How does a gas oven work?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How does a gas oven work” with an in-depth analysis of how a gas oven works. Moreover, we will have a brief discussion about the components of the gas oven as well as how they differ from electric ovens.

Gas ovens have been used since the nineteenth century, and while electric ovens are more widespread nowadays, gas ovens are still used in numerous kitchens around the world.

So if you are in search of an answer to how a gas oven works, then you need not worry as we are going to answer all your questions.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How does a gas oven work?

A gas-fueled burner cooks food in a gas oven. These appliances require a constant supply of natural gas to operate; depending on the model, the gas is ignited by a spark generator or a small pilot flame.

When you turn on your gas oven, you’re actually permitting gas to flow from the mains to your appliance. To activate the spark generator within your oven, press an ignition button; this will create a spark that ignites the gas and lights the burner. 

Alternatively, if your oven has a pilot light that is always lit, the gas will be ignited for you. 

The thermostat in your oven measures and adjusts the heat during cooking to ensure that the oven cooks at a consistent temperature and does not become excessively hot. 

The burner will be turned off and the gas supply will be turned off whenever the temperature reaches the required level. When things start to cool down, the oven will automatically turn back on until it reaches the desired temperature.

Components of a gas oven

First and foremost, we’ll go over the essential components of a gas oven. These are some of them:

  • Oven Burner  
  • Spark/Ignition Generator
  • Thermocouple
  • Thermostat

Oven burner

This is where your food is actually cooked. When you switch on a gas oven, what you are truly doing is lighting the burner.

Spark Generator

A spark generator is used in gas ovens that use electric ignition (more common in modern appliances). This part generates a spark that ignites the natural gas used to power your oven when you turn it on.


Instead of an electric ignition generator, some gas ovens (especially older versions) utilize a constantly burning pilot flame. When these ovens are turned on, natural gas is permitted to flow through to the appliance, where it is ignited by the pilot flame; if the pilot flame goes out during cooking, the flame failure device is responsible for cutting off the gas supply to prevent combustible gas from building up.


When the burner is ignited, a thermostat measures the temperature within the oven. This component ensures that your food is cooked at the temperature you specify using the oven controls.

Safety precautions

If you smell gas before attempting to use an oven, don’t start it. Any electrical switch should not be touched. Leave the area instead, phone your local gas provider, and follow their advice. If no one from the gas company is accessible, call the fire department.

How to relight a burned-out pilot light in an oven

When using an older oven or one with unlit pilot lights, a match or lighter may be required to start a flame. Before lowering the range top to show the burner mechanisms, remove the burner grills and any other stovetop accessories. 

Set the matching knob on the desired burner to “Light.” To light the pilot for that side of the oven, fire a wand lighter or a long reach match and position it between the two tubes that run underneath the burners on the same side. 

Replace the range top and adjust the burners by turning the knobs to raise or lower the flame. After turning the knob to the “Off” position, the pilot should remain glowing.

Locate the pilot assembly within the oven, between the two draws, to light the oven or broiler below. Make sure the knob for that assembly is set to “Ignite,” then light the pilot assembly with a wand lighter or a long-reach match. 

Then, to the desired temperature, turn the knob. The pilot should stay lit after usage, just like the burners on top of the stove. If the pilots keep going out, get the appliance repaired by an expert.

How do they differ from electric ovens?

Because gas ovens keep the heat for longer than electric ovens, they can be used as a warmer after the thermostat has been turned off. 

The heat in the oven is not as consistent as it is in electric ovens because the burners shut off automatically when the predetermined temperature is reached inside the oven and turn back on when the temperature drops below that point (during the cooking process). 

Also, with gas ovens, common electric oven options such as “keep warm,” “delay,” and “cook and hold” are not as readily available.

You can read more about it here.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How does a gas oven work” with an in-depth analysis of how a gas oven works. Moreover, we also have a brief discussion about the components of the gas oven as well as how they differ from electric ovens. 


Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.