image of gas vs. electric stove

In the debate over gas stove vs. electric stove, gas wins. From a StreetEasy listing at 311 West Broadway.

It doesn’t matter whether New Yorkers use their kitchens to heat up a packet of ramen or to do their best David Chang impression (or if those are really the same thing). On the question of gas vs. electric stoves, we can all agree that gas is just better, right?

Wrong. Some New York homes (and many homes that have the misfortune of not being located in the center of the universe) actually still have electric stoves. What? We know.

To help convince any skeptical renters, homeowners and/or landlords why there’s really only one answer to the “gas or electric stove” question, we spoke with seasoned food stylist and recipe developer Nora Singley for all the reasons why gas stoves are utterly superior. Singley — who is no stranger to crafting intricate meals in tiny NYC kitchens — also weighed in on what to do if you’re renting a place with an electric stove but you, like any sane person, really want gas.

Why Gas Is Better: It’s Easier to Control

“Because you’re working with an actual fire, it’s much easier to regulate the heat,” Singley says. “Whereas with electric, you don’t always get the temp you need right away. When you bring something up to a boil, for example, and then want to lower the heat to a simmer, it can take a while for the heat to actually get low enough.”

There’s More Room for Subtlety

A gas stovetop lets you choose between more than just low, medium, and high, according to Singley. “With gas, there’s really a true medium-low and a true medium-high,” she says. “People are more accustomed to cooking with gas, and it’s also much more intuitive.” A really top-of-the-line electric range might give you similar results, she notes, but let’s be real — most landlords aren’t going to invest in an expensive, high-quality electric range.

image of gas stove in nyc apartment

Many units at the Fitzroy, in West Chelsea, come with gorgeous, French-made Lacanche gas ranges.

Gas Stoves Look Better

“Aesthetically, gas is just the preferred way to go,” Singley says. Gas ranges tend to be associated with a higher-end look, which explains why even those who use their kitchens for storage more than for cooking still prefer it. For home chefs, gas also has the added visual benefit of letting you literally see how high the flame is. According to Singley, “it all ties back to the intuitiveness of cooking.”

Gas Stoves Are Cheaper

If you’re a renter, it’s almost always cheaper to have gas, since most New York City renters pay for electricity, but not gas.

How to Replace an Electric Stove With Gas in a NYC Apartment

Now that we’ve extolled the virtues of a gas range, what do you do if you wind up in an apartment with electric and want to switch to gas?

It’s not unheard of for landlords to replace the range at a tenant’s request, according to Singley, so you should always try asking. If your landlord is on the fence, you could try offering to pay for replacing the unit yourself — or at least to help cover the costs.

“Especially in New York, where good apartments are so tricky to come by, I think people are willing to invest in their apartments if they think they’re going to be living there for a while,” says Singley. “Gas ranges don’t have to be too expensive if you get an off-brand model or one that’s used.”

If you’re a homeowner, your first step would be to find out if it’s even possible to run a gas line to wherever you need to appliance to be, and then figure out how much it will cost. “If you’re really unhappy with what you have, you could also consider buying a better-quality electric range rather than switching to gas,” Singley says. “It might be the easier and cheaper option.”

And if all else fails, Singley recommends simply getting used to the electric. “It will be okay, you will make it work, and it’s still absolutely possible to cook delicious food on an electric range. All is not lost!”

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