When baking, is it better to use a gas or electric oven?

  • I'm looking for an oven and wanted to know if there is any difference between a gas or electric oven when it comes to baking things like cakes, biscuits and scones?

    Aren't answers from Kev and papin totally opposite? So what's the truth?

    I had not realized how controversial this topic can be until I googled it. So I expanded my answer to reflect some of the issues and point out my inferences.

  • papin

    papin Correct answer

    10 years ago

    For baking cakes and breads it is important to control the humidity in the oven. In early stages of baking one typically needs the humidity to remain in the baking chamber, which is hard to do with a gas oven. Two of the bakeries near my house use electric ovens with brick lined baking chambers; the other uses gas.


    Gas and electric ovens can be built to bake the same way if cost is not an issue. Most home gas ovens will circulate the combustion products (mainly water vapor and carbon dioxide) in the cooking chamber. As the flames burn, combustion products need to be vented out of the baking chamber. Electric ovens also need vents in the baking chamber to help maintain the pressure as the air inside expands.

    Steam is essential in the initial stages of baking for good crust formation in breads and crack-free cake surfaces. The oven cavity can hold much more steam than released from the gas combustion and it is my inference that the steam content of an electric oven will be higher (I cannot find published steam measurements inside ovens). After the dough expansion, the vapor coming off of the dough or batter needs to removed quickly for browning and for the inside to cook well. The constant flow in a gas oven makes it better at that. In an electric oven a peep or two during the last baking stages will handle excess moisture.

    Openings in gas and electric ovens

    Two bakeries near my house use electric ovens, the other, which makes excellent French baguettes, uses a gas oven. The baker there has had both electric and gas ovens and he prefers the caramelization of the gas oven. But note that he can handle the moisture problem with the steam injector of his professional gas oven. He also noted that using gas ovens require skill as they have temperature and moisture quirks.

    Recipes may be adapted to either gas or electric ovens. In the US the majority of recipes are designed for the electric oven (they're more popular).

    How is it possible that electricity gives you more humidity when, you admit yourself, water vapour is a basic gas combustion emission? Why does the answer below says that electric gives you dry heat? Does dry stands for humidity whereas moisture stands for vapour-rich? I may be bad in English.

    In modern, home, electric ovens in the US, the vents are small and more of the humidity remains in the oven cavity. In a gas oven, the results of the combustion and whatever the food releases are vented out. I interpret _dry heat_ as radiant heat in a well vented area, something that is easier to do with an electric oven.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM