Electric Ranges vs Gas Ranges
What is the difference between an electric range and a gas range? When it comes to choosing a stove for your kitchen, this is an important decision that many chefs care deeply about. Others make the choice due to their preference in convenience, reliability, or energy type. Electric stoves and gas stoves both heat pots and pans through circular burners on the cooking surface, but apart from this, they can be very different.
As electrical experts, JDP Electric can provide a helpful look into the differences between electric and gas cooking ranges so you can make the best decision for your next kitchen upgrade.
How an Electric Range Works
Electric ranges send electric power through heated metal coils. Your stovetop plugs directly into an outlet in the wall and shares the same power source as the rest of the house. When you click on a burner, this closes or completes a circuit, allowing electricity to flow through the coil. The electric current causes the coil to heat and glow red hot. The amount of power used determines how hot your burner gets.
Electric coils can wear out over time and will eventually need to be replaced. You also don’t have to cook directly on the burner, as glasstop stoves are designed to transfer the heat through a smooth cooking surface and keep your heating coils safe from spills.
How a Gas Range Works
Gas ranges work more like grills with a real flame beneath a metal grate over the top of your stove. The underside of your pots and pans are heated by a flame projected in a circle based on the gas burner’s design, and through the heated metal grate on which the pan sets.
Gas ranges are considered both more dangerous and more reliable than an electric ranges. When the power goes out, your gas stove will continue to work. However, starting a gas range requires the release of natural gas from the burner followed by a spark – or the use of an always-on pilot light. A gas stove can introduce the risk of a gas leak and slightly higher risk of house fires, even when used by experienced chefs.
Electric vs Gas Stove Comparison
When deciding between a gas or electric range for your kitchen, it’s important to consider how the decision will influence your entire kitchen experience. Let’s run through some quick comparisons on what it will be like to own an electric or gas stovetop.
Energy Source & Installation
Electric ranges are easier to install and can be installed in every home because they do not require a gas line. A gas stove first requires a home with a gas connection and then takes an expert to safely connect the gas line and start the pilot light without a leak.
Gas stoves may add a utility to your power bill (your water heater might also be gas). This may be desirable for lower electricity bills or a complication that you do not prefer.
One of the advantages of a gas range is that your stove will likely still work for cooking when the power goes out. However, you will need to maintain the gas burners and regularly test the gas line for leaks.
Electric stoves work reliably when the power is on, but the coils eventually lose effectiveness and will need to be replaced.
Stovetop Design & Cleaning Requirements
Gas stoves always have a grill-bar design that is lifted above exposed gas burners. Cleaning spills and cooking grease off the grill bars and the stove surface below is part of maintaining your gas stove.
Electric stoves can be exposed electric coil burners which will need to be cleaned, but electric ranges can also have glass-tops which transfer heat from the burners through a smooth glass surface which is much easier to clean.
Professional chefs and home gourmets often prefer gas stoves due to the fine control over heat intensity and exposure. You can see the flames and know how great the heat will be, with experience. Electric stoves, however, have numerical settings regarding heat and each stove is a little different. It’s important to learn what low, medium, and high heat actually do on your electric stove when it comes to cook times and scorching.
Lastly, you’ll want to consider your range in terms of oven options. Many electric and gas ranges come with ovens built in, and the heating method tends to match the stove. Therefore, a gas range may also have a gas-powered oven attached.
However, you can always buy your range and oven separately, and this is the right way to go if you want wall-mounted ovens instead.
Gas or Electric: Which is the Best Stove for You?
If you are trying to decide on the best stove for your kitchen remodel, JDP Electric can help. Our experts can walk you through the important differences and update your kitchen’s electrical systems to accommodate the changes you want to make.
Contact us with questions about your kitchen electrical system or to discuss electrical renovations today.