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Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

Posted by aktillery (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 11:45

I am looking at the Capital Culinarean and know they only offer gas ovens.

They say they are better for cooking due to better moisture etc.

Any thoughts or experiences regarding baking with gas or electric ovens?

Thanks in advance your reply!
Amy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

These are the differences. These will vary according to the manufacturer. Even convection will vary quite a bit in my view. I have baked with both standard gas and electric ovens over the past many years and have had three different brands of convection over the past five years plus used some additional brands in condo rentals.

It is a common misconception that a gas oven provides "moist" heat. Initially there is some moisture released as a product of combustion but gas ovens have more ventilation so the moisture from that and the food you are cooking is lost. Electric ovens on the other hand are more of a closed system and hold more moisture from what you are cooking. The increased humidity of an electric oven is beneficial for any baking that requires a rise because it allows more time before the exterior is set allowing a better rise. Bread bakers will add steam to ovens during the first half of the baking cycle to help with this process. Dry heat though is better on the second half of the baking cycle to promote a little crispness and browning of the final crust. You can use convection or open the door to release moisture. It is also a misconception that "moist" heat produces moist meat. This has to do with the final temperature to which it is cooked. If you cook a tender cut of meat past a certain temperature the water is released from the meat and it is dry. You can submerge it in water and boil it dry. On tougher cuts, they are cooked to higher temperatures to melt the connective tissue but all the water is released from the meat fibers. The connective tissue becomes gelatin that bathes the dry fibers and holds some water around them giving them a perceived juiciness. The trick is keeping the gelatin around the meat fibers.

Electric ovens may have electronic boards that control the direction of heat, what elements come on and the speed of the convection fan(s). It might have a lower speed for baking and higher speed for roasting to promote drying and therefore crispiness. There are modes for roasting and baking. Gas ovens have the heat from the bottom or from the top if the broiler is on. The convection fan is on or off. If you do get an electric oven with the various modes, I would get an extended warranty although with my current ovens it is not the electronics that have gone bad but the blue porcelain. I would not buy anything that is newly on the market with electronics. There is a lot of potential for them to be not quite right. Many just wish to avoid them altogether. I do like the control you have using the various modes though-roasting vs baking setting.

Electric ovens may also have a third element, called true or European convection. Wolf and KA have dual convection fans and elements. This is beneficial if you have your oven full and will keep the temperature more even throughout.

Some electric ovens may also have the ability to keep a narrower temperature. Some claim as narrow as a 2 degree variation from the set temp. Most ovens have a 25 degree variation. I'm not sure how significant this is.


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

There are gas ovens in $800 ranges then gas ovens in a typical pro-style gas range then there the Culinarian oven.

There is no baking more finicky than getting the proper rise on a soufflé. Here is a link below to making a soufflé in a Culinarian oven.

And before someone says this is a diabolical staged video by a baker with vested interest I have replicated the results.

Maybe this is one reason Capital has not made the dual fuel Culinarian yet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Culinarian Souffle


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

Posted by deeageaux
There is no baking more finicky than getting the proper rise on a soufflé. Here is a link below to making a soufflé in a Culinarian oven.
And before someone says this is a diabolical staged video by a baker with vested interest I have replicated the results.

This is a marketing piece though by someone selling the oven. For a soufflé, the prep technique is the finicky part. The oven only has to be the right temperature with no convection. It is not the kind of thing that a complicated oven will benefit.


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

This is a marketing piece though by someone selling the oven

The implication being that it is a lie?

It is in fact repeatable in every kitchen with a Culinarian.

That also has a Chef with the skills to prep the soufflé.

The oven only has to be the right temperature

The right temperature is the finicky part now isn't it?

Since a more precise temp is THE supposed benefit of electric.


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

Posted by deeageaux

This is a marketing piece though by someone selling the oven
The implication being that it is a lie?

