When your range conks out, you’re typically limited to replacing the type you have with one that runs on the same fuel source.

“Most consumers prefer to cook with gas, but of course, not everyone has gas service,” says Claudette Ennis, a market analyst who covers ranges for Consumer Reports.

In fact, only about half the homes in the U.S. have that option—the rest rely on electric. But as much as gas ranges are hyped in real estate listings and on cooking shows, do they deliver cooking performance that’s significantly better than electric?

More on ranges

“If you could determine how well a range could cook from its fuel source, my job would be pretty boring,” says Tara Casaregola, who oversees CR’s range, wall oven, and cooktop lab. “We see the greatest discrepancies between individual models, and you can find excellent choices in gas or electric.”

In CR’s range tests, the best ranges of either type deliver solid performance across the board. Read on for a breakdown between the two types. And be reassured: If you live in an area without natural gas service, your culinary ambitions won’t be limited by the type of range you own.

How We Compare Performance

We looked at most of the models in our range ratings, focusing on electric smoothtop and gas ranges, since they make up the majority of what consumers see in stores. (Electric coil-top and induction ranges have a much smaller slice of the market.)

We compared results from the four most crucial tests we perform: high heat; low heat, baking, and broiling. And although performance varies from model to model, whether the range is gas or electric, our tests did show which type of fuel has the edge in each test.

High Heat

Manufacturers of gas and electric ranges have been in a race for years to maximize the output of large burners, which you use to, say, boil a big pot of water for pasta.

Which is faster? In general, electric, by a decent margin. Of the 59 electric smoothtop ranges in our ratings, nearly 65 percent earn a score of Excellent for our high heat cooking test. Only 44 percent of the gas ranges we tested can make that claim.

Low Heat

For all the emphasis placed on boiling water quickly, a range’s ability to maintain a low, steady simmer is arguably more important. Given enough time, any range will boil water. But there’s no cure for a cooktop with erratic simmering, which can scorch delicate sauces or melted chocolate in an instant.

Which simmers better? Electric again offers a slight edge, with just over 60 percent of the models in our tests earning Excellent marks—about 47 percent of gas ranges ace this test.


Lofty cakes and evenly-browned cookies aren’t a given, unless you’ve got an oven that bakes evenly.

Which bakes better? Gas takes the cake here, with nearly two-thirds of the models in our ratings earning scores of Excellent or Very Good in our slew of baking tests with vanilla layer cakes and butter cookies. Just over half of electric models can make that claim.


Some of the biggest performance differences we see between gas and electric ranges happen in the broiler.

Which broils better? You may assume that—because they cook with a flame—gas broilers are better. But in our tests, they routinely underperform their electric counterparts. Sixty-one percent of electric ovens earn scores of Excellent or Very Good in our broiling tests. Less than 20 percent of gas ranges do.

The Bottom Line

In most cases, electric ranges have a serious performance edge over gas models. But there are exceptions to almost every rule, and that’s certainly the case here. Within our range ratings, you’ll find plenty of models that earn top scores in each test we perform, regardless of fuel source.

Those numbers should give you hope if you’re limited to electric.

But if you’re fortunate enough to have a choice between gas and electric, you might want to do some extra research to make sure you get a range that best fits your style of cooking.

Range Roving