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Someone please extoll the virtues of electric stoves

Where we live, ALL the houses come with electric stoves. We have been looking at houses for over a year and all of them come with an electric stove, and the majority are those horrible flat-top kind.

As avid cook-at-home people, we are horrified by this and keep hoping for a place that at LEAST has a gas line already but it seems impossible. The houses were built with electric and it seems very expensive to run gas since there's no gas in the rest of the houses. Some houses don't even HAVE gas available at the street in the development, those we've written off right away.

It's expensive enough to buy a house, but to have to consider some major construction project and purchase of a new stove right off the bat seems really more than we could do.

Could someone come on here and post about how they love their electric stove? Or at least that they don't mind it, and have been able to make it work for them?

*crosses fingers*

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  1. oh no. well, if you ignore the cooktop entirely, electric *ovens* are superior. especially if you get one with convection. then you can get a really cool propane grill with a side burner(s)-- and do as much cooking as possible outdoors?!? i'm *trying* here. . . :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: soupkitten

      Try harder! :) We definitely would invest in a monster grill for outdoors, but that's tolerable for about 3 months of the year here.

      1. re: soupkitten

        A better alternative is an induction range. All the benefits of electric, no gas and smooth glass surface, and all of the benefits of gas, quick heat and quick cool. Downside - must use steel or cast iron cookware. If a magnet will not stick to the pan it will not work on induction. Heat output is greater than most gas ranges. Cost to operate is much lower. As only the pan get hot, the kitchen stays cooler. Most companies now have induction cooktops, mine is Electolux.

      2. This doesn't exactly address your question, but . . . it's really no big deal, either from a construction or cost perspective (unless you've got some unusual situation), to install bottled gas service to a house. I've done this with the last two houses I've lived in, replacing an electric with gas range (a 48" professional-style model currently) and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if necessary.

        2 Replies
        1. re: FlyFish

          I don't know what you mean by "bottled gas." Does that mean like an outside propane tank or something? I think that would not be allowed due to our local ordinances.

          1. re: rockandroller1

            Yes, that's exactly what I mean. I can't speak to your local ordinances, but bottled gas is pretty common everywhere around here (New England). There are local codes that govern how the tank and piping have to be installed, but I've never heard of an outright prohibition.

        2. I really don't have any praise for an electric stove top. I used to have to get around not having gas by turning on several 'burners' at different temps. Doesn't work well if you have to cook a lot of things though. I did resort to getting a single gas portable burner when electric just would not do. I have however wished for an electric oven when I saw this guy making a perfect 90 second pizza in one:

          1. There are absolutely no virtues to extol for an electric cooktop. They are horrible, and I hate it when I have to cook on someone's. However, there is an electric option that sounds very promising. It is an induction cooktop. Apparently they give you immediate control over temperature just like gas, they use 30% less energy, and the cooktop itself doesn't get hot. They don't come cheap, but certainly much less expensive than a major construction project. If I ever had to buy a house without gas cooking, this is the way I would go.

            7 Replies
            1. re: bnemes3343

              I was lucky enough to live in an apartment that came with an induction cooktop and I can't say enough about it. Initially I had no clue what it was and was a bit annoyed I had to buy new pans for it, but now I prefer it to gas because it's a lot safer, more energy efficient, and it provides about the same level of control/speed as a gas flame. Mine had regular settings and high-heat settings for deep frying. It is a bit of an investment though, but probably a lot cheaper than doing a major construction project to get gas installed.

              Electric ovens are better hands down. I had one gas oven I just gave up on because it took like 2x the recommended time to cook anything with the convection feature on, longer with it off. My mom saw the stove and was shocked because it was a higher end model.

              1. re: queencru

                Why did you have to buy new pots and pans? You can't just put any old pot on one of these?

                1. re: bnemes3343

                  Induction cooking surfaces require a ferrous (Something a magnet sticks to) pan to operate. The way it works is a very powerful alternating magnetic field is generated under the pan. This causes a circulating flow of electrons in the pan, the resistance of the pan turns this into heat.

                  If you have aluminum, copper, and some stainless steel cookware, it won't work on an induction cook top.

                  1. re: bnemes3343

                    To add to this, you also need a flat surface to conduct the electricity. Something like a wok or a pot that has a curved bottom will not work. When I went to buy mine, I just asked a salesperson to help point me to induction-friendly pots and pans. At least in Japan, the ones that would work were labeled with "IH" in the tag.

