How to decide what to buy?
There are a number of decisions that we have to make including the choice of energy: gas or electricity, and whether to have a built in oven or free standing cooker. We are most likely to be influenced by our previous experience but maybe it is worth considering the alternatives:
Making the choice ELECTRICITY or GAS?
There are significant differences in the costs of cooking with gas or electricity. Electricity simply costs more than gas.
If you use an average size electric oven and cooktop (small plate only) for about 1 ½ hours per day for a year, an electric cooker will cost $416 to run based on an electricity cost of 0.25c per kWh.
Using a gas cooker in the same way will cost only $153 based on a natural gas cost of 2.5c per Mj. That represents an annual saving of $263.considering the alternatives:
LPG costs vary according to region. Consumption rates are usually lower than natural gas but the cost per MJ is usually higher.
Environmental impact In Australia, the majority of electricity is generated through the burning of coal. The Greenhouse emissions from electricity generated by burning coal are high. In comparison, using natural gas reduces greenhouse emissions by two thirds.
Gas leaves a much smaller environmental footprint.
There is a lot of information available through websites such as www.mygreenaustralia.com
on the comparative greenhouse emissions between gas and electricity.
Heating performance - Cooktops
Gas burners produce instant heat, providing cooks with greater control over temperature. If natural gas is available it is generally considered to be the best option. Electric hotplates have improved and now heat up and cool down much better than in the past. There are ceramic and induction options that are more efficient than they used to be and they are good to use. They require a higher amperage circuit to cater for the high electrical loads but many modern homes are wired with this already taken into consideration.
Heating performance - Ovens
Gas ovens of the past had a reputation for uneven oven temperature. The advent of fan assistance in gas ovens has changed that. The fan circulates the air in the oven and distributes the heat very evenly throughout the oven cavity. Having a fan in a gas oven allows for cooking on more than one shelf at a time - no hot spots.
Gas ovens have instant heat up use electronic ignition and do not require a pilot light. The can also run without the electricity connected.
Electric ovens provide a lot of control in how the heat is applied to the oven. While they don’t quite have the fast heat up time of gas, they heat and cool down quite quickly. Fan forced is the most popular function and while there is a slight bias left to right in temperature distribution, they are efficient and fast. Multifunction electric ovens allow a combination of heat from the top and the bottom of the oven. The elements can operate in a combination or individually, with or without fan assistance.
Heating Performance – Grills
In most modern ovens the grill is located within the oven not in a separate cavity (this is done to maximise the volume of the oven).
Gas grills are fast and very efficient. If the gas burner in the roof of the oven cavity is exposed to too many cooking residues, the buildup of these residues on the gas burner creates a fire hazard and can lead to service problems.
The electric grill is a stainless steel tubular element that is efficient, safe and clean. Emilia grills operate with the oven door closed. This is cleaner, more efficient and keeps the cooking odours out of the kitchen.
The majority of professional chefs cook using a gas oven. While the differences may be subtle in cooking performance, and may come down to a personal preference, there is a significant difference when it comes to cooking certain foods using electricity or gas.
Electricity heats the food with a direct dry heat that tends to result in drier foods and therefore a product with a significantly reduced shelf life. Baked goods will normally stay fresh for 50% longer when baked in a gas oven versus an electric. When roasting meats there is much less shrinkage and roasts tend to be more succulent and juicy. A gas oven can produce a more consistent, superior quality result making them very rewarding to cook with.
The cooking performance advantage of an electric oven is that the dry heat can create a very crispy pastry as it reduces so much of the moisture. In most cases both electricity and gas ovens can perform well on all baking tasks. It comes down to preference and how sensitive the user is to achieving the best possible cooking result.
If you already have a gas hob then a Emilia built in gas oven installs very easily. They install in exactly the same way as an electric oven, it just has to be plumbed into the same gas supply as the hob. The best news is that the ovens only require a standard 10 amp plug electrical connection.There are no special flue requirements, they fit straight into the same space as an electric oven.
All Emilia upright gas cooker models with a gas oven use a simple 10 amp plug in electrical connection irrespective of the size of the cooker. All 60cm and 70cm cookers also only use a 10 amp plug in. That applies for Gas, Dual Fuel and Hybrid Energy models.
Emilia 80cm and 90cm Dual Fuel and Hybrid Energy cookers use a 15 amp plug in electrical connection.