If you’re in the process of designing your dream kitchen or just looking to update your current one, then you’ve probably been thinking about what kind of stove to invest in. When it comes to choosing the right stove for you, there are 3 main factors to consider: What you’re used to, what hook up is currently in your kitchen and what type/how much cooking you like to do. To aid you in your research, we’ve broken down the 3 most common types of stoves and their benefits and drawbacks.
Electric – For Those Who Would Rather Order In
When you picture an electric stove with its coil top burners and windowless oven, one word probably comes to mind — old. The technology and design are just that, ancient. Did you know the first Canadian patent for the electric stove was filed in 1892? Neither did I, but that explains the look and appeal of the classic stove. Most commonly found in older homes and apartments, there are 2 kinds of electric stovetops. The older and becoming less common coil top, and the more modern glass top. While the appeal for electric stoves does still exist, for anyone who considers themselves a chef or foodie, an electric stove is not their first choice.
Cons: Typically, natural gas is more economical than electricity, especially in Ontario, with the cost of hydro being very expensive and continuing to rise. Electrical stoves also take longer (a lot longer), to heat up and cool down, which makes it difficult to control the heat of the burner and even more difficult to control the outcome of your dinner. When it comes to cleaning, coil tops are more difficult than glass, but that does not mean glass tops are the better choice. Although sleek and stylish, there are some concerns when it comes to glass stovetops. Be careful when cleaning and cooking, as these stove tops may scratch and are difficult and costly to replace. Do not use cast iron, ceramic and stoneware with rough edges as it could damage and scratch the surface.
Gas – For the At-Home Professional Chef
The gas stove predates the electric stove by some time, being invented in the early 1800s, however, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that it became common in North American homes. Traditionally gas stoves are the chefs’ first choice when it comes to cooking. This could be due to Alexis Soyer, an early “celebrity chef” who in 1841 converted his kitchen to use gas, as it was cheaper and could be turned off when the stove was not being used. Whether it was the price or its celebrity endorsement, gas stoves have been praised for their ability to evenly cook food and heat up quickly, making them a favourite among cooking enthusiasts with no competition until recently.
Pros: The biggest allure of a gas stove is its ability to heat quickly and evenly, an essential if you do a lot of cooking. The second you turn on your stove, you can visually see the flame. There’s no standing around waiting for it to heat up or wonder if it’s working. Because of this open flame, the heat is easy to control, you’re able to get the element very hot and then turn it off right after. The versatility of the open flame allows chefs to flambé, a technique that is impossible with a coil top or glass top stove. With its versatility and performance, the gas stove is always the first choice for professional and at-home chefs. Another advantage of gas is the cost of operating. If your home is already hooked up to natural gas, there are no installation or set up costs. Your energy and operating costs will also be lower. Another benefit of gas over electric is that you’ll still be able to cook should your power go out.
Cons: If you do not have a gas line already installed in your home you will need one which can be quite expensive depending on your home and area. This makes the most immediate drawback to using a gas stove its purchase price. Safety is another big drawback for gas stoves. If you’re inexperienced in the kitchen or with using an open flame, or if you have small children, gas may not be the right choice for you as the gas itself can also be an issue. careful that the pilot light is lit at all times and that the burner ignites immediately. If not, the stove will still release gas into the air. Always be sure the flame ignites, as there will still be gas leaking into the air which is very dangerous. Gas stoves require a hood which is another additional cost and may require venting changes to your home upon installation.
While a gas stove is cheaper to operate if you already have all the components, installing one from scratch will always require additional parts and costs. If you plan on doing a fair amount of impressive cooking, then the investment is worth it in the long run.
Cost: $600-$5000 (based on department store prices across Canada).
Induction – For The Aspiring Chef Who Doesn’t Like Fire
Gaining popularity recently is the induction stove top. Similar to an electric glass stove top, the induction stove top uses electromagnetic induction instead of radiant heat used in traditional coil stovetops. People are moving towards this as it has the safety and health benefits of an electric stove, but still gives many of the same great cooking benefits chefs and foodies alike value in gas stoves.
Induction stoves typically start at a higher price point and also run on electricity which can be expensive depending on your province. If the benefits of being able to cook almost as well as a gas stove without the health and safety concerns outweigh the cost, then consider putting an induction stove in your new kitchen.