Gas Stove or Electric Stove?

Gas Stove or Electric Stove? Even though most choices about kitchen appliances are settled by user preference, relax and journey with us as we explore the differences between gas and electric stoves.


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Gas vs Electric Stove

A stove is an appliance used to cook food by providing heat directly. Stoves produce heat from either ectricity, gas, charcoal, coke, wood or coal. Today we are going to talk about electric and gas stoves.

How A Gas Stove Works

Gas stove

A gas stove works by burning a natural, combustible gas such as methane, butane or propane to produce heat for cooking.

The amount of heat produced by a gas stove can be adjusted by turning the adjusting knob. This knob is rotated to adjust the amount of gas supplied to the stove. On portable gas stoves, the adjusting knob usually also serves as the cutoff valve for switching off the gas supply. A portable gas stove is usually fixed to its gas tank.

For some gas stoves there is a valve connecting the stove to the main gas pipeline that supplies a constant stream of gas.

The gas is supplied to the stove either by a main gas pipeline or a portable tank. Now here is where the science of it all begin. Some gas stoves have a friction mechanism on the adjusting knob that produces a spark to ignite the gas. Others depend on a spark provide by external means such as a matchstick.

Either way, the spark is produced as soon as the gas comes in contact with air. Air contains oxygen which makes the gas combustible. The stove is ready for cooking purposes as soon as the gas starts burning. You can then rotate the knob to make the flame either lower or more intense.

The colour of the flame tells you a lot about how the stove is operating. The flame should generally be a light shade of purple or blue to signify complete combustion. An orange flame is a sign of incomplete combustion. Incomplete combustion means that there is too much gas and not enough air for the gas to burn. To rectify that, you need to check if the air valves of the stove are not blocked by soot but most commonlly this incomplete combustion is reduced by reducing the amount of gas burning using the knob. Incomplete combustion should be avoided at all costs because it:

  • wastes the gas
  • produces carbon monoxide which is dangerous.
  • produces soot which is a health danger and also darkens pots.

How An Electric Stove Works

An electric stove generally operates in a quite simpler way than a gas stove. It requires a 240-volt mains supply which is a disadvantage in regions where there in an unreliable power supply. Electric stoves have thin coils of insulated wire that heats up once the stove is plugged in to the mains supply and switched on. The coil is insulated by a ceramic sheet or a ceramic paste and lined under a metal plate. The heat passes from the plate to the post by conduction.

Installation of an Electric Stove vs a Gas Stove

If the gas stove is not portable, it has to be installed along with multiple valves connected to the main gas pipeline. This usually requires hiring experts, if the installation is not covered by the supplier, adding to the cost of installation.

An electric stove, however, only needs to be plugged into the electricity mains supply and its good to go without requiring an expert or electrician.

Pros and Cons of the Two Types of Stoves

We are not going to give you the ultimate winner of the two because each type of stove has its own pros and cons. All you need to do is weigh up their pros and cons and choose the one that suits you.

Pros of Gas Stoves

  • In many countries, gas is cheaper than electricity, making a gas stove an economic product to use.
  • Gas stoves allows greater control over heat by simply rotaring the knob to adjust flame size.
  • Quick heating, no need to wait for gradual heat build up.

Cons of Gas Stoves

  • Gas stoves are not very energy efficient when transferring heat to the posts, due to losses by convection and draughts.
  • The gas leaves an oily residue film that covers the stovetop.
  • If the valves are clogged with soot, the utensils get darkened and damaged.
  • Proper ventillation required due to the open flame mechanism using up oxygen.
  • Leakage of gas can cause respiratory hazards and other risks such explosions and fire.
  • Cleaning the stove is difficult due to pan supports and burners.
  • open flame mechanism is not the safest way for cooking.

Pros of Electric Stoves

  • Electric stoves do not produce smoke and soot.
  • Flat top surface of the electric stove plate improves heat distribution to the pot and also makes the stove easier to clean.
  • The absence of frames reduces fire risk.
  • Less expensive to install and maintain.
  • Simple to switch on and off with no matchsticks involved.
  • Electric stoves transfer a heat more efficiently to the pots.

Cons of Electric Stoves

  • Takes longer to cook food than with gas stoves.
  • Easily damaged.
  • Dependent on the power supply and cooking can be disrupted by a power fault or unsheduled load shedding.
  • In many countries, electricity is more expensive than gas.
Categories: Tech News

Sydney Chako

Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Sytech Learning Academy. From Junior Secondary School to Tertiary Level Engineering Mathematics and Engineering Science.


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