                    1. re: queencru

                      This depends more on the cook top. There are wok capable cook tops out there.

                      1. re: queencru

                        queencru (about induction cooktops): "To add to this, you also need a flat surface to conduct the electricity. Something like a wok or a pot that has a curved bottom will not work."

                        Sorry, but that is just plain incorrect. In several respects.

                        1. No electricity is conducted between cooktop and pot in an induction cooktop. The induction cooktop generates a magnetic field, which does not require direct contact to propogate; a magnetic field will propogate through a vacuum, even.

                        2. The bottom of the pot does not need to be flat. We have used induction for more than a decade with pots that do not have flat bottoms, and they work great. One of our pots that works wonderfully has three small "nub" feet that are the only points of contact with the cooktop (also, Demeyere makes an induction-specific wok with three round feet that hold the entire wok above the cooktop); the total physical contact bettween our footed pot and the cooktop is less than one square centimeter.

                        3. The great majority of stainless steel pots and pans, enameled steel pots, and all cast iron pieces, work very well on induction cooktops; pots and pans that work with induction are anything but rare. Nor need they be expensive: if you buy a super-cheap pot in the convenience aisle of a supermarket, as long as it is not an all-aluminum pot, chances are it will work fine on induction.

                        1. re: Politeness

                          Yes, then, different types must behave differently. I bought an induction cooktop in 2007 that frustrated me because not only did the cookware have to be perfectly flat, but if there was a speck of something under the pan the burner wouuldn't recognise it and it wouldn't heat. You'd never know until dinner wasn't cooked. Super frustrating, I got rid of it.

                2. Sorry, thre's nothing I can say to convince you to embrace the electric stove, as we are temporarily relocated to a difference area where our home is. The home has a gas stove, and temporary housing (it's a condo) has electric and I despise it. The only way were able to work around getting a gas stove was from the construction outset as an add on with the builder (this was not a custom home, just a run of the mill tract home). Gas lines were already in place for the water heater, they just tapped from that line in the garage to the kitchen for the stove. We're struck here until June of next year with the electric, but like you, we have a great outside gas grill that makes up for it.

                  1. Electric stoves are the spawn of satan. They will change the way you cook EVERYTHING, even recipes you could do with your eyes closed. Your bacon will burn, your soup will scorch and you'll encounter hot spots on your pans like nobody's business.

                    The ovens, however, are pretty good. Switch over to baking/roasting everything. And don't even get me started on broiling.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: charlesbois

                      I think spawn of Satan might be stretching it... I think Satan might look at an electric stove as his illegitimate spawn.

                      I too have nothing good to say about an electric stovetop.


                      1. re: legourmettv

                        I know this is an OLD thread, but I have to say that I TOTALLY agree right now with this post. Finishing my chili for dinner on the side burner of my Weber gas grill.

                        Range is dead-- less than 4 years old. Spent $1100 on it. (It's a regular kitchen and I have an ordinary income).

                    2. I used to feel exactly the same, and you're right, older flat-top stoves are just not great. However, we recently moved, and we have brand new separate electric flat cooktop, and this thing puts out *heat.* I had been used to cranking the burner to 10, and waiting forever, and then still not getting a good sear. Well, so far I have melted two utensils and burned the crap out of my Le Creuset saucier, and that was on 8. Stir fry? Used to be a horrible steam job. Not with my new stove! I have a powerboil burner that boils a kettle faster than a microwave, and two burners are continuously-variable -- such that it's not the turn off-turn on-turn-off cycling of the burner to get to temperature; it has a rheostat to maintain the exact heat setting you want. I have a low setting which is good for warming plates -- just stick them right on the stove. It is dialless, completely flat, touch-sensor operation -- so cleaning is easy. Also has a lock-out function so, say, the cat doesn't hop up there and accidentally turn on a burner.

                      Here's one good thing about a flat-top stove: tortillas? You can warm right on the burner, too.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: themis

                        It sounds like your experience was similar to mine. I had used older, flat top stoves at beachouses, and hated them. The coil top was sparking at me when I moved into this house, and I was burning food regularly because the heat was uneven. It wasn't until I got a new model that I decided that I like these flat top things. Do I miss gas? I don't think so. I thought I would, but this cooktop is really a joy by comparison. No waiting for an ingition to light the gas, and much, much easier to clean.

