What They Are

Electric stoves generally have a thermostat, spiral/coil-shaped burners on top and heat-producing elements for baking and broiling inside. The standard electric stove has two large burners and two small burners, which are connected to the main part of the stove where the electricity is controlled by the dials on the front of the stove. Inside the oven, the bottom heating element is for baking and is controlled by the main thermostat on the front of the oven, which can be digital or analog. The top heating element for broiling does not have a refined thermostat control, so when it is turned on, it heats up swiftly. This is why ovens should never be left to broil unattended.

How They Work

Electric stoves convert electricity to heat and serve as a replacement for gas stoves. When a burner dial is turned on, the electricity runs through the coil and the metal rapidly heats up. The dials control how much electricity runs through the coils, and thus how hot the burners get. The heating elements inside the oven function much the same way, with electricity making them hotter and the thermostat controlling how much electricity is fed to the baking element. Broil elements generally only have two settings: off, and broil.

Electric or Gas?

Electric stoves have a few advantages over gas stoves. Some people prefer electric stoves because they are easier to use, don't require turning a dial to light the gas, nor are people in danger of accidentally turning off the heat while adjusting it. In addition, gas leaks or leaving the gas running can be a definite safety hazard, while electric stoves can be safer. However, some people still prefer gas stoves because food cooks differently on an open flame.