HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

Dual range..I'm puzzled

The house we bought a few months ago came with a new Jenn-Aire 5 burner stove and double oven. The burners are gas but the ovens are electric. Why the combo? Is baking with electricity better? Why not all of one or the other?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Burners on the stove are better if gas, as there is more control over the temperature. Electric is better for an oven, as the heat is more consistent. You have the best of both worlds and I'm jealous :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: CanadaGirl

      And drier. Burning gas creates water vapor(steam) as a byproduct.

    2. Some folks prefer the somewhat dryer heat from an electric oven over the moister heat of a gas oven. Whether one is better than the other might be more a matter of opinion than fact. Some food items will cook somewhat better in an electric oven than gas and vice versa. But to say one is definitively better than the other in all instances is more closely associated with personal preference. We bake in our electric oven and roast poultry and meats in the gas oven. Just our preference.

      1. I think everyone pretty much has said what I wanted to. Yes, an electric oven is considered to be better.

        1. Thanks to all who responded. Puzzle solved.

          1. It used to be conventional wisdom that gas was moist heat and electric dry heat. No one has actually measured humidity, that I can find, in ovens to say if this is the case. I have used both kinds of ovens over many years and found very little difference. I almost think that gas may be a little drier.due to the following reasons.
            There is much more ventilation with gas so the humidity from the products of combustion are ventilated out. If you read the bread baking forums, you will find they have a hard time keeping steam in a gas oven for the first part of baking and resort to covering the bread to steam it. I have read stories of roasts being better in a gas oven. Sometimes they will say it makes a better crust or is juicier. People will attribute this to the moist heat but in reality it is not going over the optimum internal temperature that makes a roast juicy and it is a drying effect that makes the external parts crispy. This is why convection is such a good thing. On the other hand the electric oven is more of a closed system and does hold the humidity given off by food or added humidity better. I think an electric oven may be better for baking cakes and things that rise better because it does hold a little more humidity and allows the rising action to work a little more before it sets. Another consideration is that once you raise the temperature of the air, the relative humidity is much less in both and not that different percentage wise.

            Some advantages of electric that may depend on the brand and features it has.

            Some ovens have a thermostat that has a very narrow temperature swing. Some do not.

            Some ovens have a third element around the convection fan that can produce a more even heat especially when it is full.

            There may be additional baking and roasting modes that make use of top and bottom elements to produce certain effects. For example a roasting mode may utilize the top element more to produce more browning from the top.

            Electric ovens are more inclined to be self clean.

            3 Replies
            1. re: wekick

              You've just raised another issue, wekick. Convection or regular oven: Which do I use for what?

              1. re: mucho gordo

                Think of the convection as increased air movement which is drying, adds heat a little quicker to what you are cooking and to some extent helps even out the temperature. The drying part is good for things you want to be crispy like roasting meats,pizza and cookies. The moving air also will make things cook a little faster. Every oven is different and it is trial and error to learn how your oven will behave. Some of the variables in convection ovens that affect results include the speed and volume of air moved by the fan, baffles, number of fans, the heating element or lack of one, the amount of heat from the walls of the oven, placement of the racks and of course what you are cooking. The use and care manuals will often tell you that you can cook almost anything with convection but it is not the optimum method for everything. Some people say they can bake cakes but others have issues with the outside rising and baking quicker than the middle and the top blowing over to the side. Some others report that the rise of a cake is diminished because of the drying effect setting the cake before it rises all the way. I haven't tried it with a cake myself because I don't see a benefit to switching to convection and the regular bake gives me great results. The only exception is an apple cake I made with little batter. I flip it to convection if I need it to brown a little more at the end.

                1. re: wekick

                  Great explanation, wekick. Thanks

            2. I have always preferred an electric oven because the self-clean is better than on a gas. At least that is the way it used to be. A good electric convection oven can be a very good appliance and would be my preference.

              4 Replies
              1. re: sueatmo

                That's good to know, sue. The one I have has a convection option; I'm just not sure when to use it.

                1. re: mucho gordo

                  I used my convection every time I used the oven for baking or roasting, and did so for 12 years. I usually subtracted a few minutes off the recipe time and checked on whatever was cooking so I would not overcook. This oven had a great feature called convection broil that worked really well. You set up the broiler pan with a grill on top in the middle of the oven and set the meat on top. It did a pork chop really, really well. Your manual should have details about the features of your particular oven. I was not happy that the fan was so noisy, or that it vented hot air into the kitchen, but wow it could bake. I also liked my counter top convection oven for everything I asked it to do.

                  Why use convection? It does make a beautiful roast chicken, browned quick bread, or a slow braise.

                  1. re: sueatmo

                    There are true convection ovens with heating coils near the fan, and quasi convection which have regular heating coils, and a fan that just circulates the air.

                    My newish countertop oven is of the quasi kind. It has the top and bottom coils of a toaster oven, and a fan that can be turned on or off. I'm tending to turn it on if I think heat from the coils isn't going to be even enough. Otherwise I prefer it off and quieter.

                    1. re: paulj

                      As far as I know, my old oven was a true convection oven. It baked very well. (It probably still does.)

                      My countertop Cuisinart convection toaster oven uses a fan, but it is much quieter than my big oven and preheated much faster as well. I used it constantly. I look forward to getting it back.