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Gas vs Electric Cooktop – Expert Review

Gas vs Electric Cooktop

If you’re currently in the process of deciding which cooktop you should buy for your kitchen, you probably already realize that the decision between an electric cooktop or a gas cooktop is no easy choice. Both cooktops have benefits associated with them, but they also have negatives. The following is a detailed breakdown of electric and gas cooktops and a comparison of the top three cooktops for both gas and electric.

Features of Gas and Electric Cooktop

Gas Cooktop Features

Gas cooktops are often well known for their responsiveness, even heating, and customized control. If you’re looking for a cooktop that allows you to see exactly what is happening below the pan you’re cooking in, plus all the other mentioned benefits, then a gas cooktop might be right for you.

Gas cooktops, as the name would suggest, require a gas hookup in order to operate. If you wish to install one in your home, you will need a gas line accessible in your kitchen and, because the flames emit carbon monoxide, you will need a hood vent or some other type of ventilation such as downdraft ventilation.

A hood vent is a more classic type of ventilation and is placed over the stove and allows for more air movement above the cooktop to help reduce the amount of smoke and odor. Downdraft ventilation is a type of ventilation built into the cooktop that draws air down from the surface, through the vent system and to the ducts below.

While a big complaint of gas cooktops has always been they struggle to cook at low temperatures, newer models of gas cooktops include a simmering burner to help improve their cooking ability at lower temperatures.

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Electric Cooktop Features

Electric cooktops are well known for safety, the ability to clean them easier than gas cooktops and for their efficiency. If you’re in the market for a cooktop that provides more safety for your family and allows for better cooking at lower temperatures, an electric cooktop is the best choice for you.

Electric cooktops, as the name once again suggests, require an electrical outlet to operate and do not need a gas hookup like the gas cooktops do. While most electric cooktops require a special electrical outlet in order to operate, they are much easier to install than running and installing a gas line for a gas cooktop. In addition, because it uses an electrical hookup, you don’t have to worry about adding a vent to remove the carbon monoxide that the unit emits.

Safety should play a big part in your decision when it comes to picking out the proper cooktop. Electric cooktops feature an indicator light that remains lit while the surface is hot, so you know not to set anything flammable on the surface and to not accidentally place your hand on the surface.

Electric cooktops are also well known for their ability to cook at extremely low temperatures and because of this, they are often preferred in situations where simmering is necessary to cook.

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Advantages of Gas and Electric Cooktop

Whether you’re choosing between a gas cooktop or an electric cooktop, there’s clear benefits with each choice. While there are numerous benefits to both cooktops, the following information mentions three of the top benefits of each cooktop.

gas cooktop

 

Gas Cooktop Advantages

Accurate Cooking Temperatures

Gas cooktops are well known for their accurate cooking temperatures and their evenly distributed heat for cooking. When you turn the dial on the burner up or down, the flame instantly changes and the temperature of the heat changes as well. Because of this, you’re able to accurately register the heat required for some of the more difficult recipes you may have to cook. If a recipe requires multiple different temperatures throughout the cooking process, a gas cooktop will make it easier than an electric cooktop would.

Faster Cooking Times

With an electric cooktop, you must wait for the cooktop to warm up before you use it. Much like an oven, you can’t decide to make something at a moment’s notice with an electric cooktop since you have to wait for it to warm up. With a gas cooktop, you can turn it on and immediately you have an open flame to cook with. With an open flame, you can change the temperature up and down at any time to help cook the food faster.

No Power Needed

There may not be many times where this is necessary, but this is certainly a benefit to gas cooktops over electric cooktops. When the power goes out, you can still operate your gas cooktop since it runs through a gas line and requires no power. With an electric cooktop, if the power goes out, you can no longer use the cooktop as it runs purely on electricity. If the power happens to go out in your home, a gas cooktop ensures that you will still be able to cook real meals instead of being forced to eat PB&J sandwiches until the power returns.

Electric Cook Top

Electric Cooktop Advantages

Safety

While there’s a lot of consideration that should go into deciding which cooktop you should buy for your home, safety should be one of the top considerations. Gas cooktops use an open flame to cook while electric cooktops use no open flames. The absence of open flames is always safer for a house and without flames, no carbon monoxide is emitted. Most electric cooktops feature an indicator light that lights up when the surface is hot. This light helps to prevent you from setting flammable items on a hot cooktop and also prevents you from burning your hand.

Easy Cleanup

While it doesn’t have much to do with the function of the cooktop, one of the most convenient benefits of having an electric cooktop is the easy cleanup associated with it. While gas cooktops have grates and other barriers in the way that allow for spills, an electric cooktop is smooth and level. This means that you can easily wipe down your cooking surface on an electric cooktop, while with a gas cooktop, you would have to remove the grates and knobs in order to get a deep clean of your cooking surface.

