Monday, March 23, 2015

Gas, Electric, Induction, Dual-Fuel...What is best for you?

So you are ready to get a new stove...but everything used to be so simple! You have choices of gas, electric, dual fuel, and now induction! So what is the difference between them, and which is better for you?

If you live in Manalapan, Marlboro, or just about any where in the New Jersey area, chances are you have gas, whether it be liquid propane, or natural gas. Gas is the most popular utility to cook with on a stove top because of its ease of control. You can visualize how hot you would like to get the burner just by looking at the flame. However when dealing with an all gas stove, you will also have an oven that is heated using gas. This is where the utility falls a bit short. When using a gas oven, more often than not, you will find there may be more fluctuation of temperature, or some parts of the oven are hotter than others. This can be resolved using "convection" cooking, which I will get to in a bit. The other issue with a gas oven is that gas will give off moisture, which can create a humid heat, instead of a dry heat. Dry heat is needed to achieve proper roasting results. These issues are slowly going away with new gas stoves as technology is being implemented to minimize negative results. It is always recommended to speak with our appliance specialists for the most up to date information regarding new models. Another downside to gas is that it can be dangerous due to possible gas leaks, or dangerous to children/pets with the open flame.

Convection is a technology that has been added to most ovens these days. There are two different types of convection. Fan convection, and third element convection. Convection itself is a fan in the rear of the oven which spins and circulates the heat around the oven space. This will eliminate heat pockets, and give consistent results throughout the oven. If when you are cooking on all the racks in your oven, and you experience some burning on the bottom rack, and under cooking on the top rack while baking...then convection is for you! The difference with third element convection is that there is a heating element around the convection fan. This provides even better results by producing and circulating heat from the convection fan itself as well as the element you are cooking with (broiler or bake element), rather than just circulating the heat produced from the element you are cooking with.

What is induction though?

Induction is a technology that has been around for decades, but is recently becoming more mainstream. Induction uses an electromagnetic field to transfer the energy directly to your pot or pan. In gas/electric, the energy is converted to heat through resistance and is applied to the cooking vessel (your pan). This can be inefficient because energy is wasted, as much as 60%. In induction, the energy is transferred directly to the cooking vessel. So what does this mean? Using the electromagnetic field transferring energy directly to your pan means energy is not lost, only the energy applied will be used. Look at the pictures below, the areas of the element that is not covered by the pan/pot will not be heated. You can put ice cubes next to a pan and they will not melt, and you can even put a dollar bill underneath your pan, and it will not burn! What is also great about this technology is how safe it is. Unless there is a pot/pan on the element, there will be no heat. Once you remove the pot or pan from the element, the element will cool down in seconds. You will not see this in electric elements, as the coils and smooth tops will take time to cool down. Induction also heats almost instantly once your cooking vessel comes in contact with your element. This is good and bad, as it is extremely efficient, yet will require some adjustments on your part as the cook! You may be used to your old stove for so long, you need to retrain yourself to cook using induction! There is one major downside when purchasing induction for the first time. You may have to replace all of your pots and pans. Since induction uses electromagnetism to work, not all pots and pans are usable. One of the easiest ways to tell if your current cookware will work with induction is to try and apply a magnet to the cookware. If it sticks, you are good to go! If it does not, you will need to replace your cookware. Prior to purchasing induction, you might want to test your cookware, or speak with one of our appliance specialists to confirm if you would need new pots and pans. The best way to experience induction is to see if yourself! One of our favorite new induction ranges is the Frigidaire Gallery FGIF3061NF. You can check it out here on our website! Pricing has come down on induction ranges, and this is one of the best examples! Call us at 732-438-1400 or email us at [email protected] for more information!

Here are some Pros and Cons of gas, electric, dual fuel, and induction ranges. If you have any questions, please make sure to reach out to our appliance specialists at 732-438-1400.

Gas Range

Gas ranges will be run through your gas connection (Natural or Liquid Propane), in most cases, you can still use your range if you lose power. If you have any technical questions regarding your gas range, please reach out to us at 732-438-1400.

- Ease of control with stovetop burners
- Cool down of stove top quicker than electric

- Can be dangerous regarding children/pets with the open flame on stovetop
- Possibility of gas leaks
- Not as consistent results in oven when compared to electric (Newer models are eliminating negative results)

Dual Fuel Range

A dual fuel range will be both gas and electric. The stovetop will be run with gas, and the oven will be run with electric. This option will actually give you the best of both worlds, however can end up costing you a lot more. If you do not have a 220v electric outlet run to the oven location, you would need to contact an electrician to see what the cost of running the line would be, and if your panel can handle it. Dual fuel appliances themselves are also more expensive compared to gas or electric ranges.

- Best of both worlds. Gas cooktop, with electric oven
- Can still use stove top in case of power outage (in most cases)

- Can be more expensive if you do not have 220v electric at installation point
- Units themselves are more expensive

Electric Range

Your electric range will be run completely on electricity. Baking results are said to be much better with this, however your stovetop may take some getting used to, and the cool down period on your top elements is much longer, yet much easier to clean compared to gas burners.

- Cooktop is extremely easy to clean (with glass tops, not so much with coil tops)
- Excellent baking results
- Appliance is usually less expensive than gas counterpart

- Longer cool down period for top elements
- Power outages will make the stove unusable.
- Control of top elements is not as easy when compared to gas burners

Induction Range

Your induction range will also run completely on electricity. You will have all the PROs of using electric, with some of the CONs taken away.

- Super efficient with regards to energy usage. Induction wastes very little energy
- Instant heat on your top elements. You can boil water in minutes!
- Safe. Very little residual heat is left on the top once your pot or pan is removed
- Amazing baking results. Your electric oven provides efficient and consistent heating

- Takes some getting used to when coming from gas or electric
- Expensive, especially if you do not have 220v run to your location already
- Can not use during power outages
- You may have to purchase all new cookware

If you are still confused, or would like one-on-one help with your questions and appliance purchase, please do not hesitate to call us at 732-438-1400, email use at [email protected], or feel free to stop into one of our showrooms! We are the best appliance experience in Monmouth County!

Manalapan - Designer Appliance Showroom
49A Wilson Ave
Manalapan, NJ 07726

Asbury Park - The Asbury Park Experience, with 3.5% Sales Tax
1201 Main Street
Asbury Park, NJ 07712

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more!