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Appliance World

Turning up the Heat: Gas vs. Electric Ovens

Using your oven should be simple; picking the right one can be difficult. The first choice you have to make is what type of oven, either gas or electric. Many consumers are particular about this choice because it is natural to want what is familiar to you. If you never used a gas oven before it may seem daunting to have to make the switch now and vice versa. Fortunately many of the ovens produced today operate very similarly and you can get great results from either. There are a few differences between the two, which are important to know before you make your final purchase.

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For some the choice is almost forced on you. Natural gas lines aren’t available in all areas throughout the country. You might even know a neighbor a couple blocks away who has gas running to their home, but to get the gas company to extend the line to you can come with astronomical costs. Even installing a propane tank for your home, especially underground, can cost thousands. Refilling these tanks will also be more costly compared to using natural gas. While electric ovens are overall more common, they aren’t suitable everywhere. For example many buildings in large cities such as NYC are older, so being able to run enough power to operate your oven and other electrical needs is not possible.

For the majority of gas ovens they are available as a range unit where your oven and cooktop are one. Very few brands offer them as separate wall ovens; mostly do to the size constraints. When preheating your oven gas generally heats up faster than it’s electric counter parts. Once the flame is ignited it will give off heat versus the electric coils will need to reach a certain temperature before they start heating the oven cavity. While it may take a little longer for an electric oven to heat up, once it reaches the cooking temperature it has better control. Since gas ovens are using a flame to regulate the heat this will adjust several times during the cooking process and will have a wider temperature fluctuation. Once the electric oven reaches it’s set temperature, the amount of power being sent through the coils is consistent and the heat has little change.

 

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The type of heat inside your oven also differs from gas to electric. Naturally there is some moisture present from gas heat, which can benefit cooking certain foods like meat, as it tends to dry out while cooking. Since an electric oven is using heating coils, this provides a dry heat in your oven that is generally better for baking and getting crispier results. For operating costs with average use, gas is a more efficient way of heating. There is not a significant difference in price when comparing month to month, but over the life of the oven could add up to a few hundred dollars in savings.

With gas ovens the main heating element is located at the bottom of your oven, with the exception of the broiler. With this limited heating source there are generally fewer modes available on gas ovens compared to electric ovens, which may have several heating coils in the bottom, top and rear of the oven allowing for more flexibility. For more information about your oven modes we have a better explanation of them here. (provide link for oven modes blog). This also means that cleaning is generally easier in an electric oven as many models will come with a self-clean feature. These extra modes may also include additional benefits such as a temperature probe and smart appliance capabilities.

Hopefully you have a choice in your home for either gas or electric, but even if you are limited by your heating source there are still many brands and models you will have to choose from. You should consider many factors such as price and making sure you have the proper gas and electrical connections as the expense to run these lines can out weigh your initial purchase costs. Depending on what type of cooking or baking you find yourself doing more often, you may prefer one oven to another. All of these concerns and more can be answered when shopping for your appliances and speaking with your contractor. To help you make the right selection please visit one of Appliance World’s showrooms to speak with our knowledgeable sales associates who will help you find the right oven for your home.