                      2. I'm very happy that I have a gas stovetop - but, I've cooked many a wonderful meal on both an electric stove and those flat electric stoves. It takes getting used to, but you can certainly make do without fear. And, as others have said, the oven is better.

                        1. I always love these rants against cooking with electricity. Quite frankly it is all just what you get used to. I am 49 years old and have cooked on nothing but electricity since I grew up in an all electric home and have only had gas in one home as an adult. As a result I can't stand cooking on gas because I feel like I am burning the crap out of things are not cooking at all. I know how to control the heat on an electric range but feel like I have no control with gas. The home I live in now actually has a gas line behind the range and a electric line and when I purchased the home I replaced the gas range with a electric range with coil burners. Before you people scream I know, all of my foodie friends say I am crazy and don't know what I am talking about, but it is possible to cook with electricity.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: swamp

                            It absolutely is possible! I feel as if I have a lot more control with gas burners but, as I wrote above, electric ones can work perfectly well too.

                            1. re: swamp

                              Having cooked on gas stoves at work, I can't say I prefer electric, but everywhere I have lived has had electric and you just get used to it. There are lots of people out there who don't have any option (apts, houses with no gas line, etc) about it. And they do just fine. I, my sister and my mother can all put out a lovely gourmet meal on our electric stoves.

                            2. It depends on the kind of electric stove. An electric oven will almost always be superior to a gas oven. A gas cook top is generally superior to an electric cook top. But, if the electric cook top is induction, it will be hands down better than the gas one.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: vanillagorilla

                                I keep hearing that everyone thinks an electric oven is superior, and I do think my double overs (Whirlpools, came with the house) are great - but I miss the gas broiler. It may be that my coils need replacing, but I don't think I get the same browning as quickly as when I used gas. Does anyone out there have a similar experience? I admit, it may be that I need to upgrade these ovens too. They are on the list, but I haven't gotten there yet.

                                1. re: RGC1982

                                  Assuming your coil can get as hot as a fire, the electric broiler should be better. The reason gas stoves don't work as well as as electric (and this goes for gas broilers and gas grills as well) is that the burning of the gas produces water vapor. This keeps thins from getting as crisp as they should.

                              2. I have a 5 yr. old Kitchenaid flat glass, halogen cook top and i LOVE it. It has no knobs, so it's extra counter space when not in use, heats up like a rocket, cleans up beautifully, and looks great when not using it. Gas wasn't an option for me, either, but Im very happy with my glass-ceramic top. Plus, for baking, you'll be glad you've got an electric oven. "Don't criticize a man until you've poached an egg on his cook-top" Adam

                                1. Thanks all for the replies. Of all the cooking we do, I would say less than half of one percent involves the oven. We aren't bakers. We don't bake bread, we don't make dessert, we rarely make stuff like roasts. We do roast a chicken now and then but that seems to go just fine in the gas stove. I would say the vast majority of our cooking is stove-top which is why it concerns me so much.

                                  @FlyFish - NOBODY where I live has what you describe. I have never seen it, ever. New England is a different place in more ways than one than the midwest. There are quite a few neighborhoods here where you aren't even allowed to have an outside grill, or if you are, it can't be a charcoal grill. Lots of laws.

                                  As for induction, the stoves are not induction that we are looking at, and if so that means a new cooktop and all new pans which is less appealing to me than knocking out the floor and trying to get the gas into there so I can use a gas stove. I don't want to learn a new way to cook, I like the old way just fine.

                                  It's enough to keep me paying rent forever rather than buy a house with a gas stove, I think. Bah.

                                  1. In a low-mid range stove like we're talking about here (at least that is my impression), electric being inferior is a state of mind. ;-) Seriously, it comes down to what you're used to and how quickly you can adapt. I can cook on either, have lived in houses with either, and have an electric range now because it was here when I moved in. There is gas in the house, and there's a gas outlet behind the range. But it's sure not compelling enough to replace a perfectly good stove. It has coil burners, by the way, not the smoothtop, but I can deal with the smoothtops too if necessary. It does take very flat cookware, heh.

                                    Here's what I don't get: if there's gas at the street, why isn't there gas in the house? And more importantly, what the heck do you heat with? Not gas? These places have gas at the street but have not hooked up to get gas heat? That doesn't make sense, but hey, what else is new. Despite the potential fluctuations in natural gas pricing, you may save in the long run with gas heat if you can get that into the house too along with the gas stove (in other words, if it would just be a furnace swap. If you had to run ducts or something it probably wouldn't be any good. I assume these are long-existing houses and not brand new ones because again, the lack of the gas plumbing wouldn't make sense otherwise.)

