Electric Stove Cooking Conundrum

I am moving into a new house, and it has an electric stove, which I have absolutely no experience with!

Any tips, tricks, warnings, and/or recipes that anyone could offer would be -greatly- appreciated!

  • Posted by: Jr0717
  • July 7, 2016


dinner A. July 13, 2016
Just want to add that all electric stoves are not the same! Depending on what stove is already in the house, you might be able to get a better-performing (but still electric) stove. My parents have a relatively high-end glass topped electric stove that is a big improvement over the standard protruding-coil type of electric stove. It applies heat very evenly, and I think has at least as much power as a non-restaurant style gas stove. It also heats very fast, although it cools down more slowly than turning off a flame of course. The biggest drawback in my opinion is that you have to clean up spills quickly, before they bake on to the glass.
creamtea July 12, 2016
We were looking at some old Julia Child videos last night, and guess what she used in her original series? An electric stove!

Oftentimes in our travels, I bring along a portable electric-coil burner to cook our meals (at home I have gas). I would agree with others, just beware that the coils stay hot, and turning down the temperature takes longer than with a gas stove. But it is doable, and once you get accustomed to it, you'll be fine!
Dina July 11, 2016
I rent an apartment with an electric stove, and have used quite a few different ones over the years, and the biggest problems I have are that 1. the burners are frequently tilted, so you end up with a puddle of oil (or sauce, or whatever) on one side of your pan while the other is dry, and 2. the burners will stop heating up evenly, so one side of your pan will be nice and hot and the other half barely sizzles. I fix it by turning my pans every so often, or else switching the position of the food so all pieces cook evenly.
Jr0717 July 10, 2016
It appears that I'll wind up figuring it out via trial and error, and only lightheartedly meant to joke about the grill, not suggest that I would rather not learn how to cook on a new type of stove.

I again greatly appreciate everyone's feedback and will continue to refer back once I get settled in the new house and start cooking meals.

Many thanks to all.
BakerRB July 9, 2016
I grew up with electric, had apts with gas, went back to an apt with electric, and now a house with gas. My parents have electric so I use it occasionally still. As many have said, you'll have an (annoying) adjustment period figuring it out, but it'll work out fine. In the many ranges I've used there's been no consistency whether gas is hotter or more even than electric, so it will totally depend on your specific past and future ranges. My best generalization would be that electric burners will likely have (or at least seem to have when you're annoyed at it) more local hot spots. Two specifics: 1) I'll echo get an oven thermometer - essential unless you're really lucky to get a well calibrated oven. 2) On a gas burner 'remove from heat' can usually be accomplished by turning off the flame and leaving the pan where it is---on electric you must remove the pan right away and remember the burner is still hot for quite a while (have a small pan of water to put on it as a reminder, especially if you're not alone in the kitchen).
klrcon July 9, 2016
I've cooked on both gas and electric and I have to say that any new stove requires an adjustment period but that once you figure out the quirks, you can cook equally well on either. Given a choice I'd always take gas over electric because I think it gives you more control. But I make my electric work by moving pans on and off the burner and sometimes by using two burners - one set to high for searing and another at a lower temperature for simmering. You'll figure out a system that works for you. Good luck!
SKK July 8, 2016
Purchase an oven thermometer. When you are baking or roasting, you need an exact temp. and my experience with electric ovens is the temp. given by controls do not always correlate with actual temp. in oven.
paseo July 8, 2016
You say there is no gas hookup where you live - can you not get a propane tank? We have no natural gas where I am in Maine but we can get propane for gas appliances if we want.
HalfPint July 9, 2016
That's what my parents did. My dad found a portable propane cooking stove at a junk yard. We set it up ion the back porch. My mother used it for 40 years and loved it.
Bascula July 8, 2016
I grew up using a gas stove, but for the past 30 years have used electric. I cook and bake a lot for my family. You will get used to it, just USE it! The main thing to remember is that it will stay hot after you turn it off. Often when I turn off a burner I will then put the teapot on it (which always has some water in) so that by accident I don't set anything on that still-hot burner.
Jr0717 July 7, 2016
Thank you everyone for the feedback.

I will take everything contributed into consideration when attempting to learn how to manage and feed my family! We've been joking that we'll just invest in a nice grill and call it good!
702551 July 7, 2016
Ultimately you would be better off learning how to use an electric range because chances are you will use one again sometime in your life, even if you move away from your new house with its electric stove.

