gas vs electric oven

nyamyAugust 9, 2012

we're (finally) planning a kitchen renovation. I've always had gas ovens but now we are considering a wall oven, which I understand is only available in electric. so my question is what are the benefits and drawbacks of an electric oven?


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There are gas wall ovens. American Range and Blue Star make them, along with Viking and a number of others.

Gas ovens have to vent the combustion, so they dump more heat into the room than electric ovens. A product of combustion is water, so the gas may be preferred for moist roasted meats, and for putting a crust on bread. There are other ways to add moisture though, such as putting a pan of lava rock on the bottom rack, and pouring water onto it when it is hot. I think people prefer to bake in electric, but my wife bakes in both (gas range, electric wall oven).

Maybe some real cooks will chime in.

Here is a link that might be useful: 21 gas wall ovens

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 7:34PM
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There are gas wall ovens if you want one.

I posted this on the chowhound cookware forum and this is the gist of what I posted.

It used to be conventional wisdom that gas was moist heat, due to the release of water as part of the products of combustion and electric dry heat. No one has actually measured humidity, that I can find, in ovens to say if this is the case. I have used both kinds of ovens over many(50) years and found very little difference. I almost think that gas may be a little drier,due to the following reasons.
There is much more ventilation with gas so the humidity from the products of combustion are ventilated out. If you read the bread baking forums, you will find they have a hard time keeping steam in a gas oven needed for the first part of baking and resort to covering the bread to steam it. I have read stories of roasts being better in a gas oven. Sometimes they will say it makes a better crust or is juicier. People will attribute this to the moist heat but in reality it is not going over the optimum internal temperature that makes a roast juicy and it is a drying effect that makes the external parts crispy. This is why convection is such a good thing. On the other hand the electric oven is more of a closed system and does hold the humidity given off by food or added humidity better. I think an electric oven may be better for baking cakes and things that rise better because it does hold a little more humidity and allows the rising action to work a little more before it sets and have read baking forums that say this. I have seen it advised to open the door of an electric oven a little, a few times to let the moisture out toward the end of baking a cake. Another consideration is that once you raise the temperature of the air, the relative humidity is much less in both and not that different percentage wise. All these things are going to depend on what you are cooking and the build of the oven.

Some advantages of electric that may depend on the brand and features it has.

Some ovens have a thermostat that has a very narrow temperature swing, as litle as 2 degrees. Some have the more conventional 25 degree swing on each side of the setting.
Some electric ovens have a third element around the convection fan that can produce a more even heat especially when it is full. All gas oven and some electric have just the fan.

There may be additional baking and roasting modes that make use of top and bottom elements to produce certain effects. For example a roasting mode may utilize the top element more to produce more browning from the top.

Electric ovens are more inclined to be self clean but there are gas self cleaning ovens.

Gas ovens may have an infrared broiler.

Good Luck in your search.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 8:03PM
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I haven't used a gas oven since I was a child, a couple of centuries ago, so I can't answer your question. But I want to say, as the Apostle of French Door Ovens, that if you decide you want a gas wall oven and you can afford the American Range, get the french doors. French doors are wonderful.

American Range also makes electric with french doors. If I could have afforded one, I would have one.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 10:39PM
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thanks for all the information! we are mostly vegetarians here, so roasting meats is not an issue though I do roast vegetables. can I do that in an electric oven? I also do alot of baking (bread, cookies, cakes, pies, etc) so its good to hear that electric ovens can do that reliably.
I am not good with change and am just used to the gas oven, am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept of an electric.

ginny20- I looked at those American Range french door oven, but definitely out of my price range. oh well.

I have a ? abt baking drawers too, but will put that in its own thread.
thanks again everyone

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 8:37AM
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granolamom - we have an Electrolux electric wall oven. So far (it's been about 3 months) I've used it to bake cookies, cakes, yeast rolls as well as roast thicken, pork, salmon, and dehydrate apricots.

With convection, all my baked goods are evenly baked, front to back, and top to bottom. I fill the entire oven with large (11" x 17") cookie sheets and the cookies come out exactly the same.

I think you'll be happy with it.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Granolamom - Too bad, we're in the same boat. I admit, I nearly choked when I saw the price on the American Range. And I really, really wanted those french doors.I ended up getting the Electrolux non-icon double convection wall oven with wave touch controls, primarily because of recommendations here on GW. I do love it, and I loved throwing away my Easy Off now that I have self cleaning!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 11:22AM
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