Electric vs Gas Stove: What’s in Your Kitchen?


Full disclosure: I don’t really like cooking. That is the truth. Or rather, I only like it sometimes. It’s not that I don’t want to cook, but my wife is so much better at it then I am. I have a few signature dishes which I can make well, and other than that… I am far from the world’s greatest chef. I can prepare a great pasta bolognese, a scrumptious pizza-malawach, a tasty salmon, and a fair shakshuka.

Fortunately, my wife finds the time to get in the kitchen and whip up different things. The secret – according to her – is designating a day to cook several things which can be frozen, and this provides enough food for a while. The kids come home, throw something in the toaster or microwave, and bam – a home-cooked meal instead of junk. If you have the time, doing that can save a lot of time and energy during the week.

We have an electric stove in our place, but getting it was a serious deliberation.

The electric stove is the next step in the stove’s evolution, but does the fact that it is a more modern system immediately make it better than the traditional gas stove? The answer to that is multi-faceted, with the chief consideration being the cooking process itself. A real cook won’t let an actual flame go so soon, because it’s controllable to a much greater degree. Conversely, some people care more about cleanliness and aesthetics, and the cleaner look of an electric stove appeals to them a lot more.

The electric stove is also known as a ceramic stove. This is due to the fact that the most widely-used surface for this kind of stove is ceramic glass. Each of these cooking systems have advantages and disadvantages. So, just like with any other appliance or electric device, priority and preference has everything to do with circumstance.

By the by, there is always the option of using a combination stove, and enjoying the best of both worlds. Although, that is also a point of some controversy. There will always be those who claim that choosing a combo stove leaves you with both systems’ disadvantages to deal with, but from what I have seen, personally, it is seldom the case.

Advantages of the Electric Stove

The cleaner look of an electric stove

Aside from the cleaner look which we have already mentioned, and which we will come back to later, there are some major advantages to the electric stove. They don’t just look cleaner, they are actually easier to clean. The flat surface of the stove has no burners, no grates, no grills, and sometimes no visible control buttons either. The more advanced models come with touch controls, which provides the stove with a unified, flat look, and which allows for quicker and easier cleaning.

Speaking of controls, it is worth mentioning that electric stoves often have a variety of settings: stopwatch feature, cooking options, a digital display screen, and other advanced cooking solutions. As for cooking, the stove’s heating elements heat up fast. The dispersion of heat in the electric stove is a lot more consistent than a gas stove. Ceramic glass is highly resilient, but other surfaces are not as durable. The lifespan of an electric stove is usually higher than its counterpart.

When not being used, the electric stove could act as an additional storage area. It may not be ideal (it is a cooking surface after all), but it provides a temporary solution for for pots, pans, and other kitchen things which have no room on the counter.

Yes, it is a modern and more advanced cooking system, but it is not without its drawbacks. Here of some of the electric stove’s disadvantages:

Disadvantages of the Electric Stove

The cool-down time is significantly longer

As we mentioned earlier, the stove’s heating elements are quick to act, but the cool-down time is significantly longer than that of a gas stove. The various glass surfaces which are used also take their sweet time cooling down.

Obviously, this is an issue which is more relevant to families with small children and the like, but is it also highly relevant for the cooking process itself. Because a heating element doesn’t respond as quickly to changes in temperature, electric stoves are not recommended for cooking which necessitates subtle temperature adjustments. Furthermore, some dishes require constant monitoring. When there is a need for making fast, dramatic changes in heat and temperature, an electric stove will be less efficient.

Another drawback of the electric stove is its cost. These stoves tend to cost several times more than a traditional gas stove, and their replacement parts can also be quite expensive.

As previously mentioned, some heating surfaces are more durable than others. If you are considering purchasing an electric stove, the best way to go is ceramic, or at the very least a similar, highly-durable material. If you can afford it, it is best to invest in a better model of the electric stovetop. The money you save when you purchase the cheaper model often ends up being spent on maintenance and repairs along the way.

