Gas vs Electric Stove: Which is the best for you?

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Gas vs electric stove is a question that has been hotly debated for some time now. (See what I did there?)

And, for good reason. When purchasing a new stove, you want to get it right.

Whether it’s a gas stove or an electric stove that you’re looking for, the more information you have, the better. Let’s find out what’s better for you: A gas stove or an electric stove.

Gas vs Electric Stove: Which is the best for you?

The main difference between a gas stove and an electric stove is its heating source. If you’re worried about costs, then choose a stove that has the cheaper power source. This will vary greatly by region, but for the most part, gas is often the more inexpensive option. Electric stoves, however, will be cheaper in unit price. If you’re more concerned about cooking prowess, gas stoves offer more precision. Finally, if you like a fancier kitchen and showing off for your guests, then gas just might the way to go. Overall, though, both gas and electric stoves come in a wide variety of models and with a bit of information, finding the right appliance shouldn’t have to be difficult.

Differences between Gas and Electric Stoves

Gas and electric stoves share the same purpose: they cook food. But how they go about this task is quite different. To help illustrate these differences, here are the pros and cons.

Gas Stove

Pros

Gas stoves allow you to perfectly control the temperature at which you are cooking. This means if you need to turn up the heat or down the heat, it is immediate.

Gas stoves are often found in high-end kitchens for a reason. Not only do they perform well, but they look cool, too. Gas stoves are almost always the choice for experienced chefs.

Cons

A gas stove requires an open flame to work. While some models require you to use your own flame, many now have a built-in starter button.

However, if you’re worried about open flames, this may not be the option for you. Gas stoves do pose more of a fire hazard than electric stoves, so be sure to keep baking soda and a fire extinguisher handy, just in case.

Furthermore, if you have some junior chefs in the house, you might want to reconsider a gas stove. While they might be ok under your strict guidance, if you have kids that are home alone after school, a no-cooking rule might be the safest way to go.

Electric Stove

Pros

Electric stoves don’t have an open flame, so there is far less chance of a kitchen fire. While you still wouldn’t want to place a towel on the hot surface of an electric stove, you have a few minutes to realize your mistake, rather than the mere seconds with a gas stove.

Electric stoves are also incredibly easy to use. Simply turn a knob to start and if you want to lower or increase a temperature, turn the know further.

Cons

The biggest reason to not get an electric stove is that it can take a while for the temperature to change, once you’ve adjusted it. This means that if you start off at a boiling temperature, but need to bring the heat down, it can take a while for the temperature to change.

While this doesn’t seem like too much of a convenience, anyone who has spent time in the kitchen will know that the difference between done and burnt exists in those few extra seconds.

While newer, more high-end electric stoves are becoming more efficient, electric stoves that fall in the typical household budget still have a slow reactionary time.

Gas vs stove: Comparison

Let’s get on to the nitty-gritty when it comes to the differences between electric and gas stoves.

Heating time

For those who have had to watch a pot boil, you’ll know how important the heating time is. When you’re in a rush and want to make the perfect pasta, the last thing you need to do is watch as the water slowly comes to a boil.

Electric stoves usually have a faster heating time than gas stoves. This is because the gas-fed flame emits a lot of heat, but not all of it is directed right to the burner.

An electric element, on the other hand, focuses all of its energy only on the circle on the cooktop.

However, an important distinction should be made when it comes to individual models. In a perfect world, you could afford a top of the line electric range. In reality, your budget is likely a tad lower.

Inexpensive electric stoves will most likely have a slower heating time and older models most definitely will.

Cook style

When it comes to cooking, it’s all about style. Taste is also important but for anyone who has entertained for friends, it’s nice to look cool while you’re doing it.

Electric stoves have a few cooking styles to choose from. On the lower end of the budget scale, you will have electric coils that sit on the cook top.

The unfortunate side of this design is that crumbs and spills are a certainty. You will want to place aluminum plates underneath to catch anything and periodically replace them for a cleaner looking kitchen.

For a bit more money, you can purchase an electric stove that has a ceramic or glass top on the surface, with the coils underneath. The result is a streamlined design that is easy to clean up.

The cooking style of gas stoves is all about the number of burners. Four is the average, but some will have smaller coils squeezed in for a combination of five.

If you’re able to really invest in a gas stove, some will have built-in warming plates or even grills to cook on. This results in amazing cooking convenience and versatility.

