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Nov 10, 2008 11:04 AM

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.