It may not be the hottest debate topic of the decade but people certainly have strong opinions about fuel sources for their appliances. For most people, it comes down to either gas or electricity.
Like any major appliance purchase, your choice of a stove should come down to three things-cost, function, and performance. Let’s consider each of these in turn looking at the pros and cons of gas versus electric stoves.
Gas Vs. Electric: Cost
The cost of owning and operating a stove isn’t limited to purchase price. You need to think about installation, operating, and repair costs. Is electric stove repair more expensive than gas stove repair? Does a gas stove cost more to run?
In general, a good mid-range gas stove has a comparable purchase price to a similar electric model, however, gas ranges can quickly climb into the tens of thousands of dollars for high-end professional-grade brands. You can get a good-quality gas or electric stove between $2,000 and $3,000.
If your home is already fitted with a gas line, the installation costs for a gas stove shouldn’t be too much more than an electric stove. The most significant difference is a gas stove must be installed by a certified gas fitter, whereas many people can manage electric stove installation on their own. Installation costs for a gas stove can climb quickly if you do not have a gas hookup. Moving a gas line starts at a few hundred and running a new one can reach into the thousands.
Gas stoves have a slight advantage over electric stoves in monthly operating costs because natural gas is a cheaper fuel source. However, an electric stove has the edge when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Electric stove repair is generally less expensive than gas stove repair because there is less risk involved, and technicians do not need to be certified gas fitters.
Gas Vs. Electric: Function
Gas range or electric, either one will work perfectly fine for what you need it to do- heat food. However, one uses natural gas and the other electricity.
An electric stove heats coils which then distribute heat throughout the stove and this process requires cold coils to be heated before that heat can begin warming the oven. By comparison, once a gas stove flame is ignited it starts producing heat right away.
Electric stoves have an advantage over gas (although many ceramic cooktop owners would probably argue against this point) when it comes to cleaning. Gas ranges have more in common with coil cooktops. The metal grates need to be removed and scrubbed after a nasty spill. You also have to be very careful to ensure fuel ports don’t get clogged with food particles on a gas range and keep the ignitors clean.
Ceramic cooktops can easily be wiped clean once cool. For big messes, simply scrub with a damp cloth and a little baking soda, and warm water.
Gas Vs. Electric: Performance
Performance is the main sticking point for people who favour gas ranges. A gas cooktop provides instant heat and temperatures are easier to control. Electric cooktops take longer to warm and raising or lowering the temperature takes time (inconvenient if you have a sauce boiling over).
An electric stove may provide more consistent heating than a gas one, and it also produces dryer heat which is something that bakers sometimes prefer. Gas stoves produce some moisture making roasting or browning foods take a little longer.
There’s no clear winner when it comes to gas versus electric as it comes down to preference. Either way, proper maintenance, and care can reduce your odds of needing to replace or repair your appliance.