Cooking on gas, electrical or ceramic?

Recommendation 139
Depending on the person, making a choice for cooking on gas, through induction (electrical) or ceramic

Chapter (theme)
installations and appliances (kitchens)

Because of
Insight into cause and effect, executive functioning, Central coherence, sensory sensibility, motor awkwardness

In order to
improve the possibilities for independent meal preparation.

Elaboration
As explained in the theme ‘kitchens’, this space poses exceptionally high demands on many senses and also on bodily and cognitive functioning. Children with autism who respond well to these challenges are richly rewarded, those who don’t will experience considerable disadvantages in the future because of it. For these reasons it is crucial that optimal conditions are created through building, interior design and the choice and use of machinery such as cookers and ovens which are at issue here.

The rule of thumb is ‘cook on gas, unless…’. So, if possible, the advice is to cook on gas. For one, it’s the most common way of cooking, so experience with it offers the best preparation for the future. Other reasons stem from a number of specific limitations. Among them is a limited understanding of cause-and-effect relationships. The visibility of a gas flame under a pan helps to see this connection. A third reason is a larger time-lapse between regulation and effect when cooking electrically or ceramically. In the latter cases questions arise such as ‘When should I lower the temperature?’, ‘How do I know this?’ and ‘Why does the soup keep boiling after I switched the stove off?’ Moreover: when the gas is switched off, the cooking is done and one can go on to the next phase: setting the table.

However, there are counter-arguments against it as well. The main one is the danger of working with open fire. This can only be done safely if there is sufficient understanding of the dangers (mainly a matter of intelligence), sufficient concentration and the motor awkwardness (bumping and falling) is not too great. Another danger is an open gas valve without a flame. This threat can be countered through the implementation of an automatic coupling of extraction and furnace and/or a gas leak valve.

When cooking electrically (through induction), there is no fire hazard, but overboiling and dry boiling are possible. On the other hand one cannot burn oneself on an induction plate, while one can on a ceramic plate. So, if one decides against gas, the alternative needs deliberation.
In conclusion cooking on gas is advisable unless the cognitive and/or bodily limitations are so great that this becomes too dangerous.

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