I have recently moved house and one of the downsides is that I'm now stuck with an electric stove instead of a gas stove which was in the previous house.

I'm not liking it one bit:

  • It takes too long to heat up (I have to pre-heat it like an oven)
  • You can't do any funky stuff with the open flame, like charring the skins off capsicums so you can peel them

Okay, I see some advantages:

  • Easier to keep clean
  • Flatter stovetop means less chance of a pot falling over

But seriously - I don't think any professional or keen amateur chef would be able to argue that an electric stovetop is better than gas.

I'd like to replace it with a gas stove in the near future. In the meantime, can anyone convince me that electric is better?

  • 2
    James Beard famously advocated the use of electric stoves.
    – kevins
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 21:02
  • The heating element deteriorate over time, rendering the electric stove dead. A gas stove is eternal.
    – Candid Moe
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 23:25

10 Answers 10


Can I convince you that electric is better? No, I can't, because I don't think it is. The issue I have is related to how long it takes to warm up (and cool down). Electric cook tops just don't respond quickly. Little too hot? Too bad, nothing you can do about it (in time to save a dish that's starting to burn anyway). Not hot enough? Check back in 2 or 3 minutes. I find this particularly irritating when a recipe requires varying heats while cooking. Sorry I don't have better news for you.

  • 4
    Too hot? Lift the pan up, or move it. If you're good at flipping stuff in a pan, do that, as it'll help cool the food off even faster.
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 20:22
  • 3
    You know you can always take the pan to somewhere that's not the stove, right? If you're not on a glass-top unit, and you're not dealing with liquids, you can even tip the pan so it's not making good contact w/ the burner (which helps the burner cool off faster)
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 22:36
  • 4
    @Mike, maybe this is just a semantic thing, but I think of electric cook tops as the ones with coils that heat up and induction cook tops as a completely different thing. So I'm sticking with my answer, especially given the question that was initially asked.
    – yossarian
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 14:17
  • 2
    @Mike Scott, for normal people, "electric cooktop" always and only means "traditional resistor-based electric cooktop". If we want to talk about induction cooktops, we say... wait for it... "induction cooktop".
    – Marti
    Commented Dec 30, 2010 at 4:22
  • 5
    @Mike, I don't know why this was revived, but you are dead wrong. While your explanation is technically correct, no one calls it a resistive cooktop. They call it electric. And no one says electric inductive, they say induction. The fact that you want to nitpick what's technically correct is completely irrelevant to the way people actually talk.
    – yossarian
    Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 18:05

What the others say is true, but ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE for an electric induction cooker!!

I used to think gas was better until I also moved into a flat with no gas. I was soon sick of it but I discovered induction and changed the basic electric cooker for an induction one.

Now I know that an induction cooker is even better than gas because:

  1. It responds instantly like gas.
  2. It puts out more energy than gas and thus boils quicker.
  3. It's more controllable than gas. My hob has 19 digital settings, so once you know to set it at 5.5 for boiling pasta, you always set it at that and it's the same every time.
  4. It doesn't heat up your kitchen like gas (or other electric stoves) because the induction effect causes the pan itself to heat and not the hob, so less waste heat.
  5. It's MUCH easier to clean than gas, since it's a flat glass plate and as it doesn't heat up, any spills don't burn on.
  6. It's much safer than gas. No chance of an explosion and no gas smells. Also, the hob only gets hot from the heat from the pans, so much less chance of burning yourself if you touch it.

Downside is that you need pans that work with an induction cooker. Almost all modern pans do. Just check a pan with a fridge magnet - if the magnet sticks, it should work with induction.

Also, induction is not cheap. However, you can buy small single or double ring worktop models that just plug in to a socket to augment your existing cooker if you don't want to go the whole way and completely replace it.

  • Induction is a different game from resistive heat: I've only use one for a sort time, but found it much better. Likewise, the glasstop has some advantage over coils and open flame. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 15:08
  • 5
    Good answer, but unfortunately, I think the OP is trying to get someone to convince them that their current electric stove is ok and doesn't need to be replaced. You've just suggested that he replace it with something even more expensive than the OP was planning! :o)
    – yossarian
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 16:43
  • 1
    yossarian, he's planning to replace it: "...I'd like to replace it with a gas stove in the near future..." I was suggesting he might like to investigate induction as an alternative to gas.
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 14:01
  • additionally, I added "However, you can buy small single or double ring worktop models that just plug in to a socket to augment your existing cooker if you don't want to go the whole way and completely replace it."
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 14:02
  • I have to say that this fails to answer the question that was asked. In normal English usage, "electric stove" always refers to the traditional resistor-coil technology, not to induction/magnet-based technology. To refer to the latter, the proper term is "induction stove".
    – Marti
    Commented Dec 30, 2010 at 4:30

Well, with an electric you get

  • Modestly less fire hazard
  • No gas leak hazard

but I'd generally take gas.

