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When looking at prepping the best kind of food, the first thing to check is the best method to cook your food on! Your kitchen is something that you are going to be using on a daily basis, for a very long time, so ensuring you have the correct appliances for what you want to be making is very important!
However, one of the trickiest decisions to make when designing your kitchen is picking between gas and electric stoves. Of course, gas means you need to have a gas supply, but if you do have that option, then how on earth do you pick between electric stoves and gas stoves?
Although the appearance of your stove matters, and selecting the color and size may seem like the ‘be all end all’, but really it is the fuel source that can make all the difference. Most of the time you will be buying a stove and oven combination and deciding between electric and gas, or both.
If you are finding yourself in this predicament, then look no further! Today I am going to tell you the pros and cons of both gas and electric stoves and ovens so that you can be confident in the decision you make for your new kitchen!
Table of Contents
Gas vs Electric Oven
When it comes to almost any form of cooking besides steaming, boiling and frying, your oven is the go-to appliance. Whether you are roasting the turkey for ThanksGiving, baking cookies, making your friend a birthday cake – whatever it may be, the oven is your main component to getting it done!
Ovens usually have a stove top attached, and usually there is a gas line, an electricity line, and in many cases, both. Whilst the electric coil heating mechanism in the electric ranges are used to heat up and cook your food, the gas ranges work by using a gas line to the oven and producing a flame to heat the oven.
Both fuel types are wonderful and can be set to various temperatures, including very high. However, the way in which each fuel type works is different and provides a very different cooking experience. So, when deciding between a gas line or an electric line, there are a few things to consider.
When purchasing an oven, there are two main costs to consider. First of all, you have the upfront cost of the entire mechanism .
Initially, electric ovens are a lot cheaper to purchase than a gas oven. This is primarily because the installation is a lot easier for electric ovens as they don’t require a professional to come in and connect them to the gas line to ensure it is installed correctly. Typically, most houses will have an electrical outlet already, whereas many do not have a gas line, meaning that not only will the installation of the oven cost, but there is a chance you will need a gas line fitted as well.
However, after the initial cost, you then need to consider the cost of using the ovens. This will vary considerably depending on how much you use the oven, but also on how much gas and electricity cost in whatever country you live.
Overall, gas vs electric when it comes to heating is about 3 to 4 times cheaper than electric heating, and so although the initial purchase of a gas oven may be higher, this will eventually balance out with the cost of usage.
Next up, you need to consider the time it takes for each oven to reach the required temperature.
Electric ovens heat up a coil inside which then goes on to heat the rest of the oven. This means that a cold coil needs to be superheated before it can give off the level of heat required to cook food, making the heat-up process slightly slow.
Contrary to this, gas ovens work by using a flame, and so as soon as the flame is lit there is instant heat and the oven begins to warm up. This makes the heat-up time a lot quicker in gas ovens and therefore they are more energy efficient in this sense.
However, whilst a gas oven heats up quicker, the heat begins to disappear quicker as well, whereas the coil device in an oven will hold the heat for a lot longer. This means if you need to stop and start cooking throughout the day, the electric oven is actually more energy efficient.
Types of Heat
Another important aspect to consider is your cooking style and what you usually use the oven for. This is because electric ovens vs gas ovens give off a different type of heat, and both are better for different jobs.
Gas ovens provide moisture heat. This means that there is more moisture present in the oven and so if you are cooking things for a long time, such as meat or roasts, it helps to prevent your food from drying out.
Alternatively, electric ovens are a lot drier, and often have a fan fitted which helps to circulate the heat, but also keeps a lack of moisture in the air. This means that electric ovens are great for crisping up your food or adding an extra crunch.
The chances of you moving your kitchen around is very unlikely, particularly with the larger appliances such as your oven and stove top.
However, if you did need to move things around, or you were moving house and wanted to take your oven with you, electric models are a lot easier for this.
As mentioned, electric models simply need a power source, whereas your gas ovens will need to be connected to a source of gas.
Whilst this is handy for moving, it also means that if you have a power outage, your electric oven will no longer work. On the other hand, a gas oven will continue to work during power outages. If you live in an area that often experiences power cuts, this may be an important factor to consider.
When working with any form of heat or gas, there are always safety elements to consider. However, ovens that require a gas line can be a lot more dangerous. If there is any form of leak from the line, you can risk inhaling gas fumes and potentially igniting your kitchen and home.
When it comes to electric ovens, your main concern is the heat causing you to burn yourself, but this would be the case when cooking with anything.
Gas vs Electric Stove
Now that we have covered the basis for oven comparison, it is time to look at the gas vs electric stove.
Knowing the difference between a gas stove and an electric stove is a lot easier to figure out. The stove’s source of heat is visible to the user and so you know that if you are working with a flame, then you are working with a gas stove. If you can see any form of red coils or a flat, glowing plate, this is an electric stove.
Choosing between the two is very similar to ovens in terms of the factors to consider.
It is likely that when you purchase the stove, you will also be purchasing the oven alongside this. Therefore, the electric stove is more than likely going to be cheaper than gas cooktops.
