Here's How To Master The Switch From A Gas To An Electric Stove

Despite their prevalence in the restaurant industry, household gas stoves are surprisingly bad for both you and the environment, per Vox. In fact, your gas stove is probably leaking methane into your house right now — and this is more than a mere puff of smoke. The methane released by gas stoves every year, both when stoves are in use — and when they're off – is nearly equivalent to 500,000 cars' worth of emissions (via Bloomberg).

Some people are choosing to ditch their gas stoves. In certain locales, this is a policy requirement: In New York City, for example, new buildings will be banned from including gas stoves starting in 2024 (via Grist). For others, it's health-motivated — the nitrogen oxides leaked by gas stoves have been linked to heart and respiratory issues and asthma in children, per an International Journal of Epidemiology study.

Regardless of why you might no longer be cooking with gas, going electric can require a different approach to cooking — even if your new smooth-top stove is easier to clean. Luckily, there are some simple tips for mastering the art of whipping up delicious meals on an electric range.

The ultimate electric stove hacks

Understanding how different stoves work is key to a smooth switch from gas to electric, given that most people use their stoves all wrong. While gas burners heat with different flame levels just as quickly as modern induction burners, electric coils take a while to reach the desired temperature and retain residual heat longer, per Cook's Illustrated.

Therefore, patience is a virtue. Avoid cranking the heat up right away, since your food could scorch or boil over down the line, per SELF. Instead, start on a lower setting and build heat incrementally. Your cookware matters, too. Lifehacker notes that a thin or lightweight pan creates too weak a buffer between the cooktop and the food, so you're again in danger of ending up with a charred mess.

By the same token, if your pan is heftier, it'll form a stronger buffer that gradually increases in temperature throughout your cooking, per Lifehacker — but, be aware that your pan might be hotter near the end of your recipe than the beginning, even if you didn't adjust the heat. Heavier pans also protect against a lesser-known quirk of electric stoves: The heating element automatically turns off and on again throughout the cooking process to regulate temperature (via Tasting Table), so a pan that retains and distributes heat is helpful. With these tips, you should be well on your way to meals that are potentially better not only for your health but for the planet's, too.