Gas Stove vs. Electric: Which is Best?


close up of a gas burner

Since most of us use a mixture of our stove's burners and baking capabilities to cook all kinds of foods, it's important to know what's best: gas stoves vs. electric stoves.

Gas Stoves

Gas stoves provide the convenience of heating and cooking foods quickly. However, gas hookups aren't available in every home. Installing gas lines is complicated and should only be done by a professional. If you already have a gas line running to your kitchen, or if you're prepared to install a new gas line, you can enjoy the benefits of cooking with gas by purchasing a new gas stove.

Unlike older gas stoves that may have uneven burners with inconsistent flames, newer gas stoves typically have a more uniform flame and are quicker to heat up than older models meaning a reduction in cooking time, and an overall reduction in energy output. You'll likely get a wider range of flame intensities, which will quickly heat that pot of water for pasta.

If you commonly experience power outages due to storms or blackouts, a gas stove vs. an electric stove may be a lifesaver because your stove will still be able to cook food while all your other appliances remain unresponsive.

Electric Stove

Electric stoves have come a long way from previous designs.  It used to take a long time for the appliance to heat up, and it contained various hot and cold points that could unevenly heat your food.

According to Ashley Smith at Kompareit.com, electric stoves today could be less expensive to buy and install than their gas counterparts, and the heat-up time is down to just a few minutes compared to the wait time of older models. However, because of the cost of electricity, electric stoves will cost twice as much to run than a comparable gas stove, according to How Stuff Works.

When comparing gas stoves vs. electric stoves, models of well-known brands should perform similarly. One benefit of an electric stove is that it's more consistent, with the same setting on your range's knobs providing the same level of heat every time. On the other hand, the same setting on your gas stove knobs could produce different flame intensities.

Attached Ovens

For most, a stove and an oven are part of the same appliance, with most stoves having burners on top and a large chamber for baking below.

Energy efficiency aside, gas is less expensive to bake with than electricity, according to East Side Home Inspection. However, many people prefer to bake with an electric oven even though the preheat time could be double that of a gas oven. That's because electric ovens have a more consistent and drier heat than gas, which makes them great for baking cookies and other pastries, or for adding crispiness to baked french fries.

On the other hand, gas ovens typically have more humid air, which might help reduce the cooking time for some dishes.

Hybrid Stoves

Some newer stoves attempt to answer the gas stove vs electric stove question by asking, “Why not both?”

Indeed, hybrid stoves give you the option of gas burners up top and an electric oven, or vice versa. It depends on your cooking preferences.

With a hybrid stove you could get the best of both worlds: electric power when you need to bake more evenly or keep things at a precise temperature, and gas power when you need to quickly add heat to a dish.

More Energy Saving Tricks

But if you're not quite ready to pick a winner in the gas stove vs. electric debate, there are some tricks to get the most out of the stove you already own, as long as it's still in good, functioning order.

First, look at your cookware. If you're still using the same settings you purchased decades ago, a new set of cookware could enhance your cooking experience by ensuring that heat is evenly dispersed across the pots or pans you're using. With an older pan, you could inadvertently be creating hot and cold spots where the pan lifts from the burner due to warping.

With a gas oven, you could help regulate the temperature with baking stones, which may retain heat and could help keep your oven temperature from fluctuating too much.

Direct Energy

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