Gas vs. Electric Stoves: Which Is Better?

Choosing the right stove is more complicated. Get the pros and cons of gas, electric, and induction.

A gas burner side by side with an electric burner.
Image: StockSolutions/getty

Oh, for the good old days when choosing a stove meant comparing brands, features, and prices. Today, the decision-making process includes a thorny issue: whether to go with a gas or electric stove or an induction cooktop, which is a type of electric range. The question stems from growing concerns about the health, safety, and environmental aspects of gas stoves.

Professional and home chefs in the U.S. have long preferred gas ranges, says Melissa Haber, senior vice president at EuroChef USA, based in Edgewood, N.Y. Seventy-six percent of restaurants across the country use gas in their kitchens, according to a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association in 2022. Cooks in various settings say gas stoves heat up more quickly and offer better temperature control than most electric stoves. But evidence is growing that gas stoves can be harmful to humans and the environment.

Gas Stoves Can Increase Health Risks

“Research shows living with a gas range has led to increased risks of asthma and other illnesses — especially in children — due to harmful air pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and methane,” Haber says. “Some cities are banning new gas hookups for appliances to reduce air pollution and emissions, to help in fighting climate change.”

Gas stoves are thought to be responsible for 13% of childhood asthma cases in the U.S., says Josh Lake, co-founder of Elephant Energy, a climate-tech firm in Broomfield, Colo. with a mission of electrifying homes. Studies have shown gas stoves can release more than a dozen major pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide, methane, and benzene, a chemical that may increase the risk of certain cancers and even birth defects in people with long-term exposure, he says.

Gas bans being implemented in a number of U.S. cities typically prohibit gas appliances in newly constructed buildings and homes, and buildings under renovation, Lake adds. “So, while you wouldn’t be impacted if you already have a gas stove, you would have to choose an electric stove if you decide to renovate and get new appliances,” he says.

Gas vs. Electric Stoves: The Pros of Each

Each type of stove has pluses. Weigh the benefits to see which ones are most important to you.

Pros of Gas Stoves

Gas stove aficionados argue that highly responsive gas stovetops allow cooks to shift easily and efficiently between heat levels, which supports better cooking results. They can also be more affordable than electric stoves. And gas tends to cost less than electricity. “[Gas stoves] are particularly advantageous in regions where gas is more economically viable than electricity,” says Asif Bux, owner of Comfort Union, a full-service HVAC and plumbing company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Natural gas is usually less expensive than electricity for homes in the U.S. That said, costs can vary by state, as this map of gas prices shows. Another factor: At last count, 17 states have regulated energy markets. That means you can choose how you buy electricity or natural gas, so it can pay to research your state regulations and shop around, according to Rocket Homes.

Regarding safety, with appropriate installation, use, and maintenance, gas stoves are “perfectly safe,” Bux says. "Hiring a licensed and trained gas-fitter to install a stove is highly recommended.” In addition, modern gas stoves feature many safety features, such as automatic shut-off and flame failure devices, which reduce risks, he notes.

Pros of Electric Stoves

Electric stoves have advantages beyond being healthier. Paul Hope, “Consumer Reports” senior multimedia content creator and a skilled chef, reported that claims of superior gas stove performance aren’t necessarily backed by evidence. In a 2022 “Consumer Reports" article, he stated that many models capture top scores in range ratings, regardless of the fuel source used, delivering “solid performance across the board.”

Induction Stoves: A Variation on Electric

Not all electric stoves are created equal. A subset of electric cooktops called electric induction cooktops adds another option. Traditional electric cooktops generate radiant heat by passing electricity between heating elements and sending heat waves to cookware. But electric induction cooktops use electromagnetism to heat cookware. An induction cooktop essentially enables the cookware to be its own source of heat. The ability to heat cookware with electromagnetism means induction cooktops are very efficient and permit rapid rises or drops in temperature.

Pros of Induction Stoves

First, performance ratings are high. Some 90% of induction stove models achieved the “Consumer Reports” top score for speed of heating.

