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Oct 2, 2005 11:56 AM

electric stove cooking

  • 3

Okay, after having spent my entire cooking life with a gas stove, I am moving to a new apartment that has an electric stove. Besides the fact that you can't adjust the burner heat level quickly, how will I have to modify my stovetop technique (while, e.g., simmering, sauteeing, searing, etc)? Will an electric burner ever get as hot as a gas burner on full roar? What am I going to hate? Is there anything to love? Someone said that an electric oven is actually preferable to a gas oven; is this true?


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  1. the worst thing is the time lag between turning the knob and the effect (heating or cooling down). still, my stove is pretty old; i've heard newer models are better in this respect. i find it really hard to get a continuous simmer--it's either rolling on the boil or not at all. but i can still get enough heat to sear and saute quickly.

    i do prefer an electric oven, especially if it's got a fan. seems to heat more evenly and hold an even temperature.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hobokeg
      Caitlin McGrath

      I feel your pain. I grew up with gas, and first experienced electric when I moved out on my own and into apartments, and I don't like electric at all, though others are correct that you will get used to it. Four years ago, I was thrilled to move into a place with a gas stove, and now I've relocated to an area where all the apartments have electric stoves and I'm having to reorient myself to electric again.

      *Good* electric ovens are superior to gas because they keep more even temperatures, but I've found the ovens in the cheap electric ranges common in rental apartments to have the same problems with running hot or cold and having hot spots that gas ovens are known for, so make sure you have an oven thermometer.

    2. You will probably hate cooking on the rangetop and will have to get used to moving stuff off and on the burners as a measure of heat control. You will like the oven.

      1. Before you reach for the pot, turn the burner on full blast.

        1. I don't like electric. Often the elements vary - some run hotter at a given setting that another of the same size. There's too much lag time when turning down the heat from high to low. Furthermore, I think they're dangerous in that unless you have a fancy new model, you can't tell if the element is hot. It's easy to become careless and lay a hand on a screeching hot element that looks cool, not to mention the number of pot holders I've incinerated. Not good for kids to learn on. I really like electric ovens. I think they're more consistant than gas and don't produce moisture as a result of the combustion process. This is all just personal preference.

          1. I've spent the last year getting used to a smooth-top, after a lifetime of gas stoves. It's really not that bad. If I know that I'll be cooking something on a high heat and then want to quickly turn it down, I use two different burners, since the burners are less responsive. I use all different kinds of pots and pans. With some--like cazuelas--I use a metal disk under them, since the bottoms aren't perfectly flat (here in Spain you can buy one of these disks at any hardware store, I'm sure they are available in the US.

            I actually miss my gas oven and broiler more. My electric oven doesn't get as hot as my gas oven did and it takes forever to heat up.