May 01, 2005

Update On The *&%$#! Gas Oven

I read everyone's comments and to be quite truthful, I swore you were all insane and stoned if you thought I was going to put a match inside my oven. Also? Since this is my very first experience with lighting a gas oven, I had no idea where to put the match.

However, hunger over took me and as all I have to eat is week old grapes, water, mustard and a pizza, I decided that if I was going to die, it would not be of starvation. I decided to give the stupid oven another try.

I don't have any matches, long or short and there is no way in hell I'm lighting it with a lighter so after much thought, I grabbed an incense stick. I looked inside the oven for the "hole" on the floor near the hinge as Jeffro suggested and I found myself staring at a few holes in the floor of the thing. I looked to the top and saw where the gas comes least I think that's where it comes out. It looks threatening so surely that must be where the deadly gas that waits to blow up the kitchen lurks. I waved the incense stick around hoping the thing would "ignite", (oh my gawd that still gives me the willies), but nothing happened.

I quickly lost my nerve, opened up the door leading to the back entrance and waited for the gas to air out. Nonetheless, I was determined to do this because you all spoke as if it was perfectly normal to go sticking matches inside gas ovens and gave me enough confidence that maybe nothing bad would happen. Not a lot, mind you, but a little.

I worked up my courage again and opened the door once more. I saw that one hole on the floor of the oven looked different than the others. This one was perfectly round. It seemed to be in a logical place for lighting although it was not by the hinge and was actually towards the middle of the oven. (Note to self: Do indeed pull my hair back and never wear long sleeves while doing this.)

Turning the knob, I stuck the incense stick at the hole and waited. Nothing. I placed it at the lip of the hole. Nothing. Well now I'm getting ticked that this contraption was outsmarting me so I shoved the incense stick all the way into the hole.


Needless to say, I jumped back but that damn thing was lit! I stood there and stared at it for awhile to make sure the flame and gas would not decide to fully engulf the entire oven, licking it with flames. I adjusted the temp to the 400 degrees that was required for the pizza.

Seemed to be alright. So I stuck the pizza in and stood guard over the oven just in case. (Remind me to get a fire extinguisher. I can't believe the landlord didn't provide a fire extinguisher. Now I have to go buy one.) Of course while this pizza was cooking, every odd smell or weird noise, no matter where it came from, (outside even), I was convinced something was wrong with the gas oven and my heart raced while I stood there, stressed and ready to attack for 14 minutes.

Although the pizza probably could have used another one or two minutes, I took it out and finally, 12 hours later, I had pizza. I have succeeded in conquering my gas oven.

This does not mean that I like it. I still hate it. I tested the oven out after turning it off to see if it would just come on on its own like the burners do. (I never had to "light" the burners. I turned the knob, waited a little bit and they lit themselves. Every time after that they come on immediately.) No. Of course not. That would be silly. It appears I'm going to have to light this stupid thing every single time I want to put something in the oven. Double plus unthrilled.

The other thing I don't like about gas ovens and stoves for that matter? For some this is a plus but not for me. I'm used to waiting for burners and ovens to heat up and I'm used to cooking time going along with what the packaging says on the food.

Example, my pizza declared that I would need to wait for the oven to warm up to 400 degrees and then it would take approximately 19-21 minutes for the pizza to fully cook. It didn't take very long for the oven to be hotter than hell and my pizza was 99% done in 14 minutes. That's a 5-7 minute difference people. Same thing goes for the burners. I have a good idea how long it takes to make eggs or hamburgers or chicken on an electrical stove top but a gas stove top cooks your food in like .00038 seconds. You have no idea just how much food I have burned while trying to get used to gas stoves and ovens. That sets off another fear. The damn smoke detector. I hate those things too. Sure they save your life if you are sleeping and fire breaks out but they like to go off at the slightest whiff of smoke so not only do you have an ear drum piercing siren going off, all the neighbors in your apartment building now know that you can't cook for shit. Of course this is not before you have worried them or caused them panic at the noise.

Maybe I'll just go back to microwaving everything.

Regardless, if it was not for you kind folks acting like it was no big deal and the one reader who gave me an idea where to even look TO light the farkin thing, I would still be staring at a frozen pizza, stomach growling and wondering how well mustard would taste on grapes.

Stay tuned for my next big adventure when I visit the dentist next Tuesday.

