When it comes to the question of electric stoves vs. gas stoves, Americans are equally split. Fifty percent of households use one type, while the other fifty use the other. There are costs and benefits to each. Deciding which one is right for your home depends largely on your preferences. What’s your cooking style? How much effort are you willing to spend on cleaning and maintenance? How much can you afford to spend? Once you’ve taken these into consideration, you’ll know which stove works best for you.
How Gas Stoves and Electric Stoves Work
Gas stoves cook food over an open flame. Most burn a combustible mix of oxygen and natural gas, but some run on propane instead. Propane stoves are normally found in rural areas and are supplied by a refillable gas tank located outside the home, rather than a direct gas line. Turning the knob controls the gas flow, allowing owners to increase or decrease the flame almost instantly.
Electric stoves, on the other hand, rely on metallic heating elements housed within the stovetop, beneath a ceramic glass surface. When the stove is activated, electricity flows through the metal like a light bulb. Heating elements are made from nickel, iron, and chrome alloys, specifically chosen to resist the flow of electrons. As the charged particles build-up, their energy is converted into heat, similar to the way energy is converted into light inside a light bulb.
Benefits of Gas Stoves
Most chefs prefer cooking with gas stoves because they’re more responsive. Flames can be adjusted quickly, for better control over the final result. If you need to switch from a boil to a simmer, gas stoves are the perfect choice. Other benefits include:
- Cost. Natural gas is generally cheaper than electricity, so you can cook for less.
- Heating. Gas-powered stoves and ovens heat up fast, for reduced cooking times.
- Cooldown. Once the flame has been extinguished, gas burners cool off quickly, to prevent overcooking.
- Cleanliness. Because spills rarely fall onto the burners, food residue is less likely to burn or bake on the stovetop.
- Expanded Cooking Methods. With a gas stove, you can grill or char your food directly over an open flame. Flames can also reach up and heat the sides of the pan, making a gas stove a great option for stir fry and similar dishes that require you to move food around while you’re cooking.
Benefits of Electric Stoves
One of the lesser-known benefits of electric stoves is they don’t generate pollutants, greenhouse gasses, or particulate matter, which is why so many states have begun urging homeowners to adopt them. However, electric stoves provide other, more immediate benefits as well, such as:
- Efficiency. Cooking over an open flame inevitably leads to some heat escaping around the sides of your pot or pan. Electric heating elements prevent this, transferring more heat directly to your food. Though they take longer to warm up, electric stoves cook food faster once they’re heated.
- Easy to Clean. Cleaning a gas grill requires you to remove the grates and burners, often soaking them for a few hours to remove grease and other contaminants. By contrast, electric burners can be wiped down in only a few minutes with a sponge or towel.
- Price. The purchase price for an electric stove is generally lower than a gas stove. If your house does not have a gas line, you’ll need to pay to have one installed as well. All an electric stove requires is a 240-volt outlet, which can be put in for a fraction of the cost.
- Dry Heat. Electric stoves and ovens expose food to high temperatures from above or below, which chefs refer to as a “dry heat.” Dry heats sear foods, creating a flaky crust that seals in juices and flavor. Preparing food with a dry heat also requires less butter and oil to prevent burns and uneven cooking.
Powering and Protecting Your Home Systems
Agway supplies your stoves with electricity or natural gas, but we also help reduce the cost of homeownership by saving you money on essential repairs. Our EnergyGuardTM program protects your heating, cooling, and electrical systems from wear and tear*. Home insurance doesn’t cover this type of damage, which can cost hundreds of dollars to repair, but we do.
When a breakdown occurs, we contact a qualified technician on your behalf and pay for all covered parts. There are no deductibles or service charges either. Best of all, your coverage kicks in when your service starts with Agway.. Don’t wait. Sign up today and start saving on repairs!
*Coverage depends on which commodity is purchased.