Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

New Apartment, Gas Stove (I'm Used to Electric), Baking Challenges - HELP!

I haven't been on Cakes We Bake for a long time due to the moving. I have baked a couple of snacking cakes and pumpkin pies (had an epic fail there, with a pie that fell on the floor).

Friends tell me that pro bakers prefer gas stoves, so I'm willing to learn, but I'm having the following issues. Maybe some of you would be kind enough to help me out.

  • There is no oven hood or way to vent, and even the tiniest odor makes my hyper-sensitive fire/CO detector go off. I've had to resort to covering the detector while I bake - which is about all I can do, and then remember to uncover it afterward so it can do its job of possibly saving my life. Problem is, in the wintertime, even after baking, if there is anything of smokelike particles remaining in the air that could set that puppy off, I can't just open windows when it's freezing cold outside. I have employed a mini-fan and the apartment's fan system, which help some.
  • There is no oven light that illuminates the entire oven so I can easily check on the progress of my baked goods. I don't know if such a thing even exists - because if it were an electric light, that'd be dangerous to have around gas, no? Or is there a special kind? All I got when I Googled was how to light the pilot light.
  • This isn't about the oven, but if anyone has tips on how to bake nice cakes and decorate in a small kitchen, please pass those along as well!

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Well Bunny

I don't have a gas stove, but if I did, I would call my local gas company for advice. That venting thing just doesn't sound right to me. The Apt may not be up to code. It is ridiculous that every little odor etc., sets off the alarm!!!!

Also, go into a store that specializes in gas stoves. Explain your perdicament. I am sure they can help you with your questions. They can't really sell you anything, as being in a Apt., your not responsible for your appliances.  No oven light??  That is strange. My girlfriend had a gas stove for years, a older model, and she had a oven light. They are installed in such a way that it doesn't affect the gas or the oven operating. 

Hope this advice helps. :o)

Thanks, June, it does. One friend suggested getting the model # and downloading the manual for the stove, which I intend to do. There are also kitchen supply stores in my town and I might see if there's such a thing as a freestanding light unit - but I'm not going to buy something pricey since I don't know how long I'll be staying at this location - could be years, could be shorter than that.

I sure hope it isn't a code issue, because I don't need anymore disruption in my life - on the other hand, I suppose if it needs to be fixed it needs to be fixed.

And yes, I will check at the appliance departament of a store soon, too.   :)

Well if it is a "code" violation Bunny, that is not your resposibility, but the owner of the Apt building to fix.  And that is also a excellent suggestion about downloading the manual. Even contacting the manufacturer might help. My sister gave me a couple of phones years ago, but no manual. I downloaded one and that solved all my problems on how to use it.

Do you have a attached D/R???  The reason I ask is that before my hubby just put in a new kitchen, I had a island I bought from Ikea for storage & used it to chop, roll out pastry, fondant, etc. It took up the space  of a kitchen table, and we ate at our D/R table.  Don't know how big your kitchen is, but typically you probably have a "galley" kitchen.  If you can't afford a Island, you can buy table tops and "legs" from places like Home Depot. My Island was waist height. Perfect for preparing. You might even scour the internet, Sally Ann and find a used Island.  You have so many other stores & options than I have here in Canada where you might finda a used tall table or Island.

Gas stoves can have lights in them and they usually do. As for the fire alarm, I hear you on that. I have to constantly open up the windows and back door because it goes off from the slightest bit of smoke. When I'm frying something, I cover the darn thing. Ventilation is usually only necessary when you have a stove top that throws off a lot of heat, i.e. a 6 burner cook top.

Well, guess what! (And do I feel like a dummy!) I decided to take a flashlight and look again for a light. Didn't find one - but did find that the cleaning crew had forgotten to wipe out the top of the oven - the rest was so spanking clean I just trusted all was well. When I described the gunk to my friend she said it was probably the oven cleaner residue - eeeww! No wonder I was getting all kinds of warnings! I'm glad I didn't serve any of these baked goods to friends. And I've eaten them and am not dead or even sick, but I'll feel much better with that oven thoroughly cleaned, and will not make that mistake again of taking anything for granted.

I just moved into a new home with a gas stove after 35 years of cooking on an electric stove... I understand what you are talking about but what I don't understand is the no ventelation.  That just does not sound right at all.  Or safe at all.  I have been having good luck baking in the gas oven.  Was determined it would not work but am adapting ok!  I'd have the vent deal checked out... you would not want to die of gas fumes that you can not smell.

Exactly Jeri

This is what I had said in my post above. Doesn't seem right. Ventilation is always important, but with gas it is very important. Actually I was surprised that an Apt building would have gas stoves because of the difficulty of venting.

I understand perhaps with the inside of the oven not completely clean the "smoking" from the residue. We have very strict codes here for gas stoves/fireplaces etc.

As I said before Bunny, wouldn't hurt to phone your local gas company and have them come over to check things out.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Oh do I feel the pain.  I can't empathize with the smoke detector situation, but I do have some advice for you.  While gas stoves are wonderful for cooking ("cooking with gas"), they are just awful for baking!  Who knew.   Gas stoves are extremely accurate for cooking stove top.  They immediately heat & cool and are easily regulated unlike electric elements which rely on heated elements.  Sadly the opposite is true for the oven.  Electric ovens are regulated by the thermostat.  The oven heats to the temp & very quickly adjusts.  The gas oven, sadly, varies up to 10 degrees!  Those of us who bake know how disastrous this can be!  

With my electric, I could tell you consistently exactly how long to bake something.  With the gas, it is almost never the same twice.  This means I have to check more often, which of course cools the oven.  VERY frustrating.  Our next purchase will be a gas top & electric oven.

This is the exact stove combo I wanted Laney.  We couldn't afford it, as it was too expensive.  I recently remodled my kitchen, I would have dearly loved a gas stove top & a wall oven, but there just wasn't room in my galley kitchen.

We settled on a induction stove & oven. At first I thought I would go crazy cause you have to re-learn. The elements heat up SOooo fast, you need to adjust. Instead of using medium to high, I mostly use medium to low for cooking now. And it has a true "simmer" like a gas stove. Of course since we bought ours a 1 1/2 yrs. ago, there have already been improvements. I must say I like the "power" boost. It heats up water to boiling in seconds. Only down turn is you HAVE to use stainless steel pots ONLY.  I had to give away all my non-stick pans, as they were aluminun.  They are coming out with more non-stick stainless steel pans all the time.  I have been trying to find a "cheap" stainless pot for melting my Isomalt....there doesn't seem to be any such thing as a cheap stainless steel pot....GRrrrrr.  USA & Canada are way behind Europe, as they have had inductions stoves there for years. Huge savings in energy.


Years ago, I bought the BEST pots ever.  They are "tools of the trade" and I got them at Macys.  They no longer carry the exact ones, but they have a set that is very close....and they are on sale!

AHhhh, thanks for thinking of me Laney. I live in Canada, and by the time I pay for shipping, it is no longer "cheap".  I could drive to Buffalo, NY or Niagara Falls NY,' approx 45 min-1 hr. away, but unless I was making a specific trip, wouldn"t drive that far for "pots".  There are sales here, I just haven't been looking. 

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