BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum

Posting requires Registration and the use of Cookies-enabled browser

  #1  
Old 03-26-2010, 07:50 PM
RocketMan's Avatar
RocketMan Male RocketMan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hocking Hills Ohio
Posts: 187
Default Electric or Gas for cooking?

Hey all, I'm looking for opinions. I can't decide whether to go with electric or propane for the stove/oven/cooking in the homestead. It is set up for propane/LP right now, and I'm leaning towards keeping it that way.
Here's what I'm thinking:
Gas - the good;
I can still cook when the power goes out.
The gas line is already run into the house.
The bad;
Propane is expensive.

Electric - the good;
I was offered a brand new electric stove (but it's black).
Wouldn't be using expensive propane.

The bad;
Would have to cook on the grill when the power goes out. Not really a bad thing unless it's still storming or cold.
Electricity is expensive. lol

Give me your opinions please! Thanks!

Chris
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-26-2010, 08:33 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 4,032
Default

Propane. I don't consider $1.80 a gallon for propane to be expensive and I refuse to be at the mercy of a public utility. I am off grid and propane makes the most sense for me. It takes me 12 to 14 months to go through 200 gallons using propane for cooking, heating water, and refrigerator/freezer.

Paul
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-26-2010, 08:45 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,174
Default

Propane!! No doubt about it from my standpoint.

Propane here this winter has been $1.79/gal under contract till the end of this month.

First, I prefer the response time of gas burners when them temp control is moved. Takes much longer for electric coil burners to heat up or cool down.

Maybe this should be first. I can cook when the power is out. Had enough of not being able to make a pot of hot coffee, in the kitchen, when we are hit with the effects of hurricanes and ice storms.

One note of caution..... be sure the stove you buy will allow you to manually light both the burners and the oven. When I bought mine, that was the first criterior. From what I understand they are getting harder to find and many are going to electronic ignition of the oven. While my stove as the electric ignitors, I can still use a kitchen match or a stick lighter to light everything.

If your budget will permit, and you have the space, I'd also recommend that you get a 6 burner. It makes a huge amount of difference when canning or cooking for a crowd to have those 2 extra burners. FWIW, I had good luck with when I bought a 36" Premier range. Gave up some other things in my kitchen remodel to get this stove. For example, I kept my old dishwasher.

But, regardless of what brand/size you get, go with gas. If there's any way possible, I'll never go back to electric again.

FWIW
Lee
__________________
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-26-2010, 09:00 PM
momma_to_seven_chi's Avatar
momma_to_seven_chi Female momma_to_seven_chi is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 3,650
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketMan View Post
Hey all, I'm looking for opinions.

Chris
gas
There is no comparison. You want the gas stove.
I agree that it's best to stay away from the glow-plug type starters. Our last stove had them, and I hated it. I got a new (less fancy) one from Menards last year that has pilots. The glow plug thingies go out in just a few months, and I just didn't like them at all.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-26-2010, 11:12 PM
DM DM is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,236
Default

Useing propane instead of electric, is tradeing one utility for another... Either way, you are depending on someone else, and at THEIR mercy for priceing...

No matter, my vote still goes to gas!

DM
__________________
Limit all politicians to two terms: One in office, one in prison. Illinois already does this!

Illegal immigration is ruining America, look what it has done to the White House.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-26-2010, 11:26 PM
sewserious Female sewserious is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 94
Default

Go for the gas! We have natural gas available in our little tiny neighborhood but not at our house. We want it someday when money will allow. I grew up with gas heat, water, and cooking and I especially miss cooking on a gas stove. In 32 years of married life, we have only lived in one place, that was for five years, that had gas. I still miss it and absolutely hate cooking on electric though I did learn how. There is definitely an art to it!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-26-2010, 11:31 PM
cinok Male cinok is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Eastern OK
Posts: 4,506
Default

Propane the only way to go. You can run a full size stove of a 20lb for at least a month and we cook at least 2 a day and use the oven many times a week. One thing one thing that saves propane is no standing pillot but the draw back is if the power is out you cant use the oven with out a backup source (a battery and cheap inverter work fine).
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-27-2010, 12:10 AM
RocketMan's Avatar
RocketMan Male RocketMan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hocking Hills Ohio
Posts: 187
Default

Thanks all. I didn't even think of some of the things you brought up, like electric stoves taking so long to heat up and hard to control. I was thinking I would use a lot more gas too. Paul, 12 to 14 months and only 200 gallons!? That sounds pretty good to me! I also thought it was a lot more expensive than 1.70 to 1.80 a gallon. I'll be sure to get a stove with pilots instead of electric start too. And hey, if this lady still wants to give me her new electric stove, I'm sure I can find some use for it.
Thanks guys! It sounds like I'll be cookin with gas!

