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Stove Upgrade- electric or propane?

I need to replace the electric range and oven in my house (in the U.S.). I am having other work done this fall so it’s the perfect time and frankly, the 26 year old dinosaur in there will not hang on much longer. The question is how much of an upgrade to do. It is currently a full-size but inexpensive electric range and oven.
I hate cleaning the drip pans and replaced them earlier this year only to find myself pulling them all out to steel wool the burnt food off of them a week later. So at a minimum I would like to get a flat-top stove. On the other end of the spectrum I could get a propane stove. The house already had propane hot water and since i am having work done I could ask them to run it to the kitchen as well. My concerns are cleaning, safety, and cost. Is it hard to keep the flat-top stoves looking nice? I have one at home but I treat my kitchen better than my guests do! Are U.S. guests responsible enough to use a propane stove without burning the house down? I grew up with electric and I don’t want to tell you the horrifying story of the first time I used a gas stove by myself while traveling. And, of course, cost. The propane ones cost more (plus I would then have to pay to have it installed). Is it worth it? Any thoughts would be helpful. Keep in mind that my house is rustic. It was built-by-owner (many owners) over the course of the last 130 years and has a cabin-in-the-woods vibe.

Use the KISS rule. Keep It Simple Stupid.

Glass top induction stoves mean that you have to have the right kind of metal pans for it, and you or your cleaner will have to arduously clean it every time so you don’t get grime build up, and they scratch.

You will always have someone eventually make a real mess of any stove you get. I would get what’s easiest for you to keep clean. Oh, and avoid self cleaning ovens.

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This has gone down in my rule book :laughing: :hearts:

yup, I wouldn’t buy a house with one installed, nor even an electric hob.

As for the OP’s dilemma, I can’t comment on US propane etc, but apart from an Aga, that takes 26 years to learn how to use well, I would stick to my current, fairly aged Rangemaster, with gas hob, double electric ovens and grill.

Yes, the stove top needs regular cleaning, but name me one that doesn’t.

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Facebook Marketplace and other sources have very reasonable deals on gas cooktops and gas stoves (range and oven 1 piece).

It is easy to use any of these with propane. Some are auto, others merely need a different orifice.

For a guest stay, we would probably opt for cooktop only and no stove.

No its not.

Generally speaking any gas appliance that is intended for “mains” gas will need to have the jets changed for use with propane or butane.

In addition, propane is stored at a far higher pressure than butane (what we use here) so the whole process is different.

@Jefferson I know you like to be helpful, but as I’ve said to you before, get your facts straight before you engage keyboard.

JF

Actually yes it is often easy to convert most modern stoves and cooktops from nat gas to propane. Cheap crappy ones not so much. It is clearly easier to get one that is already setup for propane but most better equipment is literally just swapping out the orifices.

Thanks but I have my facts straight. Feel free to offer the OP your own advice, and please do keep me out of it.

As a chef, I love to cook on a gas range. As a guest I’m a bit leery of it, and propane is different to cook on in comparison to natural gas. On the other hand, glass-top stoves can unfortunately be somewhat easy to scratch and hard to keep clean.

For a “rustic cabin in the woods” I would personally choose a propane cook top and skip the oven. Perhaps two burners and a griddle or grill.

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Actually, no it’s not.

It relies on the availability of the alternate jets. Even the suppliers of high end appliances do not have these readily available.

Gladly.

JF

Considering that we have actually have converted a cooktop and it was easy … yeah thanks. With some gear this is very true.

Again, offer the OP whatever you like and keep your snarky commentary to yourself. I’m not interested.

Ah, so it’s not “easy”.

Yes you are, you’re one of those “must have the last word” kinda guys, even when you’re digging a cats grave with a six foot shovel, so to speak…

JF

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Sorry that someone pissed in your cereal today. Stop trolling. Do yourself a favor and look at the many videos on youtube for converting ovens and cooktops.

Then maybe you wont embarrass yourself so much as a know-it-all.

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Um… I’m sorry, but when it comes to embarrassing oneself on here, then I will bow to you as the master.

I mean let’s face it, from… nah, I won’t list your various faux pas, mainly because most folks on here know them already :rofl:

JF

I personally would go with a glass/ceramic top electric just for the ease of cleaning. We have one in our house and one in the rental. Cleanup is much easier and they look nicer, but they still cook like an electric range. We got some scratches in the ceramic in the listing after 1.5 years, but not that bad. The cooktops can get cracked and broken, too, and repair is quite expensive.

I recall that the manual said you can’t use copper bottom pots and pans and one of them recommended against cast iron pot and pans.

