The holiday season is a time for warmth and togetherness, and that often involves cooking lots and lots of food. If you’re looking to replace your current range this time of year, you’ll be faced with the question of which model is best. Specifically, you may be trying to decide between a gas vs. electric stove for your home.
Here, we’ll go over which type tends to excel best in the categories described below.
The initial cost of a stove is a deciding factor for many. After all, a top-of-the-line oven may simply be outside your price range. That said, the cost differences don’t usually vary too much between gas and electric models.
Installation costs may be a bit different, depending on your circumstances. In particular, if your last range ran on gas, you already have the piping in place to install a new one. On the other hand, if you don’t have gas supply lines installed, the cost of a gas stove goes up.
Beyond the initial installation costs, deciding between a gas vs. electric stove frequently comes down to operational expenses. If you’re likely to use less energy with one than the other, it may justify paying a bit more for a better model. Eventually, the energy savings would cover the difference.
While different areas vary, natural gas in most states costs less than electricity, in which case you could save as much as 30% per month with a gas stove. It does depend on the costs in your area, however, so it’s worthwhile to check your energy bills to see what you’re paying for each. Using what you find in this calculator should give you a good idea what you can expect to pay each year.
Cooking and Baking
You might be thinking, “But if I can boil water faster on one than the other, that would use less energy, right?” That’s technically true, but in a gas vs. electric stove comparison, there’s no guarantee. It tends to depend more on the quality of the individual model than whether it uses a flame or electric coil. High quality models of either type will perform equally well.
That said, the surprising truth is that more electric ranges tend to be better for high-heat cooking than gas. For low heat simmering, electric also tends to give you more consistency, but again, it depends on the specific model.
In terms of baking, you’re more likely to get better quality with a gas oven than electric, so if your preference is baked goods over stovetop cooking, gas would usually be the better option. Broiling, on the other hand, tends to work best with electric stoves.
Ultimately, though, if quality performance is your deciding factor, it’s better to compare specific models rather than whether it uses natural gas or electricity.
Safety of Gas Vs. Electric Stoves
But what about safety? Homes with small children, pets, or drapes hanging near the range will usually place safety as a high priority when deciding between a gas vs. electric stove.
With a gas stove, you cook over an open flame. As such, gas is generally more dangerous since there’s a higher risk of a house fire. Add to that the possibility of a gas leak, and the safer option clearly becomes an electric stove.
That said, that doesn’t mean an electric stove doesn’t have its risks. There’s still a small chance of fire with an electric model, so it’s important to take care whenever cooking. Also, some of the risk of gas ranges can be mitigated by a carbon monoxide detector, so if you are confident in your ability to keep to safe cooking practices, a gas model is still a good option.
The gas vs. electric stove question ultimately comes down to personal preference. Most people who grew up with gas will stick with it, while those who are used to cooking over coiled metal burners will usually be more comfortable with electric.
With that in mind, each one does have its advantages and drawbacks. To summarize:
- Initial price: Prices tend to be the same, unless you don’t have natural gas lines, in which case electric is cheaper to install.
- Energy costs: In most locales, gas will cost less to operate than electric.
- Cooking and baking: Depends on the model, though gas tends to be better for baking while electric often does slightly better at everything else.
- Safety: Electric stoves are less dangerous than gas, though they aren’t completely risk-free.
As you look over the various advantages and drawbacks of each type of stove, you’ll be able to make a good choice for your home.
Replacing appliances can be expensive, of course. When considering gas vs. electric stoves, it’s also important to consider home warranty coverage for your new range. Appliance warranties cover all kinds of home appliances, including gas and electric stoves. As with choosing the right oven, it’s important to consider your options when choosing the right warranty for your home.