In today’s world of environmental awareness and consciousness, there is much debate about gas stoves and electric stoves, in particular which is more efficient and economical, as well as the environmental friendliness of both.
If you are undecided about which to choose, comparing both will help to make the final decision, so below the two are put to the test against one another, with the advantages and disadvantages of both compared.
For years, gas stoves have been popular choices among those who want a more energy efficient solution to cooking dinner, but there are both benefits and pitfalls to using gas stoves, which include:
- They heat quickly
A gas stove is known for heating a much quicker rate than an electric stove, due to immediacy of gas. You are also able to control the heat with more precision, making cooking much quicker and easier. Your food can also stay on the cooker when off, without the danger of overcooking or burning.
Gas stoves operate on either propane or natural gas and aside from being more environmentally friendly, these gasses are more affordable as well. You will save money in the long run by using gas to cook your food rather than electricity.
- Boiling temperature
Because you can control the temperature with more accuracy, boiling and broiling foods can be done with more precision. The consistent temperature you find with gas stoves makes them more attractive, especially to home chefs who cook meals that require slower, consistent boiling temperatures.
- Oven temperature inconsistency
In a gas oven, the temperature at the top of your oven is often hotter so baking requires a lot of maneuvering and rotation. Your baking trays and cake tins will also need to be placed further away from this heat source, to avoid burning and because gas gives off moisture, the dry heat needed for roasting is often lost.
- Flame stability
If a gas stove is placed near or in the breeze range of an open window, the flame can easily be blown out, making for a difficult dinner cooking process. This can be especially annoying if you are cooking a meal that has a strong smell, and you want to air out your kitchen.
- Cleaning difficulty
Cleaning gas stoves involves removing the cast iron top, which can often be heavy and bulky to remove. Eah burner also has moving parts, which can be accidentally knocked out of place, creating an uneven flame the next time you cook.
Electric stoves have grown in popularity over the years, especially with the introduction of the easy-to-use and space saving induction cooker. However, even these modern inventions have pros and cons, some of which include:
- Easy to clean
Unlike the gas stove, an electric stove is much easier to clean, with a smooth surface on some more modern and sleek models. Eeven if you have a coil-top model, you simply lift the coil top to clean underneath, without moving any extra parts.
- Even surface
Most electric stoves have an even surface to cook on, which diminishes the chance of spillage or dropping a pot or pan off of the stove top. An electric stove top with an even surface can also serve as extra storage space in the kitchen when not in use.
- Extra features
Many electric stoves come with extra features, unlike their simpler gas counterparts, including grilling abilities, fans and more. Some models have an element that heats up just enough to keep food at a warm temperature, without boiling, burning or overcooking the food.
- Power source reliance
If there is a power outage, you will be unable to cook as an electric stove is just that, electrical. If you have a generator or a way to power the stove then it can still be used, but may not reach the same heating capacity as when it is at full power.
If you have chosen a smooth, ceramic topped stove, then be warned that this can easily be broken by dropping a heavy item onto it, such as a cast iron pot or wok. You may also ruin the shiny surface of your induction cooker with cast iron pots and pans, ruining the aesthetic. An induction cooker may also not last as long as a gas stove, some of which are used for over 10 years.
So, which one wins out?
In terms of general affordability and economics, gas stoves are certainly the better choice of the two, especially in South Africa, which has regular electricity outages, decreasing the ability to cook dinner on those evenings. Gas stoves are more cost efficient, as you will not need to buy a new canister every time you need gas but can simply refill the one you already have. They also use no electricity, decreasing your power bills immensely.