The stove is arguably the most important instrument in the kitchen, and knowing the parts of a stove is critical to keeping it functioning at a high level.
You use the stove nearly every day to create delicious meals for the whole family.
Make sure you keep it in tip-top shape by knowing all the parts and how to take care of them.
What Are the Parts of a Stove?
There’s no reason to stress over learning all the stove parts.
We’ve done the heavy lifting and compiled a breakdown of the different elements you need to know.
It makes the whole process a lot less scary when you know what you’re looking at already.
Fortunately, most stoves have the same basic parts. That makes learning and getting used to them much more accessible.
It’s always a good idea to get to know the stove parts before you start using them. The process goes smoother that way, and if something goes wrong, you’re more likely to know what component has stopped working.
Grates allow you to set pots and pans above the flame for cooking. The grates sit on top of the stove on a gas stove, creating a platform over the burners.
Grates are typically cast iron with a porcelain-coated finish. This coating makes them durable and relatively easy to clean.
Most stoves allow you to lift them off the top for simple, easy cleaning. Just make sure you wait until they’re cool!
Cleaning the grates is relatively simple. You can wash them as you would anything else. You can even let them soak in hot, soapy water for more challenging spots.
The burner is likely the most important part of the stove. The burners allow you to cook delicious foods and create a masterpiece from the comfort of your own home.
Burners on a stop can be gas- or electric-powered, depending on the type of stove. A gas stove sparks a flame in the burner and burns as long as it’s on.
An electric stove works through a set of coils, usually inside a cooking surface, that heat up to extreme temperatures.
If you have an electric stove, keeping the surface clean is one of the best things you can do for your stove’s lifespan.
3. Control Panel
The control panel allows you to operate your stove. Sometimes the control panel is connected just above the oven door.
Sometimes it sits up top on the oven face. Sometimes it’s split, with the burner controls above the door and the oven controls on the front.
The burner controls are usually above the door if you have a gas stove. Keep an eye on them because they’re remarkably easy to bump into if you’re not paying attention.
Especially if you have little kids who like to play in the kitchen – make sure they know the stove is off-limits.
Replacing an oven control panel can get expensive since it controls the entire function of the appliance. While many people might recommend changing a broken control panel yourself, it’s best to trust the experts.
Moving away from the stovetop, the oven is the next part to consider. It’s hard to determine if the oven or the stovetop is more critical: they both play a crucial role in keeping a family well-fed and happy.
The oven is the part of the appliance where you can cook delicious casseroles or delectable sweet treats. It’s an incredibly critical kitchen feature.
Keeping your oven clean, especially free from grease spills and the like, will go a long way towards preventing unnecessary accidents like kitchen fires.
A clean oven also tends to work better than a dirty one. Energy efficiency is of primary concern in the kitchen, and a clean oven impacts how efficiently it runs.
There are a few easy ways to make sure you keep your oven clean and working in the best way possible:
- Clean spills right away.
- Use roasting bags when applicable.
- Place empty cookie sheets under dishes cooking on the top rack.
- Regularly clean it with oven cleaner.
- Consider hiring professional cleaners once a year.
5. Oven Racks
The oven racks are, quite literally, racks that go into the oven. The racks allow you to set baking pans and casserole dishes within the oven to cook.
They are adjustable, fitting into the oven at different levels of closeness to the top and bottom parts of the oven.
Oven racks are easy to clean. They slide right out of the oven, and you can wash them with hot, soapy water like you would anything else. Just make sure they’re completely dry before you put them back in the oven.
The great thing about oven racks is that they’re easy to replace. If one gets damaged or worn down, you can often purchase a new one without much fuss.
6. Drip Pan
Most ovens come with a drip pan of some kind. It can mean a couple of different things, depending on the type of oven you have.
One type of drip pan is also called a broiling pan and comes in two parts. The bottom part looks like a cookie sheet, designed to catch grease and other things that might drip from food and cause a mess in the bottom of the oven.