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: CrazyOne

                                      Many developments here are all electric, including the heat. Some have gas heat but it was built in and there was no gas line run anywhere else in the house when the house was built, so getting gas into the kitchen could be a major undertaking.

                                      I think I could adapt, albeit not happily, to electric if it was coil but I'm amazed how many places have those flat/glass top stoves. Ugh.

                                      1. re: rockandroller1

                                        I think the main benefit to a low-end coil stove is that you're probably going to have better control over the heat. My current gas stove has 4 medium-sized burners that simply cannot give me a low heat. I cook for one and always use smaller pans, so it's disappointing that I can never really cook anything the way I like it unless it involves boiling.

                                    2. I agree with most of the posters here who despise electric cooktops. For many years, I lived with electric coil then glasstop cooktops before moving into a home with a gas cooktop. I will NEVER go back to electric if I don't have to. We have a beach condo in NC that has no natural gas service to the neighborhood. Our kitchen is on the front of the unit so this summer we had a propane tank buried in the flowerbed and a gas line run through the wall into the kitchen so that we could install a propane-specific gas range. Installation of the tank and line probably ended up costing about $700 in total> Totally worth it in my opinion. As long as you have the gas co. install the tank and line according to regulations for your area, I can't imagine why a buried tank would concern your neighbors. If you love to cook with gas, it's worth the trouble. Just be aware that you will need to have the means to afford an LP-specific pro-style range in order to fully utilize your stove. Most stoves sold with a NG/LP conversion kit lose a lot of gas btu's on conversion to LP. On GE, it's around 30% of the btu's which is significant. Wolf, DCS, Bluestar, Viking and Thermador all make LP-specific ranges. There are probably other pro-style range manufacturers with LP units as well. One of these brands in an all-gas LP range will run you about $4K.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: koigirl

                                        A 4K range is not really an option for us, but thanks for the information.

                                        1. re: rockandroller1

                                          Any gas range (no doubt somebody will post and say they're aware of one that can't, so maybe I should say "virtually any gas range") can be converted to LP by simply changing the pressure regulator setting and swapping out the orifices. It's a trivial task, one that I've done myself (and I'm no mechanic). I've spent a good bit of time looking at gas stove specs, and the BTU loss in going from gas to LP is more like 10% - and some brands indicate there's no loss at all, something that I don't quite buy. Prior to the pro-style range I have now, I had a typical 30" GE Profile that worked just fine with LP, so it's really not necessary to spend several thousand dollars to benefit from gas. If you happen to live in a location that doesn't allow LP gas installation then that's not an option, of course, but that's easy enough to check on.

                                      2. I certainly prefer gas, but I get on just fine with electric.

                                        I think the hardest part with electric is that the temperature is not standard (That is to say 5 on my stove will not be the same as 5 on your stove). Since you can't see the actual flame you can only learn these nuances by trial-and-error.

                                        Otherwise....I would not consider it a deal-breaker (in fact I moved into an all-electric home). You could always have a natural gas line run or upgrade to propane or induction later on.

                                        1. I had a similar experience when I bought my house five years ago. The previous owner managed to run gas lines everywhere else except the cooktop and oven. I have two gas hot water heaters, two gas fireplaces, and a gas dryer. The cooktop? It was electric coil, and the ovens? Electric. Clearly the woman who built this house was not a cook. Running gas to my center island cooktop would have involved jackhammering through a slab foundation, and that was only after I tore up the beautiful hardwood floors that run in one continuous open space through my open kitchen, breakfast area and family room. Sometimes you just have to give up.

                                          I quickly upgraded to a smooth ceramic cooktop, and I love it. At first I missed gas, but this unit has infinite control, and it heats up water faster than I remember my old gas stove did. I love that I can wipe a smooth surface clean, and that I can actually rest items on top of the glass cooktop (when it is cool and not in use, obviously), although you do want to be careful. It also looks really sleek and cool -- perfect for my kitchen. I have also heard that you can get away with less ventilation, but I subscribe to the theory that your kitchen ventilation should give a tug on small children and pets, so I don't buy that argument.

                                          1. Uh, okay, here's a try: As a property manager, I can give you encouragement by assuring you that if you ever rent out the house, it will be easier with an electric cooktop. You might be surprised how many people are scared of gas ranges or cooktops. Really, there are a lot of noncooks out there, and they love to rent houses with electric cooking appliances.

