cooking on a gas stove is a preference for many home cooks. Not only does a gas stove tend to distribute heat more rapidly and evenly than an electric cooktop, but gas also allows for more precise temperature control as well. And while it's true that you can technically use just about any cookware on a gas stove that you would on an electric cooktop, the reality is that not all cookware is designed to stand up to the direct flame of a gas stove.
If you’re looking to equip your kitchen with the best cookware for use on gas stoves, we're going into detail on the best cookware materials for gas stoves, as well as the importance of choosing the right cookware for your kitchen.
Whereas an electric cooktop heats up slowly, a gas stove delivers immediate and intense heat directly through a flame that is emitted from the burner itself. This sudden exposure to high levels of heat can cause damage to some cookware over time, especially if it has been cheaply made. Usually, this damage will show up as scorch or burn marks along the bottom and/or sides of the pot or pan.
Meanwhile, gas cooking differs from induction cooking in that the latter transfers heat directly to metal cookware. As a result, induction cooking requires that cookware be made of very specific materials. You can technically use any cookware on a gas stove, but the results may vary based on the quality of the cookware itself.
When cookware isn't made to stand up to gas cooking, you may also notice that it warps over time, becomes discolored along the outer surface, or even develops holes. Poor quality cookware may also result in uneven cooking, leaving your food burnt in some areas and undercooked in other parts.
When shopping specifically for cookware to be used on a gas stove, you should generally look for options that will deliver the best heat retention, stand up to rapid temperature changes, are made of multiple plies (layers of material), and are darker in color to avoid discoloration.
Now that you know why some materials are recommended for cooking on gas stoves while others aren’t, let’s explore some options that are well-suited for usage on gas stoves.
Non-stick pans have a coating made of polytetrafluoroethylene (or PFTE), though the rest of the pan is usually made from an aluminum material such as Stainless Steel. These are preferred by many cooks because food doesn't easily stick or burn to the bottom of the pan, even when cooking with direct gas heat. This also makes for easy clean-up, which is always a bonus. Non-stick pans are also lightweight and easy to work with.
Another great option for gas cooking is Carbon Steel Cookware, made of a durable material that offers many of the benefits of cast iron, but without the heavy weight and higher maintenance. Carbon Steel Cookware also offers a non-stick coating once properly seasoned, which makes for much easier cleaning.
Typically, Stainless Steel pots and pans are layered with other materials, such as copper or aluminum, since stainless steel on its own is a poor heat conductor. Home and professional chefs alike enjoy that this cookware is lightweight and easy to work with, while retaining a sleek look in the kitchen. Likewise, Stainless Steel cookware is versatile in that it can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven itself.
One potential issue when cooking with Stainless Steel Cookware, especially on a gas stove, is that it does not have a non-stick surface. As a result, food can easily stick to the bottom of a stainless steel pan and burn. If you're looking for a stainless steel pan or pot to use on a gas stove, look for an option that's bonded for the most even distribution of heat.
Made of a combination of iron and carbon, cast iron pots and pans are the most durable out there. They're also great for conducting heat evenly, making them ideal for use on gas stoves. Plus, they're durable enough to be used on both stove tops and in ovens.
Despite being heavier, cast iron cookware offers excellent heat retention. With a little care, this type of cookware can easily last for generations.
When you choose the right cookware for a gas stove, your dishes will turn out even better. Whether you end up going with Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Cast Iron, or Non Stick, we have you covered with options that are designed to last a lifetime.