Breezygirl et al.- transition from electric to gas....???

autumn.4November 4, 2012

Hi Breezy and anyone else who has made the conversion from electric to gas-

In my quest for learning more about gas stoves I see you somewhat recently changed over from electric and I was wondering how it's going? I have cooked on electric all my life but when we build I am thinking dual fuel gas with convection is the way to go. If you have a chance I'd love it if you could give me the low down on your experience.

I have read that induction is an awesome electric alternative to gas but I think that is a total budget buster for me. Trying to 'sell' dh on $1,800-2,000 for one appliance will be hard enough - jumping to 2,800+ will be beyond my persuasive capabilities I think! However - perhaps by the time we are actually purchasing appliances the cost will come down enough but I doubt it.

So - my basic question is are you still happy that you went with gas? Did you find it to be a difficult change? My biggest electric gripe would be that low is really still too high.

One more question regarding grates...what is the deal with the cast iron vs. enamel vs. integrated that are in 2 puzzle sort of pieces that cover the whole stove? I noticed that when I went browsing last week and couldn't figure out if it's just a brand/style thing or what I should be looking for.

Do you have an oval burner in the center? If so do you use it? We have a square pan that doesn't cook well on our ceramic top electric because the corners do not heat evenly and I'm thinking that would solve that problem.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

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springroz

I really thought I had just lost all my cooking skill...I could not cook chicken and dumplings without it scorching and sticking, everything STUCK, I no longer enjoyed baking, because cookies ran all over the pan, and bread came out hard or lopsided. Brownies got cruncy on the edges and stayed gooey in the middle. My stove was not a cheapy, either.

So in the new house, I insisted on gas. All gas, not dual fuel. LOVE IT!! I am enjoying cooking again, and have done some really good cookies, scones, and quick breads, but have not done yeast bread yet.

I got a 36" range with four burners and a griddle, which is just perfect for me. love the griddle.my range is a Thermador.

Good Luck!

Nancy

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 3:09PM
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autumn.4

springroz-I *thought* that baking in a gas stove wasn't as consistent as electric? Is that completely off base? Is your oven convection??? I wasn't sure I'd use the griddle. Hmmm....maybe I would if I had one?!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 3:55PM
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autumn.4

oh Nancy wait - so you had issues when you were using electric and then you went back to gas? Is that what you are saying?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 3:57PM
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springroz

Yes, but I had had gas in my previous home, then electric, and now back to gas.

It is said that the gas heat is "moister", because water is a by product of the burning, so it is better for bread baking, and meat roasting. But I prefer the gas for everything......

The griddle...i use it like a flat top grill!! Bacon, pancakes, potatoes, fish, chicken, hamgurgers, and I use it as a warming surface. I don't have a vent hood installed yet, and the griddle splatters a LOT less than a pan, for some reason. I have a grill, too, that interchanges, but I cannot use it without the hood,

Nancy

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 5:14PM
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lascatx

I grew up learning to cook with electric everything and was afraid of gas. I wish I had learned sooner, but I eventually did have to try cooking with gas and liked it. Since then, I have gone back and forth several times. I can cook on anything from a campstove, charcoal or gas grill to electric or gas ranges. I prefer gas for indoor cooking, primarily for the control.

I'm not sure how low you want a burner to hold the heat or what needs you have for low heat. My biggest really low heat use is melting butter or chocolate for baking, and I have to admit that I seldom use a double boiler. I do use low heat to simmer stews, soups, etc. I find controlling low heat is easier with gas, but how low a particular burner will go is dependent on the brand and style of burner. All gas burners are not equal.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 5:19PM
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beekeeperswife

I went from having electric for all of my adult life back to gas. I love the fact that when you are cooking and you want to turn off the burner, the heat is gone. (Well of course the burner is still warm, but not cooking). If a pot of pasta water is about to boil over on electric, my only choice was to move the pot, but with gas...poof, flame is gone pot settles instantly.

Last house had the gas oven as well. I was never very successful with baking, I'm sorry to say. But roasting was great. This house we have electric wall ovens (Love them) and just a gas range top. I think today's gas ovens regulate temperature better than the old gas ovens did. Well, that's what I've heard at least.

I think you can easily adjust to gas coming from electric more easily than vice versa.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 5:49PM
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eandhl

Another convert from electric to AG and I will never go back. I see no difference in my baking and anything I roast is better. I do have AG with convection fan and I use it sometimes. It is really great for cookies.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 6:01PM
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rhome410

I wasn't at all sure I was happy about the switch from a lifetime of electric to gas... for a bit. I wrote a post here about how I hated it (linked below)...I was scared of the flame and the power of the 16K BTU rangetop burners, and was disappointed in how messy the stove top gets, compared to my electric ceramic top or, especially, the induction I'd hoped to get.

