Gas Oven vs Electric Oven – Info, Advice & Everything Explained
Did your old oven finally bake its last batch of scones? Are you designing a new kitchen? Which type of oven belongs in your busy family kitchen, A gas oven or an electric oven? Explore the good and the bad associated with the two most popular kinds of ovens on the market.
In this post, I’ll go over the difference between a gas oven and an electric oven, their advantages and disadvantages as well as look at some of the different cost implications.
Let’s get into it!
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What Is The Difference Between A Gas Oven And An Electric Oven?
There are a few minor differences including price, cost of use, the immediacy of heat, and maintaining moisture while baking. However, the main difference is that gas ovens will have a more humid baking environment, while electric ovens produce a much dryer heat.
For the casual baker and working parent that pops some chips into the oven once a week, both gas and electric ovens will create even heat and produce a tasty well-cooked dinner. Ultimately, it will be the chef’s preference when making your final decision.
Gas ovens can be found as single or double wall ovens and are fuelled using natural gas or propane. Modern units feature digital readouts, touch controls, and programmable timers. They are large enough to cook a Christmas roast or a couple dozen biscuits.
Cooks that prefer gas to electric ovens often cite its ability to heat up more quickly. For grilling, it provides an instant flame for fast results. Once it reaches temperature, it will maintain a fairly even heat. Older models may require you to turn your roast halfway through cooking as the heating elements back then created hot spots in the oven.
Gas ovens can be set for any temperature between 90C and 240C. Most recipes use an oven set between 180C and 220C.
Because gas ovens are heated by burning fuel, it is designed to constantly draw fresh air in for the combustion process. It also is vented to promote proper fuel consumption. For this reason, the internal humidity of a gas oven is not as controlled as a modern electric one. This may affect the crispiness of your bread’s crust. Some professional chefs will add a humidity sensor to their ovens, so they can adjust for a perfect bake every time.
You can find convection gas ovens that use fans to circulate the heat for fast cooking and are more efficient. It will prepare the same meal at a lower set temperature in a shorter time.
As far as installation considerations go, you need a professionally installed gas supply line. A licensed installer will make the final connection between the supply and your new oven. If you are converting from an electric oven, there will be a significant cost of up to £1,000 to add a gas supply. If you are simply upgrading, your delivery and installation fee will be around £150.
The standard width for your gas oven is either 60cm or 90cm. If you are remodelling your kitchen, select your new oven before installing cabinetry for a proper fit.
Advantages Of A Gas Oven
- Reaches proper baking temperature faster
- Easy to use programmable controls
- Instant flame for grilling
- Comes in standard widths of 60 or 90cm
- Provides even reliable heat for baking most dishes
- Fan models are available
Disadvantages Of A Gas Oven
- Significant installation cost when switching to gas
- Requires a licensed installer
- Less humidity control compared to an electric oven
- Far less choice on the market
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Electric ovens are sold in all the same size configurations as gas models. You can buy a single, double, convection, or combination microwave and oven design. Modern ovens feature a digital readout with a touch panel to set temperature, time, or select a program.
Who loves their electric ovens? Home bakers enjoy the consistent heat, especially if yours has a circulating fan. There is no need to move your trays during the bake. It will take longer to pre-heat the oven, up to 20 minutes depending on the model. But once it achieves temperature, it can maintain it for hours without wavering.
Electric ovens maintain a stronger seal during the cooking time compared to gas. This helps to trap moisture in the oven, resulting in more predictable presentations for your cakes and biscuits.
While you don’t need to add a gas line to your home, an electric oven still requires a special electric outlet. If you are moving the oven, you will need an electrician to add a dedicated cable and fused outlet at its new location.
Electric ovens are sold in similar sizes as the gas versions. You will need a cutout 60cm wide for a standard unit.
If you are concerned about safety, electric ovens have a positive reputation. There is no open flame or pilot light and you will not be worried about a gas leak in your home.
Advantages Of An Electric Oven:
- More predictable baking results
- Lower cost of installation
- Easy to use controls for temperature and baking time
- Available as a single oven or microwave and oven combination
- Multifunctions available
- No open flames
- No possibility of a gas leak
- Huge choice of models on the market
Disadvantages Of An Electric Oven:
- Preheating can take longer than gas ovens (depending on the model)
- Requires a licensed electrician to install
- Can’t cook if the power goes out
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Gas vs Electric Oven Costs
The cost of a new oven, whether it is gas or electric, will cost about the same at the appliance store. You can spend as little as £250 for a small oven for your flat or up to £2000 for a chef-quality version. Although if you are looking at the same brand oven as an electric or gas, you will end up spending maybe £20 to £50 more on the gas model.
How much does it cost to run an oven? A Which? Study found – If you use your cooker for an average of five hours a week, you will pay on average £17 a year for a gas cooker and around the £40 mark for an electric cooker.
Most meals that are warmed up in an oven take about 30 minutes. A typical cake bakes for an hour. Your Sunday roast will spend two hours or more in the oven. So these costs will vary depending on how much you use your oven.
Take into consideration that electric and gas supply rates will continue to change as we continue to opt for more eco-friendly fuel choices as a nation.
For installation considerations, gas is far more expensive when starting from scratch. Your budget will need to include £1000 to run a new gas supply to the house. Adding a new electric outlet can cost around £100-£300. For a simple hookup, both gas and electric ovens will cost about £150 for delivery and licensed connection.
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There you have it! The advantages, disadvantages and cost implications for gas and electric ovens.
While gas ovens may have been more traditionally used and many may still be used to their settings and cooking style, electric ovens are by far the more popular choice these days. And, with the drive to more sustainable fuel, gas ovens are becoming less popular. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I sold/installed a gas oven.
So, will you go gas or electric for your new oven?
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for around 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.