Just a thought.
Susan W. July 8, 2016
I agree with CV. Being comfortable cooking under different circumstances and using different methods whether it's gas, wood fire or electric is a skill worth having.
702551 July 8, 2016
And investing in a nice grill isn't the solution for your problems.

I own both gas-powered and standard grills. Gas is pretty straightforward, wood-fired grills aren't. Their temperature varies over time and when/if new fuel is added.

As I mentioned earlier, you are best getting experience with various tools and figuring out how to use them to your best advantage vis-a-vis whatever you are trying to cook.

Learn to cook with the tools at hand, worry less about what their names are.

In the end, the people sitting at your dinner table aren't going to care if you cooked on a gas or electric stove. They just want the food to taste good.
pierino July 8, 2016
Funny, but I am just the opposite of CV on gas v. wood fire. I have trouble keeping full control over gas vents on grills. They seem want to set fire to things that shouldn't be on fire like your grease trap or the meat itself. I prefer the steady, slow drip of fat into hot coals which deliver flavorful smoke up and over your cooking... but I won't say one style is "better" than the other.
MMH July 7, 2016
I would NEVER EVER use an electric stove if I had the choice but I own my home so I can choose.
Jr0717 July 7, 2016
Unfortunately, where the home is located, there is no gas supply, or I would have ripped the stove out before anything else and had a gas connection set up! I would far prefer being comfortable and cooking on what I know!
Chocolate B. July 7, 2016
I have a Wolf induction range (electric) and it outperforms my Viking gas stove by an order of magnitude. It heats faster, makes almost instantaneous adjustments from, for example, boil to simmer. Only disadvantage, and it is the only one, is that induction cooktops require magnetic cookware (Le Creuset or All-Clad stainless both perform well).
irina July 7, 2016
I disagree with both answers. It is totally different.
I grew up with gas and getting used to electric was very difficult.
It doesn't get as hot and when it does, it's difficult to sear because you cannot adjust the flame as with a gas stove.
I also have to use an electric grill now. So difficult. By the time I grill the corn, it's dried out. And I soak it for an hour.
Burgers stick even on oiled surface.
Sauteing confit on an electric grill was also work.
It's not my favorite.
I'm sure I will get a lot of brush back on this.
Good luck and have patience.
pierino July 7, 2016
The biggest problem with electric burners is that the heat is not constant as it is with a gas flame. When I moved into my new home five years ago the first thing I did was to get rid of the electric oven and cook top as there was already a gas hook up-----the previous owners had been furnishing it on the cheap side.
Induction is superior to electric burners because heat applied is steady.
Susan W. July 7, 2016
I don't think there are any specific electric stove recipes. I have had both and use gas when I visit my mom in San Diego. The only difference is electric is slower to heat up and cool down. You'll develop a rythm as you get used to it. I often turn the burner off a minute or two early or move the pan off and back on the burner. It really depends on what you're cooking. I actually have no preference over either one.
702551 July 7, 2016
All stoves are different, you will need some time to learn what "2," "5" or "7" on your stove do since there's no gas flame that you can use as a visual cue.

Electric stoves take more time to heat up a pan, also more time to cool down.

Ultimately, an experienced cook should be able to cook successful on electric (coil or ceramic), gas or magnetic induction. In top restaurant kitchens, electric ranges are more commonly seen in Europe than the USA. Europe has also adopted magnetic induction ranges more quickly than the USA as well.

There's very little necessity to change recipes. I've cooked in a variety of places that have featured a wide variety of stove technology and performance.

Just realize that you will need some actual time and experience to learn how your new tool works.

Good luck.
Jr0717 July 7, 2016
Wow, thank you for the background! That's all very, very helpful and appreciated!
702551 July 7, 2016
I realize that there are doubters here and many have posted below.

I will reiterate that I have lived in many places (I am *OLD*) with both conventional electric and gas ranges. While I've had to adjust my cooking technique slightly for wherever I lived, I can honestly say that good results can be had either way.

I can only speak about my own experience living in a variety of places with stoves of different natures and performance levels.

My conclusion: you can get used to whatever you have and that many other people have (including professional cooks).
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