Folks here were very understanding, encouraging, and gave me helpful hints about using it. Now I love my gas rangetop. Like Lascatx said, mostly for the control, plus now I have all big burners instead of 2 little and 2 big, which is a big help in cooking for our everyday crowd. We are not fastidious about cleaning it, so it's messy most of the time, but that's because it's well-loved and well-used.

In addition, I feel like it saved our lives during a week-long power outage in sub-freezing weather. Since we decided on the gas rangetop late, our heat and hot water are electric, and we have no fireplace. It was COLD, and the only thing that allowed us to stay here and survive was the ability to make hot food and beverages.

Here is a link that might be useful: My panicky post about getting used to my gas rangetop

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 7:10PM
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april_love

When we moved to our current home it had an electric cooktop. During the remodel we moved to a gas range and double electric oven. I LOVE THE GAS!

Having used gas for most of m life I would say that you should definitely get the gas grates. We had the porcelain grates in the old house and they were a pain to keep clean.

We have sealed burners now and I have a love/hate relationship with them. If something boils over it touch to clean the pieces that are attached to the stove.

If I knew then, what I know now I would have purchased a 36" stove. We have the griddle eye in the middle but you can either use he four surrounding burners OR the griddle. The stove just isn't big enough to use everything all at once.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 7:43PM
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april_love

That should have said cast iron grates.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 7:44PM
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dan1888

It would be worthwhile for you to cross post this in the Appliance forum for some user reviews. Induction is something people who used to have gas will never give up. Just the difference in room heat and fumes in summer is enough. But the response and power control is also significant. And you can get an Ikea cooktop with a 5 year warranty for $1k.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 8:04PM
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autumn.4

Thanks for the responses everyone. Keep them coming - I have a lot of research to do. I think I would like it though. My issue with electric now is that even on LOW things will boil and start sticking to the bottom. I cannot get the heat low enough to really just stay warm but stop cooking? That and it does take a while to bring a pot of water to boil. Tick tock tick tock. I've got stuff to do boil already!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:01PM
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lalithar

When we were living in apartments after college, I had electric.. And really hated it. I had gas in my previous home and also learned to cook on gas at my parent's house.. I like the finetune-ability and rsponsiveness. However during the remodel, we started using induction and that has been a revelation. I was planning a BS or a CC range top and instead am doing a induction cooktop and a single gas for wok cooking. Induction has been unbelievable.. Even my cheap $100 portable unit is super fast, so easy to clean, very very precise and has a timer (so I can set boil for 10 mins and walkway). And best of all the pots do not get very hot. I can reheat a pot of soup and lift it up without potholders. I still love gas for smoking and for using curved bottom woks.. But for day to day.. Induction it is..

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:56PM
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liriodendron

I have had electric coils (grumping and grousing all the while) only for short periods in my adult life. I can say that my only displays of chef-like cooking "temperament" (aka hissy-fits and temper tantrums) have been as result of cooking on the @!#$%#@?*&^%$#@! electric coil stoves.

Now I have gas again, however recently I have also been using an induction unit and it is very, very nice. I would be loathe to give up on gas and it is extremely unlikely that my range will ever die, but if it did I would be looking at some combination of gas/induction hobs. We are gradually moving all of our electrical power to solar generation so induction would be cheaper (nearly free) for us soon. I would still want at least one or two gas hobs, however. I have a gas oven now and have less preference for one or the other. My broiler in an infra-red one which I adore and that may not be possible with electricity.

I have big cast iron grates and and unsealed burners. Cast iron needs no care.

I would reccomend my range exept it is no longer made so that would be pointless.

I would choose simple (less electronic controls where ever possible) and sturdy over fancy features any day. I don't even have an oven light or self clean. And of all the things in a kitchen, I think the range is the key. That's where I would put my money. Frdiges seem to be the queens, but they just keep stuff cold and frozen. They are where I would scrimp, if needed.

HTH
L.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:07AM
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breezygirl

Hi Autumn.

I'm glad others chimed in with their experiences before I saw this. I never owned anything except electric coil until my new gas rangetop. I had only cooked on gas a few times and that was enough to sell me. I did briefly consider induction during my reno planning. The potential hum of a pan on the burner; the fact that a couple of my pans wouldn't work with the technology; and the inability to cook on it during a power outage turned me away from induction. We lose power, albeit briefly, a couple of times a year, and I feel helpless when I can't make a warm meal when it's cold and dark.

Since I have a rangetop, I can't comment on using gas to power my oven. From reading over on the Appliance Forum, I know gas is better for certain foods as mentioned earlier. I'm happy to have my electric wall ovens, although I'm sure I would have adapted to a gas oven if necessary.

