Gas or Electric Stove? The Real Difference for Your Kitchen Design
Here at Fossil Blu, we get involved in a lot of kitchen remodels, and we know your design doesn't stop at the sink. Redesigning your kitchen, you make some pretty big decisions including what type of stovetop you want to install. Debating between gas or electric burners? Here's our expert insight on the difference between and why to make either choice for your new stovetop!
There are two ways to cook on a stove in your residential home. Home cooktops, ranges, and stoves are heated either with electric elements or open flame burners fueled by natural gas. Electric stoves are the most common in residential neighborhoods, in part because gas ranges require a gas line and not all neighborhoods are hooked up. However, many home chefs swear by the improved cooking precision and heat coverage of booking with gas-powered flame burners.
But what are the real differences? Today, we're exploring how a gas cooktop differs from an electric stove both experientially and in terms of maintenance and care.
The biggest difference between a gas cooktop and an electric range is fire versus hot metal. A gas stove pulls natural gas from a pipe in the wall, channels it into the stove, and then a ring of gas is emitted through each of the burners. When the knob is turned, two things happen. First, the gas is allowed to flow out of the burner valves and second, a spark from the pilot light or starter lights the gas. The ring of gas turns into clean-burning flame which then licks the underside of a burner-guard and the pots or pans on top.
An electric stove uses metal heating elements. Electricity is run through the metal coil in the shape of a burner. Pots and pans are heated from a flat underside from the electricity-heated burners.
Any home can have an electric stove installed. For most electric stoves, you don't even need a special outlet, just a normal home outlet in the kitchen. To install a gas stove, your house needs a gas line. This means your neighborhood and house needs to be piped in for gas and you need an active account with the local gas company to switch on the master valve. If your home is not piped for gas or you don't have a gas utility account, then your home can't support a gas flame stove.
Many home chefs love gas stoves because cooking with fire provides more precise control than an electric stove. The amount of flame you let through the burner can specifically control the amount of heat that touches your pots and pans. Gas enthusiasts and those who live in gas-stove homes often learn to eyeball exactly how much flame is perfect for each recipe. Even if you move from gas stove to gas stove, so that the knob-settings don't quite match the temperature, you can still cook precisely by knowing how much flame you need to create just the right amount of heat.
Another interesting difference between gas and electric cooking is how much of each pan is heated. When cooking with an electric burner, only the most underside surface of a pan is heated. When cooking with gas flame burners, you have the option to let the flames rise and reach all the way around the underside of a pan. For a round-bottomed pan like a Wok and some specific recipes, heating up above the lowest level of the pan can be essential for results. Many people prefer gas because they enjoy cooking with heat that rises above the level of the burner.
Depending on what you want in a stove, you may find that gas stoves are more pricey, or that electric stoves cost more. Reports vary. The cost between a gas and electric stove may vary by region, by cost-range you're looking into, and even the number of burners you'd like. It's important to compare and contrast a gas vs electric range of similar price, or decide if you want to invest more based on the specific stove features you want.
When it comes to maintenance, it's important to be aware of your gas stove pilot light. An electric stove simply turns on or off with set levels of electric power running through the burner. A gas stove, however, must light the gas before the burner can flame. In fact, failing to light the gas but leaving the burner-valve open is the equivalent of a gas leak.
The burners are lit with a pilot light, a tiny flame powered by a minuscule trickle of gas that always flows through the stove. If the pilot light goes out, the burners can't be lit and, in addition, the pilot gas trickle can also act as a tiny gas leak in the home. If you have a gas stove, you will likely need to keep an eye on your pilot light and make sure it stays lit. In a few models, gas burners rely on a spark ignighter instead.
As we just mentioned, the issue with the pilot light highlights the fact that gas stoves are a higher risk in homes. Natural gas burns clean when lit and is safe in the home environment. But gas that leaks without being burned in a controlled stove appliance can become poisonous air. Natural gas falls instead of rises like smoke and is very similar to carbon monoxide in how it is harmful to humans - able to suffocate while the body tries to breathe it like oxygen. Municipal gas suppliers include an additive that makes natural gas smell like rotten eggs, this is a safety precaution so that your nose will alert you in case the stove or gas line ever leaks enough to become dangerous.
However, because natural gas is also highly flammable and potentially explosive, gas leaks must be treated with even greater seriousness.
Last but certainly not least, gas is usually a more affordable source of heat energy than electricity. If trying to reduce your household bills and if you cook often at home, a gas stove can be the perfect appliance.
Kitchen remodeling is your opportunity to create the cooking experience of your dreams. Give yourself the gift of a deeper sink, organized storage, and the perfect cooktop. Here at Fossil Blu, we have more than a few useful insights on dream kitchen design. Contact us to make plans for your new farmhouse sink and explore your kitchen possibilities.