                                            As a cook, I have nothing good to say about them, however. I loathe mine, but I have to live with it until it dies because of another family member's thrift. (The cruelty.) Hence, I abuse it at every opportunity. I am wearing it out, I hope, and can't wait to replace it with gas when the cost to repair it exceeds the expense of a new cooktop. Oh, please let me abuse it beyond repair, and quickly, that's my prayer.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: amyzan

                                              The fear is part of the equation at my house too. Not me, but the other occupant who is afraid of everything. But mainly, I can get by well enough to use the functioning electric range while it is still functioning, and it's nice to know they DID put in the gas outlet.

                                              BTW, rockandroller, just to touch on that again with the gas lines, there's a huge difference in the undertaking of having to run an underground gas line from the street in a house that has never had it, plus have the meter put in, PLUS the inside plumbing vs just some inside plumbing in a house that already has gas in it for heat. Not that the latter might not be a big undertaking, as evidenced by the slab example above, but it is something you can actively look for in your house hunting. If there's a gas furnace, you can see where that is in relation to the kitchen. If the furnace is in the basement, and the kitchen is on the floor right above, a typical arrangement, this plumbing should be pretty straightforward and simple to do (simple for the plumber, not you, LOL). There would be easy access to the necessary areas. Just something to keep in mind.

                                              1. re: CrazyOne

                                                Thanks. The style of house we tend to like usually means the gas is in another part of the house from the kitchen and the kitchen is actually sitting on the ground (split levels) so that makes it really tough. Most of the houses we've seen, we've been told there is no gas line anywhere NEAR the kitchen, it just wasn't run to that part of the house when the house was built so it would be a major undertaking getting it in there. Not impossible, as in those places that don't even have gas in the whole development, but still complicated and expensive. It's frustrating.

                                            2. Alright, here's one: you can get a nice, even brown on toasted marshmallows over an electric stove. A gas stove is more likely to catch your (or at least my) marshmallow on fire.

                                              I'm sure there are also situations where the slow residual heat loss when you turn off the stove is actually a good thing.

                                              maybe if you don't have a pan that distributes heat well through the base, the more even heat of an electric stove would be better?

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: cimui

                                                Cimui - can you elaborate on the marshmallow? What do you "stick" it on? Sounds delish.

                                                1. re: stellamystar

                                                  oh, nothing too complicated. whatever you have on hand usually works. i've used chopsticks, forks, kebab skewers (be really careful that those don't burn), salad tongs.

                                                  that was quintessential slumber party food in my tender youth. :)

                                                  1. re: cimui

                                                    Re Porter and Charles oven - how do you find it? I am considering buying the 24" double oven but it is hard to get any info - I've found no reviews, but like the look and size. I bake and roast a lot.. How is the steam-assist cleaning process? You say you "could" be happy with it....?
                                                    I'd really apppreciate any input - thanks

                                                    1. re: cimui

                                                      I did marshmallows over unscented (lead free) candles when I had slumber parties! We didn't have a gas stove when I was growing up. I just used toothpicks and minimarshmallows.

                                                2. We just switched to electric a year ago, not by choice. In our first house we had to buy a stove, and paid to extend the existing gas so we could install a gas range. I expected to be able to do the same in the new house which also needed a stove (although running the line from the street would be pricier, we were committed to a gas range). However - the new house had cabinets not up to code for a gas range. Short of rebuilding half the kitchen, we resigned ourselves to finding a nice electric range.

                                                  A year later, I'm reasonably happy with it. I love the oven - love the convection - love the convection grill. It is far superior my old gas oven. I'm on the fence about the stovetop, however. I was trying to get induction, but that wasn't available in a range. I do love the style of the stove I bought (all flat on top, stylish knobs on the front face) and the ease of cleaning it. It looks good, and provides an extra surface in the small kitchen. I also love the new cookware. I hate the lack of instant heat response. I keep a lot of trivets around for pulling a pot off the stove quickly. I'm slowly improving my knowledge of cooking on it, and think I can live with it for the next 10 years (at which time I get a new kitchen!). All in all, it still cooks - it's a tool you learn how to use. We supplement it with outdoor grilling in the summer.

