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Electric Solid Surface vs Gas range

I can't decide whether to go for a big gas range or the kind of electric stovetop with a solid pane of glass or porcelain built into the top. I've seen comparisons about how easy they are to clean, but nothing on actually cooking with them! All I've ever been able to cook on is a flat electrical coil type range.

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  1. I think many people here in this board prefer Gas and I am also one of them. ( Also, many of them like induction, too. ) but I think only a few are for electic. I am currently thinking about going to induction for my new apartment where no option for gas is available. I think you covered past threads on this board on the range selection etc, too, so I don't want repeat the argument. I would say if you have a choice, go with gas!

    1. Definitely gas. Yes, the flattops are easy to clean, but they're a pain to cook with - I have one in my current house and would convert to gas in a heartbeat if it didn't involve major (and expensive) surgery on the house.

      The halogen burners seem to act differently with different types of pans - non-stick take a long time to heat up, while cast iron gets so hot so quickly that I burned a lot of dishes before I learned NEVER to turn it up past medium-high unless I'm just boiling water.

      Plus when you turn off gas - the heat is off, immediately. Electric and halogen stay hot for quite a while, requiring you to move pots around.

      And another thing - just try charring peppers or tomatoes over an electric burner. No fun!

      1. Gas. For the simple reason that you have immediate control of the heat intensity.

        1. Just another vote for gas. Glass tops heat too slowly and cool too slowly for cooking some things. My wife and daughters like to make candy for the hilidays and this is near impossible on a glass top, they have tried and ruined several batches of English Toffy.

          1. I spent the first 30 years of my cooking life using a spiral-element resistive cooktop. Since then I've also had a radiant electric and a gas. Here's my take:

            If you're a Neatnik, go with the flat electric (or induction if you want to open that can of worms, please no flames). I'm not, and I actually get a high level of primal satisfaction out of seeing the flame and feeling its heat licking the pot. And you can adjust by watching the flame, not a dial indicator.

            Between resistive or radiant electric and gas, you do have better "immediacy" of response with gas--cooling--but gas is not perfect in the down department either, because of residual heat in the spiders (Induction isn't perfect either, for that matter). If you're the type cook who doesn't mind moving the pot off the hob, responsiveness isn't a huge deal any way you go.

            Something else to consider is whether you want a really high output hob for something like wok cooking. If so, the nod goes to gas.