We all know that the right oven is the key to creating a true “chef’s kitchen” at home. However, choosing the perfect oven is easier said than done when you have so many choices today.
The first big question to knock off your list is which type of oven to buy. Should you choose a gas or electric cooker? Both come with their own list of pros and cons to consider. Let’s explore the differences between gas and electric ovens when creating your personal cooking space.
The Major Differences Between Gas and Electric Ovens
The major differences between gas and electric ovens really come down to cooking style and heat delivery. Gas ovens reach higher temperatures than electric ovens. They also appeal to picky chefs because they allow you to have a little more manual control over cooking temperature due to the fact that the temperature reduces as soon as you turn off the burner.
That means no “phantom” cooking when you leave a pot to linger on the burner. The heat that you’re getting from a gas oven is also much more moister than the heat generated from an electric one. Lastly, the big difference from a chef’s perspective is that gas ovens require much less preheating time than electric ovens.
This can make it sound like a gas oven is an obvious choice. However, the debate is really just heating up! Take a look at the pros and cons of gas and electric ovens to determine which one is destined for your kitchen.
A Little Guide to Gas Ovens
Gas ovens rely on burner ignition to heat up your food. Ruling out a gas oven may actually be easy based on one little detail. You need to have a gas hookup in your house in order to have a gas stove. If you don’t have an existing hookup, it is possible to have an expert come in to set up a line for you. However, that’s going to add cost and complexity.
What should you know if you’re seriously considering a gas oven? Most gas ovens today feature a single burner at the bottom of the oven. However, you may come across some models with a second burner at the top. You may be wondering why some people are so adamant about the idea that gas ovens provide the best results.
The devotion to gas cookers among some chefs is due to the fact that these ovens provide a little more moisture during the cooking experience than electric ovens. The heat that’s generated from a gas oven is very quick and intense.
The moisture released as the oven’s gas combusts from an open flame helps to bring an extra “something” to cakes, pasta and other dishes that simply come out better when they’re moister. Let’s run through the pros and cons.
- Moist heat from gas can put that “professional” touch on baked goods, pasta dishes and marinated meals.
- Heats up very quickly.
- You can control and tweak the flame height/heat level manually.
- A very “even” heat spread means you’ll need to stir less frequently.
- It’s generally cheaper to consume gas than electricity.
- Installation can be tricky.
- Less efficient at heating up large pans.
- Slightly difficult to clean.
- Tends to be rather larger.
- Caution is needed when igniting your oven because it uses an open flame!
A Little Guide to Electric Ovens
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If you’re going for ease and convenience, an electric oven is a tempting choice. A big fuss tends to be made over the way the moisture of a gas oven is so amazing for retaining juiciness in certain recipes.
However, the electric cooker actually has its own trick up its sleeve in that regard. The dry heat emitted by an electric oven is superior when you’re broiling or making crispier recipes.
What’s more, simply using foil over the top of a pan when cooking something like a casserole or lasagna can mimic the effect of a gas oven by retaining moisture.
Overall, electric ovens are much easier to manage and maintain than their gas counterparts. This is especially true when it comes to turning on your oven using simple knobs instead of worrying about igniting a flame. Of course, you are giving up the ability to make incremental adjustments as you cook the way you can with a gas oven. Let’s glance at the pros and cons.
- Easy to start.
- Easier to clean/wipe down than a gas oven.
- Great for broiled or crispy dishes.
- Easy to install.
- Generally more compact in size.
- Costs more to run than gas.
- Tends to have more electrical parts that can malfunction.
- Heat-up time is slightly longer than gas.
- Longer cool-down time means food can continue to cook after the oven is off.
Decision Time: Gas or Electric Oven?
First, it’s important to be realistic about just how simple or difficult it will be to install a gas oven in your kitchen if that’s what you have your heart set on.
Next, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both options to get an idea of what to expect once you welcome a shiny, new oven into your home. The bottom line is that both ovens give you the freedom to whip up anything you desire.
Keep cost in mind if you’re on a low budget. According to British Gas an hour of electricity use costs around 15p and an hour of gas costs just 4p – that’s quite a difference.
Really, there’s no “bad” choice here. Your decision should ultimately come down to what is compatible with your cooking style and performance expectations, and budget. Choosing a quality oven packed with great features in any style is what will really make the difference!