During use glass stove tops can reach very high heating temperatures, usually surface temperatures of about 500 F. The glass causes serious burns if touched while hot. This is different from conventional coil or electric ranges where the heating element becomes hot but may not so for the surface surrounding it. The whole surface can become dangerously hot with glass tops. The risk is high for families with babies and toddlers who may not grasp the danger of a hot stove.
Another risk involved includes the glass bursting or cracking under high heat. These tops are made from ceramic glass that is not 100% shatterproof, although more durable. It is possible to crack the glass from dropping heavy pans on it, or from putting it through extreme temperature fluctuations. This may result in gas leakage and exposure of the stove’s inner workings hence posing a risk of electrical shock. Damage can be prevented when this is used and taken cared of properly.
However, glass stove tops can be used safely provided some precautions are followed. Enjoy your glass top range by using the right cookware, making sure the sizes match the burners, cleaning carefully, and educating your kids on safety. So, without wasting a fraction of seconds let’s jump in-depth look at the pros and cons of glass top gas stoves to help you determine if they are right for your kitchen.
Benefits of Glass Top Gas Stoves
Glass top gas stoves offer a few advantages over traditional gas ranges with exposed burners and grates:
- More modern, streamlined look – The smooth glass surface gives a much cleaner appearance than exposed burners and grates. This fits better with contemporary kitchen designs featuring lots of stainless steel and chrome finishes. The seamless glass top creates a very sleek, unified look.
- Easier to clean – Food spills and messes wipe right off the glass cooktop without getting stuck in crevices, grates or burner parts. The flat surface is also easier to scrub clean compared to contoured burners. Glass cooktops allow for easy cleanup of baked-on spills using specialized cleaning products.
- Glass resists chips and scratches – The durable ceramic glass material used for today’s cooktops is heat-strengthened to resist chips, cracks and scratches better than enamel finishes. This glass is designed to withstand daily cooking use.
- Front control panels – Many new gas stoves have controls located on the front rather than the backsplash. This improves safety as you don’t have to reach over hot burners which can be a burn risk, especially for children. Front controls also allow easier access while cooking.
- Seamless design – Without grates and burners, glass tops create a smooth uninterrupted surface that makes sliding pots and pans from one burner to another effortless. The seamless design also prevents spills and crumbs from falling through cracks.
- Easier to install – Glass top ranges don’t require special ventilation hoods to exhaust gas fumes up and out. The flat smooth glass surface also makes installation simpler versus fitting contoured burners into the countertop cut-out.
- More colours and styles – Glass stove tops allow for more customizable colours and finishes to match your kitchen décor. From black to white and stainless steel, glass tops offer more options than basic enamel finishes.
Potential Safety Concerns with Glass Tops
However, there are some potential disadvantages and drawbacks of glass top stoves that must be considered from a safety perspective:
- Glass surface gets hot – The glass cooktop gets extremely hot when in use, with surface temperatures reaching more than 500°F above the burners. Touching it could lead to severe burns. The surface also retains significant heat after the stove is turned off and can remain hot for an hour or more after use. This poses a dangerous burn threat.
- Impact can break the glass – Dropping heavy pots, pans, or other hard objects onto the glass can potentially crack or shatter it. This becomes a major safety issue exposing hot burners and sharp broken glass edges. Durability has improved in newer glass stove tops but they can still break.
- Moisture can lead to corrosion – Food spills that aren’t cleaned up promptly can seep under the glass leaving moisture that leads to corrosion of the burners and mounting frame over time. This moisture can also stain the glass.
- Not child-friendly – The smooth glass provides no visual indicator that the surface is hot. Children are especially susceptible to burns from inadvertent contact with the cooktop.
- Heavy objects may damage glass – Sitting heavy objects like cast iron pans and bricks on the glass while it’s cooling can lead to cracking or shattering from concentrated weight.
- Fire risk from flammable liquids – Unlike electric stoves, gas burners contain open flames. Spilled flammable liquids like alcohol are a severe fire hazard around an operating gas stove.
- Gas leaks possible – Gas lines running to the burners could leak and build up explosive concentrations of natural gas if not properly installed and regularly inspected.
New Safety Features Found in Modern Glass Stoves
Many new glass top gas stoves now include additional safety features:
- Ceramic glass is more durable and shatter-resistant than traditional soda-lime glass surfaces. It withstands temperature fluctuations better.
- Automatic shut-off will turn off the gas if excess heat or combustion is detected as a safety precaution. This prevents gas leaks or fires.
- Child safety lock functions prevent kids from accidentally turning on burners. Locks stay engaged even after power outages.
- Front control panels improve safety by avoiding the need to reach over the stove top where you could inadvertently touch hot surfaces.
- Residual heat indicators use LED lights on the cooktop to show which areas remain hot after the stove is turned off. This prevents burns from accidental contact.
- Improved temperature limiters reduce the maximum temperature glass tops will reach, decreasing likelihood of cracks and shattering.
- Better temperature distribution results in fewer hotspots so foods are less likely to burn while cooking at normal temperatures.
Glass Gas Stove Safety Tips for Families with Children
Families with small children may want to exercise additional care and supervision when cooking with glass top gas stoves:
- Activate child safety locks on the control panel whenever young kids are present. Show older children how the locks work.
- Ensure young kids are kept at a safe distance from the stove top with barriers like baby gates or high chairs. Avoid carrying infants near the stove.
- Install stove knob covers as an added precaution against accidental burner activation.
- Teach children the stovetop is dangerous and establish rules never to touch it without permission. Repeat these rules often.
- Allow older kids to help with cooking activities like stirring to learn stove safety under supervision.
- Keep appliances like toasters and microwaves on back counters out of reach of children.
Are Glass Top Gas Stoves Safe for Indoor Use?
When used properly and with reasonable safety precautions, most experts agree that glass top gas stoves are acceptably safe for typical residential indoor use. The glass material and safety technologies used continue to improve. Still, any stove presents inherent dangers from heat, fire, and gas that call for caution and common sense practices. As long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and implement appropriate safeguards, a glass top gas stove can make an attractive, efficient, and reasonably safe addition to your kitchen.