🔕 🔔

My Basket ()

All questions

We're moving, and our new stove is electric coil. I've only cooked with gas. Any tips?

So we are moving in a little over two weeks, and our new place is awesome... except that it has an electric stove. I'm suffering some real anxiety about transitioning away from a gas stove, which is all I've ever cooked on (except that one time at a vacation rental where I set a pan on fire on electric). Can I still use our cast iron, our Le Creuset, etc.? What about a canning pot? Please tell me everything is gonna be all right.

asked by lastnightsdinner almost 2 years ago
12 answers 844 views
730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

Everything will be fine. I've almost always cooked with electric at home and gas in professional kitchens and my mom's house. You will get the hang of it. To cool things down if the heat gets too intense, just pick the pan or pot up or slide it over. Turn off the burner early and take advantage of the residual heat. Remember it takes a moment for the coil, therefore the pan, to heat up, but don't walk away until you really get accustomed to it. Absolutely no cookware restrictions. I don't can, but I see plenty of people who do and use electric.

88afa98e fd9c 4e61 af72 03658638b6cb  eight ball 600px
added almost 2 years ago

The main difference is the electric stove's slow responsiveness in temperature control change. They take longer to heat up and retain heat for a bit after you turn off the range. They also lose less heat to the room, which can be a good thing in the summer, bad thing in the winter for some people.

Also, sometimes it is harder to tell if a given coil element is on, so be careful. You don't have a visual cue like a blue gas flame.

A better option in the future is an induction stovetop. These are popular in Europe, even professional kitchens have been using these for a while.

Over the years I've bounced around from places with gas and electric stoves. My current stove is a glass-topped electric range which also works okay. Most normal pans will work just fine on an electric coil stove (remember, they've been deployed in household kitchens for well over fifty years). Only a handful of pans don't work very well, like a round bottom wok.

Enjoy your new home!

88afa98e fd9c 4e61 af72 03658638b6cb  eight ball 600px
added almost 2 years ago

The other thing that will take some time getting used to understanding your new electric range's relative temperature and performance.

On a gas range, you can simply look at the flame and say, "that's really low, that's about medium, or that's pretty high." Heck, when I had a gas range, I didn't even bother to look at the dial, I'd just grab the dial in one hand and look at the flame as I adjusted it to my liking.

With electric coil and induction ranges, you have to look at the dial to figure out the temperature setting, so it's more like setting your oven's temperature.

I've been at my place for years, so now I know what 2.5 or 5 or 6.5 is but when I first moved in, I had spend some time to learn what "5" meant.

For certain things, you may need to make adjustments, like browning or searing things. If the pan is too cool, then you'll end up boiling the thing (like a steak) rather than getting a nice sear, so you may need to take the item out of the pan while you turn up the heat and wait for it to reach its new -- hopefully correct -- level.

Again, people have been making delicious meals on electric ranges for decades, it just takes getting use to some of the idiosyncrasies of the technology.

4caa0af8 566e 43ab 992b 57e8725a8b1a  joey
added almost 2 years ago

I'm in the exact same predicament! We moved to a new house two weeks ago, and after using gas for years, am now trying to adjust to a rather finicky electric stove.

I learned the other day that turning around to grab something will inevitably result in burning whatever you're cooking, so, as cv said below, keep in mind that it's not as responsive as gas. It takes a while to get used to (which I haven't yet).

Your other option might be to replace it with an induction stove (something I am definitely leaning towards). They cook by magnetic induction, so your stove top will look similar to a glass top electric model, but heats up and cools down almost as instantaneously as gas with a similar level of precision control that you're used to with your current stove. The downside is that your cookware has to be magnetic, so cast iron pans are okay, as are several kinds of stainless steel. Unfortunately, you'd have to replace aluminum, copper, nonstick, anything not magnetic, etc. or get some kind of conducive surface to put underneath them.

Several induction models in the $1,000-3,000 range are out there, so it's not the cheapest of options, but it is much more energy efficient than a standard electric stove. It might be something to think about as a longer term investment if you decide you want to upgrade/redo any elements in your kitchen.

Congrats on the new home! :)

Here's a link to one example:

E2952311 77c5 4e31 b4e8 d247743bf5cd  fb avatar
added almost 2 years ago

I went through the same thing when we moved to Costa Rica. I use my cast iron pan that I love. It's funny, but at age 62 I realize, you can for sure get used to anything if you try. I bet you will make some awesome meals on that electric stove. Have fun. Deby cookinginthejungle.com

34b35e7d 9f0b 412e bbb2 00e0498f86d5  2016 10 06 19 40 38
added almost 2 years ago

Thanks for all of the tips, everyone! Replacing the stove is not an option, since we're renting, so I'll just have to work with it and see what happens!

E4b7660b f3f6 4873 bd6d 2130a16403fb  img 1088

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

This is the first house I've lived in that has gas, so I've cooked with electric all my life. What everyone says is true, and I'm sure you'll be fine; you'll just have to pay attention a little more. The good thing, though, will be baking. In my experience, an electric oven holds a consistent temperature much better than a gas oven. So I predict more breads, cookies and cakes in your future! All the best with your move.

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

One thing you can not do is cook with a round bottom wok.
Most Asian stores or Amazon will sell a portable gas burner powered by small LP canisters. (standard spray can size).

I use it all the time for the Wok and other things where you need precise control. Also it's a must to have in your home for power outages.
Also...it great for table top cooking like ShabuShabu, Pho, or Koren BBQ.

88afa98e fd9c 4e61 af72 03658638b6cb  eight ball 600px
added almost 2 years ago

Cassette-Feu is one brand, these are very popular in Asia. And yes, they are useful during power outages (I don't have many in my neck of the woods).

As Sam1148 says they are very handy in tabletop cooking. Yudofu and sukiyaki are two other Japanese preparations that work well on a Cassette-Feu.

You can also do fondue on a Cassette-Feu with normal cookware rather than buy a specialized electric fondue pot.

If you enjoy tabletop cooking, the portable LP burner is the way to go rather than buying a bunch of single-task appliances.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added almost 2 years ago

I use both a gas and electric (glass top) stove. I much prefer the gas stove but can live with the electric. One tip: if you are trying to cook rice, heat the water on high to boiling on one burner, add the rice, then move the pan to another burner which you have heated only to a very low temperature.

516f887e 3787 460a bf21 d20ef4195109  bigpan
added almost 2 years ago

Consider spending a few bucks and switch to inductive ! Same dimensions mean no hassle.

E36e7e66 e7bc 45b1 ba27 5eb3e1ccf458  classic italian cooking class photos may 2015
added almost 2 years ago

One thing I learned when using a gas stove, is to read your recipe all the way through before starting. When it calls for you to lower the heat, make sure you have a burner going on "low" before you start so you can immediately move the pan over to that burner when the time comes. Because it takes a while for an electric burner to go from "high" or even "medium" to "low" this will save you many a ruined recipe. I learned this the hard way. The same goes for the reverse.

Let's Keep in Touch!

Get the recipes and features that have us talking, plus first dibs on events and limited-batch products.

(Oh, and $10 off your order of $50 or more in the Food52 Shop, too.)

Please enter a valid email address.