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The kitchen is typically the most popular room in the house for a reason: It’s where the food comes from! If you’re the type of person who cooks at home even occasionally, you’ll want to carefully consider what type of range you buy.
The two options are electric and gas and serious cooks definitely prefer the latter. But are gas ranges better than electric?
Here we’ll dive into the differences between the two and why one is advantageous over the other.
Gas Ranges vs. Electric: What’s the difference?
In your lifetime we’re willing to bet you’ve probably used both gas and electric stoves. Gas stoves are characterized by burners that ignite the gas, producing an open flame on which to place your cooking vessels.
Electric stoves have coils that glow orange or red as they’re heated via electricity, and your pots and pans are placed on top of the coils to absorb that heat.
Pros and Cons of Electric Ranges
Electric ranges definitely have their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a look at both.
|Easy to clean. Electric ranges typically have a smooth glass top which can simply be wiped down.||Slow to heat up. An electric stove can take 5 to 10 minutes to get up to full heat, meaning cooking takes longer.|
|No open flame. This makes these safer for use around young children.||Cost. The average annual operating cost of an electric stove is about 2x that of a gas stove.|
|Ease of installation. Since electric ranges don't require a gas line, they can be installed just about anywhere there's electricity.||Uneven heat distribution. Parts of the pan resting directly on the coil receive intense heat, with non-coil areas receiving only indirect heat. This can result in a more uneven finished product when cooking.|
|Easy to burn yourself. Because you can't always tell when an electric stove is hot since there's no flame, accidentally touching it can occur.|
|Electric Ranges Review|
Pros and Cons of Gas Ranges
Gas ranges also have their pros and cons. Here we’ll examine both for a concise look at the benefits of gas ranges.
|Heat up very quickly. There's a reason for the old saying "Now we're cooking with gas," after all!||More difficult to clean. Due to the open flame, burners and fittings, gas ranges have a lot more crevices where spilled food can adhere.|
|Cost of operation. While gas ranges cost more than electric ranges in general, they are considerably cheaper to operate on an annual basis.||Slightly less safe than electric. Open flames can be dangerous for small children, and gas leaks are always a minor concern.|
|Even heat distribution. This is why all professional kitchens have gas ranges. They are easier to work with, highly responsive and produce consistent results.|
|Gas Ranges Review|
Gas is the clear winner!
As you can see from our head-to-head comparison, gas ranges are clearly the winner over electric ranges. Their fast heating, even heat distribution, responsiveness, and low cost of operation make them far superior.
However, keep in mind gas ranges are more difficult to clean — but if you know the right way to clean a gas range, it will be pretty easy.
Ready to shop for a Gas Range?
If you’re ready to buy a new gas range and get cooking, check out our top 10 picks for the best gas ranges. (Going electric after all? We’ve got picks for the best electric stoves, too.)
Learn More About Gas Ranges
Before you buy, you’ll want to make sure you do your research so you have a good grasp on the finer points of gas ranges. Find out if gas ranges require venting, if gas ranges produce carbon monoxide, and learn some safety tips for gas ranges.
And when you’re ready to install your new range, check out our guide to installing a gas range. Finally, if you’re looking to do your gas cooking outdoors, check out our picks for the best gas grills. Happy cooking!