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Electric Stove or Gas


Franci
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When I lived in SF, 10 years ago,the majority of the stoves were electric and since then, besides some short periods, I've been cursed with the electric stove plague.

Now we are thinking of relocating to SD. How is the situation there? Condos have electric stoves and houses gas?

Thank you

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... I've been cursed with the electric stove plague.

...

While you are in Monaco/France, you really should try and take the opportunity of having a go with induction, and maybe talking with a user or two -- its much more commonly found in France than the US, I believe.

There are various induction threads here, but your present location should offer more (or easier) scope for some 'hands-on' personal experience before what can be a significant purchase.

I actually think that an electric induction hob is pretty good to live and work with.

Absence of the prospect of a gas supply should no longer be an automatic deal-breaker in choice of dwelling.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I know I am becoming annoyingly repetitive and evangelistic but this is my "conversion" from a crappy electric range to a great induction range :laugh: . I have removed all the electric coils so there is no chance of accidently turning on the heat under the induction hobs. The downside to my arrangement is that if I want to use the oven I have to move the hobs off to the side but they remain perfectly useable.

Electric range conversion.jpg

One day I will replace the cheap but perfectly adequate Salton hob with a matching Eurodib hob (or perhaps I will explore the dual-hob Eurodib). And when my ship comes in I will buy a full induction range. I simply could never go back to those damn coils. I also have a small table-top butane stove if I need an extra cooking surface or need to char something.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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While you are in Monaco/France, you really should try and take the opportunity of having a go with induction, and maybe talking with a user or two -- its much more commonly found in France than the US, I believe.

There are various induction threads here, but your present location should offer more (or easier) scope for some 'hands-on' personal experience before what can be a significant purchase.

Thank you, Dougal. That's was I was planning to do, before the possibility of a imminent relocation came out. Now, if we move and we like it, I'm sure we would rent for some time and eventually buy. So, that's why I asked the question. If I don't have other choice I would definitely buy induction, but I'd prefer a mix gas and induction :rolleyes:

Anna, your system is ingenious! I'll consider it. Too bad that the voltage is different, otherwise I'll copy your idea and buy something like that right now.

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Its no accident that most all restaurant kitchens use gas hobs.

Heat intensity, control and you can use any cooking utensils you like.

Its only if you've been stuck with old fashioned electric rings that you will think induction is wonderful.

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Its no accident that most all restaurant kitchens use gas hobs.

Heat intensity, control and you can use any cooking utensils you like.

Its only if you've been stuck with old fashioned electric rings that you will think induction is wonderful.

But don't forget the other advantages of induction esp. in the home kitchen:

The easiest of all to clean.

Pan handles don't get hot.

Kitchen stays cool.

Pots don't get dirty.

I am not in the least prejudiced! :laugh:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Its no accident that most all restaurant kitchens use gas hobs.

Heat intensity, control and you can use any cooking utensils you like.

More or less true (and also true for a good electric), but those are not the reasons restaurants use gas. They use it because when you run ranges 12 to 14 hours a day, the difference in price between gas and electric becomes substantial.

ETA: I've been using a Miele induction top when teaching classes for the last few months. I don't find it a very impressive performer, though I admit that everything Anna says is correct.

Edited by Dave the Cook (log)

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It really depends on the age of the apartment, condo or house. There was a brief period where "all electric" was the fad. I have never encountered an electric range or oven in any of my apartments or homes in Southern California. Hope that eases your mind. Induction fascinates me, but we shall see..

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.... I have never encountered an electric range or oven in any of my apartments or homes in Southern California. Hope that eases your mind. Induction fascinates me, but we shall see..

This is my experience as well though I now have an electric wall oven. I had some great older gas stoves in rental apts. Some of the newer low end stoves have lower power burners and I found them disappointing. I'll add that the idea of a gas dryer was most alarming to me at first, but gas has generally been less expensive than electricity in this area so you'll probably find it in rentals.

