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Now you're cooking with gas...

My new rental has a gas stove, the very first one I've used. And I love it! Everything heats so quickly and things in the oven are baked up really evenly.
Do you have a preference for either gas or electric, and why?

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  1. GAS GAS GAS. All but two of my homes/apartments has had gas, and now I'm cooking on a glass top electric in my SO's house. I hate it. I hate that if I want to turn the heat up or down, it doesn't do it quickly (which make stuff like candy making almost impossible to do). I've taken to having two burners going... one at a higher heat, and one at a lower heat so I can move something that needs to be simmered over. I hate that if I have an odd shaped pan (like my cast iron which is squareish) that doesn't fit perfectly on the little round circle, it results in uneven cooking. I never had a problem with it on gas. I've already informed him that no matter what the cost, our next house will have a gas stove.

    I guess the only plus of it is that on the "power burner" it boils water quickly.

    4 Replies
    1. re: juliejulez

      You have my sympathy on the smooth top stove. I had one about 8 years back, and I wasn't really into cooking then, and choose it because it looked nice. What an ungodly piece of shit! It cooked so unevenly and took forever to cool off--leading to the "five spice incident" which I may have mentioned before.
      The mr. is well aware that for the future house, the kitchen will all be of my choosing, and if we have only one bedroom and a lot the size of a postage stamp, then so be it ;)

      1. re: alliegator

        <the kitchen will all be of my choosing, and if we have only one bedroom and a lot the size of a postage stamp, then so be it ;)>

        That made me LOL. I'm so picky that a Realtor once told me I was the only woman she knew who bought a kitchen that just happened to have a house attached to it. :)

        1. re: alliegator

          «« The mr. is well aware that for the future house, the kitchen will all be of my choosing, and if we have only one bedroom and a lot the size of a postage stamp, then so be it ;) »»

          This will be interesting. I had the opportunity to design a kitchen from zero but had a bit of a reality check when the required area surpassed 700 square feet (the original property was 1230 square feet over two stories) and the proposed *incomplete* appliance list started climbing upwards of 70% of the property purchase price.

          People get cranky when you propose sleeping in hammocks.

          1. re: alliegator

            Mine is pretty even in terms of cooking unless the pot is too big for the burner, but I just really don't like it. Don't even get me started on cleaning the thing....making it worse is it's black, so everything shows up on it.

        2. Gas, most definitely. I had gas my entire life. Then I bought a house a few years back that had electric. I didn't realize what a big deal that would be. I'm with juliejulez on those funky glass top circles and the uneven cooking that results.

          1. I grew up cooking on gas and I love it. I'm not so impressed w/ a gas oven but I love the gas range. It's way easier to gauge "high" on a gas than an electric. I now cook on electric and it's always a test and feel and (hopefully) not burn to find out what means what. I'm much happier w/ a gas range but not so happy that I'm willing to pay to pipe it into my kitchen.

            1. Most definitely gas, at least for the stovetop. Much more control. I'm about to move and lose my gas cooking and I hope I can get a grip on the differences -- you're situation in reverse! I think you'll love it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Terrie H.

                Terrie, some people heat 2 elements at once, low and high, then move the pan from one to the other when a heat change is needed. I haven't tried it yet, mostly because my larger elements are at right front and left rear, a very ugly combo. I make do by sliding the pan off the heat when I need to switch to cooler temps, turning the heat down at the same time. It isn't perfect, but it helps.

                Remember to match pan size to burner size to avoid uneven heating and pan warping.

              2. Would cry if I had to go back to electric. Not the oven so much, but the stovetop for sure. I had a choice of convection gas for the oven and wonder if I would have liked that better, my oven is very uneven.

                1. Hi, allie:

                  My preference is for gas if it has GOOD hobs and controls. Gas hobs are far more nimble and responsive than electrics, and are effectively as fast as induction.

                  However, I've had cheap rental gas stoves where the gas rings are tiny, the controls are crappy, and they won't maintain a very low flame. This can lead to hotspots and scorches, whereas even cheap electric coils are at least half-assed even.

                  So, if the comparison is between bottom-of-the-line gas and electric, I'll take the electric every time.

                  IMO, the same goes for cheap gas vs. cheap electric ovens, except a gas broiler is a thing of wonder.

                  I'll suggest that many of the folks here who say categorically hate electric may have started with a cheap electric, and then, when they bought
                  or remodeled, stepped up to a better grade of gas stove. Personally, I learned to cook on a really good 1950s electric coil range, and then stepped *down* to a cheap rental gas range for awhile. So you have to be aware of comparing apples with oranges.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    <I'll suggest that many of the folks here who say categorically hate electric may have started with a cheap electric, and then, when they bought or remodeled, stepped up to a better grade of gas stove.>

                    Well, sort of, but backwards. Grew up with mostly gas, builders grade. My first electric purchase was a Thermador smoothtop. Still hated it. But really only because I was so used to the response of gas.

                    Oddly, my 2nd-most-hated (not counting my current POS electric) was a really spendy "gas on glass" cooktop. It cooked fine, but the electronics were a bitch to maintain. It had knob controls, and the least amount of moisture would short things out.

                  2. Grew up with gas. A bit scary stickiing lit match into little slot to light pilot for oven!?! When in an apartment, had electric and pretty much HATED it! Oven was fine, but burned SO many things on stove top.

                    1. I prefer gas cooking. I find it easier to control and adjust the heat level. I was always fiddling with my electric range to keep things simmering are boiling for example and I do not have this problem with a gas top.

                      1. Induction. All the control and speed of gas, without the gas smell, the burns and the ambient heat.

                        Oven's a different story because there are crap ovens irrespective of type of heat source. Have had more use of electric ovens but found *in my experience* that the gas ovens have had more heat spots.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: wattacetti

                          What's an oven? :0

                          I understand that, generally speaking, electric ovens are considered superior, but I use one so seldom that I've never noticed a difference.

