Buyer's Guide \ Ranges \ Electric vs. Gas Ranges

Electric vs. Gas Ranges

There are two main options to consider when buying a new stove (range): gas and electric. But how can you tell which is better? Gas or electric stove models come with both their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s best to get to know each option separately before you commit to a purchase. Our gas vs. electric stove guide is here to help you out.

Gas vs. Electric Ranges

Gas stoves will have a gas cooktop and a gas oven, while an electric range will have an electric cooktop and an electric oven. You can also have a dual-fuel range, which combines the best of both worlds and has a gas cooktop and an electric oven. Some dual-fuel stoves have their cooktop split into electric and gas halves, depending on what’s required.
When comparing gas vs. electric stove models, decide which type of cooktop and oven work best for you and look for a model that satisfies that requirement.

What Are the Benefits of Gas vs. Electric Cooktops?

There are a few notable differences when comparing gas and electric stovetops. While the overall result may be similar, each can have advantages that will make them better for you depending on what type of cooking you usually prefer.

Gas Cooktop Benefits:

  • Precise control over cooking due to heat and flame levels
  • Faster response when the temperature is adjusted
  • The flames transfer heat to cookware quickly
  • Cools down quickly once turned off
  • The burners are protected from spills

Electric Cooktop Benefits:

  • Heats up the cookware fast
  • Often easier to install due to a lack of gas hookups
  • Flat surface doesn’t require you to balance the pans on the grates
  • More straightforward to clean due to a single flat surface
You can check out our Cooktop Buying Guide tool for more advice about separate cooktops.

What Are the Benefits of Gas vs. Electric Ovens?

When comparing gas and electric stove models, ovens are usually in the second plan. There are some key benefits to both types:

Gas Oven Benefits:

  • Introduces more moisture to the oven, which makes it better for artisanal baking
  • Preheats the oven fast
  • Cooks food quickly

Electric Oven Benefits:

  • Preheats fast
  • The drier heat allows for crisping up potatoes or meat skin
  • Many have programmable options

Gas vs. Electric Ranges: How to Choose?

There are some additional considerations when choosing between gas vs. electric stove models. Here are some key questions to answer to make your options clearer.

Do You Have a Gas Hookup?

A main point to consider before buying a gas stove is whether your house has a gas installation. If you don’t, the cost of installing a gas line may outweigh any other considerations and benefits a gas range may provide. Additionally, you need to check which type of gas your house is using. Natural gas and propane behave differently and will need to be converted for different range models.
On the other hand, electric stoves simply plug into an existing outlet, making them more straightforward to install.

How Much Do You Bake?

Depending on the type of baking you do, a gas stove can be a better option. These stoves introduce a bit more moisture to the oven, helping to prevent the food from drying out completely. Baked goods such as artisanal cookies will benefit.

Is Cleaning a Hassle?

Most electric ranges offer far simpler cleaning options. The electric cooktop is usually a flat surface that is straightforward to clean with commercially available cleaners or even just some hot water and vinegar. Compare this to gas cooktops, which have a lot more combined surface area considering the grates and burners.
If you’re unsure whether to buy a gas or electric stove, you can separate the two appliances into a cooktop and a wall-mounted oven. This way, you don’t have to look for a dual-fuel range that satisfies your needs and you can get the fuel you want for each.

Gas vs. Electric Ranges: Additional Considerations

If you’ve decided on which option is the best for you, there are still some additional features to choose from for both gas and electric stoves, to enhance your cooking experience and make life a bit easier.

Do You Need Convection?

Both gas and electric ovens come with convection models. The convection feature uses a fan to circulate hot air inside the oven and heat the food more evenly. Some convection ovens, usually called true convection ovens, also have a third heating element behind the fan to provide even faster heating. ¹

Dual Heating Elements

Some electric cooktops have electric rings and bridge elements to accommodate smaller, larger, or oddly-shaped pots and pans. This allows you to heat up food efficiently. Gas burners can have oval grates and burners to accommodate unusually-shaped pots.

Freestanding or Slide-In

A freestanding range has finished sides and an elevated console. A slide-in stove, as an alternative, can fit between cabinets and has a front console that allows you to put a countertop behind it and work with the kitchen aesthetic. The difference is not purely aesthetic, as they have different installation requirements.

Self-Cleaning Ovens

Modern ovens sometimes also have a self-cleaning option. This effectively locks the oven doors and heats the inside enough to loosen up the accumulated grime. If you’re using the self-cleaning option regularly, you won’t need to clean up as much over time.
¹ Compared to traditional thermal bake ovens.
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