So you are thinking of going from natural gas to electric stove for your cooking but are unsure which one is best.
While electric stoves are certainly more common than gas ones, it is not uncommon to hear people praise the latter for their superior cooking performance.
What are the pros and cons of going from a gas stove to an electric one?
Gas stoves offer better temperature control but are more expensive to install and harder to clean. By contrast, electric stoves are cheaper to install and easier to maintain but cook food much slower. While gas is more affordable than electricity, gas cooking can lead to ventilation problems.
In this article, I will tell you more about the pros and cons of switching from a gas stove to an electric one so that you may make an informed decision.
Let’s jump right in!
If you’re thinking of switching to an all electric house, you might be interested to read our article all about this here.
Pros of Going From Natural Gas to Electric Stove
Electric stoves are certainly more practical and easier to maintain than gas ones.
They come in a multitude of shapes, sizes, and finishes and can be installed pretty much anywhere, as all they need is an AC power plug. Going from a gas stove to an electric one may be a good idea if you value practicality, safety, and comfort.
Installing a gas stove can be pretty expensive, especially if you don’t have a gas line near your newly-acquired kitchen appliance—in which case you will have to pay a contractor to run the gas line to it.
You will also need a brand new connector when installing a gas stove. Using an old one is not recommended.
In theory, you could slash your installation costs by doing these things yourself. In reality, however, installing a gas stove is a specialized job that needs to be done by a professional. You certainly want to avoid potential leaks and worse.
You should clean your gas stovetop on a daily basis to prevent grease and grime build-up.
Unlike an electric stove, a gas stove consists of several parts, each of which must be cleaned separately.
- Grates: The removable metallic parts you place your pots and pans on.
- Burner caps: The removable black disks that sit on the burner heads.
- Burner heads: The pieces the burner caps sit on.
- Knobs: The round pieces you turn right and left to turn your burners on and off.
- Cooktop: The entire surface of your unit.
Even when appropriately installed, gas stoves can release a variety of pollutants into the air, the most dangerous ones being carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.
Unlike other gas-powered appliances, gas stoves are usually unvented, meaning the pollutants they release often stay inside the house.
Prolonged exposure to such pollutants can lead to a range of adverse health outcomes, especially for those with respiratory diseases.
Environmental activists have been trying to inform the public about the air quality dangers of using gas stoves for years.
In response to their criticism, the gas utility sector has been questioning the scientific validity of their claims, launching various campaigns aimed at emphasizing the benefits of gas stoves — the greatest one being affordability.
Going from a gas stove to an electric one is an important decision that you should not take lightly, as neither is significantly better than the other.
Your decision will mostly depend on your needs and priorities. For example, if you value practicality and easy maintenance over cooking performance and affordability, you should definitely go with an electric stove.
I can only think of one instance where one would have to switch from a gas stove to an electric one without even considering the pros and cons of each appliance: if someone in the family has a respiratory disease.
If this is your case, I strongly suggest you switch to an electric stove as soon as possible, as available evidence clearly shows that there is always a risk of harmful pollutants being released into the air with gas stoves.
One of the greatest advantages of having an electric stove is that you don’t really have to set it up. Because electric stoves are plug-and-play, all you have to do is plug them into a 250-volt outlet (most electric ranges require a circuit of at least 250 volts).
If you do not have a 250-volt circuit, you must get a qualified electrician to install your range.
While it is always a good idea to get professional help when handling major household appliances (stoves, fridges, washing machines, etc.), installing an electric stove is a relatively easy job that anyone can do as long as the correct circuit is present.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when installing an electric stove:
- If switching from a gas stove to an electric one, ensure the gas valve is turned off before work starts.
- Make sure that you have the right plug for your stove. You are either going to need a three-prong cord or a four-prong cord.
- New electric stoves tend to come with four-prong cords.
- Keep your electric stove away from your fridge and freezer.
Electric stoves are far easier to clean and maintain than gas ones, especially when they come with a smooth top.
Unlike gas stoves, electric stoves consist of very few pieces that are fully integrated into the unit, meaning fewer nooks and crannies for dirt and grime to get into.
All you have to do to clean your electric stove is wait for the stovetop to cool down and wipe it with a damp cloth – even a tea towel will do.
If your electric stove is particularly dirty, you may use an all-purpose cleaner or one of the following “green” alternatives:
- A solution consisting of warm water and baking soda.
