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Handyman: oven....gas vs electric?

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ghopper
Brewster, MN
(Zone 4b)

November 4, 2012
6:16 AM

Post #9324210

Since I have several weeks before I need to make a decision, I'm looking for input. I'll be remodeling the kitchen of an old farm house. May go with a gas cook top and put the oven elsewhere in the kitchen. As I live alone and don't cook very much I'd sort of like just a small oven for the occasional cake, but then there is the occasional holiday meal when I'd need more oven space. What to do? Back to my main question, is there any significant difference in a product baked in a gas vs electric oven? Have used gas most of my life and have little experience with electric. Thanks for any advice.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

November 4, 2012
6:56 AM

Post #9324252

The newest thing going are ranges with gas burners & electric oven. Electric will bake more even.
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

November 5, 2012
4:08 AM

Post #9325015

My sister has a double oven on one wall of her kitchen for just that reason - a small one for her occasional use and a Big one to do the Thanksgiving meal for all of us. She has a gas cooktop and since it is gas; it still works fine when the electricity is out. Over here in Korea; all of the gas ovens that I've had have been convection ovens and they work as well as electric, with no hot or cool spots.
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

November 7, 2012
8:22 PM

Post #9327529

Ghopper, the cheapest is a range: cooktop with an oven. Standard is approximately 30 inches. What I like about an oven in a range is that I can take food out of the oven and place it on the cooktop. Gas ranges are more expensive than electric. Dual fuel ranges have gas cooktops with electric oven. Another high-end, specialty appliance, but very popular.

If you are considering a wall oven, it is better to purchase a standard size. We have worked on a small oven which was almost double in price. Smaller is not cheaper. More expensive when it is a specialty item. Also more expensive to repair. While gas ovens may not be quite as perfect as electric in terms of evenness of temperature, most convection ovens, which are also more expensive, do a great job. Personally, I think a gas broiler does a better job if you broil a lot of meat.

As soon as you choose a range or cooktop wider than 30 inches, it is also a specialty item and generally more high end. I have a tabletop electric convection oven/broiler that is both convenient and good. It was not terribly expensive (a little over $100/$130). It came with a rotisserie that we have never used. Great for an extra, and less to heat in the summer. It is a throw-away: when it breaks, throw it away as it is not economical to repair. Ranges that are wider (36 to 60 inches), often have a griddle or something else on the top and a smaller, warming oven on the left that is usually electric.

Everyone chooses an oven for its automatic cleaning feature. As an appliance servicer, I can tell you it is very common to be called for a repair after cleaning. A word to the wise: do not self-clean your oven before a holiday or big dinner
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

November 7, 2012
10:28 PM

Post #9327567

I had one of those at my last house, Cathy, and I liked it real well. It cooked very evenly and was one of the easiest I've ever cleaned. It was Korean and too narrow for most of my pans, but it was a good oven.
OutsidePlaying
Laceys Spring, AL
(Zone 7a)

November 8, 2012
9:21 AM

Post #9327882

Cathy is right, the cooktop with oven is cheaper. But that may not be what you need or want. I love my double oven, even though it's just the 2 of us. Mine is a KA with convection on top. I mostly use the 2nd (and smaller) oven on holidays when the whole family is here but it's totally worth it. I also have a Cuisinart convection tabletop oven that is also my toaster and I love that too. It is much more versatile when I have small items to warm and does a great job on toasting bagels, and as Cathy pointed out, much less heat in summer.

When I bought my new KA double oven, the 36" was actually on sale and cheaper than the 30". Check around and see what kind of deals might be going on. This was last spring, so don't know what might be going on now. I was replacing my old white one with stainless after 15 years. It still worked, it was just re-model time and I donated it to a church.
ghopper
Brewster, MN
(Zone 4b)

November 8, 2012
7:20 PM

Post #9328435

Lots of things to think about, thanks for adding more. LOL. Here is another thing I need to consider. I could keep the gas range I now have but I don't think I'll like that the back where the controls are will be taller than the windowsill behind the stove. I now live in a different house. The stove needs to be in front of the window. I did see that not all ranges are tall in the back. The flat top ones are not available in my area. Suppose I could order from somewhere. Would someone just make me a new kitchen and I'll move in when its done? This isn't fun for me.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

November 9, 2012
4:31 AM

Post #9328562

We do that.
http://www.berniescabinets.com
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

November 9, 2012
5:37 AM

Post #9328615

I have a stove with a flat top, and i cannot tell you what has fallen behind it...

