Gas or electric? It’s an endless topic of debate among home cooks — with no clear winner. Some people like the versatility and control of cooking over an open flame, while others swear by electric heat for even, foolproof baking. If you’re in the market for a new range or cooktop, search the DexKnows listings for local stores that sell appliances, and weigh the pros and cons of gas and electric stoves before you buy.
Like washing machines and other electric appliances, electric stoves are generally less expensive to purchase than gas, and installation tends to be easy — all you need for an electric range is a 240-volt outlet.
In addition to a higher price tag, gas stoves can be more expensive to install. Unless you’re replacing an existing gas unit, you may have the added expense of hooking up a gas line in your home to accommodate a new range.
Natural gas tends to win out in operational costs because it’s significantly less expensive than electricity. If you want to know for sure what kind of savings you might see over the long term, review your gas and electric bills to compare therms and kilowatt hours. The CenterPoint Energy website offers instructions on calculating energy savings between natural gas and electricity.
Gas burners heat up instantly and can be adjusted quickly, which gives a home cook a lot of control over the stovetop. Electric burners are slow to warm up and take a long time to adjust when you turn them up or down.
If you enjoy baking, you may prefer an electric oven. It heats food more evenly, which eliminates the need to rotate your cookie sheets and casserole dishes. In a gas oven, most of the heat radiates from the bottom, which can scorch cookies and undercook other types of dishes if you don’t make adjustments.
Another solution to this dilemma is to split the difference and use a dual-fuel setup — a combination unit with a gas stovetop and electric oven.
Gas burners are generally easier to clean than electric coil burners with drip pans, though many new electric stoves are designed with enclosed burners and a flat ceramic surface. The flat surface makes cleanup a breeze. However, you do have to let the appliance cool first, and you may need to use a special cleaning solution to prevent scratches or other damage.
The gas-versus-electric debate will continue, but ultimately it comes down to your personal preference. Or you may not have a choice because natural and propane gas aren’t available in your area. Either way, when you’re ready to shop, check the DexKnows listings for large and small appliances, parts, and just about anything else you may need to equip your kitchen.
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