Kitchen Showdown: Gas Ranges vs. Electric Stoves

Have you ever noticed that talking about gas stoves vs. their electric counterparts can get a little, er, heated? (No pun intended!) It seems people have some pretty adamant opinions as to which is best when it comes to performance and cost.
GasStove Kitchen Showdown: Gas Ranges vs. Electric Stoves
Here at C&H headquarters, we’d like to consider ourselves impartial judges, and have compiled a pros and cons list for each to help you decide. There are, of course, some considerations you’ll have to take into account if you want to switch the type of stove you use. If you want a gas stove, for instance, you’ll need to make sure your home has access to natural gas. If not, you can install a propane tank and the appropriate piping, but be prepared to spend at least $1,000 for the process.
Gas Stoves: The Good
*Superior performance. Those who have used gas and electric stoves overwhelmingly agree that gas stoves are much better when it comes to cooking. They heat rapidly, turn off instantly and you can use the flame for tasks like charring peppers and roasting marshmallows.
*Reliability. In the event of an electrical outage, your gas stove will still work, which can be a huge benefit if you experience an extended outage during a natural disaster like a hurricane or ice storm.


Gas Stoves: The Bad
*Odor and heat. Gas stoves can be a little stinky, and because they instantly turn on, can put off a lot of heat. If you have a tiny kitchen, you may find the gas stove makes the air too warm. Of course, you could counteract this with good ventilation or maybe a strategically placed fan. If you do go for a gas stove, make sure you have a functioning ventilation hood that ducts to the outside. You can also opt for a pilotless ignition, which will also help with air quality.
*Residue. You may find yourself cleaning a little more often if you own a gas range. Water vapor is created while the gas burns, which will likely mix with whatever fats you’re cooking with and spread farther throughout your kitchen than you’d find with an electric stove. You’re not going to end up with a solid wall of grease, but if you notice a few extra messy spots, that’s the likely culprit.
*Installation. Installing a gas stove is more complex (read: expensive) than its electric counterpart, since you’ll need the appropriate piping in your kitchen.
Electric Stoves: The Good
*Technology. One of the biggest complaints of electric stoves when compared to gas ranges is that they don’t heat up nearly as quickly or maintain an even heat that’s ideal for cooking. Yet with all of today’s technological advancements, induction cooktops can boil water in seconds, and flat-top stoves are ideally suited for even heating. In other words? These aren’t your grandma’s electric stoves!
*Control. The heat on an electric stove is easier to control, giving you more consistent cooking results than you may find with a gas range. Plus, electric heats more efficiently than gas, so your kitchen will stay cooler.
Electric Stoves: The Bad
*Performance. Although electric stoves have come a long way, their newer, fancier counterparts also come with a hefty price tag. For more basic models, they likely won’t replicate the rapid heating of a gas stove and may not match the overall performance that comes with a gas range.
*Power outages. If your power goes out, so does your stove. While the occasional outage doesn’t pose a huge problem, an extended outage is high on the inconvenience factor. Of course, it’s usually difficult to predict these types of events, so unless you live in an area that’s prone to power outages, this likely won’t be as important a factor when you’re considering a type of stove.
*Energy use. Smooth-top electric ranges will use more energy than coil ranges (unless you’re using an induction model). If energy use and costs are of a concern, make sure you get an Energy Star certified model, which will be more efficient than alternative stoves.
Where do you stand in the great range debate? Gas, electric, or are one of the few who see the advantages of both?
Photo: Flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/4226949238

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katy schamberger1 Kitchen Showdown: Gas Ranges vs. Electric Stoves
Katy Schamberger is a Kansas City-based freelance writer, editor, blogger and author who weaves experience as a journalist, magazine editor and Chief Content Officer to create compelling, engaging copy that informs, entertains and inspires action. Oh, and she likes to take photos, too, especially of architecture, food and cocktails. Welcome!