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I live in San Diego. New and newer construction is more likely to have gas, it's not that uncommon here. Condos are going to be more likely to be gas than apartments. Some of the bigger apartment complexes catering to young professionals are going to have gas.

At the risk of incurring the ire of eGullet, you're probably going to get more help on San Diego specific questions on Chowhound. There is a San Diego board that is very, very active. Unfortunately, the CA board here on eGullet tends to go in spurts and the information specific to SD is pretty sparse. I have to say the people are nicer on this board, but you'll get more answers to your San Diego specfic questions here at this link

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  • 2 weeks later...

It really depends. If it's an apt. electric connections are cheaper than gas. I hate electric ranges but in my younger days, managed to make do. For people who don't cook or don't have a preference it will more than likeley be electric.

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  • 5 years later...

I think the real comparison is with gas. Gas is inefficient but gives great control and a great cooking experience. Induction gives similar control with greater efficiency.

 

I'd be bummed to cook on a standard electric range even if it were magical and used no energy at all.

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Notes from the underbelly

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Gas is inefficient but gives great control and a great cooking experience. Induction gives similar control with greater efficiency.

Gas appears to be substantially more inefficient because most measures fail to take into account the large inefficiencies inherent in generating electricity from fossil fuels.  If an electric appliance was "100 percent efficient", it would still leave about 40% behind in generating inefficiency.  Gas has hidden costs as well, but energy lost before it arrives at your hob is not one of them.

 

Then there're the costs (and environmental burdens) of switching to induction.  By analogy, you can drive your old 25mpg car a lot cheaper and more environmentally responsibly for a LONG time before the balance tips in favor of a new hybrid car.

Edited by boilsover (log)
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Gas appears to be substantially more inefficient because most measures fail to take into account the large inefficiencies inherent in generating electricity from fossil fuels. 

 

Some pretty significant parts of the world generate electricity via hydro-electric. It's not all coal-burning plants. 

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So he doesn't like induction, and needs to pop its bubble.  Good luck with that, but you're sorta kicking it while it is already down.  What market share does it have anyway that incites such a desire to knock it down a few notches?  You'd prefer to just ban it and never have to worry about the scourge of induction again?

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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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You'd prefer to just ban it and never have to worry about the scourge of induction again?

Nah, to each his own (preference, not facts).  I'm just tired of folks blowing smoke up my dress about how much more efficient induction is.  I have one of the 110v hotplates.

 

It has some advantages in terms of (repeatable) control and convenience, but I find the mode to be soulless.

Edited by boilsover (log)
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Indeed soulless, not given to whims or flights of fancy.

I have a gas cooktop, which I found a struggle to use, control and clean-up were my main difficulties. I purchased a 110 volt induction burner and those problems disappeared, but no oomph in the heat department. I then added a 220 volt burner and now I found what I wanted. I have since removed the grates and burners from my gas cooktop (and turned off the gas), placed a large phenolic cutting board over it and have my two induction burners on it. Granted I only have two burners instead of the four I had with gas, but I found this was the right choice for ME.

p

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So he doesn't like induction, and needs to pop its bubble.  Good luck with that, but you're sorta kicking it while it is already down.  What market share does it have anyway that incites such a desire to knock it down a few notches?

 

Over here in Austria, electric ranges are the norm (except in Vienna where a significant number of people still have gas lines in there homes). While I haven't been able to find able to find current numbers, 44 percent of glass-top electric ranges sold in 2013 where of the induction type. Now that is a qualified number, but I assure you that no-one in there right mind installs the old cast-iron electric ranges in a new kitchen, so we are still talking about a total marketshare of over 30 percent (and rising).

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Indeed soulless, not given to whims or flights of fancy.

I have a gas cooktop, which I found a struggle to use, control and clean-up were my main difficulties. I purchased a 110 volt induction burner and those problems disappeared, but no oomph in the heat department. I then added a 220 volt burner and now I found what I wanted. I have since removed the grates and burners from my gas cooktop (and turned off the gas), placed a large phenolic cutting board over it and have my two induction burners on it. Granted I only have two burners instead of the four I had with gas, but I found this was the right choice for ME.

p

Same here  i upped it to a 220v model and it's night and day. I don't know what the table above is calculating but after using a professional induction burner you'll not want to use anything else. 