Convenience

A gas stove may be high on your kitchen remodel wish list, but there’s one important factor that could stand in your way: a gas line. Most houses will have a gas line, either to their hot water tank or fireplace. But it might not be anywhere near your kitchen.

It is possible to add in a gas line, but like anything, it will cost you. If you haven’t factored in the cost of a gas line to your kitchen, it may stop you from realizing your kitchen dreams.

Electricity, on the other hand, will always be readily available in the kitchen. There are no added costs and you could even put the money that a gas line will cost to upgrading your new appliance.

Electric stoves are more convenient to cook on as you don’t have to worry about finding a flame or pressing the starter button hard enough to start.

However, if you are caught in a windstorm and your power goes out, a gas stove is suddenly a lot more convenient. Just as it’s nice to have a gas fireplace as a secondary heating source to your primary electric baseboards, having a gas stove is a nice backup in an emergency.

Efficiency

When you turn on an electric stove, most of the energy goes towards heating the electric coil. When you start a gas stove, a lot of the energy is lost to the flames which can heat anywhere around the coil.

Therefore, even if you pay less for your gas consumption, gas stoves are less efficient and can end up costing a lot more in energy costs.

It’s hard to tell just how inefficient some models are because you will cook at different temperatures. If you have an electrical stove and aren’t sure how efficient it is, use the warmth test.

How much of the stovetop is hot? If it’s just the coil area, then it’s an efficient stove. If, however, it’s the whole surface, then too much heat is going elsewhere.

Safety

Without a doubt, electric stoves are safer than gas stoves. An open flame is, after all, a fire hazard.

While electric cooktops can become quite hot, as well, items placed on a hot surface will not immediately catch fire.

One important safety detail that some people miss is the possibility of gas leaks. If a gas stove has the gas source on, but there is no flame to burn it, then the gas can quickly fill the room.

Thankfully, natural gas, which will be the source of your stove, has a sulfuric smell added to it, which should smell like rotten eggs. If you smell this, immediately go outside and call the authorities.

Price

While both gas and electric ranges have price points across the spectrum, on the whole, gas stoves are going to be more expensive.

A basic electric stove will be about $500, while a basic gas stove will be about $600. From there, the ceiling is practically endless.

Operational cost

To figure out the operating costs of either appliance, you will have to determine your local utility rates. On the whole, gas costs less than electricity, but by how much will determine within each region. If you have solar panels, this will also greatly offset the cost.

Without confusing you with too much math, it will cost about $2.40 per month to run a gas stove and about $6.00 to run an electric stove. This equates to $28.80 per month for a gas stove and $72.00 per month for an electric stove. Again, this will vary depending on how much your utilities cost in your region.

Durability or maintenance      

Electric stoves are more durable than gas stoves. The flat surface of electric stoves allows you to place pots and pans of any weight and not worry about spilling.

Gas stoves rely on coils for you to place your pans. If you put it down at the wrong angle, something could easily spill, or even break.

As for maintenance, again, electric stoves are the better pick. Gas lines don’t usually break, but if they do, you need to call an expert.

If there is an electrical issue, you could try to safely DIY a fix. Gas should not be played around with.

What’s best for you?

So, what’s better: an electric stove or a gas stove? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer.

Budget, cooking techniques and décor all play a part in your decision.

While this may seem a bit defeating, it’s actually a good thing. Because there are so many models to choose from in each category, you can find exactly what will work best for you.

While gas stoves might have been the quintessential piece of a kitchen, new technology means both options are valid. You can rest easy knowing that whatever you pick, you will still be able to cook all your favorite dishes and impress your guests.

Related Questions

Is gas or electric stove better?

If you asked this question 10 years ago, the answer would be a gas stove. Now, thanks to technological advancements, the answer is about equal.

Electric stoves have come a long way in both exterior looks and performance. They are now used in high-end kitchen remodels.

Ultimately, when deciding which to purchase, start by making a list of your own personal needs. Then, go through and see which model will work best for you. There is no wrong answer in this debate.

What is cheaper: gas or electric stove?

An electric stove is the cheaper alternative. Not only are electric stoves less expensive as a unit but they also don’t require a gas line.

Most kitchens won’t have a gas line to the stove area, which means you will need to install one. This can be quite pricey, depending on where you need to tap into.

While the initial cost is more for an electric stove, the day-to-day costs of a gas stove will actually be cheaper, due to utility rates.

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