If you’re thinking of investing in a new cooking range oven soon, it would be good for you to consider the pros and cons of a traditional gas oven (like the one you may already have) versus a modern electric cooking range.
While traditional ovens are fitted with a gas connection that fuels the flame, an electric cooker comes in two varieties: coil burners, which use heating elements that come in direct contact with your pots and pans, and flat tops, which use hidden electric coils under a smooth glass or ceramic surface.
The best cooking range for your household depends on your family size, budget and cooking habits. The decision to choose one over the other boils down to personal preferences, so here’s how the two types of cookers compare on some essential factors:
Appearance: A flat top oven has clean, sleek lines and is a good fit for a modern kitchen design. Gas stoves can appear more old-fashioned but some people prefer the rustic look and new options have a more modern look.
Ease of care: Electric cookers are considered easier to clean than gas ovens, even though it may require purchasing special products. A flat top can be conveniently swiped clean while a cooking range with electric coils has a top that can be lifted to mop up the spills underneath. Its drip pans, which are designed to catch most of the spilt-over food or liquid, can be soaked and cleaned. The electric coils themselves can be gently scrubbed with a mild detergent. If damaged, the coils and drip pans are easily replaceable. However, the cooking top itself can be scratched by rough handling of cast iron pots and shattered if a heavy item is dropped on it or cold water is splashed on a hot burner.
Cooking effectiveness: Gas stoves provide immediate high heat while electric coils take more time to warm up. However, electric stoves are useful for simmering food because it can sustain low heat for a long time, unlike a low flame that can be blown out by a breeze, even while the gas is on. The heat of an electric range’s oven is drier and more evenly distributed than a gas oven, which is better for baking and roasting. When baking in a gas oven, temperatures are hotter at the top, so the dish has to be rotated and placed farther from the heat source. However, gas ovens are good for broiling.
Temperature control: While gas ovens have traditionally beat electric ovens in terms of temperature control, the best cookers now tend to be fitted with very accurate modern thermostats that do not present this issue. However, some cooks are accustomed to using a flame level to gauge the correctness of the temperature and thus opt for the gas range.
Utensils: While gas ovens offer good performance regardless of the type of cooking utensils used, electric stoves are not as compatible. Smooth-top electric stoves don’t work well with cast iron and require quality cookware with even cooking surfaces to make contact with the element. Cast iron utensils may be used on an electric coil but don’t perform as well and can be damaged if you are not careful with high temperatures.
Cost-effectiveness: Electric stoves cost less to run than gas stoves — and are a cheaper purchase if you opt for the coil burner version. Flat top electric stoves tend to be pricier than the gas models; however, that also depends on the number of features the stove has.
Safety: Both types of ovens require careful use but in different ways. While gas stoves have to be regularly checked for gas leaks, electric stoves pose the risk of burning since you cannot immediately tell if the heating element has cooled down, unlike a flame that is discernibly switched off.
Health concerns: Gas stoves release nitrogen dioxide, which triggers breathing problems in asthma sufferers. A cooking range with overhead exhaust can reduce the presence of triggering fumes; however, electric stoves may be more suitable in homes of severe asthma patients. A cooking range with hood also expels heat from the kitchen, keeping it cooler.
Extra features: Electric ranges come with additional features, such as fans and grillers. Certain models have a built-in fifth element that provides gentle heat to keep food warm without cooking it further.
You can decide your choice of oven based on a number of key factors, like your family size, budget and cooking habits. If you decide to switch to electric, have a look at Mabe’s range of electric cookers here: http://www.mabearabia.com/ksa/cooking/electric-cookers/.