No it is not a lie. It isn't diabolical. It is something that any oven with a normal, 25 degree variation from set temp oven would do though. It is not something that a countertop or a small oven like I had on my Maytag Gemini would do. It is a marketing tool that connects something that people perceive to be difficult to make and shows the souffle being made in just a few easy frames of video, all connected with the oven. In reality the difficult part is the prep work, not shown, that has nothing to do with the oven. There is nothing wrong with it as long as you see it for what it is. Every appliance ad has great looking food coming out of the appliance. We know it is the skill of the cook or food stylist that makes that happen. Ads are made to show what you are selling in a good light. They often use a specific circumstance to make people feel a certain way, for instance, if you have this oven, you can master this difficult dish with our product. It is very important when you watch ads, videos, listen to sales people or read forums to determine if what they are talking about is really unique to the product and/or what you need.

It is in fact repeatable in every kitchen with a Culinarian.

Absolutely, I have made them in just about any of my less expensive ovens gas and electric as long as you understand the prep. I have never found them hard to make. I would actually disagree with your statement, although it is a popular notion.-
"There is no baking more finicky than getting the proper
rise on a soufflé"

That also has a Chef with the skills to prep the soufflé.

Agree.

The oven only has to be the right temperature

The right temperature is the finicky part now isn't it? Since a more precise temp is THE supposed benefit of electric.

Not all electric ovens. The temp, for gas or electric,is determined by the thermostat, usually 25 degree swing no matter what oven except a few electric ovens with narrower temp swings. The finicky part is the prep. As I said above, I'm not sure what thing would benefit by that narrow range but obviously it is not a souffle as you and I have baked them in ovens without that narrow swing, as have countless other chefs. This just a possible characteristic of a very few electric ovens. Think about all the cooks who made these in wood ovens without a thermostat. Souffles have been made a long time.

Hopefully the reason the DF is not out yet is they are avoiding the rush to market that has happened with other brands. The range of temp you are referring to is a very small, to me insignificant, benefit, of electric ovens. The other characteristics would have more importance me and others who buy this type of oven.

For some these characteristics matter and for others they don't. There isn't even a "best" here. It is all in what you as the individual value and feel the most comfortable with.


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

Not all electric ovens. The temp, for gas or electric,is determined by the thermostat, usually 25 degree swing no matter what oven except a few electric ovens with narrower temp swings. The finicky part is the prep. As I said above, I'm not sure what thing would benefit by that narrow range but obviously it is not a souffle as you and I have baked them in ovens without that narrow swing, as have countless other chefs. This just a possible characteristic of a very few electric ovens. Think about all the cooks who made these in wood ovens without a thermostat. Souffles have been made a long time.

A standard gas oven can have a temperature swing as high as 50 degrees F.

Just because you spec a thermostat for a certain temperature does not mean that the oven will remain within spec.

Souffle has been made for a very long time.

That doesn't mean that have been done consistently well for a very long time.

A good wood oven with an experienced Chef can get the heat to an extremely accurate temperature, which is necessary to get the best results for a soufflé.


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

" Posted by deeageaux
Not all electric ovens. The temp, for gas or electric,is determined by the thermostat, usually 25 degree swing baked them in ovens without that narrow swing,

A standard gas oven can have a temperature swing as high as 50 degrees F.

Yes I meant as defined above, 25 degrees variation from the set temp which is a 50 degree swing. That is normal or most common but can be determined by the manufacturer.

Just because you spec a thermostat for a certain temperature does not mean that the oven will remain within spec.

You are right any oven can go out of calibration.

Souffle has been made for a very long time.

That doesn't mean that have been done consistently well for a very long time.

A good wood oven with an experienced Chef can get the heat to an extremely accurate temperature, which is necessary to get the best results for a soufflé.

So we agree that almost any oven can make a good souffle as long as it is at the proper temp. Some need the crutch of a thermometer while others do not. If your electric/gas oven is off, you will need to have it calibrated. That is why many keep an oven thermometer to double check.


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

Not getting into the debate with you two. All's I can say is that I've lived with many different all-gas ranges and all-electric ranges in my 50-plus years. Both kinds of ranges at all different prices and qualities. I far prefer the gas ranges I've had, even the one in the college rental where you had to light the oven with a match.

My eyes kinda glazed over with the discussions above of combustion, steam etc. It's just that in a gas oven my baked goods are moister, my meats have the crispy char on the outside and moist juicy center, especially the birds. Somehow even the leftovers of things cooked in a gas oven stay moister longer and keep their texture. Don't know the scientific reasons for it. Just know it is the way it is.