                                                  I'd suggest you price out the gas line from the street - where I live the gas company pays part, and we would pay part, which we were willing to pay. Make sure you know the code for cabinetry next to a gas stove in advance, and bring a tape measure to houses. Mind you, I would have bought the house even if I knew in advance - there are always trade-offs. If that isn't going to work, look into induction (as far as I know they still only come in the countertop drop-ins, not ranges). Since all of the above didn't work for me, I bought an electric I could be happy with (it's Italian-made, sold in Canada under the name Porter & Charles, which I think is an Australian company. Go figure!)

                                                  Good luck with the house-hunting!

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: tazottawa

                                                    We have gas that runs to our house, so to get a gas line that goes up to the kitchen (from basement) we've had quoted anywhere from $200-$500.
                                                    So, if you're dying for a tricked out gas range, then it's not that much more.
                                                    Consider this - are you going to take it with you to the next house or leave it? I know most realtors and experts say to leave it, but I cannot rationalize that if you're going to buy a great gas stove...

                                                    1. re: stellamystar

                                                      Another thing to consider is just how long you're going to live in this house. The reality is, unless you're going to live there for at least 5-10 years, it's a huge expenditure to be adding gas for cooking. Only a small percentage of people who would buy the house later are going to care as much about the choice as you are, so it's not an upgrade likely to pay off when you sell. If you can find a place you like where it's a few hundred dollar plumbing job, then yeah, go for it. But if it's a large undertaking, then you have to think about the long term. If you're going to be there 10 years, then maybe you do it because for that long a term there's a value to you that can be averaged out over that long period of time. If not, maybe you live with the electric and try to get used to it. You can, in fact, get used to it, I am confident of this. :-)

                                                      1. re: CrazyOne

                                                        We would definitely plan to be there 10 years or longer.

                                                    2. re: tazottawa

                                                      tazottawa - i am clueless, I am trying to find out more about the Porter and Charles oven you have. My main q is whether the fan is annoying as I dislike constant noises, depending of course on the level. Any other comments/

                                                    3. To be honest, an electric stove solves tons of venting issues if your to get a true high output 20,000+ BTU (per burner) gas stove top range. Most "home" gas burning tops are wimpy in the 10,000-12,000 BTU range, that I feel would be unacceptable, "in my house".

                                                      Also in some locals, gas cooking (natural or LP) adds to your insurance premiums because there is more risks in cooking with an open flame.

                                                      I bite my tongue and live with it...

                                                      1. I have cooked on gas for a long time, but recently am in a situation where I am renting a house part-time, and yes, it is all electric, including the stove. I am not at all thrilled with the cooktop but it is in an area where outside patio grilling is possible much of the year (and the rental house does have a very pleasant covered patio), so I figured I could survive). However, I really appreciate this thread because I had *no* idea that electric ovens might be better for baking or roasting; so I think I am going to make lemonade out of the lemons and increase my baking this holiday season!

                                                        1. An all-electric house means NEVER HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT A FIRE !!!!

                                                          No gas leaks to worry about, no setting your kitchen towels on fire when you use them for a quick grab, no wondering if the stove will blow up when it doesn't ignite right away.
                                                          My mother actually did have a gas explosion in her apt. due to a faulty gas oven (she's ok)(she ran)(kitchen cabinets got burned).

                                                          The peace of mind gained with an electric stove/oven is immeasurable. If I had natural gas, I'd shut it off and switch to electric. Gas leaks are a very common cause of home explosions and the danger isn't worth it to me.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                            1. re: rockandroller1

                                                              i think it's one of those things that *used* to happen a lot with cheap $50 gas stoves. in a well-known family story, my petite grandma was blown across the kitchen in a rented house in colorado or something, trying to light an oven pilot light, and she was a gas-stove phobe for the rest of her life. gas stoves these days are a little better put together, & i too have never heard of something like this happening in the past half century or so. i *have* heard about lots of fires which started because folks will put stuff down on a still-hot flat-top electric stove (treating it like a countertop, after someone else has been cooking, not realizing its still as hot as hell).

                                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                                I don't know about cheap gas stoves, but I have heard of exposions from propane (which some have suggested as an alternative) being not all that uncommon. Indeed, I have literally heard one of those explosions when it levelled a house down the street, and have also been evacuated from a mountain cabin at three in the morning because of a propane leak at the house next door. I think propane is more of an issue in areas where and when weather gets very cold: something about snow blocking escape valves or the valves freezing? (I don't know the technical details, I just remember that there seem to be a number of explosions during particularly cold winters up at Tahoe).