  • One could add no soot accumulation over the years, but that's still not enough to tip the balance.
    – papin
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 19:31
  • 2
    Moderately less fire hazard? I'd argue significantly less, even though I have set an electric stove on fire. Although, luckily, 1970's fashion with large open sleaves are gone.
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 20:38
  • 1
    @Joe: I don't really have any way to quantify it, and I didn't want to over state the case. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 20:41

I found it is much easier to keep the heat quite low with an electric stove. As for a quick response when the pot is too hot, just slide it off the burner. This is particularly easy with the flat tops.


Besides what @dmckee mentioned :

  • No pilot light, so you're only using fuel when you need it. (except for the clock, if you have one)
  • No failed electric starter, and having to go find matches for those that don't have a pilot.
  • No chance of explosion from when you tried setting the gas so low the burner blows out.

update :

  • doesn't use hydrocarbons, could be made 'green' by using electricity from replenish-able sources (hydro, wind, solar) or nuclear. (unfortunately, you then have the issue of conversion and transmission loss, so if you're in an coal or gas power plant area, it's less green)

update 2:

  • you don’t come downstairs to a kitchen smelling like gas because your nephew pushed against the stove while reaching the microwave above the stove (happened to a friend of mine; autistic nephew didn’t grow up with gas and ignored the weird smell; I also did it once when visiting, and it was on so low I didn’t smell it for a while)

  • more flexibility in placement, as they don’t require venting to avoid the air quality issues from indoor combustion. (And newer homes are less drafty, so combustion gasses linger longer if not vented; some people think this may be the reason for increased asthma, and are starting to set laws against new gas appliance installs)

  • The pilot light thing is true, but I haven't had a gas cooktop with a pilot light in 30 years; they're all electric start now. (And the electric start always fails, but now you can get little battery-powered electric spark lighters.)
    – Pointy
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 17:06
  • You can also get lighters where pushing down the button generates the electricity for the spark so there’s no battery required
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 17:13
  • 1
    wow thanks for the response, I missed the date on this answer :) My little battery things are USB-charged so I don't mind them; I've tried the "clicky" ones that work like those sparkly toy things, and they're OK but the USB sparky things are easier.
    – Pointy
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 17:54

Good electric stoves often put out the same or more power (BTUs/hr) than gas stoves, and they are more efficient at transmitting the heat, as it is via conduction not radiation. This means that on a good electric stove, water will boil faster, heavy pans will heat up faster, etc. By a "good electric stove" I mean one that does not have a glass pane over the element, as these are horrible at conducting heat and take forever to heat up.

Additionally, as was pointed out above, electric stoves have the ability to maintain a lower temperature than gas stoves. So electric has a better range of heat (cooler to hotter), while gas is quicker to adjust. Still, for the home chef, switching to another burner shouldn't be a problem if you need quick adjustments in temperature.

See also this comparison.

  • 1
    "as it is via conduction not radiation" Citation needed. Both gas and electric transfer by both conduction and radiation. Glass-ceramic cooktops work entirely by radiation.
    – endolith
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 15:50

If I had my perfect stove, it would have an electric oven for more precise temperatures with less variance and gas burners for faster, hotter (and I think more efficient) heating.

  • 2
    You're in luck -- these not only exist, they're actually quite common at the high-end.
    – Pinko
    Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 4:49

The only advantage of an electric stove is that you can use it in a place where there is no gas. There are far fewer places that have gas but no electricity.

  • 1
    You can easily convert natural gas stoves to propane, and have it delivered just about anywhere. Its fairly common in the more rural parts of the southwest.
    – KeithB
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 13:40
  • And the midwest, and the south...
    – kajaco
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 13:59
  • 2
    The flip side of this is cooking on a gas stove while the power is out (which was the case for me for two days after a hurricane once). Later I had a five day outage with an electric, but I was able to make do with my camp stove. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 18:57

Cooking rice. Depends on the type of stove, but this type is great for cooking rice: Add rice, salt, and right amount of water to a pot; bring to the boil; switch off once boiling and you have perfect rice 20 minutes later.

Unfortunately this, and the before-mentioned ability to keep low temperatures, are the only advantages I can think of.



Electric ranges do not rely on gas flames, which could potentially trigger a fire. Also, if a pilot light goes out on a gas range, the room can fill up with toxic and noxious gases, which are unsafe to inhale. Many electric stoves come with a light that indicates when one of the burners is on and hot, warning those around the stove not to touch the surface.

  • 1
    Posting promotional links is not allowed. Links should either be citations or provide additional context for an answer.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 16:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.