The top part holds the food and usually has slits in it. This allows the oils or juices to drip off into the bottom.
Whether you have a gas or electric stove, each burner should come with a drip pan. Another type of drip pan goes under burners on the stovetop. These are typically replaced every year or more frequently if necessary.
The oven door is perhaps the most obvious part of the oven, but it’s essential nonetheless.
You probably don’t need an in-depth description of why the oven door is so important. It’s for the same reason your front door is important or why your bathroom door is important.
Oven doors are important, and they’re expensive. Replacing one can cost upwards of $200. So keeping them clean and intact is a critical part of everyday life.
Regularly washing your oven door will keep it clean and pristine. Keeping the kiddos from running through the kitchen should hopefully help keep it intact.
Things to Consider
The parts of a stove are fascinating when you think about it. These parts work together to create an incredibly vital kitchen appliance that you use nearly every day.
There are some essential things to keep in mind about your stove:
- A good stove usually has a glass door.
- You can pick the fuel type you want for your stove.
- Some stoves come with extra features like delayed starts.
- Electric stoves are usually the safer option.
- Your stove should have a 14-15 years lifespan.
- Taking good care of your stove will extend its life.
- Keeping your stove clean is the best thing you can do for it.
- Most stoves are about thirty inches wide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s consider some of the common questions that need answers about the parts of a stove.
What is a range?
A range is a name for a stove and oven combined into one appliance. The stove is the top part of the range, where the burners are, and the oven is the bottom part, where the door is.
Collectively, these can be called a range. It’s common to hear the whole appliance called a stove or an oven interchangeably. While this isn’t necessarily false, it doesn’t technically represent the entire appliance.
What is the drawer at the bottom of the stove?
Most stoves come with a drawer at the bottom, beneath the oven door. For many people, this serves as extra storage space. They stuff pots, pans, cookie sheets, and all kinds of extra cooking utensils in there. That’s not the drawer’s intended purpose.
The drawer is a food warmer. It’s a place where you can keep cooked food to stay warm. So when you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner, your casseroles won’t have to get cold sitting on the counter while you wait for the turkey to finish cooking.
What is the metal thing inside an electric oven?
The metal thing that sits inside the oven is called the heating element. This heats up and allows your oven to cook food as designed. The heating element is also called the oven element.
What is the middle burner for?
This piece is incredibly useful. Many stoves come with a small middle burner that seems innocuous, possibly useless.
The smaller surface area gives you the chance to cook delicate sauces and such without running the risk of scorching it. It’s also great for warming up milk for hot chocolate on a chilly day.
Can I replace a heating element myself?
Usually, your oven manufacturer will sell replacement parts. This includes the heating element. If your element is blown, you can try ordering a new part.
As long as you’re confident and you follow the instructions, you should be able to replace it yourself.
What is a stove eye?
The stove eye is just another name for the burner.
Not many people refer to the stove burners as “eyes,” but you might hear it every once in a while.
What part of the oven is hotter?
Most ovens are hotter at the top than the bottom. Typically, the higher oven rack receives more heat.
So when you’re baking or cooking, it’s usually a good idea to rotate your pans on the oven racks. This will allow a more even distribution of heat to your food. It should cook better with rotation.
What’s the average lifespan for a heating element?
The heating element should last for about five years. The lifespan will depend on many contributing factors, such as how well you care for your oven and how efficiently it runs. It can also depend on the kind of oven.
Can a heating element burst into flames?
Yes, a broken heating element does present a fire hazard in the kitchen. If it breaks or cracks, it can quickly lead to sparking and fires.
If you see sparks or flames, shut the stove off immediately and ensure the fire has been extinguished. Then call someone to replace the element for you.
Final Words on Parts of a Stove
The stove is arguably the most important kitchen appliance. You use it to keep your family fed and happy and you probably use it more than once a day.
Knowing the different parts of a stove, how they work, and how to keep them clean will help you maintain a healthy, efficient appliance that does its job well and doesn’t randomly burst into flames.