Should You Get a Gas Stove or an Electric Stove?
If you're looking for kitchen renovations with a high return on investment, you might be stuck between choosing a gas stove or an electric stove. Which is better? There are pros and cons to each stove type, and it mostly depends on preference. The friendly rivalry between the stove types inspired the natural gas industry to develop the slogan, "Now we're cooking with gas," to convince people theirs was the top choice. But electric stovetops have a plethora of advantages, too. Ready to heat things up? Keep reading to decide if a gas stove or an electric stove is better for your home.
Hookup Requirements For Gas Stoves & Electric Stoves
If you don't have gas in your home, the decision becomes easy. If you do have gas in your home, you'll need to have the hookup installed if there's not one already near where you'd put the stove. Installing a gas hookup can cost a few hundred dollars, whereas an electric stove requires only a 220/240 outlet that's already present in almost all kitchens. However, if you feel strongly about using gas-powered appliances in your kitchen, working with a professional can make the task easy and affordable.
Pros & Cons of Gas Stove Tops Vs. Electric Stovetops
Many serious home chefs prefer gas for stovetop cooking. The burners get hot instantly, the flame cooks fast and evenly, and it's easy to make quick, minor adjustments in the heat level. The burners cool rapidly when they're turned off.
Electric burners heat more slowly and are harder to control for precise temperature. However, they're not without advantages. Electric stoves can have exposed coils or smooth glass tops.
Electric stoves are of often cheaper and easier to clean, but there are some things a gas stovetop can do that an electric simply can't, such as charring vegetables on direct flame.
How to Choose Between a Gas Oven & an Electric Oven
While gas stoves are the preferred cooktop for home chefs, most bakers agree that electric ovens are better for baked goods. The dry heat is also outstanding for broiling and roasting. Electric ovens are good at maintaining a consistent, evenly distributed temperature, whereas gas ovens heat up much more quickly. Gas ovens can't have convection abilities unless it has an additional, electric component, which can be an expensive upgrade. The upside of no convection fans is that having layered heat zones makes it easier to simultaneously cook foods that require different temperatures.
Gas vs. Electric: Consider the Costs Over Time
The costs of the two types on the showroom floor are so close that it's not likely to be a difference-maker. But which stove type is more efficient? Once they're in a home, the cost of using gas tends to be lower.
It's hard to make a blanket statement because energy prices vary from region to region. However, in most states, a gas stove is about 10 to 30 percent less expensive to operate. Unless there's a home baking business, neither type is likely to differ in a monthly utility bill significantly.
Even though gas usually costs less, gas stoves also waste more energy. It's estimated that over half the energy produced on an electric stove is transferred to food, while less than half of the energy of burning gas is used effectively.
Which Cooking Appliances Are Safer?
Electric stoves are generally safer than gas, both stove types can be safely operated as long when the necessary precautions are observed. The open flame of gas stoves requires additional fire safety practices.
Also, proper installation is critical with a gas stove to prevent leaks. Every home that's well-protected from common household safety hazards should have a carbon monoxide detector, but that goes double for homes with a gas stove.
Dual Fuel Ranges: The Best of Electric Cooking & Gas
If gas cooks better on a stovetop and electricity is more effective in the oven, why not have the best of both worlds? It's possible with a dual fuel range, which uses each type of fuel for the job it does best. The appliance will require both a 220/240 outlet for electricity and a gas hookup, but for the home chef who's unwilling to settle for less than the best in both cooking and baking, it may be the way to go.
Which Is Better, Gas or Electric?
The answer, of course, is, "it depends." Both will work fine for the average home. Those who love to cook might prefer gas, and enthusiastic bakers will favor electric. Some households choose electricity for the safety factor. The good news is that there are plenty of excellent stoves of both types.