When buying a stove, homeowners often have a difficult time choosing between electric and gas models. An electric stove sometimes wins out because it is believed to be the safer option between the two. However, if you are in the market for a new stove, it is important to consider the disadvantages associated with an electric model as well, so you can decide whether it is really the right fit for your kitchen.
Inoperable During Power Outages
Because an electric stove requires electricity to operate, you cannot cook on your stove if there is an issue with your power supply. When a power outage occurs in your neighborhood because of a storm or fallen tree limb, you must find an alternative method of cooking. On the other hand, you can still use a gas stove during a power outage, so you don't have to worry about finding another way to cook your meals.
Another common complaint about electric stoves is that they do not distribute temperature evenly. In particular, an electric stove that has uneven coils can provide inconsistent temperature across the surface. Cooking results are usually affected because food could burn in some areas and remain undercooked in others. A gas stove typically produces more even temperatures across its burners.
Longer Heating Time
Burners on an electric stove usually take longer to heat than those on a gas model. With a gas stove, flames appear instantly so the burners become hot enough for cooking very quickly. However, an electric stove does not utilize direct flames to heat its burners so the heat builds more gradually. As a result, you can expect longer cooking times with an electric stove as you must wait for the burners to reach the right temperature.
While an electric stove is typically less expensive than a gas model, operating costs over its lifetime are usually higher. As a result, you can expect higher utility bills with an electric stove. According to Energy Guide, a website that provides information on energy options and efficiency, the yearly cost of operating an electric stove is more than double the cost of operating a gas model. If you are on a tight budget, an electric stove is not the best option.
Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.