Chris
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-27-2010, 07:27 PM
Bare Bare is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: California Red
Posts: 32
Default My vote is split

If I had my choices, I have a counter top gas to cook on and an electric range to bake with. There's nothing like cooking on gas or even wood for that matter. BUT, when it comes to baking a cake or pie, I'll use electric any day. It's even and regulated better and does a nice job. I have had and seen many disappointments with gas ovens.

If you can get natural gas, go for it. If propane is the best you can do, do that. We don't use the oven all that often so the electric isn't that much but we use the stove top and natural gas isn't that much. And like the other lady says, getting used to cooking on electric is an art. I've been told the best electric to cook on is the one with the ceramic top. It is messy, though, but a good cook knows how to clean.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-27-2010, 09:04 PM
DM DM is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,236
Default

One thing about most electric stoves though, they are easier to fix, and cost less for parts if you need them.

DM
__________________
Limit all politicians to two terms: One in office, one in prison. Illinois already does this!

Illegal immigration is ruining America, look what it has done to the White House.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-27-2010, 09:45 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,174
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DM View Post
One thing about most electric stoves though, they are easier to fix, and cost less for parts if you need them.

DM
OTOH, gas stoves don't have as many things that can go wrong with them. At least that's been my experience. My brother got my Mom's gas stove from me. It was made in 1966. As far as I know, it's still going strong and has never had a repair done to it.

The older style gas stoves, that is. The "modern" ones with fancy electronics may be just as problematic as today's auto's.

You're right about how easy it is to replace elements in either the oven or cooktop. I've had to do that a number of times over the years, before I switched to gas.

Lee
__________________
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-27-2010, 09:56 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,174
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bare View Post
If I had my choices, I have a counter top gas to cook on and an electric range to bake with. There's nothing like cooking on gas or even wood for that matter. BUT, when it comes to baking a cake or pie, I'll use electric any day. It's even and regulated better and does a nice job. I have had and seen many disappointments with gas ovens.

If you can get natural gas, go for it. If propane is the best you can do, do that. We don't use the oven all that often so the electric isn't that much but we use the stove top and natural gas isn't that much. And like the other lady says, getting used to cooking on electric is an art. I've been told the best electric to cook on is the one with the ceramic top. It is messy, though, but a good cook knows how to clean.
Change your split vote a bit and get the best of both worlds.

Put in a full size gas stove and then put in an electric wall oven. That's what I did when I remodeled my kitchen. Kept the electric wall oven, as it was still working fine. Also, you may be surprised at just how convenient having two ovens in the kitchen can be. Even for day to day cooking. And, especially when doing holiday cooking.

If budget is an issue, often Habit for Humanity has wall ovens for reasonable prices. Use the circuits that were originally intended for a regular electric range to power the wall oven. If you're lucky with placement you may not even need an extra junction box. There may be enough wiring to reach the oven location that all an electrician has to do is re-route the wire and add the appropriate plug.

FWIW, my sister has a ceramic top electric stove and hates it. She now wishes that she'd bought gas instead. (She uses natural gas for heat and hot water.) Hers is hard to keep clean. Easy to get burned, if you don't notice that the little red indicator light on the dash panel is on, after the burner has been turned off. She can't use some of her pans on it. Her's isn't recommended for canning.

Just 2-cents.
Lee
__________________
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-27-2010, 11:03 PM
sewserious Female sewserious is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 94
Default

Do NOT get a cermic cooktop if you want to be able to can. Not to mention, they are a PITA to keep clean. DH and I just went to Lowe's today and bought a replacement for ours that came with the house. The cooktop is a white smooth top, and I HATE it. It is hard to keep clean, and I can't can on it. I just purcashed the exact same cooktop with coil burners for $259 at Lowe's in stainless steel (white was cheaper at $291 but looked cheap and would be harder to keep clean). Well worth the money IMHO. I can sell the old one for $100 on the local for-sale list. Again. DO NOT get a ceramic/soomth top if you want to be able to can on it.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-28-2010, 09:35 AM
SPIKE Male SPIKE is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: west TN
Posts: 352
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by sewserious View Post
Do NOT get a cermic cooktop if you want to be able to can. Not to mention, they are a PITA to keep clean. DH and I just went to Lowe's today and bought a replacement for ours that came with the house. The cooktop is a white smooth top, and I HATE it. It is hard to keep clean, and I can't can on it. I just purcashed the exact same cooktop with coil burners for $259 at Lowe's in stainless steel (white was cheaper at $291 but looked cheap and would be harder to keep clean). Well worth the money IMHO. I can sell the old one for $100 on the local for-sale list. Again. DO NOT get a ceramic/soomth top if you want to be able to can on it.
I find the smooth top easier to clean and use it every year for canning.

I grew up with gas, but my lady grew up with elec. The main cook got to make the choice and I am usually on an outside project.

