Shomer Shekalim

gas or electric?

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Last week I received an e-mail from Hannah (A Mother In Israel) pointing to an interesting question on the Petah Tikvah board.  The post read as follows:

We need to buy a stove and oven and I would like to buy one that uses gas since the price of electricity is so high in Israel.

Could anyone recommend a place to buy a gas stove and oven? Also, is there any reason why electric would be preferable?

It is an interesting question and one that I never considered.  I grew up with an electric stove and loved it, but when I moved into my current place I switched to gas because that’s what was already there.  As an electricity user, I feared using gas, but my wife convinced me to stick with what we were given because (1) she prefers gas and does most of the cooking anyways (don’t worry, I clean) (2) most people’s houses do not blow up Die-Hard style even though they have gas and (3) it’s not like we had the money to buy a new stove anyways.

Getting back to the questions, which is better?  I searched the internet (thanks google!) and ran across an article from wisebuy.co.il that discusses the issue in regard to stoves.

To summarize, gas is more exact for cooking, much less on an initial investment (about a third of the price of electric stove), cheaper and easier to repair broken parts, and allows you to cook things that need direct fire.

On the other hand, electricity is easier to clean, less dangerous, and will cost slightly less per month .

I would like to add a few more things to consider: 

(1) While an electric stove costs a lot more than a gas one, an electric oven is probably cheaper (I bought my oven for ₪ 300 about a month ago).

(2) You can change the heat of the fire for gas on Yom Tov while many do not allow such a leniency by electric stoves.

(3) In order for fresh liver to be Kosher, it has to be done over an open flame, so you’d need either a gas stove or a BBQ.

In short, I’d go with a gas stove and an electric oven.  It seems to be the cheapest combo and, as I said before, my wife is really the one who chooses the appliances anyways.

What do you use?


4 Comments

  1. Debbie says:

    I’ve always used a gas stove. I have friends who have electric and I know they run across issues when cooking with large pots. If the pot completely covers the “flame,” it shuts off. Not so convenient when you notice it an hour later! It’s also useful for “kashering” liver, as you mentioned. Most have a “shut-off” valve, which you can activate when you aren’t cooking, so you don’t have to worry about escaping gas.

  2. NG says:

    For the stove – gas, always gas. I need fast, accurate control of temperatures to get my cast iron skillets just right (very hot) without waiting 25 minutes for an electric range to reach that point.

    I’ve heard good things about induction cooking, but don’t know if it’s even available in Israel.

  3. LeahGG says:

    the new electric stovetops are really nice, easy-to-clean, and heat up quickly.

    The downside is that they take a long time to cool and they’re expensive. They also require 3-phase electricity (another expense if you don’t already have it)

    On the financial side, the monthly fee for gas was 20+ shekels before we used any gas, so we’ve cut that part of the bill now that we don’t have any gas coming into the house.

  4. Avi Noam says:

    One can only raise the heat on Yom Tov, not lower it.

    Using your oven’s gas range as an open flame to roast liver makes your house crazy smokey…do you use your barbecue inside?

    I just compared my neighbor’s gas bill who uses junkers (gas) to heat his shower as opposed to a dud shemesh (solar/electric). We figured out that his gas bill was precisely 300 NIS higher than my gas bill, while my electric bill beat out his by the same amount. We both use gas stoves which I know runs me 50 NIS per billing period. Interesting things to think about!

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