I imagine you can get a gas range that’s not so expensive, but the cost of plumbing the gas line might be a lot more than you think. Get an estimate before you commit. On the other hand, just getting it plumbed for gas while you’re having other work done might improve the resale value of your property, so that’s something else to consider. I prefer cooking with a gas range, but the cleaning isn’t any better than a cheap electric range.

I don’t think we’re talking about induction, but rather the electric range with ceramic cooktop that use regular pans.

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@JohnF I’ve had this done in my last two homes. When I bought the ranges they asked if I needed the propane conversion kit and included it at no charge. I scheduled the local gas company to be there when the ranges were delivered. It actually was quite simple.

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@KenH - I’m curious how they are different and what you think. We have electric at our Ohio house and propane gas at our NC home. I don’t cook with gas enough to recognize a difference but have the opportunity to put in a natural gas stove in our Ohio house. I didn’t think about cooking differences btwn the two gas types but would be curious as to your perspective.

Propane burns hotter, is more efficient. I just bought a whole house generator, using natural gas it is rated at 19KW , by flipping a lever and changing to propane it is 22KW .

RR

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Propane burns slightly hotter with the same "flame level’. The difference for us isn’t overly dramatic. Honestly, we like both but have propane in one home because natural gas was not an option. Some cooktops have “fine tuning” available. We didn’t need to use it.

One thing to be aware of is the possible fine print with the propane provider, so it is worth shopping around and making sure to understand the conditions in the contract. For instance, there can be a yearly min charge, especially if the tank is owned by the propane company. So, let’s say one has few (or one) propane appliances, it is actually possible to not need a fill based on your actual usage, and get charged regardless. This is less likely to be an issue if propane is needed more regularly for larger appliances like a water heater and/or boiler. A mere cooktop alone uses little gas. This plays into how big a tank is “right sized” for a home, with X, Y, Z propane appliances.

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Propane has a higher BTU (energy) rating and tends to heat something faster and use less fuel to do so than using natural gas. The stove you use, and its BTU output rating, can drastically effect the available heat when cooking.

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Let’s start with where are you and where do most your guests travel from? (yes poor grammar). Will they be more accustomed to electric vs. gas or propane. If you have a stove they don’t know how to use, you will have repeated maintenance either to the stove or replacing cookware. My “accustomed to gas guests” have ruined my cookware 3x and don’t know how to clean my glass top electric stove.

My area Is considered temperate and we have cheap electric rates so gas heat, water heating & stoves Are not common.

Bottom line guests are used to what they use at home. Anything different will end up broken or damaged because they will use it like they are used to. This is true for stoves, heat, dishwashers, clothes washers and more.

I’m guessing you are in the mountains. Maybe Asheville(?) It’s cold enough there for gas to be common. I’m in the piedmont and in 50 years of cooking (11 homes) have never had a gas range (electric is king).

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As we have here, the nearest mains gas pipe is around 100m away and it being a cobbled street in a historic district means it would cost in the region of €6,000 to have that pipe extended to our property. The hob in our apartment runs on butane.

This is common in Spain, and when ordering new appliances you often have the choice of a model for natural gas or for LPG.

When a professional is doing the job it is always easy :wink:

When a non professional is doing the job very often it isn’t that easy, and also brings up issues of liability if you have a problem. For example, you change the jets on a gas cooker, having watched all the YouTube videos and internet tutorials, and all looks good. Saved a few quid there, so I did.

Guests come and go and it all still looks good, until you get the guest who cooks a lot with all the windows closed, or decides to warm up the kitchen a bit more by firing up all the burners for a few hours (we all know how guests can behave!).

At check out time you wander down and after getting no answer at the door walk in and find the guest on the deck, dead from carbon monoxide poisoning.

All because you a) didn’t fit the jets correctly or b) fitted the wrong type and c) didn’t realise the flame wasn’t burning at the right colour.

If the hob/stove was manufacturer supplied and unaltered, from a liability perspective you’re fine and, if like you did, it was your local gas company who did the conversion, again you’re in the clear.

However, when the questions start being asked as to who fitted stove, who changed the jets round, the in many countries, you could be looking at being charged with criminally negligent manslaughter.

I’ll concede, that is an extreme example, but not overly so.

YouTube videos and internet tutorials have their place, but in my opinion they aren’t the place for a novice to start tinkering with gas appliances.

Correct, so if you have an expensive Teflon coated pan, be aware that the higher temperature degraded the non stickiness. Says he, who has through more than one before realising that, or maybe I’m just looking for excuses… :wink:

JF

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