I've got my first gas stove / oven. I'm wondering about cooking wine in the stove. Is it safe at all? I like putting a piece of meat in a all stainless steel pan, brown it a bit on the stove then throw it in the oven to finish off. For certain cuts I'd add something like burgundy wine and some vegetables as well. I'm just not sure about doing this in a gas stove and couldn't seem to find any existing questions or articles on the topic (Searched for "Cooking wine in gas stove" and similar).

  • I can't for the life of me figure out what you're worried about here. Can you be specific? What do you imagine will go wrong? – Air Dec 28 '14 at 1:06
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    I imagine OP worries about the alcohol fumes might ignite and blow up the kitchen. – Jørgen R Dec 28 '14 at 5:16
  • That was my assumption too @jurgemaister. If that's the case, it might be helpful if Ryan edited the question to make that more clear. – Preston Dec 28 '14 at 15:23
  • @PrestonFitzgerald I've read the question and while ignition is the main question any other safety concerns are also relevant and thus my question is fine as is. It very clearly states, "Is it safe at all?" If the answer is yes and someone wants to say yes as an answer I will mark it as such. If there is some safety concern whether fire hazard or anything else to be aware of when using wine in a gas stove then I'll mark that as the answer. – Ryan Dec 28 '14 at 18:39
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    If, even after jurgemaister's answer below, you are still concerned about the alcohol igniting, then you could do the following: After you have browned the meat in the stainless steel pan, you could add the wine and keep the pan on the stove for a few minutes until most of the alcohol has evaporated, before putting the pan into the oven. In fact, once the wine has been heated, you could attempt to ignite it's fumes while on the stove, which may also add some more caramelisation to the sides of the meat. – DuncanKinnear Aug 21 '15 at 0:59

I assume you are talking about the risk that the alcohol vapor from the wine mixes with the air and ignites.

Let's do some maths. I'll do my calculations with some pretty round numbers, but in the end you'll see that it doesn't matter.

Assume an average gas oven with a volume of 150l. According to Wikipedia, the absolute minimum mix of ethanol to air for ignition is 3%, so that's 4.5l of pure ethanol vapor. Water expands at a rate of 1700 when it turns into steam. Assuming ethanol is in the same ballpark and add some entropy for higher temperatures, we'll assume a factor of 2000. That means we'll need 4.5l / 2000 = 2.25ml of pure ethanol. In a typical bottle of red wine there is 12% ethanol, so for a 750ml bottle, that is 90ml.

As you can see, we have about 40 times the ethanol we need to make a nice boom.

Now to answering your question:

I would deem it probably safe to cook red wine in the gas oven. The burners are usually not in direct contact with the air inside the oven, and both the burners and oven is ventilated, so the ethanol would probably escape even before it could meet the required saturation. And even if the vapor was allowed to build up inside the oven and not get in contact with the gas flames, the self ignition temperature for ethanol is 363°C, far hotter than it'll get in there.

The most convincing argument that it's safe is the millions of times chefs around the world have cooked with wine in a gas oven :)

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