Electric induction stoves are simply better than gas stoves, Lake says. “These aren’t your grandparents’ old electric resistance cooktops,” he says.

Lake cites other benefits, including:

  1. Efficiency: “They achieve higher temperatures and can boil water two to three times faster than gas cooktops.
  2. Ease of use: “It is easier to dial the temperature up and down on an electric induction stove, and you get instant high temperatures or low temperatures.”
  3. Easy cleaning: “They are also easier to clean because they offer glass and ceramic easy-wipe tops.”
  4. Healthiness: “They don’t emit hazardous gases when you cook.”
  5. Safety: “Because they use the magic of magnetism to heat your food, they are safer. Your kids can touch the cooking surface within seconds of turning it off.”

Even Lake says gas wins over induction in one area: “If you want to grill things on your cooktop — for example, getting your tortilla shells crispy on the burners to get that charred flavor — that works on a gas stove.”

Regulatory Guidance and Bans on Gas and Electric Stoves

The Department of Energy issued new energy-efficiency guidelines for gas and electric stoves in January 2024. The goal: Reduce the impact of natural gas appliances and boost energy efficiency of all appliances, according to CNET. When the new standards go into effect on Jan. 31, 2028, 97% of gas stove models and 77% of smooth-top electric stove models will meet the standards, the DOE stated. (Smooth-top models refer to electric stoves with coils that sit below smooth ceramic surfaces.)

Consumer advocates and manufacturers project the standards will save Americans a nationwide total of about $1.6 billion on their utility bills over 30 years.

Because some cities have imposed bans on gas appliances in new and renovated buildings, you may wonder whether a federal ban is in the works. The DOE issued a Jan. 30, 2024, statement that said, “Claims that the federal government is banning gas stoves are absurd.” The statement added that there are no plans to prohibit gas stoves at the federal level.

Gas or Electric Stove: Consider These Factors

Some homeowners don’t have the means to replace gas appliances with electric, Haber says. Others aren’t able to shift because of a lack of electrical supply in the home. “Reach out to your local utility suppliers to inquire about rebates and incentives for switching from gas to electric appliance brands,” Haber says. “They may offer rebates and discounts for making the switch.”

Think About Ventilation and Compare Costs

If you’re pursuing an electric range for the health and environmental benefits but are unable to switch from gas to electric, you may want to invest in new cooking ventilation, which can cut the appliance’s air pollution in about half, Haber says. “Proper ventilation is a critical component for every kitchen, as it works to pull the air into filters or a duct to remove odors, grease, moisture, smoke, and harmful particles, such as greenhouse gases, during cooking.”

As for costs, comparisons are available online. “Consumer Reports” says costs can range from $650 to $2,800 for an electric stove and $800 to $2,300 for gas stoves.

How Rebates and Incentives Can Help

Savvy savings tip that calls out that the Inflation Reduction Act can put up to $840 back in your pocket when you switch to an induction stovetop.
Image: HouseLogic

“There can be a higher cost associated with induction stoves,” Lake says. “They can be more expensive to install in some cases if you don’t already have an electric cooktop [because] you have to add electric wiring and capacity. On the other hand, you will also get some rebates from the Inflation Reduction Act and potentially other state and local incentive programs. So, that might make up part or all of the difference. “Incentives are different in each state, so do a cost-benefit analysis.”

The Inflation Reduction Act rebate puts up to $840 of the cost of high-efficiency electric stoves, cooktops, and ranges back in purchasers’ pockets.

Electric and induction options seem to be gaining momentum, but gas still has supporters. Lake sums up the decision: “While we are all for cleaner technologies, we would advise consumers to choose their appliances based on the merits of each of the capabilities and let the best technology win.”

Jeffrey Steele

Jeffrey Steele has been a Chicago-based freelance writer for almost one-third of a century, during which he's written extensively about real estate. Since 1991, he’s never been without at least one writing assignment – and more often a dozen. His byline has appeared thousands of times in publications including Barron’s,, Boston Globe, and Chicago Tribune.