A functioning kitchen is part and parcel of the homeowner’s dream – and a key element of this is your stove top. But before you start cooking up a storm, you might like to decide whether a gas or electric stove top is best for you. Both gas and electric have pros and cons when it comes to things like upfront cost, energy efficiency, cleaning and performance.
So whether you’re about to embark on kitchen renovations, or your stove top simply needs replacing, we’ve pulled together a list to help you make sense of the differences, so you can decide which stove top is right for your home.
Gas and electric stoves – what’s the difference?
A gas stove – is powered by gas, cooks with an open flame, and needs a gas line to operate.
An electric stove is powered by electricity, cooks with a metal coil, and needs an electrical outlet to operate.
The benefits and downsides of a gas stove top
Benefits of gas:
- Keep on keeping on: If your house has a power-outage, your gas stove won’t be impacted, so you can keep preparing your
- Responsiveness: A gas stove will respond quickly to temperature changes, and heats up quickly too.
- Line of sight: As gas cooks with an open flame, you can easily see and control temperature changes. Plus, when you turn the flame off, the heat turns off immediately too.
Downsides of gas
- Environmental issues: Gas is a fossil fuel, so it emits harmful carbon monoxide – bad news for both your family’s health and our planet.
- Gas supply: A gas stove top is dependent on your home’s natural gas supply. So if you don't yet have a gas supply, it could be costly to install one.
- Cleaning: All those knobs, ridges and grates can be tricky to keep clean after cooking or a spill. An electric stove top on the other hand, tends to be smoother and therefore easier to clean up.
The benefits and downsides of an electric stove top
Benefits of electric
- Price: Electric stove tops are generally cheaper to buy outright than their gas counterparts – a win for your back pocket.
- Safety. Electric stove tops are considered the safest option as they don’t use a naked flame to cook, nor do they emit harmful CO2 gasses – a win for your family, and for the planet.
- Energy efficiency. An energy efficient electric stove top will do wonders for the sustainability of your home, as well as your finances. In fact, the Climate Council estimates Aussie households could save up to $1000 a year switching from gas to the most energy efficient electric alternatives – which makes the electric stove top worth a look.
Downsides of electric
- Operating costs. The cost of operating an electric stove will depend on the cost of electricity in your area. So if your electricity prices are particularly high, an electric stove will cost more to run than gas.
- Cooking time. Electric stove tops can take a little longer to heat up than gas, and may also be slower to respond when you turn the temperature up or down.
- Risk of black-outs. Your electric stove will need to be connected to your power supply to work, so if the power goes out in your neighbourhood, your cooking is stalled too.
Leaning towards electric? Here are our bonus tips
If you’re considering an electric stove-top, you can make sure your model is energy efficient by checking its energy rating label. Simply put, the more stars on your electric stove top’s rating label, the more energy efficient it will be – and the lower your energy bill.
What’s more, look into installing solar panels and a battery to help reduce your energy costs across your entire home, long-term. Plus, you can also reduce operating costs by cooking during the day on a lower energy tariff, or using your battery to cook at night.