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Due to the fact that my apartment is lower than the street level, I can't install a gas stove. Which option is the best alternative?

I'm looking for a cost-effective solution for simple everyday cooking, no precised gourmet cooking times are required.

While looking for a solution I was told that I should check out induction electric stove, but is that really the best solution?

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I don't understand why being below grade precludes a gas stove, but even so: "best" by what criteria? –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 21 '13 at 12:38
    
As I wrote in the question, cost-effective –  Roy Jul 21 '13 at 13:04
    
Sorry, I missed that... where do you live? –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 21 '13 at 13:44
    
No problem. I live in Israel. When the apartment level is low a gas leak might fill up your house with gas and you won't be able to remove it as cooking gas is heavier than air. –  Roy Jul 22 '13 at 15:53

2 Answers 2

Depends on what you mean by "cost effective", and what expectations you have of cooking evenness.

A solid fuel stove will probably be cheapest (grandma style wood or coal oven), followed by a resistive electric stove and the most expensive stove being induction electric. This covers the initial cost of the stove itself. The quality of heating goes along the same direction: uneven heating with coal/wood, even but sluggishly responsive heating with resistive, great heating with induction.

But over the lifetime of your stove, the most costs are probably caused by the fuel costs. Induction as technology has much higher efficiency than resistive heating, so you will save much from your electricity bill if you use induction instead of resistive. How long will it need until the break even point in initial investment vs electricity savings depends on the exact models of stove you are comparing plus your cooking habits/frequency.

As for wood or coal, they can be cheaper or more expensive than electricity for you depending on where you live. But most people would not use them for cooking even when they are much cheaper, due to the added hassle. I only mentioned them here because you insist that your primary criteria is "cost effective".

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You can get a single or double burner induction cooktop. They are relatively inexpensive, most efficient electric burners, and perform well in cooking. You will need induction compatible cookware though. They are in most sense better than other electric cooktops. The old resistive element burners are cheaper though.

Fuel based stoves have similar problems to gas stoves as carbon monoxide this time can collect and build in a place below grade.

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