The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gas or electric convection for new home oven???

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Skibum's picture
Skibum

Gas or electric convection for new home oven???

Hi Folks, my old 24" Sears electric is starting to die and I am looking for a new kitchen range with a gas cooktop.  I love cooking on gas!

A good friend of mine who is an excellent cook has a gas cook top and electric convection range that he loves -- would give up the gas cooktop to keep the convection oven!  Although he has hated gas home ovens in the past, he allowed that a gas convection oven may help make for some of the deficiencys he saw in standard gas.

My question to the board is, can I get good steam and great bake results from a gas convection oven or would you recommend dual fuel, gas cooktop and electric convection range.  I am pushing 59 and this is the last major cooking appliance I am likely to buy and am interested in opinions on bakers/ cooks using newer gas or dual fuel appliances.

TIA, Brian

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

I have a dual fuel range with gas cooktop and 2 electric ovens.  The larger one is convection and the smaller one is conventional.  My wife and I both prefer gas burners over electric burners for the degree of control that they give.  We also both prefer electric ovens because (in our experience) they seem to give more even heat.  Plus, electric ovens vent less than gas ovens, which makes steaming somewhat easier.  We only make occasional use of the convection feature.    We have been very pleased with this stove over the past 6 years or so.

Paul

gutschke's picture
gutschke

I have cooked on a variety of different stoves, and nothing beats the Bluestar gas stove that we currently have. The extra BTUs make a huge difference when cooking. I occasionally have to go back to cooking with a Viking gas stove or even a basic electric stove when visiting family, and it's incredibly frustrating to do so.

The Bluestar was expensive, but in hindsight it was some of the most well-spent money to improve our kitchen.

Having said that, I find ovens to make a lot less of a difference. I have more experience with gas ovens (both with and without convection), but I do occasionally bake in electric ovens. I can make do with almost any combination. Every oven is a little different and requires a little bit of a learning experience (and possibly some adjustments), but in the end they all work OK.

The Bluestar oven is nice, as it is incredibly stable in temperature; that makes baking bread more reliable. It's also great as the 30" oven fits a full cookie sheet (or two half sheets). But as long as I have a $10 oven thermometer, I can adjust for imperfections in (almost) any oven. The only problem would be with really cheap ovens that fluctuate a lot in temperature.

Convection is occasionally nice to have, and I would probably try to get it, if I have a choice. But for years I used to bake in a super-cheap old gas oven, and results were just fine. I did learn though that I had to carefully place an assortment of cookie sheets onto the bottom shelf to make sure heat distribution was even. It took a few tries to get this right.

And to this day, that's my fall back strategy any time I have to work with a less-than-perfect oven. It works pretty well.

Other than that, getting a decent baking stone (e.g. fibrament) can make quite a difference. Even in a good oven, having a baking stone never hurts.

colinm's picture
colinm

Have you thought about an electric stove with an induction top? We used to prefer gas but now we love induction. It is very fast, very controllable, and very easy to clean. However, you may not be able to use your current cookware if it is not magnetic. 

Colin

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I cooked on electric cooktops for over 40 yrs...including some childhood years 'lol'.   I have used gas cooktops now for about 18 and love it.  I also love my electric convection double wall ovens. One oven is larger and doesn't have convection.   I prefer them to gas ovens..I've used gas ovens too...I love them but not for bread baking.  If I ever have to replace my ovens..they will be electric - convection.  I can turn my convection off or on..some ovens I understand don't do this.

Sylvia

Skibum's picture
Skibum

In the end, I decided to go gas cooktop and electric convection oven.  It has been 15 years since I had a gos cooktop and I am loving it.On my first experiment with convection baking, my soft dinner rolls baked up beautifully in 25 minutes @ 350F convection bake vs 40 minutes bake in the old oven!