(cue horror music and screams)

Yah, I hate the dentist too. In case you are noticing a trend, yes, I hate just about anything that can potentially cause me pain or makes loud noises. What can I say? I'm a quiet little mouse who wants to be left alone. Of course I rarely ever get my way. See, I don't want people poking or prodding at me, telling me, "You've got 6 months to live" or "You have a disease we've never heard of before" or, "Sorry lass, we have to yank all of your teeth out because you didn't floss on a regular basis" (followed by maniacal laughter and 'I told you so's'), or "You are under arrest for not knowing how to light your gas oven properly and took out three apartment complexes and half a hotel. You're going to rot in jail for the rest of your life", or any number of things where I may be met with less than desirable news. No, I'm not dramatic.....I think I've read too many books and have an over active imagination. And that's just the thoughts I conjure up while conscious and alert. You should see my dreams and nightmares. I put Stephen King to shame.

Posted by S. Faolan Wolf at May 1, 2005 01:20 PM

Now you faced your fear didn't you? ;-) You'll get used to it. And if you like pork, gas ovens make the best crackling/pork rinds. Yeah Dentists suck - you have given me inspiration for a post later on!

Posted by: Ruth at May 1, 2005 09:44 PM

I don't mind gas stoves, but gas ovens are just plain evil. I lucked out and got a gas stove with an electric oven. Well, I'd actually prefer all electric, but ooh, pretty flames...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at May 2, 2005 01:14 AM

Welcome to MuNu! Yay!

Posted by: RP at May 2, 2005 08:12 AM

Ok, go to WalMart and buy a lighter that is used for BBQ's. It has a long end and you won't have to stick your hand all the way in there.
We had an old gas oven when I was a kid. Maybe you can convince the landlord to get you a new one that is self lighting. Those are nice!

Posted by: SailGirl at May 2, 2005 04:51 PM

Ruth: Yes I faced it but with great reluctance. As for getting used to it, yah, just like the burners, I will but I'll never like them. I can't wait to see the post you are going to write about dentists...I presume?

Pixy: It's the pretty flames that cause me concern. Electric all the way for me too.


SailGirl: I'm going to go with matches. I'm having a hard enough time going through with this...I simply cannot muster up the courage to do it with a lighter which also contains fuel....mix that with the gas? No...Murphy likes to meddle in my life too much.

Posted by: S. Faolan Wolf at May 3, 2005 01:15 AM

Glad I could help! I'd bet there are lots of places different manufacturers put their holes for lighting the oven. I seem to remember some have a "sparker" like some of the gas outdoor grilles, too.

Another option for matches: cigar matches. I live in an old farmhouse with a propane stove for heat. Seems like every several years, the thermocouple goes out - that is the device that kills the gas if the pilot light goes out. BTW, default is when it fails, the gas is shut off. This means that no matter how well you read the instructions, the pilot light will not light - because the failed thermocouple is not allowing that to happen. I have the cigar matches - which are long wooden matches - on hand just to relight the stove. Gas water heaters are equipped the same.

The old old gas stove I used had only one set of burners - at the bottom. It had a tray underneath the oven for broiling. Electric ovens have elements at the top and bottom for broiling with only one door necessary.

There are times I would like to modernize my heating system, but when the power goes out, I have heat without purchasing a generator. With an electric stove and no power, that means breaking out the camping equipment.

Gas stoves certainly heat up quicker and the heat is easier to adjust quickly and regulate. It took me a while to adjust to an electric stove - damn thing was slow all the time. However, I'll stick with the electric stove - pans stay cleaner on the bottom, and I can wait the extra three minutes it takes to heat up a pan or oven.

The local electric cooperative has a promotion where they will reimburse the cost of an electric water heater (that they stock) to replace a gas one, so when my old gas one went south, guess what happened. Heh. They never even cashed the check - just held on to it til they inspected the installation. When I get rich and famous, I'll build an all electric house and have a generator, just in case.

Posted by: Jeffro at May 3, 2005 10:40 PM

Did you try turning the knob all the way to the right (or left), waiting for the clicks and the stove lighting? My last gas range had an "electronic ignition", and that is all it took..turn it all the way to which ever side, wait for the clicks..and have the cooking flame. (Same goes for the stove)

Posted by: Alyssa at May 31, 2005 05:39 PM

OMG my thoughts exactly! I just moved to a place with a gas stove and oven...just like you describe, and I've only had electric before. I was laughing so hard when I read this because it's EXACTLY how I feel. I think too, that my oven pilot light has gone out...but what do I know...I don't remember where it was last time I saw it. I think I smell gas all the time, but I think its just a figment of my imagination...the gas company came out and said it doesn't smell and there is no leak. I felt much better after that... but now I'm worried that the pilot is out and the apt is going to blow up.

Posted by: princessslacker at July 5, 2005 10:02 PM
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