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Our preferences in the kitchen are often determined by what we learned as kids. We pick up tips and tricks from our moms and grandmas, dads or grandads—the people who taught us to how to cook. If you’ve ever talked to your friends about kitchen appliances specifically, you know those opinions can run deep. When it comes to cooking on a gas range or an electric, it’s rare to change someone’s mind!
Obviously, the main difference between gas and electric ranges is the way they are powered. A gas range is powered by a natural gas line (or propane) and an electric range by electricity. Many of us choose one or the other based on what our homes are already set up to use when we move in, particularly in rental housing. But when it comes to choosing one over the other, well, some of us swear by the quick-heating flame of a gas stove, others just can’t imagine anything being easier than the dialing in the temperature on an electric oven. But what else is there to know about these two types of ranges?
Total Cost
Generally, electric ranges are a little less expensive to purchase than gas ranges. But a gas range can cost less to use than an electric. Energy costs are variable, of course, so this difference may not carry much weight for those of us doing an average amount of cooking at home. It can be expensive to switch from one type of range to the other if you need to update your home by installing a gas line or electrical outlet to do so.
Heat Control
Restaurant kitchens typically use gas for cooking because chefs prefer an open flame on their stovetops. Their experience with gas cooking has taught them how to quickly increase and decrease heat as needed by controlling the flame. Electric coils can be controlled easily, too, but it can take longer for a coil to cool down or heat up according to chef’s needs. It may be surprising to learn then, a study by Consumer Reports found more ranges with electric coils won the race to boiling water, maintained a better simmer, and performed better broiling than those with gas. So, while a chef’s experience tells us that their skills with flames are better, technology is skilling up electric ranges to meet us home cooks in the middle.
No matter which type of range you prefer, Aaron’s provides product reviews on all of our gas and electric ranges so you can learn more about them while you shop online or in-store!