Gas vs. Electric Stove: Which Is Better?

By Deanna Kane

A stove is an integral part of any kitchen, and something you probably don’t think of often unless it stops working or you’re looking to buy a replacement. If you want to upgrade your stove, you’re probably deciding between a gas vs. electric stove. Gas and electric ranges have their own advantages, and selecting one over the other boils down to how you use your stove, your budget, and your kitchen’s existing infrastructure.

Pros of a gas stove

Gas or propane are the heating sources for gas stoves; if there’s an existing gas line installed in your kitchen and you already have a gas oven, installing a gas range can be a simple and affordable process.

Here are a few other benefits to using a gas stove over an electric stove:

  • Instant ignition—To turn on a gas stove, all you have to do is ignite the burner and then adjust the temperature knob to increase the heat. A gas stove quickly ignites with a visible flame, so you can be certain that the heat source is working.
  • Fast heat time—Gas stoves heat up quickly, allowing you to begin cooking sooner.
  • Flexible temperatures—Gas stoves offer more flexibility at higher temperatures, allowing you to cook food faster.
  • Quicker cooling—When it’s time to turn a gas stove off, it can be turned off immediately with no lingering heat source. This means that gas stoves cool down faster than electric stoves, preventing your food from burning and decreasing the chance of someone touching the stovetop and getting burned.
  • Ability to withstand power outages—Because a gas stove is powered by natural gas, it won’t be out of commission during a power outage.
  • Doesn’t run up your energy bill—If your home already uses natural gas, you can save on energy costs by using a gas stove instead of an electric stove.
  • Long-term savings—A gas range can result in long-term savings by using natural gas instead of electricity, lowering your monthly energy bill.

Cons of a gas stove

Though a gas stove has its benefits, it has a few drawbacks:

  • Increased safety risks—Because a gas stove uses natural gas, it poses the risk of gas leaks and explosions, carbon monoxide poisoning, and toxin exposure.
  • Difficult heat adjustment—It’s challenging to set a low heat temperature on a gas stove without the flame burning out.
  • Harder to clean—Since crumbs and debris can get caught in the range top crevices and gas burners, a gas stove is typically harder to clean than an electric stove. The cast-iron grates can also be cumbersome to move while cleaning.
  • High installation costs—If a gas line doesn’t already exist, a gas stove can be more expensive to install because it requires running a gas line to the kitchen. The gas stove itself can also cost more than an electric stove.
  • Flame can burn out—If the gas stove is near a window, the flame on a gas range can blow out if the window is open.

Pros of an electric stove

In general, electric ranges are less expensive than gas stoves and most kitchens are already equipped for electric stoves since they typically come attached to electric ovens. Electric stoves only run on electricity, so some people feel that these are safer due to the lack of open flames or potential for gas leaks.

Here are a few more benefits:

  • Lower safety risks—Electric stoves don’t pose any risks of gas leaks since they’re powered by electricity.
  • Easier to clean—Electric stoves are easier to keep clean due to their flat, glass cooktop. Simply spray your preferred cleaning solution on the smooth top and wipe with a cloth.
  • Potentially less expensive—Most electric models are less expensive to install because no gas line is required. The stove itself, as well as the installation, can also be less expensive than a gas stove. Look for Energy Star models as these are the most energy efficient and can save you money in the long run.
  • Heat control—Electric stoves allow you to control the exact amount of heat you want to use when cooking.
  • Provides steady heat—They can provide low, steady heat (ideal when simmering food for a long time or keeping something warm).
  • Easier working area—An electric stove’s flat surface can serve as an additional work space while cooking. As an added bonus, electric stoves have more storage space underneath.
  • No ignition—To turn on an electric stove, simply twist the knob instead of igniting a burner.

Cons of an electric stove

The cons of an electric stove include:

  • Shorter lifespan—The electrical parts of an electric stove, such as the electric coil and fuses, can wear out faster. 
  • Increased risk of burns—An electric stove maintains its hot surface after the burner is turned off, which can cause burns if someone accidentally touches the surface.
  • Extended heating time—Electric stoves provide steady heat but take longer to heat up and cool down after the burner is turned off. Because an electric stove takes longer to heat up, food takes longer to cook.
  • Can’t be used during power outages—If there’s a power outage, an electric stove won’t work which can be an issue if this is your main way of cooking.
  • Prone to marks and scratches—Due to their sleek surface, electric stove tops are more prone to scratches and chips than the cast iron burner grates found on gas stoves.
  • Contributes to higher energy costs—An electric stove’s utility costs are higher than those associated with a gas stove.

Our conclusion

When determining between a gas and electric stove, both types have their pros and cons, so it’s up to the homeowner to assess which is better for their individual needs and what features are most important from a lifestyle and usability standpoint. Whether or not you have a gas line in the kitchen can also help determine which option is most appropriate for your kitchen, lifestyle, and overall comfort.

Read trusted, third-party reviews and ask friends and family for recommendations before choosing the top electric or gas stove for your home.

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