Range buying guide: Electric vs gas stoves and everything you need to know

Replacing the range is always a daunting task. There’s so many features and options to choose from and as this appliance is such an integral part of the kitchen, it’s essential that we find the best gas range or best electric range we can.

But, this search leaves so many questions, like which fuel type should you choose and what specs do you need to look out for? That’s why we’ve pulled together a comprehensive guide to list the pros and cons for every option.  

Quick tips for buying a range

  • Pick the right size. First, you should measure your space to determine what size of range you can accommodate. Do you want a single or double oven? While most are a standard size, the width can vary by a couple of inches so it’s essential that you check this. 
  • What type do you want? There’s three types of ranges to choose from: freestanding, slide-in and built-in. Freestanding ranges come with a backsplash and are finished on the sides, so they can sit just about anywhere. Slide-in models slide into place between kitchen cabinets, giving a seamless appearance and come with a built-in bottom drawer. Built-in models are rare nowadays; they sit between the cabinets, but don’t come with the bottom drawer.
  • Check if you have an available gas line. If you do, then you can install a gas range, but if you don’t and you want to convert to gas, then you will need to hire an electrician to run a gas line to the appliance. If you’re interested in converting from gas to electric, you will need to hire an electrician to cap the gas line and run a larger electrical wire to the range. Converting can be costly.
  • Consider your budget. Ranges can cost anywhere from $400 to over $10,000, so you need to think about which features you want and how much you’re willing to pay for them.     
  • Do you need an app? Some of the more premium designs can connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. This means you can preheat and control the range handsfree using a smart device or voice control. Some can also connect with recipe apps to preset the cooking time and temperature.   
  • Consider how many compartments and burners you need. Depending on how many people you’re cooking for, you may want more than one oven. More than one cooking space also means you can run two different settings simultaneously. This is worth considering before you invest as some models come with two ovens, while some can divide the single oven to offer more than one cooking space.  

 The pros and cons of an electric range

Electric range

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

An electric stove’s cooktop is quick to heat up and easy to clean, as it’s a flat surface. However, it remains hot for some time after you switch it off, which isn’t great if you have young children or pets. It’s also much more difficult to control than a gas stove as it’s not as responsive — so you may need to remove a pan from the burner if it starts to boil over as it’s so slow to react.