Gas Range Burner: Open or Closed?

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People on the lookout for new cooking ranges often take their time to choose between an open or a closed gas range burner. Both have significant merits and minor drawbacks.

Open vs. Closed Gas Range Burner

An open gas range burner is the standard, older version that most of us are familiar with. The burner provides an open flame, on which utensils are placed for cooking purposes. A closed or sealed gas range burner is covered with a heavy-duty glass or ceramic cover, which forms a smooth, seamless surface on which you can cook your food. Closed gas range burners are more aesthetically pleasing and can add to the visual appeal of any kitchen.

Pros and Cons of Open Gas Burners

The biggest advantage of an open gas burner is the immediate heating it provides. Open burners allow the flow of a lot of air, which enables faster heating and cooking. Because of the open structure of the burner, the flame can spread evenly all along the bottom of the cooking utensil. This provides even heat and better cooking results. Open gas burners also provide better heat output per unit of gas input as compared to some sealed gas burners, which makes them just as efficient, if not better. Open gas burners are much more affordable and sturdy as compared to sealed gas burners.

The biggest drawback with open gas burners is that they are somewhat cumbersome to clean and maintain. Food or liquids that boil over may get stuck on the grate and become lodged in the drip pan. In such cases, you have to take out the grate, the drip pan and clean it thoroughly before putting it back. However, the use of aluminum foil covers on the drip pan makes this job much easier. You can replace the foil every time it is dirty, thereby saving yourself the trouble of washing the drip pan.

Pros and Cons of Closed Gas Burners

A closed gas burner offers good looks and elegance, making it popular in many kitchen makeovers and renovations. These burners are also very easy to clean. You simply have to wipe down the cooking surface after every use. There is no chance of sticky messes traveling underneath and there are no drip pans to clean.

However, sealed gas burners also have their share of inadequacies. The elegance comes for a price and most cooking ranges with this feature are far more expensive than the standard open burner ones. The cooking surface may be prone to breakage or cracks if a heavy object falls on it. Because of the lack of free-flowing air around the flame, most closed gas burners will not provide the same quickness and efficiency as an open gas burner. Also, the flame is not spread out as evenly as on an open burner. Some owners of sealed gas cooking ranges also find that with time and use, brown rings appear around the cooking element. These rings are very difficult to take out, as compared to open burners that can look new for many years with proper cleaning. Overall, for their price and efficiency, open gas burners are the more popular option.