I thought I saw a post somewhere on the Kitchens or Cooking Forum where they said in New York City apartments where there is no room for wall ovens plus ranges, so you can only fit a range, professional restaurant chefs have all-gas ranges in their home kitchens.


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

I'ma pop some corn. This is a good show so far.


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

Thanks for the suggestions and the info! Feel free to keep them coming!
Luckily I do not make souffles.
Amy


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

Mrs NyefNyef - I suspect that power requirements are more of a factor than anything else in many (most?) NYC apartments.


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

Mrs_Nyefnyef, I won't argue with you on your personal experiences about your oven. I believe your results but the reason for the results is different than what you think.

"my meats have the crispy char on the outside" This exactly the kind of comment that made me question the idea that gas heat is moist. People often report crispiness associated with gas heat. Crispiness is enhanced by dryness not moisture. Convection also produces crispiness by increasing air movement and drying the surface of what you are baking/roasting. Internal moisture of meat- check out the link below, first myth. The internal moisture of baked goods is determined by the recipe and the oven temperature and length of time in the oven. Baked goods will brown a little faster in a gas oven which may lead to a little less time in the oven, so maybe they would be a little moister due to that.

This made me think of another difference in gas and electric. Gas kicks more heat into the kitchen. Electric less but varies brand to brand.

Here is a link that might be useful: top 6 food myths


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

I've had both fuels in ovens over the years, in NYC apartments and elsewhere and I wrote cookbooks using both.

No one can really qualify one as better than the other -- it's opinion. Plus it's a question of preference and features you want. It also can depend on how you cook -- if you're an oven cook or a stove-top cook. IOW, are the burners or the oven more important?

Ovens on flame-thrower ranges like the Culinarian, BlueStar, Wolf are huge and they are low. But, except for Wolf dual fuel, those ranges are being sold primarily for the burners. With any range, when the oven is going, it can be hot standing in front of it while using the range top. There's more bending with a range oven. Everything else is gravy.

An electric wall oven is higher and slightly smaller. They float in the wall. There's more lifting with these ovens. The range top is separate and that cooking experience is divided vs on one appliance. That can be important when space is an issue.

After that, it's all marketing. deeageaux has good advice and a ton of knowledge on appliances and, while we sometimes disagree, he knows his stuff. But a souffle is not an especially useful test of an oven IMO because it's going to sit in the sweet spot. Show me trays of Pavlova meringues coming out evenly and then there is something to tout.

I adore the rotisserie in my wall oven and I use it a lot, even though it's a cleaning job afterwards. But if I was doing a 40 pound lamb or side of pork, I'd take it outside.


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RE: Which do you prefer gas ovens or electric?

I, too, have cooked with many, many electric and gas ovens from cheap to the beautiful BlueStar range I am fortunate enough to own now.

I am a cook that much prefers a gas range. I feel it is closer to a more natural way of cooking, and gives me precise control when using the burners. How well any oven, gas or electric, bakes depends on how good the thermosat is, and perhaps some of the dynamics of the oven itself. I can bake and slow cook equally well in both an electric and gas oven, provided it is working properly, but I despise electric cooktops of any sort.

If you want excellent and moist slow cooking, buy some good quality cast iron cookware, and use lower temps for a longer period of time.

Baking is baking, and if you're good at it you will have excellent results no matter the heat source, provided the oven keeps fairly steady and reliable temperature settings. The type and quality of your bakeware is more important than the heat source. I know of a woman who learned to bake perfect cakes using an outdoor gas grill while her kitchen was torn up for remoodel. I wish she would write a book about that.

I do feel my bread comes out better in this gas oven. Whether it is the fact that it is gas or just a better quality range, or that I've simply gotten better at it, I don't know. However, I absolutely LOVE cooking with the BlueStar.

I am no longer fond of fancy electronics in a machine that is supposed to be simple. Simple has resulted in more reliability, for me. I do not even miss self clean. At all. However, I clean up as I go. After a year and a half of use, and many meals cooked, I still don't have to clean the oven. It wipes right out. If I want pristine looking racks, I'll have to take them out and spray oven cleaner on them, but they haven't been bad enough for me to do that yet.

It's going to boil down to your own personal choice, and if you like the Culinarian, you won't have any problems with the fact that it is a gas oven. It will be way more reliable than a dual fuel.


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