SPIKE
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-28-2010, 10:13 AM
Laura's Avatar
Laura Laura is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Zone 5
Posts: 2,320
Default

From my personal experience:

I have a brand name top of the line ceramic top electric oven.
It is a piece of crap.
It takes forever to heat up, forever to cool down and it is almost impossible to keep clean.
I do can on it, but I am sure I am gonna crack the thing in half one of these days!!
The oven has a 50 degree swing in temp, so you have to watch what you are baking, the whole time.

When I buy a new one it will be a 'propane cook top' and an electric oven / convection oven (prefer convection). I have heard the nightmares of baking with gas....

I will never ever buy 'that brand' again. When we bought this house almost 7 years ago, I bought "this brands" washer and dryer. The washer has broken 4 separate times. The dryer, is fine. The microwave whines and groans, and has for 5 years. The ice machine on the freezer has been replaced 4 times.......and the stove is pure fertilizer.

I will look at viking, kenmore, wolf, LG, anything but the 'other brand'.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-28-2010, 10:14 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,174
Default

From what I understand, it depends on the brand/type of smooth top as to what can and can't be done. My sister gave me her castiron cookware, after reading the manual that came with her stove. If memory serves, she said hers couldn't take the weight of a fully loaded pressure canner. If she cracked the top, using one, it would void her warranty.

BTW, her CI had smoke rings. I do remember her saying that she must use smooth bottom CI. And it seems there was some mention about the size of the CI in relation to the size of the burners. (Getting old, my memory isn't as sharp as it used to be. )

Lee
__________________
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-28-2010, 11:28 AM
DM DM is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,236
Default

I've cooked on both quite a bit... I grew up with gas, and used electric for the first time many years later as an adult. I've never used one of those closed top stoves, just the ones with exposed burners, and i find that the ones i've used, heated up VERY fast, and i learned to shut my food off a little early so it continued to cook as the burner cooled off.

The manual for my canner says to never use the canner on a closed top electric oven, as the total weight of a loaded canner could break the top.

My house has a propane stove in it, and it's never been a good one. The oven has been repaired twice, and it's never heated "right". My dad bought it new and my mom hated the thing, and so do i. If it was an electric stove, the repairs would have cost 1/4th of what it has cost to this point.

These days, many times i just bake in the oven of my wood stove, and it does a VERY nice job, they are well worth seeking out and buying.



They take very little wood to cook an entire meal, including bakeing your desert after...

I have a friend who bakes wedding cakes, she does a LOT of them every year, and she likes propane ovens. Her cakes are just about famous, so a propane oven that works "properly" must work very good for bakeing. I know the ones i've had in the past worked pretty good, even though one was expensive to fix when it decided not to work.

There's a reason why apartments use electric stoves, it's because they are cheaper for them to keep working... I know a guy who owns huge appt complexes, and that's exactly what he told me.

DM
__________________
Limit all politicians to two terms: One in office, one in prison. Illinois already does this!

Illegal immigration is ruining America, look what it has done to the White House.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-28-2010, 01:38 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 4,032
Default

I've used propane ovens for about 20 years. I've never had a problem with one. Brands and types may have a lot to do with that.

Paul
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-28-2010, 04:08 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,174
Default

DM, that's a nice looking wood stove. Congrats on being able to use it for baking.

I've never really understood the "controversy" over cooking with an electric oven vs a gas oven. Think it depends, for the most part on whether moist or dry heat is what's needed for what's being baked/roasted. I don't do a lot of fancy baking. Most of mine is simple stuff like biscuits and cornbread. Since I now have both in the kitchen, I use either one (depending on what else is going on) and really haven't noticed any difference.

One of the tricks I learned when seasoning castiron (dry heat is best) is after preheating the gas oven, to open the door for a few seconds to let the moisture/condensation escape. (If I load the CI into a cold oven.) Otherwise, it escapes while I'm loading the oven.

And, I think that Paul's right about the brands/types have a lot to do with repair issues with stoves. With todays march towards electronics in everything, one day I'm afraid that appliances will become like desktop computers. Just another thing to be tossed because of the complexity and expense of repair -- something that's "outdated" a week after it's purchased.

And, from a rental standpoint, I definitely understand. IMHO, it's easier to replace an abused coil than it is to replace a plugged orifice, broken thermostat lead, etc.

Just my 2-cents, FWIW.

Lee
__________________
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-28-2010, 05:59 PM
randallhilton's Avatar
randallhilton Male randallhilton is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Fort Worth TX
Posts: 1,443
Default

Take the electric stove and sell it. Use propane as a fuel source which doesn't depend upon the grid.

If you're able to do so, keep enough propane on hand to be able to last a minimum 6 months or more without a refill so that you can overcome glitches in the distribution system.
__________________

Use less, lose less, weigh the benefits, count the costs.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -2. The time now is 08:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1996 to Present. Backwoods Home Magazine, Inc.