A few months ago, I moved into a charming south Austin house with my boyfriend and my dog. When searching for a place to live, our criteria was pretty simple- it needed to be cheap and have a fenced backyard for my puppy, and the rest was pretty negotiable. So when we looked at our prospective house, the fact that everything was electric seemed trivial, especially since the unit wasn’t 20 years old like in my old place. Hello, more affordable utility bills!
As is turns out, I was saying hello to more affordable utility bills, but also limited control over my cooking. The first few weeks of living in my new house entailed many a failed meal. One of my favorite breakfasts, fried eggs on toast, was near impossible to accomplish with the old electric stove’s crooked burners (and it took twice as long.) When it came to reducing the heat on steel-cut oats after bringing the water to a boil, I discovered one of the biggest differences in gas vs. electric cooking: a gas range allows you to lower heat instantly, while an electric range takes a few minutes to cool down.
After eating a few batches of not-quite-the-right-texture oats and scrubbing the boiled-over oat gunk off my stovetop, I googled “how to cook steel cut oats with an electric stove” and now finally have the hang of it. I love the internet. Tip: lift the pot off the burner after you add the oats, then put it back on the burner once it has cooled. Ridiculously inconvenient, but such is the nature of the electric cooktop.
It took weeks of cursing over burnt sauces and my inability to evenly cook anything until I wondered if others shared the same sentiments I did about electric cooking. There has to be some truth to gas cooking’s supposed superiority, after all, every professional kitchen I’ve ever worked in has had a gas stovetop. As it turns out, both methods of cooking have unique advantages.
I’m sure I might enjoy cooking on a higher-quality electric range (in fact, I’d probably enjoy cooking over a fire more than the ancient electric in my kitchen) but I’d like to believe if you’re a good enough cook the materials you have should have no effect on your finished product. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself to avoid justifying the purchase of this sassy red KitchenAid stand mixer. Stay tuned for more experiments as this gas stove lovin’ girl dives into the world of cooking, electric stove be damned!