Gas vs electric stove: You want to know which is the smarter choice for your kitchen. Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer. Each has distinct advantages as well as disadvantages, and how you cook will help you determine which one is right for you.
However, whether you opt for a gas or electric stove may depend on which energy source is available to you. According to the federal Energy Information Administration, only about half of U.S. homes have access to natural gas. That limits your options considerably unless you’re willing and able to install propane yourself.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to choose an electric or gas stove, we’re here to help you sort out the differences and decide which will best serve your cooking needs.
Wondering if it’s worth paying more for a hybrid stove with gas burners and an electric oven, aka a dual fuel stove? We have the lowdown on that option as well.
The Bosch HGI8056UC 800 Series is our reigning favorite gas stove option. Gas vs. Electric Range: Key Differences
In order to install a gas range, you ideally need to live in an area that has a natural gas line.
If you live in a house with a yard, however, you have the option of installing an above-ground exterior LP (aka propane) tank. It’s not the nicest thing to look at, but you’ll likely need to refill it only once a year or so. You can also use the tank to power amenities like a gas fireplace if you want one of those.
On the other hand, if your home currently has a gas range and you want to swap in an electric one, you may need a new circuit since electric ranges require more power than a typical household outlet provides. Before you make the switch from all-gas to an electric or a dual fuel range, we recommend that you have an electrician assess the electrical lines in your kitchen.
The TRUTH about induction cooking. Our exclusive video review.Appearance
A gas range gives a kitchen a professional look. Often, it’s the centerpiece of the room and immediately signals that someone who loves to cook is in the house. However, a gas range is harder to keep pristine, and it can look messy.
On the other hand, an electric range with a smooth glass top is sleek and contemporary looking and easier to keep clean. That makes it appealing to anyone who wants a clutter-free kitchen.
We’ll get into the key differences as to which is better for stovetop cooking, baking, and broiling below. However, you can get good results from either fuel source. Contrary to popular belief, gas isn’t necessarily better for stovetop cooking, and electric ovens only have a slight edge when it comes to consistent performance.
How a cooking appliance will impact the resale value of your home will depend largely on the preferences of potential buyers. Those who are avid cooks will love the look of a kitchen with a professional-style range. However, people with a taste for sleek modern design will gravitate to a kitchen with a range or cooktop that has a smooth glass ceramic surface.
Regardless of whether it’s gas or electric, a high-end range or cooktop will make a better impression.
Gas vs. Electric Stove FAQs
The Café CES700P2MS1 is our go-to electric range. We especially like this soft-touch white matte finish—it’s fingerprint resistant, too! Which is better at cooking?
A gas cooktop heats up more quickly than an electric one, which makes it better for preparing something with a very short cooking time, like an omelet. Gas is also very responsive. As soon as you switch to a lower setting, the heat level reduces. If you’re making chocolate pudding, you can turn down the heat as soon as it thickens to prevent scorching. Chefs love gas because it helps them control the heat under sauces so they don’t curdle or become too concentrated.
While it takes electric ranges longer to start heating, once they do, they catch up. An electric element will bring a pot of water to a boil significantly faster than a gas burner; some electric cooktops can bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in less than 15 minutes while gas ranges typically take 25 minutes.
How evenly gas and electric ranges cook, whether you’re browning burgers or simmering a stew, will depend to some degree on what kind of cookware you use. Electric ranges will give extremely even browning and searing results when you use a pan with a perfectly flat disc on the bottom that makes good contact with the stovetop. On the other hand, gas ranges brown better when cooking is done in a so-called clad pan that has an interior layer of aluminum that extends from the bottom of the pan up the sides.
To get steady simmering on any type of cooktop, your best bet is to use a clad pan as it can conduct the heat up the sides. When you use a pan with a flat bottom, you can get scorching at the point where the base meets the sides.
Which has a better oven?
An electric oven holds a steadier temperature and therefore bakes more evenly. However, gas ovens on the market today are vastly improved over older ones, and many bake as well as an electric oven.
While gas ranges are believed to be better at broiling because they have an open flame like an outdoor grill, for the most part electric ranges brown more evenly. However, few broilers will give steaks the kind of dark brown crust that they develop when they’re cooked outdoors.
Gas ranges with infrared broilers, such as a Wolf range, do the best job of approximating the crusty results you get from a grill.
Check out our exclusive video review to find out why Wolf ranges are among our perennial top picks.Which is cheaper?
There’s no major difference between the cost of gas and electric cooking appliances as long as they are the same size and in the same line of appliances. Features and styling have the biggest effect on price. As the number of extras increases and the styling becomes more sophisticated, appliances become more costly.
A dual fuel range with a gas cooktop and an electric oven is premium priced; by how much it exceeds all-gas and all-electric options depends on the brand.
Which is safer?
You have to be more careful with gas burners because they have an open flame. Sleeves, curtains, dish towels, and pot holders can easily catch fire.
On an electric cooktop, the chief danger is of a burn from touching the hot smoothtop surface. Most glass ceramic cooktops have hot surface indicators that light up when the cooktop is hot to remind you to be mindful.
Electric ranges are also better for indoor air quality. Gas ranges release carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide as well as other pollutants into the air, which can make them problematic for anyone who has a respiratory illness. That’s why it’s absolutely essential to install a range hood that exhausts to the outdoors over a gas range.
With gas appliances, there’s also the risk of a gas leak. If a gas range is installed correctly, it’s unlikely to leak. But if your home has gas appliances, you should have a carbon monoxide detector and be diligent about keeping it in good working order.
