Ovens are among the most hardworking kitchen appliances, other than ductless range hoods. An adequately cooked meal does not rely on the recipe and skills of the cook alone- it also needs a reliable range and oven. Ovens can either be gas-fueled or electrically powered. Though these two types have a lot in common, their differences, such as the energy source, significantly affect your cooking experience.
We are going to compare their performance. See vis a vis which fares better in terms of temperature, preheat time, cooking functions, and convenience. Electric or gas oven, which is better? Let’s reveal it.
Gas vs. Electric Oven Background Overview
The most apparent difference between these two is the fuel source. Wall-mounted (wall ovens) or range ovens often have two different fuel options.
Gas stoves and ovens rely on burner ignition. Most gas ranges and ovens have their main burner located at the bottom. Some brands might even have a second burner situated at the top of the oven. Gas ovens with heaters at the top and bottom of the oven provide more flexibility in cooking, although a gas oven requires a gas line.
The heat generated is quick and intense. The intense heat circulates upwards, from the bottom compartment to the entire cooking surface. As the gas combusts from the open flame, it releases a bit of moisture into the air. That’s why these ovens provide more moist air than electric furnaces, making them perfect for baking and broiling, making moist cakes, or cooking pasta such as lasagna.
Electric models or convection ovens, on the other hand, are built with a large electric coil or the heating element. You’ll find it at the bottom of the oven, where the heat radiates to the entire cooking area, much like a gas oven. The difference, though, is that the electric coils take more time to heat and cool down.
A second heating element, also called the broil element, can be found at the top of the oven. If you’re using a true convection oven, you can find a third heating element. It’s circular and located at the back of the oven cavity.
All of this means that the heat generated is drier. Compared to the gas oven, it has higher humidity. And this factor can change the outcome of your dishes, especially if you’re baking your eggless chocolate cake or apple pie. Electric ovens are typically preferred when making a quick toasted sandwich. Of course, you can always use a panini maker for that, but with an electric oven, you can make all sorts of food.
Are they that different?
You’ll be surprised that electric and gas ovens may seem like opposite ends of the pole. Let’s see in detail what these factors are. Knowing the differences will help you decide which oven to use for your favorite recipes. And there are some hacks that you can do. These tips will help you use either oven for any recipe.
But sometimes it’s nice to enjoy both the pros of gas and electric fueled range. Dual fuel ranges combine the benefits of these two fuel sources: it has an electric oven and a cooktop that you can ignite with natural gas or liquid propane.
Comparing the Cooking Performance
We are going to use the following criteria for comparing the two. Each type has its pros and cons, but we’ll try to see past the disadvantages so you can still use your oven for all kinds of dishes.
Gas ovens reach higher cooking temperatures faster than an electric oven. You also have more control over the cooking temperature with it. The temperature instantly cools down as soon as you turn it off. The trade-off, however, is cold spots and hot spots. Gas ovens tend to have several of these, which you can remedy by using fans.
And if your gas oven does not have fans, you can rotate the container now and then to ensure all sides are perfectly cooked. Just bear in mind that the bottom part always cooks faster than the top.
Electric cooktops and ovens take more time to cool down, so there is a prolonged higher temperature even if you have turned it off. It also takes more time to heat it, but once it reaches your desired temperature, it can pretty well maintain it.
2. Cooking function & style
Gas ovens tend to give off moist heat, which is perfect for dishes that tend to dry faster. It’s ideal for meat dishes where you want all those yummy juices intact. Cooking food bathed in sauce and broth in a gas oven often produces delectable meals. You can also use them to boil water.
If you want to use our gas oven to create crispy cookies, you need to turn on the fan. Thus, it can help generate drier heat required to achieve that crispiness.
Baking dishes often produce outstanding results in a gas oven, while you should broil in an electric kiln.
Because electric ovens produce a drier heat, it’s perfect for broiling or making crispy cookies and peanut brittle. Or any food that needs to achieve a crunchy flake. However, if you want to cook lasagna in an electric oven, it can still be done. You have to cover the top with foil so that it doesn’t dry out too much.
It’s better to do roasting in an electric oven, too, since the dry heat can help you achieve the desired texture. But there’s a need to rotate your dishes more often in a gas burner because the temperature tends to get hot fast.
As with boiling water, there’s a need to maintain a steady and low simmer. And since electric ovens can maintain temperature faster, it fared better in simmering dishes.
3. Preheat time
Gas cooktops and ovens take less time to preheat than electric ones. Once you turn on the burner ignition, it can reach a high temperature faster. And it can be easily controlled too, you have to look at the size of the flames. The bigger the fire, the hotter the temperature is.
Electric ovens, on the other hand, heats up rather slowly. But once it heats up, it can maintain an even temperature better than a gas oven.
Gas ovens can be challenging to light or startup- you have to take extra caution not to get your face too close to the compartment since gas is involved. Electric ovens, on the other hand, are easier to start up. You plug it in and choose the desired temperature for preheating, like electric cooktops. These come in handy for restaurants, since they can make more food faster.
In terms of temperature control, it’s easier to control the temperature of a gas range. It’s also easy to adjust in small increments with a gas range or stove. The temperature of electric ovens isn’t that convenient to change midway through your baking.
So which wins the game, gas or electric ranges?
It’s a very subjective answer! And not all ovens are created equal. Some people will prefer a gas oven over an electric one because it’s what they are used to growing up; maybe their mother always baked pumpkin pie come autumn. Some love the affordability of a stainless steel electric oven. Not to mention, you can find compact electric furnaces.
It also depends on what you’re going to cook. Roasting and cooking dishes that are sensitive to temperature fluctuations work best in an electric oven while making cakes, and food bathed in the broth will come out perfect in a gas oven. Gas ovens are usually the preferred oven for baking too since it often requires the oven to preheat and to provide moist air.
For me, cooking is a beautiful and relaxing activity- more so eating! To match my appetite, I always make sure that my kitchen & dining aesthetics are on point. With my suggestions, I’m sure you can achieve the same thing.