Cost

While the cost of both electric cooktops and gas cooktops will be discussed in more detail later on, it’s important to realize that electric cooktops are more cost friendly than gas cooktops. Gas cooktops are often considered high-end appliances and often require installation and other extra costs. While it varies based on size, model and other factors, electric cooktops are generally lower in cost than gas cooktops.

Problems of Gas and Electric Cooktop

As with any appliance you purchase, there are most likely going to be problems associated with it. In the case of both gas and electric cooktops, the benefits far outweigh the problems the cooktops face, but it’s important to note what problems may arise depending on which cooktop you purchase.

Gas Cooktop Problems

gas cooktop

Difficulty Cleaning

As mentioned previously, gas cooktops can be really difficult to clean. While electric cooktops, there are no grates or anything that need to be removed in order to clean. With gas cooktops, there are often metal grates that go over each burner. Because of those grates, any spills drop in between the surface and the grate, so in order to clean, you must remove the grate to access the surface for cleaning.

Flame Instability

Since gas cooktops use an open flame as their source of heat, the flame can be exposed to the elements. If your stove is located near a window, any breeze that comes through that window has the potential to blow your flame and either put the flame out completely or shift the flame and cause uneven cooking in your dish. For example, if you’re boiling water, shifting flames do not necessarily matter. However, when cooking steak or fish, an even flame is important to prevent uneven cooking of the food.

Electric Cooktop Problems

Electric Cooktop Power Source

Even though it was discussed previously, it’s important to realize the power source problems when it comes to using an electric cooktop. Most electric cooktops will require you to install a special electrical outlet in order to connect it with the electricity in your house.

Since the cooktop runs strictly on electricity, if your house ever loses power during a storm or for any other reason, you will not be able to use your cooktop for any reason. Should you lose power for a prolonged period of time, not having a useable cooktop can become a real problem. If you live in an area where power outages are frequent, you should strongly consider the power source details when choosing a cooktop.

Durability

The durability of electric cooktops is a serious concern when picking out the right cooktop. Electric cooktops usually have a smooth ceramic surface and if anything gets dropped on the surface, such as a pot, pan or lid, there’s a good chance that the ceramic surface can break or suffer damage from the drop.

Additionally, accidentally splashing cold waterr onto a hot burner can cause cracking in the glass and sliding a pan or pot across the surface can scratch it. While these are avoidable mistakes if you follow the proper steps and precautions, they’re considerations that are necessary to keep in mind.

Price Range

Among all of the other points of consideration, it’s important not to forget about the cost associated with both gas and electric cooktops. For the most part, both cooktops are comparable in price, but it’s worth noting the specifics when it comes to price.

Gas Cooktop

Gas cooktops are often the more expensive cooktop when compared with electric cooktops, but they usually aren’t much more expensive. On average, gas cooktops can range anywhere from $800 to $2,300 depending on the size and other features of the cooktop.

In addition to the initial cost of purchasing the cooktop, it’s important to figure out the operating costs of each. Utility rates vary from state to state so it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact operating cost. In almost every state, natural gas costs less than electricity, so the operating cost of a gas cooktop would actually be lower than an electric cooktop.

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Electric Cooktop

When compared with gas cooktops, electric cooktops are often considered the cheaper option of the two, but they’re not cheaper by a whole lot. On average, electric cooktops can range anywhere from $650 for the lower end models and go all the way up to $2,800 for some of the top-of-the-line models.

Much like with the gas cooktops, it’s important to consider the operating costs of an electric cooktop. Like mentioned previously, utility costs range from state to state so it can be difficult to nail down the exact operating costs. Since electricity is typically more costly than natural gas, the operating costs of the electric cooktop will be higher than the costs of a gas cooktop.

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Comparing the Top 3 Gas And Electric Cooktops

Gas Cooktop

GE CGP650SETSS Cafe 36-Inch Stainless Steel Gas Sealed Burner Cooktop

GE CGP650SETSS Cafe 36 inch

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The GE Cafe 36-Inch Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop features five sealed burners, a 20,000 BTU Tri-Ring Burner and a precise simmer burner to help deliver the best performance when it comes to gas cooktops.

The GE Cafe 36-Inch Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop comes complete with heavy cast grates which can be switched out to accommodate a flat griddle pan that covers two of the five burners. In addition, the cooktop features a child lock for safety purposes. The GE Cafe 36-Inch Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop also comes with a 10-year warranty on all major components.

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Whirlpool W3CG3014XS 30-Inch Stainless Steel Gas Sealed Burner Cooktop

Whirlpool W3CG3014XS 30-Inch

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The Whirlpool 30-Inch Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop features four different burners including a 5,000 BTU AccuSimmer burner with precise temperature control so that you can melt chocolate and simmer sauces to perfection.