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Indeed soulless, not given to whims or flights of fancy.

I have a gas cooktop, which I found a struggle to use, control and clean-up were my main difficulties. I purchased a 110 volt induction burner and those problems disappeared, but no oomph in the heat department. I then added a 220 volt burner and now I found what I wanted. I have since removed the grates and burners from my gas cooktop (and turned off the gas), placed a large phenolic cutting board over it and have my two induction burners on it. Granted I only have two burners instead of the four I had with gas, but I found this was the right choice for ME.

p

Glad you found what you like. 

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "control".  Gas control valves are usually infinitely adjustable.  Induction controls, even the knobbed ones that feel like they're infinite, are not.  The good units have up to 100 discrete positions, but these are rare in the home market.  Some have fewer than 10.  If you're talking about ease in repeating the same setting (e.g., precisely 27/100), then you have a point, but looking at the flame suffices for most things and cooks.  Thank God preps and recipes aren't written for specific numerical settings on specific induction hobs.

 

What I meant by "soulless" is that I find induction (I've cooked on 220V units, too) removes me further from the cooking.  I am more and more enjoyably involved if I can see and feel and hear the flame and don't have to rely on and be distracted by digital electronic sensors, detectors and displays.  IMO, operating a hob should not require reading glasses and an online manual.

 

But hey, I prefer watches with hands and tube amplifiers, too...  To each his own.

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Gas appears to be substantially more inefficient because most measures fail to take into account the large inefficiencies inherent in generating electricity from fossil fuels.  If an electric appliance was "100 percent efficient", it would still leave about 40% behind in generating inefficiency.  Gas has hidden costs as well, but energy lost before it arrives at your hob is not one of them.

 

This kind of analysis is so situation-specific that it's beyond the bounds of any general discussion. Electricity is generated many different ways; gas is extracted many different ways. Every type of production, and really, every individual well and power station and mine and wind farm is going to have a different energy cost per unit energy extracted. And then what about the energy cost of building the facility? Amortized over what life span? What about the energy cost of energy delivery? Of fuel delivery to the energy plant? It goes on and on.

 

At this point we'd remiss to not discuss the energy cost of food production, which in many cases is higher per kCal than for gasoline. Which is to say, riding a bike to work after eating a Kobe steak may be worse for the planet than driving your grandpa's Cadillac. 

 

But none of this is really relevant to which stove is more efficient.

Notes from the underbelly

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But none of this is really relevant to which stove is more efficient.

Sure it is. At least in a macro sense. You've made good points, but it's not so complicated as to be useless.

Other than odorants, the gas that's burned by my hobs is the same as that is burnt to generate electricity. We have good general information that electrical generation from gas is a low-efficiency endeavor. And--at least for established gas infrastructure--we know what the average transmission losses are for both gas and electricity. And with the exception of speculation spikes in utility rates, we generally know what the electricity and gas cost in our cities or regions. So the cooking efficiency of gas delivered to my hob is comensurable to the cooking efficiency of electricity which is generated from gas. Your hob and region and rates may be different, but not by much.

The big fly in the ointment here is the truth that cooking is not a big segment of energy usage at all (compare with heating and AC), so a 10% edge for one cooking mode over another isn't a big deal in the overall scheme of things, where cooking accounts for only 2.8% of the average American household's energy costs. So even if induction was 10% more efficient than coil (which it's apparently not), the savings and conservation realized is a small number.

If you want to drill down into a localized comparison for where you live, here's a nifty little calculator:

http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/cooking.html

Edited by Smithy
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  • 3 weeks later...

Funny, the link you posted seems to me to support my argument more than yours. 

 

I was attempting to show you how "situation-specific" is not "beyond the bounds of any general discussion."  If you use the calculator, I'm not aware of any areas in the country with both gas and electric available where you can't do a direct comparison between the two.  All you need is the utility rates.

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