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Worth the extra money for electric oven?

h
hawkhandler Aug 21, 2013 12:13 PM

Hello,

We're beginning a kitchen remodel and are trying to make a range decision. I was sold on the 36" Capital Culinarian until i read the benefits of electric ovens. Now i'm torn. The CC is ~$5600 while any duel fuel is more like $8k - $9k. My question is whether it's worth the extra money for the electric oven or does a new professional gas oven like that have most of the issues worked out?

(i'm not talking about the stove top. that will definitely be gas)

  1. wekick Aug 23, 2013 07:42 PM

    Gas ovens do have water as a byproduct of combustion but are ventilated more so the vapor and more heat are lost in your kitchen so are actually dry . This is great for anything you want crispy. Electric ovens tend to hold on to humidity from the food you are cooking because they are more of a closed system. The higher humidity delays the setting of the surface by drying so allows more of a rise. There is also a little faster heat transfer to what you are baking.

    The real difference on the high end ovens though is the features that may be on each.
    Electric ovens may have third and maybe fourth elements also called European or True convection with the convection fans. This is great for helping to keep the temperature of the oven even if you fill your oven up. Some ovens incorporate these elements to preheat quickly or increase the oven temp. These elements and fan(s) are controlled by a computer board that gives you different modes that can bring heat from different directions that may be better for roasting or baking. It may have the fans run at different speeds as well. Gas ovens usually have an on and off for the convection fan. Some people are wary of the computer boards and feel they may be vulnerable to damage from heat.
    Some electric ovens may have a very narrow variance from the set temperature. Normal expected variance would be 25 degrees on either side but some ovens claim as little as 2 degrees.
    Some gas ovens will have a infrared broiler which is very hot but not as wide.

    1. RetiredChef Aug 22, 2013 10:33 AM

      My .02 - if electric ovens are so great why don't you find them in restaurants and bakeries? I have used both and I bake on a daily basis and actually prefer gas because of the increased humidity in it. I would suggest you save the money but whatever you do make sure that your oven is a convection model and then learn the ins and outs of your model. Ovens are like kids, they are all different.

      1. a
        autumm Aug 21, 2013 09:23 PM

        I would go with the budget friendly option, and just learn its temperament. Think of all the yummy stuff you could cook with 3K worth of savings.

        I say this as I've worked with 5 different ovens in 10 years, so learning each one's "personality" really matters. My test is the standard nestle chocolate chip cookie recipe, and watch closely what happens, I find this lets me know how an oven functions better than a thermometer.

        1. DuffyH Aug 21, 2013 09:16 PM

          I've been fine with both types of ovens.

          Unlike Kelli2006, I've found gas can bake very evenly. Let's not forget that the newest (oldest) baking rage is all about wood-fired, which equals flame. Gas ranges are better at quick heat changes, the advantage in savory foods Kelli mentioned. Technology advances have mostly leveled the playing field between gas and electric ovens.

          Unlike Becca, I prefer the gas broiler over electric.

          All that said, IME both heat sources do a fine job, and my last 2 ranges had electric ovens which have been great. Another option, space permitting, is to go with the Capital and install a steam oven in a wall. You might be able to have both for the same or less than the price of the dual-fuel ranges you're considering.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DuffyH
            Becca Porter Aug 22, 2013 12:51 PM

            Mine may well be unusually weak. It's low end. The oven bakes very evenly though! I don't even have to rotate.

          2. Becca Porter Aug 21, 2013 01:33 PM

            I love my gas oven. It works better than my old electric ones. Way better. They are all cheap ovens too.

            The gas broiler on the other hand is terrible.

            1. k
              Kelli2006 Aug 21, 2013 12:51 PM

              Can you get a cooktop and separate electric ovens for cheaper?

              Gas ovens are not as accurate as electric. They are fine for savory foods but if you do a lot of baking then you'll want the electric ovens.

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