                                                                For that matter, I've been blown ten feet away myself when a propane stove I was cooking on exploded (this was an outdoor stove so I can't say I was thrown across the kitchen...thrown over some rocks in the camping area, however).

                                                                (all these events well within the last half century).

                                                                OTOH, my daughter did manage to start a fire in her electric kitchen, and I think (?) IIRC that it was a result of leaving a dish cloth on or right next to the electric burner. It wasn't a flat top though, so that type of carelessness could cause a fire regardless of the type of the stove....

                                                            2. re: LoveaFair

                                                              Okay, let's say it means never having to worry about a gas explosion. Whether there's gas in the house or not, whether it's related to the stove or not, ELECTRICITY CAN DEFINITELY CAUSE A FIRE! But it isn't likely to.

                                                              And the likelihood is that a modern gas stove won't have that kind of problem either. There are lots of safety measures in place to ensure that gas can be used in the home without always worrying about it.

                                                            3. one more comment: I am curious as to why you think flat top stoves are particularly horrible. I cooked with one for about three months at one point, and while I did need to get used to unintentionally burning myself by touching it when still hot (I learned fairly quickly on that one :-)) I grew to appreciate the fact that it was so easy to clean. Much easier than my current gas stove, and also much easier than the electric coil burner in my current rental.

                                                              1. I would seriously consider induction. Kenmore has a new induction range. "They say" that induction offers many of the advantages of gas. In terms of what cookware to use, there are lots of options available, although you might have to spend some coin for some new things. There are also some induction cooktops - not cheap, but might be worth it to you.

                                                                Good luck.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: kudall

                                                                  Thanks. that's not going to be an option, at least for several years. If/when we do buy a house, we really need to buy one that already has all the appliances (how the majority are sold where I live) as we won't have money to both buy a house AND buy applicances, let alone also buying all new pots/pans. So we will probably be forced to deal with the electric stove, or continue looking for one with gas (2 years of looking now and only 2 houses we have been close to loving that had a gas stove).

                                                                2. Here is a video with Alton Brown talking about GE induction, I am sure he got paid nicely by GE, but the techology is pretty much the same with all comparible brands. (note the pancake and frying demo) It's amazing and that is what I have chosen in my kitchen remodel, it required no electrical change for the stove area except I had to buy a separate oven and run a circuit for the oven.. Kenmore DOES have a induction range NOW, it's $3000, (it's made by electrolux) but I can tell you I paid much more buying a separate oven and induction cooktop. Single undercounter/wall oven runs around $2000 itself.


                                                                  I have cooked on electric coils all my life and I can manage as long as I take in consideration of the "inertia" of the heat element. My biggest problem is uneven contact below the pan, and the coils are not level.. this means oil pooling on one side and burnt food on the dry side and I constantly have to rotate the pan. My life will be much better with a level smooth top and the induction technology.

                                                                  1. I believe children who live in a house with an electric stove are less likely to get asthma...or it can make asthma worse. That's it.

                                                                    1. The virtues of an electric stove?


                                                                      Well, they never give up that tiny hint of smelly gas.

                                                                      Does that help?


                                                                      1. Personaly I love gas, that said, in my last house the propane tank was a 300lb and cost about $250 to fill. You had to call the gas company a week ahead to get a fill appointment, so if I ran out, I was out of gas for a good week.

                                                                        I live in a rural area and gas is nice in a blackout.

                                                                        1. I am in a basement suite situation with an electric stove. My landlords upstairs have a nice gas stove. So, I have the opportunity to use both on a regular basis (I was just up making radish cakes with the landlady a few minutes ago). Definitely prefer the gas, but honestly you can easily survive with an electric range.

                                                                          We had one most of my life and my mom was the best cook that any of our acquaintence ever knew. I'm better than she was at my age and I'm doing fine on an electric. I can't extol any grand virtues, but I can say that you will survive just fine until you can afford to do otherwise.

                                                                          1. Lots of older houses used to be gas and then converted to electric. My house has the gas line capped/sealed off, but can be uncapped and hooked up to a gas range. I never did it because my ex was scared of gas, yet caught several mitts and a microwave on fire. If there is a house you like check with the realtor, you might be in luck. BTW, I don't like electric, but I adapted. My issue with old electric ranges is the burner arrangement. My current range has only one large burner. The other house has two in the back and yet another had a small and large burner in the front and back. Talk about adapting!