My rangetop is a 36" 6 burner Capital Culinarian. All burners are of equal power at 23,000 btus and are open, as opposed to sealed. It runs counter-intuitive, at least it did to me, that an open burner would be easier to clean. Gas and coil still don't compare in cleanability to induction.

Did I find it difficult to change to gas? Yes and no. As far as one type of fuel to another, not hard at all! A joy, in fact! The ability to adjust the heat so quickly makes cooking easier for me. My difficulties with gas were more with my rangetop's extremely powerful burners, which weren't adjusted properly out of the box. I had a horrible time simmering anything on any burner, as have many CC owners. After some parts swapping and a couple of tech visits, I seem to be able to simmer most anything I've tried so far well enough to get by.

Did I miss anything? Did I get everything answered? Hope so!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 3:20AM
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athomeinvagw

I have had a Bosch gas cooktop (regular not commercial style), a ceramic electric range and cooktop, a coil electric cooktop, and a Viking commecial style gas range, these are in order of ease to cook on with low heat. The Viking, as with some other high power style ranges, is tricky to get a good simmer whereas the Bosch has one of 5 burners that only goes to 5500 BTU. The Bosch and Viking can both boil water quickly but the ceramic electric was not far behind. I will link to the Bosch cooktop, if you look at the specs you can see that there are 3 12,000 btu burners, 1 16,000 btu, and 1 5,500 btu burner, looking back I can say that for me this is an ideal setup vs. the 3 15,000 and 1 18,500 btu burners that I have now which is too much high heat for how I cook.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bosch cooktop

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 8:48AM
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sayde

When I bought the Blue Star range it was the first time I used a gas oven. I was nervous about making the switch from electric to gas for the oven but have loved everything about it. Even, great for baking, no filaments to clean around. Had long been a user of gas burners and knew I wanted the Blue Star range. Very happy.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Linelle

I grew up learning to cook all-electric, esp. baking. Of course it was pre-microwave, and I can't tell you how many times my excellent cook mom scorched something on the stovetop because the heat got away from her.

I've had gas most of my adult life. (hee hee, sometimes I can't help myself.) Baking has never been a problem for me in a gas oven. I've never used convection and have no idea what I'm missing. I can still bake two sheets of cookies on different racks at the same time and they come out great. Yes, I'm willing to turn/switch them if I get a better outcome.

I have a 9-yr old, low-end all-gas Kenmore and it does pretty much everything the sexy stoves do. I don't need a raging hot burner. I have only one low-simmer burner and wish I had another.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 11:54AM
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autumn.4

Thanks again everyone.

Rhome-thanks for posting that link! I don't think I will have as powerful of a stove but open flame sure does deserve some respect and attention from the young ones. We will definitely have to have a few training sessions. 10 year old is already cooking on the electric and I only see that continuing and becoming more complex.

Breezy - yes thank you for your comments (and thanks for the pic - I enjoy looking at your kitchen). I am going to have to do some searching regarding open vs. sealed - I have no idea what that looks like or what it effects. Also need to read up on differing btu's and what I feel would be most useful for the way I cook.... I just looked at your pic again and I think I get the 'open burner' now. Is it a royal pain to clean being open like that?

athomeinva-thank you also for the link and your experience with the differing btu's. I think I would definitely want
1 that is lower heat.

Linelle-thanks for your input on your Kenmore - that is definitely more in my $ range so glad to hear that you find it more than adequate for your cooking. I cook a lot but I don't think I'm a fancy cook...we should have a cooking tutorial from all these scratch chefs on here! Now that would be FUN!

So am I the only one left in this world that bakes 1 cookie sheet at a time instead of trying to flip the 2 half way through the bake time? I think I might be!

So many things to look at with gas - btu's, etc.. I feel pretty confident that I would be fine with gas - and unless induction comes down in price by 2014 we will stick with the gas. Although - there is that power outage factor too and that might keep us in the gas market no matter what.
Thank you all so much for weighing in.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:36PM
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chicgeek

I grew up with an electric stove and was afraid of gas until I graduated from college & moved to another state. I shared a house that had a honkin' 50s gas behemoth (still had to light the oven on that one). Once I got over my fear, I loved it! Boy, that stove and oven could cook!

Next 2 apartments had electric stoves and I hated them. Our first home that we purchased included a gas range and once again I loved using it. Since then, we've converted every home from electric to gas. Plus, as others have mentioned, you never have to worry about not having hot food/water if you lose power. We had an ice storm several years ago and between our gas range, gas HW heater, and our wood stove fireplace insert, we were quite toasty for a week.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 10:48PM
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