Should you worry if you left your stove burner on?

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We had an extended power outage last week due to snow and we briefly used the gas stove for some fast extra heat in the house. They do get quite hot when the energy is not going into boiling/cooking something. The cast-iron “grates” were glowing red and a bit of that “hot metal” smell. But no problems, really.


It’s not so good if you leave your lutefisk cooking for a week.


You know how they say most dust is human skin particles? I think that smell you’re talking about is what you get when they oxidize. From random dust particles in the air falling on a red-hot stove, I guess. Or maybe your stove is dusty, gotcha!

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Unlike Microwaves. :slight_smile:
[tl;dr; The disperser fan belt was broken, and I hit 20 minutes cook instead of 20 minutes timer, and it caught fire]


[Insert obligatory recent pop cultural video clip here]


as long as you don’t get distracted and OH MY GOD IT’S BURNING!


I always look out for that UL label.

If it says ETL, it’s probably garbage.


What’s truly fun is putting some eggs on to hard boil and forgetting about them. Thankfully I didn’t leave the house. It’s amazing how much egg-shrapnel is created when they go all 'splody-like all over the kitchen and the pot turns black, starts smoking and sets off the smoke detector.


You might be better with boiling a large stock pot of water. The humid air holds heat better. Just don’t let it boil dry.


I thought the same thing, but I feared letting it boil dry and wrecking the pot.

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Leave it on. Gas company has to make emergency repair and shuts pipes down. Fire is out. Gas company restores gas. Stove is now preparing a surprise for your return home.


…now if you have a samsung stove.


No mention of toxic fumes, I’m surprised that this is not a concern.

I mean like if you have vintage 1940’s stove. Most have a thermostat shut off that shuts down the gas when the pilot light goes out.

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Do they?

How about modern stoves that utilize a spark igniter in place of a pilot light? I’m not about to try it out right now, but I’m not at all sure that it’s smart enough to turn itself off if the igniter doesn’t ignite the gas. I mean, it’s not a basement furnace or anything; there’s some assumption that since you’re probably looking right at it, you can tell if the igniter fails to ignite the gas. I don’t remember seeing that same kind of heat-sensitive safety switch that you get on pilot lights for furnaces and water heaters.

ETA: here are the controls for my stove burners. From OFF, the dials only turn counter-clockwise, first to LITE and then from HI to LO. You have to hold it on LITE and wait for the solenoid to click a few times before the spark ignites the flame, then you continue twisting to your desired level:

It’s up to you to make sure it ignites. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure it just keeps venting gas.


The good thing is that both events have to coincide: you forgetting to turn off the stove, and the gas company doing an emergency shutdown. Most days, a pretty slim risk, but certainly one to avoid anyway.


Wait… is it safe or not?!

I have needed an answer to this question for about 35 years!

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Ah, the old welding class, hot metal smell. I get nostalgic.

If you find out, tell Babe Levy.