If you’re cooking up a nostalgic family recipe or trying a new culinary technique, no other room in the house brings a family together like the kitchen. When you have a brand new gas range, you can heighten the excitement of this famous family gathering place even more.
Whether you opted for a vintage look with an ILVE gas range or went for a more modern aesthetic with a Thor or ZLINE model, your gas range can offer cooking experiences in which the whole family can participate.
Why Cook Together?
Cooking together can certainly help the meal prep and subsequent clean-up go much faster, but cooking together offers many more benefits beyond functional ones. Everyone involved in cooking gets a sense of pride and ownership over the process, and it helps them appreciate the time and effort that goes into creating a meal. But most of all, you forge a feeling of togetherness that enhances the time you spend together eating your creation.
Cooking on your gas range together also teaches your older children skills they need for life. Once they’re off to college and on their own, knowing how to do more than boil water prepares them to fend for themselves and gives them a way to cook healthy meals instead of opting for fast food.
A gas range offers benefits to young cooks as well. Your younger children or family members can see the flame and better understand the connection between that and a hot burner. So by simply teaching them to be observant of the range helps them to operate more safely in a kitchen.
Ways to Cook as a Family
A gas range offers endless opportunities for culinary creativity and can be a great tool to encourage cooking with your kids and family. While cooking may sound like a chore to some, here are some ways to make the most of your gas stove and create a positive cooking experience together:
- Start with simple techniques. The key is to start small. Nothing kills the love of cooking more than being a bit too ambitious, and if you want your family cooking with you, do all you can to help them enjoy this moment of togetherness. If your family doesn’t have much experience in the kitchen or is new to cooking on a gas stove, start with recipes that use simple techniques, such as browning or sauteing.
- Let them observe. Hands-on experience may help others learn to cook, but if you have novices in the kitchen with you, show them some of the more complicated techniques first. Explain the steps, including the safety measures, you are using. This helps build their confidence and knowledge about cooking.
- Take cooking lessons. Schedule cooking lessons with your family. You can find qualified instructors who will come to your home, or you can simply queue up a video for you all to cook along to.
- Organize family cooking challenges. Create family cooking challenges or themed cooking nights. Encourage creativity and teamwork as you plan and prepare meals together. This fosters a sense of togetherness and can make cooking a more enjoyable experience for everyone.
When you have a professional-looking appliance like an ILVE gas range or a model by Thor or ZLINE, you have a tempting tool for culinary fun in your kitchen. So empower your kids and family members to be comfortable cooking on your new range so you can enjoy and build new skills together.
How Best to Cook with Kids on a Gas Range
You may be tempted to keep your kids or young family members out of the kitchen when cooking on a gas range, but you’re missing out on an opportunity. By adding in some extra caution and supervision to ensure their safety, you can teach them to cook safely alongside you.
Here are some guidelines to follow when cooking with kids on a gas stove:
- Prepare the kitchen. Get into the minds of your younger family members and consider how they may want to operate in the kitchen with you. They’ll want to look into pots and under them to examine the flame. They may want to stir or do other things that you allow. Be sure you have things like stable step stools, pot holders, and aprons they can use—ones that fit their size—so they can safely work with you in the kitchen.
- Discuss the safety rules. Before you begin cooking, explain the safety rules to your kids. These may differ based on their age and experience level, but some ideas include making sure they understand the potential dangers of an open flame and the importance of keeping aprons, dish towels, and so on safely away from the flame. You may not want them touching the controls at all or you may suggest they learn with time, but whatever rules you institute, stick to them.
- An open flame is no different than having young children at the pool. No matter how confident they are in the situation, maintain supervision all the time.
- Show them first. For any technique you perform, show them first how to do it and explain why you do it that way before allowing them to try. When it comes to adjusting the flame, always have them watch and see not only what the flame does but how the food in the pot or pan responds to the change.
- Gradually involve them. As your children gain experience and confidence, gradually involve them in tasks that can be safely performed on the gas stove. Start with simple tasks like stirring or flipping ingredients in a pan. As they become more proficient, they can assist with turning on and off a burner, adjusting the heat, or adding ingredients to a pot.
- Give them kid-friendly tasks unrelated to the stove. Whether they’re confident chefs or not, they may get bored waiting for that pot to boil, or you may not have something for them to do on the stove. To avoid them getting bored and possibly careless as they wait, give them other age-appropriate cooking tasks that do not directly involve the gas stove. They can assist with washing vegetables, measuring ingredients, stirring mixtures, or setting the table.
No matter who is hanging out in the kitchen with you, cooking with your ILVE gas range can be a wonderful opportunity to bond, learn, and create lasting memories with your kids and family members. By giving everyone a task that they can perform and enjoy doing, family night dinner will taste even better than before.