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Gas and Electric Stovetops and Ovens

The traditional stovetop and oven (either gas or electric) may be the cooking appliances you use the most. The type of stove and oven you have can affect how your food cooks when you use them.

  • Gas: Most serious cooks prefer gas cooktops because of the more precise heat control. You can turn a gas flame up and down quickly. You can adjust the flame in tiny increments, giving you more control than with an electric stove.

    Newer gas ranges shouldn’t smell of gas from flaming pilot lights. Newer models no longer have standing pilots. They ignite electronically; therefore, gas doesn’t flow through the system unless the range is turned on. If you do smell gas, you have a leak in your system. This situation is dangerous — call your gas company immediately.

  • Electric heat: Electric ranges became all the rage after World War II. They were considered clean, easy to use, and modern. The drawback to electric ranges is their slow response time. Reducing heat from high to low can take a minute; gas can do it in seconds. However, many professional chefs prefer electric ovens, especially for baking, because they’re very accurate and consistent.

Today’s gas and electric ovens generally hold and maintain oven temperature within a variance of about 5 degrees.

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