You may already have an idea of a preference between gas or electric. Over the last 15 years, many more homes are cooking with gas that ever before. However, there is much to consider, if you haven't done much research and that can be overwhelming.
We hope the following points will help you make a easier decision, that fits you, your cooking style and budget.
Can You Connect?
Before considering whether to go with gas or electric, households without a gas connection will need to determine whether they can connect to natural gas mains, if there are lines near their home. Contact the gas distributor now for details they can provide, costs & time frames.
If natural gas isn't available, and you are still set on gas, there is another option. LPG (propane) could be a choice. There are many LPG stoves, cooktops and ovens within this category. Homeowners do need to be aware that natural gas and LPG appliances are not always interchangeable.
There are two important steps to help you decide if an LPG appliance is a good option for you.
- If your home is located in a development or subdivision with covenences, check for any requirements regarding propane tanks. Are they allowed? If so, do they need to located in a specific area on your property?
- Begin exploring the models of LPG cooking appliances available to make sure there is a model that fits your checklist of needs and options.
Advantages, Disadvantages and Safety of Gas Ranges
Advantages, Disadvantages and Safety of Electric Ranges
They are economical and easy when it comes time to replace a burner, which is usually a simple matter of plug in the new part. No service call required!
Most coil burner ranges have drip trays that remove and are fairly easy to clean.
Typical retail prices for a free standing coil burner range can start at about $350 and go beyond $1,200 depending on finish and options. We are seeing that there are usually less than half the number of coil burner model ranges to choose from vs. ceramic top units.
Ceramic radiant cooktops and ranges are a bit pricier to purchase and repair but are very easy to clean, since it's just a flat surface.
Many models require certain types of cooking pans and all models note that the pan bottoms need to be perfectly flat. Cast iron is usually not recommended. The bottom of the pan should not extend beyond the size of the burner if it's being used for cooking for long periods. Canning on certain models is also not recommended.
Like coil burners some ceramic cooktops are slower to heat but more models are showing up with at least one "quick heat" burner.
Since the tops are flat there is often space for one additional small burner with ceramic ranges. This can be a plus but worth thinking about how much cooking you would do at one time that would require 3 or 4 small burners. Many cooks prefer the standard 4 with 2 larger burners.
Electric stoves do not entail zero risk of burns or fires, they are generally considered safer. Some homeowners much prefer to use electricity for cooking, since it eliminates some of the potential dangers with piolet lights and open flames.
Local retail prices for ceramic top ranges run between $450 to $2,000 for the newer double oven models.
A third option of electric ranges are those with induction cooktops. They are now one of the most popular kitchen appliance trends. Induction cooktops use electromagnetism to cook your food. The surface is always cool to the touch when a pan is not on the area of burner. This method of cooking is by far one of the safest available.
The cooking zone is smooth like ceramic cooktops. The unit provides heat when the cooking pan is placed onto the "cooking zone". When the pan is removed the cooking zone is cool. Like ceramic cooktops induction tops are easy to clean. Because it works with electromagnetism to cook, there is no heat on the cooktop that causes food to be "baked on".
These ranges are very energy efficient but more expensive to purchase. Local full retail prices begin at around $1,600 and run through $2,500
Like cars, ranges now come with almost unlimited options. Touch screen and/or digital controls are popular. Dual fuel models may have gas cooktops but electric ovens. Ovens that cook with convection are popular since they are known for baking and roasting more evenly and usually in a shorter period of time.
Warming drawers are a often requested option and found on even some of the lesser priced models.
As with most home appliances, comparison shopping and knowledge of available features are a consumer's best friends when it comes to purchasing a stove. Either type of range should provide many years of service to a homeowner. Choosing one over the other simply depends on personal preference and which suits your lifestyle best.