- Warm water and vinegar.
- Lemon juice (ideal when it comes to stubborn stains).
Unlike gas stoves, electric stoves do not release any pollutants into the air. Even when installed by a qualified professional, gas stoves leak small amounts of methane every time they are turned on.
As previously mentioned, gas stoves also release small amounts of nitrogen oxide, which is bad for the climate and the health of those exposed to it. With an electric stove, you will not have to worry about any of these issues as there will not be any harmful pollutants coming out of your range.
That said, it is fair to point out that no stove is 100% safe because cooking fumes are released every time we cook, no matter what appliance we use.
Available data clearly shows that cooking fumes contain harmful particles linked to an increased risk of cancer and various respiratory diseases.
Practicality is, without a doubt, one of the most significant advantages of having an electric stove. Unlike gas stoves, electric stoves often come with various functions that make cooking easier and more intuitive—especially if you are not a skilled cook.
Another advantage worth considering is stability: because electric stoves come with a smooth top, you will not have to worry about balancing your pots and pans. They will sit perfectly on the stovetop.
This may sound insignificant, but it is a great comfort when cooking different things simultaneously.
Gas stoves are praised by chefs and amateur cooks for their superior cooking performance. As of 2015, 90% of U.S. homes had a stove; of these, over 66% had an electric stove, whereas 35% had a gas stove.
For years, media outlets have been spreading the message that you are automatically a better cook if you use a gas stove.
This probably explains why gas stoves are still very common in the United States, whereas in other parts of the world (especially in Europe), electric stoves have been the norm for quite some time.
Gas stoves and ovens heat up quickly, which is a big plus when working in a professional kitchen.
With a gas stove, you can increase and decrease the temperature at which you are cooking your food in a matter of seconds, allowing you to achieve optimal results in a shorter time.
High-end electric stovetops are pretty powerful and may not be that far from gas stoves in that regard. However, most electrical stoves take significantly longer to heat up.
They also take longer to lose heat, which can be an issue when cooking recipes that need rapid temperature changes.
Because of how gas stoves are designed, flames can easily reach the sides of every pan and pot, regardless of size. This ensures that the heat coming from the flames quickly spreads across your cookware, cooking your food more uniformly.
From a technical perspective, even heat distribution is undoubtedly the greatest advantage of using a gas stove versus an electric one. When cooking food on an electric stove, the food sitting in the middle of the pan tends to absorb much more heat than the food sitting near the edges.
This means that your food will not cook evenly unless you stir it regularly, affecting its texture and consistency. As you can imagine, this is less of a problem when cooking on a gas stove, which is why both chefs and amateur cooks prefer gas stoves to electric ones.
Should you go from a natural gas stove to an electric one, you may have to change your cooking technique to continue to get satisfying results.
Remember that if you are used to cooking on a gas stove, adjusting to an electric stove may take some time, and the process may be a little frustrating — especially if you are an amateur cook.
With energy prices on the rise, affordability is a factor that you should consider when deciding whether to switch from a gas stove to an electric one.
Over the past few years, gas and electricity have become considerably more expensive, forcing policymakers worldwide to look for new ways to support struggling consumers.
In most places, electricity is at least twice as expensive as natural gas, which makes the latter a much more affordable energy source.
It is also worth pointing out that, at least in the United States, growing demand will soon leave the electricity suppliers with no choice but to update the nation’s aging infrastructure, which will cost a fortune and push prices up further.
Unless someone comes up with a creative way to fund such an ambitious enterprise, it is safe to assume that electricity suppliers’ increased costs will translate into higher electricity bills, thus making electricity way more expensive than it currently is.
If you decide to switch from a gas stove to an electric one, make sure you are mentally and financially prepared to pay higher utility bills.
If you already own a gas stove and are on a tight budget, switching to an electric stove may not be the smartest thing to do — especially in this economy!
Going from a gas stove to an electric one may be a great idea if you value safety, practicality, comfort, and flexibility.
Unlike gas stoves, electric stoves do not emit harmful pollutants when turned on, which is a considerable advantage if you use yours in a confined space.
Electric stoves are also easier to clean due to their more straightforward design.
On the flip side, however, an electric stove will cost you more than a gas one, as gas is significantly cheaper than electricity.
An electric stove will also offer less precise temperature control, which could take some getting used to.
For more information about making the most of electric appliances, read our article about other electric appliances you should consider.