In today's construction and probably zoning and building codes, they usually install a range with a fireproof (usually tile or stainless) area behind it. I don't know if that applies to you. Moving surely carries its own share of headaches.
OutsidePlaying
Laceys Spring, AL
(Zone 7a)

November 9, 2012
7:40 AM

Post #9328756

I would probably go with the gas cooktop and separate wall-mounted electric ovens. Sounds like you are you doing a major remodel? How are you venting the cooktop (hood, downdraft)? If it's in front of a window, I guess I'm not seeing the picture of how this would work and I'd definitely want a venting system for any type of new cooking system. Overhead vent to the outside would be preferable IMO with a pretty tile backsplash rather than putting it in front of a window. Or if you had room for an island...All sorts of possibilities.
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

November 11, 2012
9:31 AM

Post #9330310

Ghopper, all appliance dealers can special order any kind of range. I always suggest purchasing from a local dealer that has its own service company and a good reputation.
ghopper
Brewster, MN
(Zone 4b)

November 11, 2012
5:31 PM

Post #9330669

Couldn't agree more Cathy. Its fun to look in the big bix stores but I always buy locally.
About venting, can't do the overhead because of the window. I don't feel the need as I don't cook all that much. What is an IMO?
I'm really leaning towards the gas cooktop with an electric oven elsewhere.
Everyone said this remodel would turn into a monster. It grows almost daily as one thing affects another. I'm so glad the money tree survived the drought and the sky is the limit. The bathroom is first on the list, though. So I'm using this time to think things through. Only want to do it once. Hope to get some pics soon so you can see what I see. Thanks for the good advice, keep it coming. Gail
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

November 11, 2012
6:55 PM

Post #9330729

IMO, another internet acronym - in my opinion (or in my humble opinion IMHO). I don't use them often; I'm too old fashioned.
ghopper
Brewster, MN
(Zone 4b)

November 12, 2012
5:22 AM

Post #9330907

daaaaa, I use that phrase all the time!
OutsidePlaying
Laceys Spring, AL
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2012
5:32 AM

Post #9330920

Ghopper, I just meant that window venting doesn't replace true mechanical venting to the outside for any cooking and fumes. If you can have a kitchen designer look at placement of your cooktop, maybe you can vent another way with either an up- or down-draft system when you do your re-model. And put your sink in front of the window. Can you post a sketch of your current layout?
ghopper
Brewster, MN
(Zone 4b)

November 12, 2012
5:47 AM

Post #9330935

Here's the thing, the range and the sink now share space under the windows. I suppose they should be centered in a way that is pleasing to the eye but I don't care about that. After 62 years of cooking and doing dishes while looking out the windows I don't think I could take the change. The whole remodel thing is hard enough for me. I hate change and a whole wall will be going away. OMG!
My contractor is working on some options for me to consider. We'll see what he comes up with for venting. He'll deserve a medal when this is all over.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

November 27, 2012
5:33 AM

Post #9343610

Did you ever see a house explode from electric malfunction ? Not me.
But there are always blasts from faulty gas.
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

December 2, 2012
7:34 AM

Post #9347546

Good observtion, Country Gardens, and you'll notice that post is gone. I don't think there is anything worse than an explosion. However, even though electric is inherently safer for a few reasons, don't be fooled into a false security of thinking it can't catch fire. If you leave anything unattended in or on an electric stove, it can create problems that you can pretty much see. You can also have an unsuspected fire start in a wall. Those are reasons enough to make sure the homeowner uses licensed, experienced technicians when installing high-voltage, high-heat appliances. Last year on Christmas day a fire needlessly consumed a house being redone by an unlicensed contractor. The homeowner's elderly parents and 3 young children died in that fire that made the headlines all over the country. It was in an area of very expensive homes, not exclusive, but definitely upscale, large, well maintained homes near the water.

If I am not mistaken, I think Ghopper's and your state have strong zoning requirements that make safety a very high priority, so I'm sure you're all covered. You should be proud.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 2, 2012
7:54 AM

Post #9347561

I don't think you can get insurance here unless the wiring is inspected. (You can do your own electric in MN, but it has to be inspected.) New homes won't get electricity until they pass inspection.
I'm not sure about licensed contractors. A very loose term. License is just a term for goverments to collect fees.
Best way to get a good contractor is checking references.
John_Clark
New York
United States

January 21, 2013
4:40 AM

Post #9392053

I recommend you to choose the electric oven because it has more features than the gas one. It uses energy more effective than the gas oven also.
ghopper
Brewster, MN
(Zone 4b)

