When selecting a range for your kitchen, there are number of things you should keep in mind. Factors as diverse as your location and your level of cooking expertise will play into whether you pick a gas range or an electric range.
In this article, we will compare and contrast gas and electric stoves and provide some solid advice to help you make the right choice.
Your choice of a stovetop may be as simple as the experience you have had. Not surprisingly, most people choose the type of stove their parents had. Whether you are used to cooking with a gas stove or an electric stove, your familiarity will strongly influence your choice.
Gas & Electric Pros And Cons
In brief, here are the pros and cons you should keep in mind when choosing between a gas stove and an electric stove.
Electric Stove Comparison
Electric Range Pros
- Cleanup is quick and easy.
- The surface is flat for even cooking. See Glass Top Cookware
- Startup is quick and safe with no pilot light to worry about.
- Electric ranges typically have more special features included.
- An electric oven typically provides more even heat distribution than a gas oven.
Electric Range Cons
- An electric range is not a "forever" appliance. Electric appliances are easier to damage than gas appliances and they tend to look banged up and shabby within a few years after purchase.
- An electric range is more likely to become obsolete in features more quickly than a gas range. You can expect to need to replace an electric range in fairly short order.
Gas Range Comparison
Gas Range Pros
- Heat is quick and responsive.
- Gas as a fuel source is currently more affordable.
- A gas broiler provides better results than an electric broiler.
- Dual Fuel Options - What is a dual fuel range?
Gas Range Cons
- Gas heat tends to be moist heat as opposed to dry heat.
- Oven temperature tends to be uneven as heat rises to the top of the oven.
- An open flame must always be watched carefully due to safety concerns.
- It can be a bit difficult to keep a gas stovetop clean because of many removable and moving parts.
- Using gas as a fuel source is less environmentally friendly than using naturally generated electricity.
How To Buy A Stove Video
Here is a great video on how to buy stove. Even though this video is from a Canadian company, it still applies to not only Americans, but consumers across the world.
Installation And Operating Costs
Another very strong factor in choosing between a gas or electric range is money.
In many places currently, both propane and natural gas are more affordable than electricity; however, if you do not have a natural gas line to your house you will need to have a one installed at some expense.
Alternately, you could set up a propane tank. This can also be costly, and with this arrangement you may risk running out of propane between deliveries. This can be something of a hassle.
With an electric stove, all you have to do is plug it in; however, you should bear in mind that your house must be equipped with a 240 volt power outlet to accommodate most electric stoves.
Most kitchens are pre-wired for an electric stove, but if yours is not, having this work done may entail significant expense.
Price of gas is cheaper than the equivalent in electricity.
Gas may be considered preferable to electric in that operating cost is usually between 10 percent and 30 percent less, and purchase price is also quite different when comparing between a gas stove and electric stove.
On the low end, electric stoves tend to be a little bit cheaper with an average price of about $650 as compared to low-end gas stoves which can run about $800.
The reason for this is that it costs less to construct an electric stove in a gas stove, so electric stoves are typically less expensive; however, as quality rises, the cost comparison changes.
High-end electric stoves can run as much as $2800, but the very best gas stove will run you about $2300.
When determining purchase, installation and operating costs, it’s easy to see that your location and the resources available to you must be carefully considered.
Cooking With Gas vs. Cooking With Electricity
Most good cooks prefer cooking with a gas stove. The reason for this is that the open flame is much more responsive than an electric burner. You can adjust the temperature of your cooking instantly.
Additionally, with a gas range you can perform a good many more functions such as flambé, charring and toasting. These are not possible with an electric stove.
Of course when you cook with an open flame, you have quite a bit more risk of starting a fire. While it is possible to set things on fire with your electric burner, it takes a little bit of doing. With a gas stove, you must be very vigilant to prevent accidental fires.
You must also be sure that your cooking area is well vented when you cook with gas. If there is a gas leak, naturally this puts you at risk.
Even when your gas stove is operating properly, you run some risk of carbon monoxide contamination. Be sure to have a carbon monoxide detector in place when cooking with gas.
If you would feel at all unsafe with a gas range, naturally you should go with electric.
Gas stoves can be a bit of a pain to clean, but if you practice good cooking habits by wiping up spills as you go along and measuring appropriately to prevent overflow of ingredients you shouldn't have too much trouble keeping up with it.
If you tend to be a flamboyant cook, you may be better off with an electric stove since the smooth surfaces are a little easier to wipe clean.
Another thing to keep in mind with an electric stove is that if your electricity is out you will not be able to cook! In this way, a gas stove has a definite advantages over an electric stove.
If you live in an area that is subject to frequent power outages, you might be better off with gas.
Which Type Of Stove Should You Choose?
In the final analysis, your choice of a stove will depend on many factors. Naturally, you want a stove that you are comfortable using.
If you believe that it would be too difficult for you to switch from electric to gas or gas to electric then you will want to stay with the type of stove you are used to.
You will also want to consider your budget in terms of both purchase price and operating costs. Additionally, keep in mind any concerns you may have regarding the use of fossil fuels.