                          1. re: DuffyH

                            Not in my case. My gas oven bakes very evenly, I don't even rotate things any more. It is not an expensive oven either. It is way better than all my previous electric ovens.

                        2. This is actually good research for me as we plan to build a house next year. I have always taken what I was given as far as appliances go, but being able to make a choice will be wonderful.
                          The range I have now is probably not the cheapest in the world, it actually seems quite nice. The kitchen was new when we moved in two weeks ago. I just find gas to be so much easier to work with.
                          Keep it coming with the comments---all very interesting!

                          1. Gas, for instant response. And woks work on them. Electric is too slow to heat up AND to cool down. And one of my kittens got 2nd-degree burns on her little toes walking across the still-hot hob. I felt like the worst mother in the world.

                            Ask the same question next year when I switch to induction and I may have a different answer for you.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: DuffyH

                              Oh, poor kitty! You're not a bad mom, these things just happen :/
                              The wok is a good point. I haven't busted mine out yet, but I'm sure I'll notice quite a difference.

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                Sorry about the cat. Train it to not jump on things. Ours does not.

                                1. re: JayL

                                  The cat is probably trained now...the hard way!

                                  1. re: JayL

                                    They are trained, but we'd just moved in, and our cats were checking out everything. While I wasn't looking, she decided she absolutely MUST check the view from atop the upper cabs.

                                    They're not allowed on counters, but I think the newness made her throw caution to the wind. Once the initial curiosity had worn off, the natural order was restored. :)

                                2. Only gas.
                                  For everything.

                                  1. I've never had an electric stove. My only complaint about gas stoves is that the stovetop burners can't be throttled down to really low heat. No big problem - I bought a heat disperser and that does the trick.

                                    1. Gas! You may not fully appreciate it until it's gone. I had it when I lived in Chicago, but almost everyone down here in Texas - including me - has electric. I really wish I had gas again.

                                      1. I noticed that on the Julia & Jacques show, which I believe was filmed in Julia's home, his end of the island has gas burners and hers has electric. Neither ever cooked on the other's end. As far as I know, no mention was ever made of this on any of the shows. I wonder how and why this decision was made. I have not seen the kitchen display at the Smithsonian but seem to recall that Julia had a different stove as part of her "real" kitchen equipment. I don't know if it was gas or electric.

                                        When I was a kid, in the 1950's, my parents replaced the gas stove with an electric one. I believe electric was state of the art at the time so I can understand why Julia might have preferred one. She didn't learn to cook until then.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          Julia Child had a Garland gas stove, but used an electric cooktop on an island for filming. It was probably only for practical reasons.

                                          James Beard, however, cooked on electric in his home.

                                        2. Induction, induction, induction. Quick, precise, cooktop is a snap to clean. Not widely used in the states. It's a terrific way to cook. I'd take it over gas any day.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: swanton

                                            A chef I know told me the same thing.

                                            1. re: swanton

                                              We are in the process of purchasing a new home. This is a semi-custom builder who had a plan ready and had the home in the pre-drywall stage. All appliances were supposed to be his stock options...stainless, gas, GE Profile

                                              I am not a fan of standard residential gas ranges. They are not strong enough, inefficient, and trouble to keep clean.

                                              We made the choice to choose a 36" GE Profile induction cooktop instead of gas (even though the gas lines were already present).

                                              As a cooking family we are looking forward to the newer technology.

                                            2. My late pa-in-law had the dream setup: a six-burner open-grid cooktop, and a Chambers double wall oven, gas above and electric below (I think - it's been a few years). Installed ca. 1964 and still going strong IF the new owners haven't torn it out. I could have had it, but there's no room in my kitchen. My setup is a five-burner Bosch open-grid - after dealing with Bosch stuff in several cars I should've know better! - that we installed in 2000, and an Amana double electric wall oven (ca. 1986) that came with the house. The cooktop is adequate, hardly wonderful; if we had the money I'd get pro-style burners with the inner/outer flame that can go from the gentlest simmer to near-wok-ring intensity, but that's not in the cards.

                                              I prefer electric ovens because their very dry heat can come closer to true roasting than a gas oven can, though for most baking or slower cooking either sort works just fine. Waiting in the wings (out in the garage, really) for us is a '50s Wedgewood 42" gas range, barely used, awaiting that kitchen remodel I just might possibly live to see. It has a large oven, of course, which will be supplemented by a single electric wall oven. I sincerely hope I'll have some time to play with all that.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                Hey could you hook it up in your garage? I'd be tempted.

                                              2. My wife made excellent meals on electric for 50 years. Upgraded our kitchen and I convinced her to switch to gas. We could afford only mid-range equipment, but nice. There is a real learning curve. I'm having trouble with even distribution of heat on the burners (yes, I'm matching size to the utensil) even with my Griswald cast iron. I'm learning to preheat. I'm still convinced that gas is superior but, be warned, it's not as easy to switch as one might think. As I mentioned, there is a learning curve. Be prepared for some frustration and disappointments.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: SonyBob

                                                  Hi, Bob: "I'm having trouble with even distribution of heat...even with my Griswald cast iron."

                                                  I'm not surprised. Calrod coils get little love here, but at least they mitigate cast iron's conductivity problem. Attaining the equivalent of evenness with gas hobs can be complicated and/or expensive.

                                                  What do the jets on your hobs look like? Single-ring? What diameter? Angled or straight-up?

                                                  For your Griswold and other CI, you might be interested in one of these: http://bellacopper.stores.yahoo.net/ Here's a video of one in use: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5jvCN...