Electric stoves are flat, and there are no corners to capture any debris or liquids. If something spills (doesn’t it always?….) there is a good chance it will end up on the counter or on the floor. Some stoves limit the kind of cookware which can be used. No aluminum or brass cookware is allowed, but stainless steel and cast-iron cookware is permissible.

Advantages of the Gas Stove

This method of cooking yields high levels of accuracy

The traditional gas stoves will always be in demand. As mentioned earlier, professional cooks won’t forgo the experience of cooking with a real fire. Cooking over an open flame is an advantage which no other cooking system has. A gas stove provides the user with complete control over the source of the fire, and it reacts quickly and efficiently to any turn of the dial or push of the button. This method of cooking yields high levels of accuracy, and allows the cook to perform his job optimally. The higher ends of the stove allow some spillage, and in many cases it will prevent the flow of food or debris onto the counter or floor.

The price of a gas stove is significantly lower than that of an electric one. This is another main advantage of the gas system. Furthermore, a gas stove allows you to cook using many different kinds of fire-resistant pots and pans, and there are no restrictions on metals and alloys. The surfaces of many gas stoves are made of enamel and stainless steel, which is why they are highly durable and don’t sustain a lot of long-term damage.

Disadvantages of the Gas Stove

Harsh cleaning products on the elements of the stove

The heat is spread out nice and even with an electric stove, but the gas stove has an uneven dispersement or division of heat. Albeit, this is one disadvantage which can be mitigated fairly easily, by using a turbo gas stove. The multiple gas rings of the turbo stove makes for a much more even dispersement.

The grates, the burners, the grills, and just about the entire system is apt to run into trouble such as rust and wear-and-tear over time. This is brought on by usage of harsh cleaning products on the elements of the stove, and close contact between those elements and liquids of all kinds, whether during a cooking session or a cleaning session.

A gas stove requires constant cleaning, if you want it to look presentable. We don’t all have the time or the patience to deal with it.

And one last point, on aesthetics. The looks of a gas stove don’t come close to those of a sleek electric one. True, some gas stoves can be fancy, and there are certainly very elegant ones in many homes and restaurants. However, they are a standard piece of equipment, and their looks won’t add to much to the kitchen’s decor. If you are looking for a stove which will fit in with a more modern design, an electric stove could be right up your alley. Which is brings us to the question:

Which One is Better?

What’s your budget?

We’ve gone over the main advantages and disadvantages of both of these systems. Both of them have a place in any self-respecting kitchen. We also mentioned the combination option, I have never used one regularly, so I can’t attest to its strengths or weaknesses.

The design aspect of a stove can be dealt with (it can be covered, for instance, when not in use). As for heat dispersement, a turbo stove top can come in handy. Both systems need to be cleaned, although in the case of an electric stove it is a much easier and simpler process. It requires suitable cleaning supplies, but is a more pleasant experience.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to two factors: cooking and money.

Cooking: in other words, the user’s actual needs. What kind of cooking is being planned? This is completely subjective. There are times when an electric stove would present a problem, which is not true to a gas stove.

Money: what’s your budget? There are times when it would be wiser to invest in a high-quality gas stove, than a cheap electric stove. If you have put in the time and effort to create a modern, well-designed kitchen, it is only natural that you would want an electric stove to complete the look. However, remember that each system has its disadvantages.

Here are several questions which could help you choose:

  • Do you cook professionally?
  • Is cleanliness a crucial factor?
  • Is high durability a feature which you insist on?
  • Will a digital screen and different settings be a crucial feature?

Conclusion

Whichever system you go with, the most important thing is that you are happy with your choice, and that you will be able to cook to your heart’s content. Proper maintenance and cleanliness of electric appliances is essential, no matter what system you end up choosing. In order for you to enjoy your appliance for many years, it is best to monitor it and pay attention to any looming malfunctions or visible wear, and to call a technician when it is called for.

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