January 21, 2013
6:42 AM

Post #9392159

Looks like I'll have a couple of years to make up my mind as the $ fell through so all plans for the kitchen will have to wait. Will do the bathroom in the meantime. Everything happens for a reason so I'm ok with the wait. Maybe I'll come up with a better kitchen in the end. Thank you, all who contributed.

phkat
Libby, MT
(Zone 5b)

January 21, 2013
6:48 AM

Post #9392167

I have cooked and baked with gas for 19 years. I absolutely love it. The last 2 years my oven has been gas/convection oven. Before that I primarily used electric. I far prefer the gas. I find no problem baking at all. Even broiling is awesome with the flame. This one I have now, is also a self-cleaning oven. Love that feature.
For the stove top, I love how precise you can get with the temperature. And when you turn it off, its off. No pot boiling over because of the time it takes for an electric coil to cool down.
Just my experience...
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

January 21, 2013
8:02 AM

Post #9392267

phkat, broiling IS better with gas. That is why so much of us have gas grills. I'm guessing it is not just a gas oven, but a high-end one. Makes a big difference.

ghopper, I have been waiting a long time for just that reason. Finances are tight, but I refuse to spend money on something I don't like. So I've been living with it and still looking forward to the time when I don't have to...
afptl
Butler, KY

October 31, 2013
10:43 PM

Post #9699450

I love my gas stove and oven. Never going to have electric again! Also, the top burners can be lit with a match when the power goes out. You never know.
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

October 31, 2013
11:06 PM

Post #9699454

There are quality appliances of both types, and the most expensive are dual fuel, which has a gas cooktop and an electric oven.

Unfortunately not everyone has access to gas or the wherewithal to purchase high end appliances. Also, an expensive appliance does not guarantee quality. The most reasonably priced appliances are still costly, and while it is not a car or real estate, it is a major purchase. We all have to do a lot of homework to make good choices. One man's pleasure is another man's poison (or one man's trash is another's treasure).
Ronny121
Alabama, NY

November 11, 2013
2:32 AM

Post #9706411

The newest affair traveling are ranges with gas burners & electric oven. Electric will broil added even.
pattestingbedford444
Melbourne
United Kingdom

November 18, 2013
4:02 AM

Post #9711508

Yes, there is a significant difference between product baked in a gas and electric oven like both use different technologies for preparing the food. Electric oven uses electromagnetism whereas gas uses fire which gets faster way to prepare food than Electric oven. Both are having their pros and cons. I have tasted the food which let me know that the taste is also different.
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

November 18, 2013
10:52 AM

Post #9711743

Maybe things in the UK are different, but here in the States electric ovens use a plain, old heating element known as a calrod. The addition of convection aids efficiency, but nothing electromagnetic. Even a gas oven that is natural gas or liquid propane can have a convection feature. Most convection ovens contain an additional electric element by the convection fan. Ovens are not electronic, only the part in the control panel with the clock and settings.

So far as I know, electromagnetism is used only in cooktops and is known as induction cooking where the heat comes from the pot/pan. Electric/ceramic cooktops with halogen burners that glow are very pretty but not necessarily an improvement.

Ranges with gas cooktops and electric broilers/ovens are known as dual fuel ranges and are more expensive. The most expensive ranges we have repaired are custom made ranges that have about 8 gas cooktop burners or a combination with a grill or griddle and two ovens, one that is electric and one that is gas. Many times ranges with an additional oven on the left are for baking only and have no broiler. Standard ranges are all approximately 30 inches or 76 centimeters, or less. As soon as you choose a range that is 36 inches or more, expect to pay a premium price. As the length increases toward 72 inches, so does the price.

The reasons many professional cooks prefer gas have more to do with cost and control of temperature. Commercial ranges are almost always gas. The ovens run continuously from the time they are lit in the morning until the kitchen is closed at night.

A good range in working condition will perform well regardless of age and design. It has more to do with the cook than anything else. An time a new range comes with a cooking course, take it.
Jamesdavis
Agawam, MA

November 20, 2013
2:57 AM

Post #9712832

It depends on what the thing you are looking for in an oven. Some people cook for small number and some cook for large; some cook often, some not at all. If you need an oven that produces lot of food quickly, then go for gas oven. In addition, if you are only going to be cooking once a day with convenience, then go for electric oven.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

November 20, 2013
6:35 AM

Post #9712930

If gas bakes faster than electric, why do recipes say " bake in a 350 oven for 1 hr." not mentioning the type of oven.
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

November 20, 2013
3:36 PM

Post #9713226

It does not bake faster; gas HEATS faster. And preheats faster. However, a convection oven IS faster.

By the way, gas also cools faster.

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