The differences between a gas oven and an electric oven may be subtle, but can make a significant difference when it comes to cooking certain foods. While many cooks have come to expect a certain level of performance depending on which oven they choose, the choice between ovens ultimately comes down to a personal preference. No matter which choice one makes, cooking styles may vary slightly between the two types of ovens.
One of the first things to consider is how much baking you will be doing. This could affect the cost of running the appliance. Often the cost difference between gas and electric is not that significant. However, for those who do a lot of baking or broiling, gas ovens could be far more economical in the long run, even though they may cost more initially to acquire.
Gas ovens tend to heat and cool down quicker than electric ovens. This may not be a major concern for most people. Still, for those who like to bake in a hurry, and who have small children around, the convenience and safety of this type of feature may be enough to convince them.
Some say one of the major differences between a gas oven and an electric oven is the way in which heat is distributed. Electric ovens do a far superior job in this type of circumstance, most will agree. However, others would argue that gas ovens better control the exact temperature of the oven. Further, changes in oven technology over the years have enabled gas ovens to heat very evenly.
Another thing to consider is how dry the heat is. Some say electric ovens are far superior because they tend to use dry heat more than natural gas ovens. Therefore, they tend not to rust as easily. However, the additional moisture in gas ovens could help prevent some bread crusts from becoming hard and brittle before the inside of the bread is cooked. The same could apply to cakes and pies as well. Therefore, some may consider the additional moisture to actually be a cooking aid.
Both types of ovens often work in similar ways. Each has its own thermostat and most are controlled electrically. This means that even in an electrical outage, it may not be possible or practical to cook with the oven even though some cite this as a reason to choose a natural gas oven.
Powering Gas Stoves vs. Powering Electric Stoves
As the names imply, gas stoves are most often powered by natural gas, although sometimes they can also be powered by liquid propane. Older gas stoves rely on the pilot light being constantly ignited, but newer versions save energy by having electrical spark ignitions, which means they slightly rely on electricity in addition to natural gas.
Electric stoves are more common than gas stoves these days, often because they are cheaper to purchase upfront. Electric stoves also come in different styles. High-coil versions have exposed coils that you can see when heating food. Others have sleek tops, which are typically glass, with the heating coil underneath the glass.
What Is the Monthly Utility Cost of Gas Stove Vs Electric Stove?
The costs of operating gas or electric stoves vary greatly depending on how much a person uses the stove and even where they live since energy costs vary from state to state. Even though there is no set amount of money for operating costs, you can calculate how much you think you'll spend if you have a bit of information.
First, consider gas stoves. Find the oven's energy rating (it will be in BTUs, which stands for British Thermal Units) and divide it by 100,000. Next, multiply the number you get by the cost per therm of natural gas in your area. Then, estimate how many hours you use your oven per month and multiply the number of hours. For example, if your oven has 18,000 BTU and you divide that by 100,000, you'll get 0.18. That's what you'll multiply by the price per therm by. You can consult with the U.S. Energy Information Administration to find out the cost per therm in your state.
Next, you'll want to know how to calculate the consumption of an electric stove. First, you'll need to find your oven's wattage rating. There should be a small plaque somewhere on the unit, or you can find it in the manual. Multiply your oven's wattage by the number of hours you use it per day, then divide it by 1,000 watts (which is equal to a single kilowatt). This tells you the kilowatt-hours (kWh) that your oven uses each day. From there, you'll need to know how much your area charges per kWh of electricity. Multiply the number you got by the price per kWh to find out how much you use per day, which you can then use to find out how much you'll use per month.
Which Is More Energy Efficient Gas or Electric Oven?
To learn which one is more energy-efficient, you'll first need to know how gas and electric stoves work. If you have a gas stove, the natural gas enters it from the main supply in your house. If you don't already have a supply but want a gas oven, you'll need to keep in mind the upfront costs will be more since you'll need to install the gas source. The main gas supply carries the gas to the burner, where it mixes with the air. The ignition system lights the mixture, which creates a blue flame. When you turn on your burner's knobs, you can control how much gas reaches the burner and therefore how high the flame goes.
When you use an electric stove, the electricity has a coiled wire that either sits just under or on top of your cooktop (often, older models have visible coils and newer models have glass tops). Regardless of which type you have, when you turn the burner on, the electricity flows through the coil to heat it up. You'll see a bright orange color when your burner is fully heated, but the temperature will not be precise.
Because electricity cannot create as precise of a temperature as gas can, gas stoves are considered to be more energy-efficient overall. In fact, electricity takes about three times as much energy to heat up your stove. However, it's important to keep overall costs in mind. Even if gas is more energy-efficient overall, the price may be higher than electricity, which means you'll spend more money.
Do Chefs Prefer Gas or Electric Ovens?
Typically, chefs prefer gas cooktops. The biggest reason is that chefs can precisely control the temperatures of their creations with a gas stove. There are other benefits as well. Most pans aren't entirely flat on the bottom, which means electricity heats them unevenly and may leave the edges cold. Gas ranges heat pans more evenly, regardless of how flat or rounded the cookware is. Gas ranges are also easier to clean. Electric ranges often need to be cleaned under the burners, which is not a situation that gas ranges create. Electric ranges with glass tops are even harder to clean since they need special supplies.