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In the documentary, 'I Like Killing Flies,' Kenny Shopsin describes how he drilled bigger holes in his gas range to increase the power output. Ignoring the possible safety issues, would this work on a standard home gas range? It would seem that the gas output is somehow limited by the knobs. Also, increasing the gas output could potentially change the gas/air ratio, which, I think, might change the flame temperature. Has anybody tried this?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

This seems nonsensical to try with your home stove. You are correct, the rate of gas output is directly controlled by the knobs. In a typical home stove, drilling holes will not increase the gas output. It would affect the gas to air ratio, but I doubt it would result in an increase of temperature, and more likely a decrease.

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See below; it isn't necessarily non-sensical if the output is ultimately limited by the burner holes when the knob is fully on. – Michael at Herbivoracious Aug 30 '10 at 4:11
@Michael: The burner holes on the typical home stove do not limit anything. The gas is merely released into the burner. If they were limiting the gas output, that would result in a buildup of pressure, which would cause the gas spill out of the bottom of the burner assembly. – hobodave Aug 30 '10 at 13:44
Shopsin's stove isn't a typical home stove - go read the excerpt I link to in my answer below. And assuming Shopsin isn't an idiot and his change actually did have the effect he claims it has, doesn't this have to be the explanation? – Michael at Herbivoracious Aug 30 '10 at 21:40
@Michael: Huh? I know Shopsin's isn't a typical home stove, as does the questioner who indicates that he read the book. The question is "would this work on a standard home gas range". That's what I'm answering. I'm not simply quoting back to the OP what he's already read. :P – hobodave Aug 30 '10 at 21:53
The OP indicates he saw a related movie, not read the book. But you are right, I misread your initial answer - it may well be nonsensical on a home stove if you are correct that the holes can't be the limiting factor because it would spill out of the burner assembly otherwise. – Michael at Herbivoracious Aug 31 '10 at 7:00

Shopsin talks about this in his book, Eat Me, The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin. You can see it in this excerpt on Amazon. On his custom stove, described in that excerpt, it is certainly possible that when the knob is turned on all the way, the volume of gas coming out was still limited by the size of the flame holes, so that drilling it out allowed more gas to flow and thus a higher flame. And this is probably an extremely dangerous thing to do on your home stove.

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To sustain very uniform heat you probably want a certain amount of back-pressure from the apertures, so this is probably true on most devices. And any modification may (or may not) cut into some designed-in safety factor. Think a bit before embarking on a project like that... – dmckee Aug 30 '10 at 6:10
Couldn't agree more. I think this would be a really bad idea to undertake. – Michael at Herbivoracious Aug 30 '10 at 21:41

Stoves are different, our frigidaire has removable jets below the burner plates((propane or natural)). You could increase them slightly however you may lose the ability to simmer if drilled out to large.

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