GAS VS. ELECTRIC STOVES: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Gas ranges employ an open flame while electric ranges utilize metal heating elements. Both have their benefits: gas stovetops are highly responsive, allowing you to move between heat levels quickly while electric ovens tend to have dry, even heat that's ideal for baking and roasting.
When it comes to choosing a gas vs. electric range, either type of range will support your culinary creativity and even present new possibilities. Read on to learn more about the differences between gas vs. electric ranges and discover which will work best for the unique way you make.
WHAT IS A GAS RANGE?
An open flame is the hallmark of a gas range. You’ll find one both on the stovetop and inside the oven. On the stovetop, different burners often offer different heat levels which can correlate to flame size. Having different heat levels allows you to do things like melt, simmer, and fry easily. In the oven, the flame cycles on and off to maintain ideal cooking temperatures.
Keep in mind that gas ranges require a dedicated gas line. One can easily be installed if you don't already have it. To learn more about kitchen ranges, read our range guide.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A GAS RANGE?
Gas ranges have a reputation for being the favorite among chefs and serious home cooks. Besides the romance of cooking with fire, gas heat can provide a hands-on experience for cooks who are comfortable manipulating an open flame to their culinary advantage. Here are some pros and possibilities:
Responsive stovetop heat
An open flame can be adjusted instantly, which means you can react quickly if you see your dish is cooking too fast or too slow.
Expanded cooking techniques
Gas ranges let you cut out the cookware so you can char or grill food directly on the stovetop. An open flame can also reach up the side of sculpted pans like woks or skillets for techniques that require you to move food around the sides of the pan.
Quick burner cooldown
When you turn a gas burner off, the temperature response is nearly immediate.
Fast oven preheating
Because gas heat can be cranked up quickly, expect to get your creations into the oven faster than an electric range.
Learn more about the gas range features and options by browsing all KitchenAid® gas ranges.
WHAT IS AN ELECTRIC RANGE?
Electric range stovetops usually feature a flat cooking surface, often made of a ceramic-glass blend. They typically house heated metal coils which effectively transfer heat to cookware. Metal coils also provide heat inside the oven and are known to result in consistent temperatures throughout the cavity.
Because your range is where much of the making happens, you’ll need a 220 or 240-volt outlet for an electric model, rather than the 110-volt outlets that may be in other rooms. However, it’s highly likely that your kitchen already has this hookup. Learn more different types of stoves or ranges.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AN ELECTRIC RANGE?
While gas ranges get a lot of credit for delivering a chef-worthy cooking experience, electric ranges are the unsung hero of both professional and home kitchens. You may be surprised by all the ways an electric range can support your culinary ambitions:
Responsive and precise oven heat
Electric heating elements can cycle on and off more quickly than most gas oven burners. This allows for greater responsiveness to temperature setting changes and quicker response to heat loss within the oven cavity.
Dry oven heat
Electric heat tends to be drier than gas. Dry heat is excellent at creating nicely browned results in a variety of dishes, from rustic bread to roast chicken or vegetables.
Stovetop space and versatility
If you tend to have multiple dishes with different-sized cookware in the making at once, electric ranges often offer multi-ring elements that you can switch between based on the width of your cookware, as well as oddly shaped or extra-large elements. Select Kitchenaid® electric ranges feature multi-ring burners such as a triple cooking zone of 6, 9 and 12 inches.
Electric stovetops can be simple to wipe up because of their flat, smooth surface. Gas stovetops, on the other hand, usually require you to remove cast iron grates so you can clean up below.
Learn more about the electric range features and options by browsing all KitchenAid® electric ranges.
COMPARING GAS VS. ELECTRIC STOVE BENEFITS
Want both gas and electric?
Dual fuel ranges feature a gas stovetop and electric oven so you can cook with the benefits of both. Browse KitchenAid® dual fuel ranges to learn more.
IS A GAS OR ELECTRIC STOVE BETTER FOR ADVANCED COOKING TECHNIQUES?
Creativity in the kitchen is never limited by the type of range you have. Any technique is possible. However, gas ranges open up some cooking styles specific to an open flame like charring or grilling food right on the stovetop. Gas burners are also great for stir-frying or high-heat sautéing. These techniques require food to be moved quickly around the pan so it doesn’t burn. Flames reaching up the side of a pan allow you to use the sides of the pan to flip or rotate the food while cooking it.
While gas ranges allow you to cook directly with an open flame, techniques like charring, grilling, stir-frying and sautéing are still possible in an electric range. For instance, you can char peppers under a broiler or grill with a grill pan on the stovetop.
TOP TECHNIQUES FOR GAS VS. ELECTRIC STOVES
See which fuel type comes out on top when tasked with these classic culinary techniques
Bake, broil and roast
Electric ranges tend to provide dry heat that can help create a crispy crust or beautiful brown on dishes like baked pasta, broiled salmon or roasted chicken. The KitchenAid® Combination Wall Oven offers Even-Heat™ True Convection that provides optimal temperatures combined with airflow.
Both gas and electric heat on the stovetop will get a pan hot enough to deliver a nice sear on meats, vegetables and fruits. Extra high heat burners are sometimes available in commercial gas ranges. For example, select KitchenAid® commercial ranges feature burners with a 20,000 BTU rating.
Stir-fry and sauté
Gas ranges give you the option to move food around and up the sides of pans since an open flame is capable of heating the sides of a pan. The KitchenAid® Commercial Style Rangetop has three-level convertible grates with removable inserts that match the heat to your technique when you’re stir-frying or sauteing.
Both gas and electric ranges should allow you to hold a steady simmer in soups, stews and braises. Gas burners cool down faster than electric so will allow you to move from a boil to a simmer more quickly. The KitchenAid® 5-Burner Gas Convection Range offers burners with BTU rating from 5,000 to 18,000 so you can easily move between heat levels.
Gas and electric heat on the stovetop should help you reach and hold a boil quickly and easily. Gas burners heat up fast since the flame can be adjusted instantly, but electric elements also transfer heat very effectively to cookware since the heat is contained rather than open and exposed. Electric ranges also often offer multi-ring elements to accommodate small saucepans or large stockpots, like the Triple-Ring Element by KitchenAid.
Steaming is a moist-heat method of cooking that works by boiling water which evaporates into steam and can be achieved with gas or electric heat. Select ranges featuring the KitchenAid® Steam Rack offer the ability to provide additional moisture to the inside of the oven, enhancing cooking results.
IS IT EASY TO REPLACE A GAS STOVE WITH ELECTRIC, OR VICE VERSA?
Switching between a gas and electric range isn't difficult but will require a professional:
Electric to gas
You will need an electrician to change your 220/240-volt outlet to a 110-volt outlet. You will also need a plumber to install a gas line which can run anywhere from $500 to $2000 dollars.
Gas to electric
All you need is an electrician to switch the 110-volt outlet to a 220/240-volt outlet.
SHOP FOR GAS AND ELECTRIC KITCHENAID® RANGES
Color: Black Stainless Steel with PrintShield™ Finish
Color: Stainless Steel
Color: Avocado Cream
Color: Passion Red
MORE HELP FINDING THE RIGHT RANGE
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Types of Ovens Which type of oven is the best for your kitchen and cooking style? Slide in ovens vs. freestanding, gas ovens vs. electric — learn about the different types of ovens with this guide.
Kitchen Island Cooktop Or Range: Which Is Best? Installing or updating a kitchen island? Learn about the benefits of a kitchen island with a range or cooktop so you can choose the right option.