An electric cooktop is simple to wipe down, unless food gets scorched onto its surface.Cleaning a gas range’s burner pan involves removing the grate and burner.Which is easier to clean?
Hands down, an electric range is easier. On a gas range, there are burners, grates, and burner pans, all of which have crevices and can be difficult to maintain. To clean them thoroughly, they need to be removed from the cooktop, soaked in the sink, and put back in position. Often, they are large, heavy, and unwieldy to handle. If the grates are cast iron, you’ll ideally want to season them the way you would a cast-iron pan to keep them gleaming.
While in theory all you have to do to clean the glass ceramic surface on an electric range is wipe it down, spillovers and splashes can burn on and become hard to remove. To keep an electric range in pristine condition, it’s important to clean up any splatters with a wet sponge or paper towel as quickly as you can. If burnt-on residue develops, it needs to be scraped off with a razor blade or glass scraper made for this purpose, with the blade held at a 45 degree angle. Scotch-Brite Glass Cooktop Cleaning Wand is another is another handy tool for stubborn messes.
On electric cooktops, you should avoid using glass cleaners like Windex, which can leave streaks, as well as abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that can cause scratches. To polish the glass cooktop surface and get rid of smears, use a small amount of a glass ceramic cleaner made by EZ Brite, Weiman, Carbona, or Affresh and a soft clean cloth.
We strongly recommend ovens with traditional high heat self-cleaning cycles. Virtually all electric ovens are self-cleaning, but some gas ranges aren’t, particularly if they are either inexpensive or professionally styled. If a self-cleaning oven is important to you, and we think it should be, make sure any gas range you are considering purchasing has one. Don’t settle for a steam clean cycle, which will only loosen light stains.
Which is more environmentally friendly?
Neither gas nor electric ranges are energy hogs. Cooking appliances are responsible for only about 4.5 percent of a typical household’s energy costs.
Having said that, the cost of gas is lower than of electricity.
However, electric cooking appliances are more energy efficient than gas appliances because less heat is lost into the air.
Dual fuel ranges combine a gas cooktop with an electric oven. The Wolf DF30450SP marries the very best of both.
Dual Fuel Stove: The Best of Both Worlds?
If you can’t decide which is better for you, a gas or electric range, the solution might be to invest in a dual fuel range with a gas cooktop and electric oven. It will give you the open flame and control over the heat that cooks love about gas and an oven that bakes evenly. It’s the no-compromise option, but it’ll cost you a premium, and you do have to have access to both natural gas and a 220 to 240 V electrical line. That means in addition to the higher cost of a dual fuel range, you may have the expense of installing an LP tank or calling in an electrician.
Learn what makes a dual fuel range the ultimate cooking appliance and get our top picks in our exclusive video review.Gas vs. Electric Stove: Our Top Picks
The Best Gas Stove 2022: Bosch HGI8056UC 800 Series
Bosch HGI8056UC 800 Series
We highly recommend the Bosch HGI8056UC 800 Series for its combination of high-quality design, reliability, and ease of use. On the cooktop there are 5 burners including a center one with a powerful 18,000 BTU output for a large stockpot. Below the 4.8 cubic foot self-cleaning, convection oven there’s a warming drawer.
Learn more about this Bosch range and our other favorite gas stove picks.The Best Electric Stove 2022: Café CES700P2MS1
If you’ve decided on an electric range, we think the Café CES700P2MS1 is the best one you can buy. While it costs less than many luxury models, it has impressive professional styling that will instantly upgrade your kitchen. Its cooktop features five heating elements, including a high wattage one dubbed Power Boil and a center element for keeping food warm. The large 5.7 cu. ft. convection oven has both self-clean and steam-clean capabilities. As it has an air fryer setting, you can jump on the healthy frying trend without investing in a countertop appliance. Below the oven, you’ll find a warming drawer. You can connect the GE to your smart phone to give you remote programming, the ability to give it voice commands, and automatically receive new features as they’re introduced.
Learn more about this Café range and our other favorite electric stove picks.The Best Dual Fuel Stove 2022: Wolf DF30450SP
If you’re willing to invest in a dual fuel range, the very best model is the Wolf DF30450SP. This luxury stove features impeccable workmanship that distinguishes it from ranges from almost every other brand on the marketplace. In your kitchen, it’ll stand out for its heavy-duty, professional design as well as for its outstanding performance both on the stovetop and in the oven.
The Wolf has four gas burners of varying power, including one with 20,000 BTUs for quickly bringing water to a boil. Each of the burners can be reduced to an ultra-low 300 BTUs for melting chocolate or keeping food warm. In the 5.1 cu. ft. self-cleaning convection oven, there are three racks, including one that glides out to make it easy to baste a chicken or put a topping on a casserole. While the burners are turned on and off with easy-to-use oversized knobs, the oven is controlled with a touch screen control panel that offers 10 cooking modes and over 50 preprogrammed recipes. A probe for cooking to precise temperatures is included.
Get our exclusive, detailed take on Wolf’s latest dual fuel lineup.Conclusion
As long as you buy a high-quality stove, you can get excellent cooking results regardless of whether you decide on a gas or electric model. Many people have to make the selection based on which energy source is available in their home.
While those who love to cook prefer gas ranges because they respond quickly, electric ranges cook more quickly and if used with the right cookware, very evenly.
In general electric ovens bake more evenly, but many gas ovens also give great results.
However, often, cooks who swear by cooking with gas come to love electric ranges once they get used to them.
If you can afford a premium price and can pay extra to install both gas and electric lines in your kitchen, a dual fuel range will give you the best of both worlds.
But we feel strongly that you can be a great cook and have a beautiful kitchen regardless of which type of range you install.