Similarly to ovens, the initial cost of a gas stovetop will be more than electric stovetops due to needing a gas line installed, however this money will later be saved during the usage of a gas cooktop.
Again, this will really depend on whether or not you have a gas hookup already available. But overall the energy costs of a gas stovetop will be a lot less than those of electric cooktops.
Because stovetops do not take anywhere near as long to heat up as ovens, this comparison isn’t as extreme when it comes to gas vs electric stoves. Stoves simply need a direct heat course applied from the dish or the gas burner. This heat directly warms the pot or pan, making it a lot easier to find the desired temperature and without having to wait long for the stovetop to get there.
With a gas model, the flame directly heats the pots and pans above it. This means that some heat can escape, but it is easy to increase or decrease the temperature whilst cooking and so overall you get a better, more accurate experience when heating food.
With an electric stovetop, the coil heats the plate that the pans sit on meaning that it will have a better heat transfer once it reaches the desired temperature but it also means that it takes longer for the temperature to change. This means it is a lot easier to burn food, and also means it can take longer to cook food.
Whilst the heat from an electric plate is excellent at quickly heating the bottom of the pan, and with gas we may lose some heat from the open flame, this can also be a beneficial factor.
The flames spread around the sides of the pans too, meaning that although some heat escapes, it can also heat up the sides meaning that the pot can heat up a lot quicker. This can be fantastic for things like soups and pasta, as it means the heat is evenly distributed around the pot, as opposed to only the base of the pot.
The heat from the coil is more direct, meaning that you are more likely to have to stir the food for an even cook, but also means you are more likely to burn the food at the bottom of the pot.
So, although an electric stovetop can hold more heat, a gas stovetop is easier to control the temperature of, can provide a more consistent cook and the open flame makes it quick to use.
When comparing gas vs electric stoves, one of the main factors to consider is the convenience of keeping them clean. With flat-top electric models, it is so easy to simply wipe them down with a cloth and you are good to go.
On the other hand, gas counterparts can be a lot trickier to clean. They have grates that need to be removed and then cleaning underneath the heating mechanism can be tricky too, especially if any food has spilled.
Similar to electric ovens, the stove can also move anywhere, making them more transferable, but again, you will be lost with a power outage.
Of course, the most obvious safety hazard would be the flame of a gas cooktop. Not only can a gas range leak similar to ovens, but gas burners are often left on, filling the room with gas. In addition to that, you then have an open flame which can make it ridiculously easy to set a fire.
Electric models do heat up a lot though and can be very easy to burn yourself on. They remain hot for a while after being turned off, and so this makes it easy to forget they were on, or for someone else to not realise they were on, and to then cause burns of both yourself but also of other kitchen utensils if left on top.
Many modern electric cooktops have lights now and warnings, but for the older models this is not always the case.
The type of cookware you own is also an important factor to consider. Electric stoves behave differently to gas stoves and so both types require different properties from your cookware.
Typically, most cookware will be okay on both electric and gas, but you can find out more about the differences here.
An important factor to consider if you are buying a glass top stove is that these can break easily, and so certain cookware is a lot more suited for this kind of stove. You can learn more about how to protect your glass stove top and the kinds of cookware suitable for it here.
Gas vs Electric Stove and Oven
So, now that the results are in, it is time to check the verdict!
In terms of cost, electricity is your best bet. However, if you do happen to have a gas connection already installed, then it is definitely worth considering gas instead. The overall appliance will cost slightly more, but the usage over time will definitely even this out, especially if you don’t have to pay for the installation of a gas supply.
In terms of heating up, gas is also a lot more efficient and quick. Whilst electric hobs can store the heat for longer, it will take longer to heat up in the first place. Both are therefore quite energy efficient, but when it comes to wanting more control over the temperature of your oven and stove top, it is a lot easier to monitor and change gas.
The heat distribution of a gas cooktop is less energy efficient, but more even. So, if you are focussing on using less energy, electric stove tops are good, but if you are focussing on making delicious, evenly-cooked meals, gas would be best for you.
With convenience, it is no doubt that electric ovens and stovetops are better in terms of moving around and connecting. However, if you live in an area where power outages are a regular occurrence, you should definitely opt for a gas cooker.
In terms of safety, both have the pros and cons. With any heating appliance you need to be careful, but with gas you just need to be extra careful of any leaks and ensure that you do not leave the hob on.
So, both have their pros and cons. If you are willing to spend a little bit more, then a gas cooker will save you time and money in the long run, will work when you have no power, and will provide a more even and moist cook which is why I would always say to choose gas.
However, if crispier food and a safer mechanism is your deal breaker, electric is the one for you.
Do chefs prefer gas or electric stoves?
It really depends on the chef, but more often than not they will prefer gas stoves. This is because it is a quicker source of heat and is easier to control and monitor the temperature, making it more reliable and convenient in fast-pace settings.
Is a gas stove cheaper to run than an electric?
Whilst gas stoves are more expensive initially to buy and to have installed, in the long run gas works out cheaper to use than electricity.