While some cooks will have a preference for one or the other oven types, it is important to research the features and comparisons between electric and gas ovens. If you are in the enviable position of remodeling your kitchen or building a new home, the time you spend now in planning for the long term will be rewarded with day after day with years of cooking and meals successfully cooked.
1. Initial purchase price
The initial purchase price must come in to play when deciding between gas or electric. It is save to assume that electric ovens will always be the cheaper option but that will depend on the brand and type of oven you are buying. Gas may be more expensive but the daily running costs can be considerably less than electric.
2. Ongoing energy costs
Electricity is said to be a cleaner fuel than gas but the costs of operating an electric oven have proven to be higher. Electric ovens take longer to heat and most recipes will call for a preheat to begin with. Careful planning of meals can help with energy savings though. Make use of the residual heat after baking or roasting by keeping foods warm in an oven that has been turned off.
3. Consider installation
Electric ovens are easy to install as long as there is a qualified electrician in the area. Gas ovens need a plumber and gas and electric lines so the installation will be more involved and may cost more. Cylinder gas may need to be ordered in areas where the gas is not connected. Using two bottles will prevent the unfortunate occurrence of running out halfway through a dinner party. If the house has gas lines for heating or water, gas cooking may be the sensible option.
4. Ease of use
Speak to someone who uses a gas oven and they will tell you how easy it is to use. The latest models come with an instant ignition switch making the lighting of an oven as easy as electric. Cooks familiar with cooking food in an electric oven will swear by the ease of use and perfect results for baked goods such as sponge cakes.
The even cooking temperature throughout the cavity of an electric oven makes it more reliable than the gas. But the newer gas ovens on the market these days use a fan. This forces the heat to circulate around every item inside taking this feature a step further. Some chefs say fan forced gas ovens will give perfect results for most baked products.
The invention of the double cavity oven has still to catch on in any but the latest kitchens but gas and electric models are available making this a great option for cooking foods requiring different temperature and cooking times.
Whether you choose gas or electric be sure to do as much research as possible making the final decision a sensible one that will last for at least the life time of the oven.
By Paul P McLeod