On top of the 5,000 BTU AccuSimmer burner, the Whirlpool 30-Inch Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop also features a 10,500 BTU burner that can quickly boil a pot of water or quickly sear any steak. The Whirlpool 30-Inch Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop also helps make cleanup a breeze since the enamel steel grates and knobs are all dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

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Frigidaire FGGC3645QB 36-Inch Gas Cooktop – Black

Frigidaire 36” Gas Cooktop - Black

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The Frigidaire FGGC3645QB 36-Inch Gas Cooktop features five sealed gas burners that make for easy cleanup and black plastic controls that make selecting options and setting temperatures easy. With 15,000 BTU’s of power, the large center grate is perfect for high powered cooking since the high temperature allows for higher cooking temperatures.

The Frigidaire FGGC3645QB 36-Inch Gas Cooktop features one burner that specializes in simmering to help simmer your sauces to perfection. The Frigidaire FGGC3645QB 36-Inch Gas Cooktop also features removable cast iron grates to help make cleanup easier than ever. Simply remove the grates and wipe away the surface for an easy clean. Lastly, this cooktop features an electronic pilotless ignition that can still be lit manually if the power goes out.

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Electric Cooktop

Whirlpool W5CE3024XB 30-Inch Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop

Whirlpool W5CE3024XB

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The Whirlpool 30-Inch Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop features four different burn elements of three different sizes to allow for the perfect sized burner depending on the size of your pot or pan. Two burners are six inches in diameter, one burner is 7 inches in diameter and the other burner is 9 inches in diameter.

The Whirlpool 30-Inch Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop features an indicator light to indicate if the surface is still warm. This light helps prevent any accidental injuries resulting from touching a hot burner. Additionally, the Whirlpool 30-Inch Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop includes an eco-friendly Schott Ceran glass surface that is easily cleaned after use. In addition to the easy clean surface, the knobs are dishwasher safe to make cleanup even easier.

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GE Profile 30-Inch Black Electric Cooktop With Downdraft

GE Profile 30 Inch

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The GE Profile 30-Inch Black Electric Cooktop features four different burning elements ranging in size from 6 inches to 9 inches to help find the perfect size burner depending on the size pot or pan you are using while cooking.

Furthermore, the GE Profile 30-Inch Black Electric Cooktop features radiant burners that dispense the heat around the surface to allow for faster and more even cooking. Lastly, the GE Profile 30-Inch Black Electric Cooktop features a powerful downdraft exhaust system that pulls out any smoke and steam and eliminates it from the cooking area.

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GE JP3030DJBB 30-Inch Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop

GE JP3030DJBB 30 Inch

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The GE 30-Inch Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop features four burners of three different sizes. The burners are capable of reaching different temperatures in order to properly cook your food. The GE 30-Inch Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop also features a keep warm option in order to leave food on the cooktop without it cooking further and features a power boil option that can be used to rapidly boil water if necessary.

The GE 30-Inch Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop includes four dishwasher-safe knobs to help ease the cleanup process. While some electric cooktops take a long time to warm up, the GE 30-Inch Black Electric Smoothtop Cooktop goes from cold to max heat in as little as 15-20 seconds and heat can begin to be felt in as little as five seconds.

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Tips To Select The Best Cooktop

Determine How Many Burners You Need

Traditionally, you’ll be able to choose between four burners or six burners. If you cook a lot of different foods at once, then six burners are probably the right choice for you. If you don’t cook a lot of different foods at a time and only use your stove intermittently, a four burner cooktop will be more than enough.

Choose The Proper Size

Most cooktops are either 30 or 36 inches. When choosing which size cooktop you’re going to purchase, make sure you consider your needs. Make sure the burners are spread out far enough in order to fit multiple large pots or pans on the stove at the same time.

Find One That’s Easy To Clean

Cleaning your cooktop is never an easy task, so you want to do everything you can to make the cleaning process easier. Choosing a surface that is easily wiped down will help make cleanup a breeze. Additionally, removable grates will make it even easier to clean your cooktop.

Consider The Warranty

In a perfect world, you would never have to use the warranty on your cooktop. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect and it’s possible that a situation will arise when you need to use your warranty. Consider purchasing a cooktop with a warranty that covers the majority of parts and lasts for several years.

There’s a lot of thought and consideration that needs to go into purchasing a cooktop and it’s certainly not a decision that should be taken lightly. While there are certain tips that can be followed for picking out the right cooktop, the biggest decision comes down to whether you should purchase an electric cooktop or a gas cooktop.

If you’re looking for a cooktop with accurate cooking temperatures and faster cooking times, a gas cooktop is best for you. If you want a safer cooktop that features an easy cleanup, you should go for the electric cooktop.

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