Gas cookers can use butane, propane, natural gas or any other flammable gas to produce a flame and heat food. These appliances are common in cities, where gas service is readily available, but may also work on canister gas. Understanding gas cookers can help you decide whether one is right for your home.
The first gas cooker was actually invented in the early 1800s, but gas stoves didn't catch on until almost the end of the century. These stoves were smaller and cleaner than wood or coal stoves. According to The Greatest Engineering Achievements, gas stoves outnumbered coal and wood stoves 2 to 1 by 1930.
Traditional gas ranges have a pilot light that is always burning. This flame ignites the gas for the burner or oven when needed. Modern gas cookers have no pilot light, instead using an electric igniter to light the gas. Camping cookers may need to be lit with a lighter or matches.
According to Consumer Reports, many professional chefs prefer gas cookers over electric ones, because of the greater degree of control the gas flame offers. Gas burners also accommodate more pot types and sizes than electric ones.