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What is the Difference between a Gas Oven and an Electric Oven?

Some argue that exact temperatures are more easily controlled with a gas oven.
Those who do a lot of baking might find gas oven more economical in the long run, even if they are more expensive to purchase.
Electric ovens are usually considered better at distributing heat evenly.
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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2014
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The differences between a gas oven and an electric oven may be subtle, but can make a significant difference when it comes to cooking certain foods. While many cooks have come to expect a certain level of performance depending on which oven they choose, the choice between ovens ultimately comes down to a personal preference. No matter which choice one makes, cooking styles may vary slightly between the two types of ovens.

One of the first things to consider is how much baking you will be doing. This could affect the cost of running the appliance. Often the cost difference between gas and electric is not that significant. However, for those who do a lot of baking or broiling, gas ovens could be far more economical in the long run, even though they may cost more initially to acquire.

Gas ovens tend to heat and cool down quicker than electric ovens. This may not be a major concern for most people. Still, for those who like to bake in a hurry, and who have small children around, the convenience and safety of this type of feature may be enough to convince them.

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Some say one of the major differences between a gas oven and an electric oven is the way in which heat is distributed. Electric ovens do a far superior job in this type of circumstance, most will agree. However, others would argue that gas ovens better control the exact temperature of the oven. Further, changes in oven technology over the years have enabled gas ovens to heat very evenly.

Another thing to consider is how dry the heat is. Some say electric ovens are far superior because they tend to use dry heat more than natural gas ovens. Therefore, they tend not to rust as easily. However, the additional moisture in gas ovens could help prevent some bread crusts from becoming hard and brittle before the inside of the bread is cooked. The same could apply to cakes and pies as well. Therefore, some may consider the additional moisture to actually be a cooking aid.

Both types of ovens often work in similar ways. Each has its own thermostat and most are controlled electrically. This means that even in an electrical outage, it may not be possible or practical to cook with the oven even though some cite this as a reason to choose a natural gas oven.

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anon977803
Post 6

@anon977786: First, make sure your oven racks aren't placed too low. For baked goods, the rack should be in the middle of the oven.

If I'm baking a cake, if it has layers, about halfway through the cooking time, I rotate the pan positions in the oven. Sometimes, electric ovens have hot spots and rotating the pans will help keep the cake from getting done on the edges too quickly.

I also rarely bake anything for as long as the recipe specifies. If something has a 30 minute baking time, for instance, I always check it at 20 minutes. It may not be done, but it won't be overdone, either. I can always let it go a little longer.

If you're baking in a glass pan, make sure you turn the oven temperature down 25 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4 degrees Celsius lower than the recipe says. If you're using metal pans, make sure they're sturdy, thick metal. Thin pans will overheat the outside and will leave the middle undercooked. Good luck!

anon977786
Post 5

Is there a difference of temperature the both ovens have? I mean, I have been baking cakes and muffins in my electric oven for a year, and none of them turned out good. They are uncooked in the middle and hard on the outer sides. I used to cook in a gas oven years back, and things used to come out good at that time. I need help.

summertime
Post 4

I think that the big difference for me as a home owner and the type of oven that is in my house is the way that the device uses energy. It seems like with most heating devices, gas systems are much more efficient and cost less in the long run to operate.

For this reason, my wife and I decided to have a gas range and oven installed in our new home. We did have an option and while the gas service line did cost a few hundred dollars more to install the cost savings over the life of our home will more then compensate for the initial costs that we incurred.

MrPolitic99
Post 3

There may be big differences for professional cooks in the way that gas and electric ovens operate but I can tell you that for me the difference isn't very big or not enough for me to notice. About the only things that I bake in my oven are pizzas and cookies. As a bachelor these two items are essentials parts of my diet and as long as the oven actually does the job well and doesn't take an hour, I don't care if it is powered by electricity or gas.

spreadsheet
Post 2

I am by no means a commercial baker but I can tell you that my love for baking means that I am serious about my cookies and breads. This means that I am very sensitive to the performance of an oven and I agree with FrogFriend in his analysis that there are huge differences in gas ovens and electric ovens.

For me, the big difference comes in the way that the broiler works on either oven. While an electric oven has a broiler heating element located at the top of the oven, a gas oven has the burners located at the bottom. This can effect what kind of dishes you can put under the broiler as not all deep pans will fit in the bottom part of a gas oven.

Gas broilers will however provide you with a much more authentic gas fired taste that electric simply cannot compete with. I recommend you take careful consideration when purchasing a home if you are a serious baker and make sure you know what kind of energy the oven in the house uses as trying to switch the energy type would require a remodel and new service lines or pipes to be run to the kitchen location.

FrogFriend
Post 1

As a professional chef, I can tell you that there are huge advantages to using a gas oven and stove. Usually in a commercial environment you will find that only gas is used but sometimes because of location and what the building can provide you will be forced to use an electrically powered oven.

These electric ovens will bake your food but in a different manner then gas ovens. This is critical in the way that the oven can change temperatures. Gas ovens heat up so much faster then electric ones that you must consider this timing delay when trying to deliver quality and hot food to your customers. These delays can mean the difference between a large tip for the waiter or no tip at all and it is solely up to the chef to ensure that any baking procedures are carried through properly.

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