Sears Knowledge Center

      Electric vs. Gas Cooktops

      When you're looking for a new cooktop for your dream kitchen, one of the most important questions to answer is whether you prefer to cook with electric or gas.  It's a good idea to take a step back and take a critical look at the benefits of both gas cooktops and electric cooktops to make sure you are using the best heat source for your cooking needs.

       

        Gas Cooktop Electric Cooktop Induction Cooktop
      Heat Response Heats quickly Heats slowly Heats very quickly
      Even Heating Heats in a ring shape Heats entire bottom of pan Heats in a ring shape
      Quick Cooling Cools quickly when turned down Cools slowly when turned down Cools quickly when turned down
      Safety Poses moderate accident risk with open flame Poses slight injury risk with hot element Poses little accident risk with cool element
      Versatility Works with all cookware + open flame has other uses Works with all cookware Works only with iron or steel cookware
      Ease of Installation Installs via dedicated gas line Installs easily with plug-in cord Installs easily with plug-in cord
      Ease of Cleanup Cleans with difficulty Cleans easily Cleans very easily
      Cost Moderate Low High

      Advantages of gas cooktops

      • Fast Heat Response – The gas flame provides immediate heat on ignition.
      • Precise Heat Control – Very exact heat adjustments are possible with gas.
      • Versatile – The gas flame has other culinary uses, such as roasting and peeling bell peppers.
      • Independent Power Source – Power outages won't keep you from cooking.

      Limitations of gas cooktops

      • Safety – The open flame increases the chance of accidents and flare-ups.
      • Uneven Heating – Gas elements burn in a ring-shaped pattern.
      • Difficulty of Installation – A gas line or attached tank is needed for hookup.
      • Difficult to Clean – Food residue which falls between the grates, if not removable, is difficult to clean.

      Advantages of electric radiant & coil cooktops

      • Heat Retention – Electric cooktops cool down slowly when switched off, which is good for boiling eggs or pasta.
      • Versatility – Pots and pans of all kinds can be used with electric cooktops.
      • Even Heat – Coil and radiant glass elements heat over a wide surface area.
      • Lower Price – More commonly used electric technology is more affordable than induction.

      Limitations of electric radiant & coil cooktops

      • Cost of Electricity While an electric appliance costs less upfront, the operational costs are higher with an electric stove.
      • Slow Heat Response – The element temperature changes slowly, which is bad for heat-sensitive cooking.
      • Uneven temperature – Because electric coils can be uneven, the heat that touches the cookware can be inconsistent.

      Advantages of induction cooktops

      • Fast Heat Response – Induction cooktops heat the pan itself, making induction much faster than electric.
      • Power Efficiency – Heating the pan itself is much more efficient than heating the element first, then the pan.
      • Safety – The element itself doesn't heat up, which reduces chances of accidents.

      Limitations of induction cooktops

      • Cookware Incompatibility – Only pans made of magnetic material like steel and iron will work.
      • Uneven Heating – Induction cooktops heat in a ring shape, creating hot spots in the pan.
      • High Price – Induction is new technology, making it more expensive.

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