Gas Stove Problems … Not able to simmer or braise ??

Nov. 14, 2019
Roughly every 2 months, there’s a post on expat forums complaining that their gas stove doesn’t all them to get low-low flames for simmering things slowly.

It’s NOT a  “regulator”  problem … It’s NOT a  “propane vs Natural Gas ”  problem … It’s NOT a  “Call a plumber”  problem  … It’s not a  “Buy a new stove with lower BTU burners”  problem … It’s not a “Use an electric hot-plate to do low simmer”  problem. … 😉

… The real real problem is just in   how you adjust   the burner dial. 😉

If the burners light fine and run well on normal higher settings … then you have the correct regulator & correct orafices (in the burners), and correct gas … because the stove lights & operates.

Want to avoid this? 

The problem is that there’s no low “simmer” normal setting on your burner control dial … Instead, you simply needs to use a little trick to get the low low “simmer” flames:

Low flame trick:
Light the burner … Turn the dial clock-wise to the High Flame “stop” position (burner on FULL – High) … Next… Push in the dial slightly, and ~continue~ turning the dial clockwise to get a low low flame.

Note: Don’t use a fan anywhere near the stove when using this trick to get the super low flames, … Don’t blow out the weak low flame. 😉

Enjoy cooking … simmering … braising … by using this simple ~safe~ low-flame special-setting trick . 😉

and yes, Virginia … Over 80% of the stoves in North America are made by Mabe (regardless of the name-plate brand) … so this nice trick works on basically all  Mabe, GE, Acros* etc brand stoves in the Americas. 😉

*         *         *        *

Feel free to copy with proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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10 Responses to Gas Stove Problems … Not able to simmer or braise ??

  1. Dean says:

    I have a Mabe, and the burners are no problem at all. The issue is the oven does not brown anything – I can roast a chicken but the skin never browns/gets crispy, baked goods don’t brown (or “crisp” as the case may be), pie crusts….rolls…. nope. No browning at all. I do use an oven thermometer. Any tips on how to get the oven to work better are more than welcome, and thank you in advance!

  2. Jay says:

    So, basically just turn the cooktop to low. A big “well duh”

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Jay,
      Re-read the article a little more closely.

      80% of North American stoves (made by Mabe) do NOT give a low flame for slow simmering or braising.

      The LOW setting on the dial gives WAY TOO BIG a flame – burning the rice, burning the soup, making the pots boil over.

      The really is a trick … to getting a tiny small flame to just braise, simmer, or gently heat things.

      Read how to do the trick … above.

      Just like there’s a trick to writing comments~replies in bold and italics fonts.

  3. Rick Echeverria says:

    I went to a building supply store and bought a 6″ x6″ clay tile (unglazed)and put it between the burner and pot I am using…works great especially with rice dishes…

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Rick,
      We’ve used the clay tile … but this trick works much better. 😉

      Why? … Here in the Yucatan that 4X– extra big flame heats up your kitchen, especially when braising something for an hour or two.

      plus it wastes a lot of gas.

      Instead, just turn the knob clockwise – past the normal High setting. 😉

      Happy Trails,

  4. Emilie says:

    I have a diffuser. Don’t know what else to call it. Metal, two layers thick, with air space between the two, and each layer has little holes in it for air to pass through. It’s round with a wooden handle. I’ve had it so very long I have no idea where I got it. But I treasure it! If it ever disappears itself, I will certainly use this trick. Thank you.

  5. Bruce McGovern says:

    On many gas stoves in the USA and also Mexico, there is a small screw inside the hole where the knob comes out. I have a screwdriver and simply adjust it. But, I have only had two stoves to learn on. Thanks.

  6. Karl says:

    Does not seem to work with all Mabe stoves. I have 2 6 burner counter top stoves – brand is I/O Mabe – depressing the dial just activates the electronic igniter for the burner. No problem as the I/O burners have excellent flame regulation.

    • yucalandia says:

      Re read the instructions.

      You are only pushing in the knob briefly (when rotating clockwise) to get the knob-valve past the stop for the HI setting (about the 9:00 o’clock position). Then … CONTINUE … rotating the knob slowly clockwise with the flame ON … dialing it to about the 11:00 o’clock position.

      All the positions clockwise between the spark-start HI knob and OFF still supply gas, but at a much lower level.

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