Saturday, 27 December 2008

Gas cookers

gas burners hania chania
Mobile gas cookers

Gas cookers were once the main form of cooking element in villages. Although Crete is not connected to gas via pipes, it is still standard practice to use a gas cooker (for reasons of economy) connected to a gas bottle. Once the bottle empties (you will notice the flame not burning brightly, or the bottle is simply empty and gas won't light up), you take it to your nearest gas station (it could be a petrol station) to fill it up, or phone someone to come and replace it for you (if you're not very mobile).

curing green olives for brine
The gas bottle sits in a corner of our balcony. It's connected to the kitchen via a small hole in the wall.

These mobile gas elements are still used by a lot of people such as economic migrants, people on very low wages, owners of country houses in remote villages and others who can't afford the money or the space for a whole cooker. This shop must be doing good business in these difficult times when gas is cheaper as a fuel and the cost of living is rising.

Notice the electric elements next to the gas elements, all of which are fitted into the kitchen unit

We use gas for most of our cooking needs, but, as part of the trend in modern house construction and design, the elements are fixed in the kitchen wall unit, rather than being a separate item, as these gas cookers are. I love my gas cooker; chips always fry better on a gas cooker than an electric cooker. The big bonus is that when we have a power cut, I can still cook or warm something up.


  1. We have used canned gas since we arrived in Ireland 19 years ago. We use it by choice now even though we have the option since leaving the island. It has doubled in price in those years and is 27Euros a can even with rollover deposit.The outage caveat certainly applies.

  2. 27 euros?! we pay only 15 for ours (see the size of the bottle in the photo)

  3. Calor and other suppliers are a big industrial operation carrying hundrede of filled cans to outlets and removing empties. The cans are identical but it is possible yours aren't compressed to the same degree. One can lasts us three months.

  4. We supply gas to a large part of Europe, but don't use it ourselves...

    Have nice week-end!

  5. We had a mobile gas cooker when I was growing up in Greece (as well as an electric cooker). In England we have an electric oven with fixed gas rings, similar to the one in the last photo, but powered from the mains. I like cooking with gas, but I don't like gas ovens. We had one in our last flat and it was a real pain, as you had to keep turning the pot/pan to avoid the food burning on one side. Far too much hassle compared to a fan assisted electric oven.

  6. Right you are!...The electric cooker is very good but consumes much more energy to just boil water for example...
    When we arrived in the UK i must say that i did not meet the Gas powered heating and cooking appliances positively. So many accidents and things going wrong with them....But the whole system is managed and operated in a very organised way. Additionaly every year we MUST have everything checked and verified...So our view for Gas has completely changed.

    I completely understand Tinsie!!! Imagine Mousaka in a round pot!!! :-D :-D :-D