Heat is required for cooking food, and the method of heating has varied over the centuries. While earlier people were using gas or coal-powered stoves, increasingly people are opting for electrical cooking appliances since they are convenient to use and inexpensive. For example, gas stoves will require a piped gas connection or a gas cylinder and precautions should be taken while using this connection. Increasingly people are becoming conscious of the damage that they cause to the environment which has resulted in global warming. They would like to find out if cooking on electric stoves better is for the environment, so that they can make a decision accordingly.
Before assessing the effect on the environment which is being caused by electric cooking appliances it is necessary to understand that there are different kinds of electric appliances available and the efficiency of these appliances will differ. While the electric stove and an electric skillet are more efficient when compared to the gas stove in terms of energy transfer, they are less efficient than electric induction stove which has an efficiency of 70-80%. The cost of the electric skillet is far less than a gas stove and there are no additional installation expenses since it can be directly connected to an electric outlet.
However, the electricity used for heating the electric skillet is derived from natural gas and other energy sources. The cost of this electric power is far more than the cost of natural gas used in the gas stove. So the running cost of an electric skillet will usually be far more than a gas stove when a similar amount of cooking is required, especially when food is cooked regularly. Hence though the efficiency of the electrical skillet will be more, since the cost of producing electricity is high, the cost of using the electric appliance will be higher.
Another factor that has to be considered while using the electric skillet is that the electric power is mainly used for heating the coils of skillet, surface and the utensils, food which is being placed in it, there are no gases produced. On the other hand, when gas stoves are used a number of gases like nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide are produced during the combustion of the natural gas. These gases are toxic, and if there is no proper ventilation they can harm the health of the people living in the house. So in terms of gases emitted electric stoves are definitely safer for the environment. Additionally, for a gas stove, there is a possibility of a gas leak which can be extremely dangerous.
While choosing between an electric skillet and the gas stove, the user should definitely consider the amount of cooking and heating which is being done. In the gas stove, the heating from the flame is immediate, while for electric skillet usually three to four minutes are required for heating. When the gas stove is switched off, no more power will be consumed, while the electric skillet will remain hot for some time, till the power is dissipated to the environment. So if cooking or only heating is being done occasionally, the electric skillet will be far more cost-effective, safer, and convenient.