Gas v Electric Oven


Joi

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When my husband and I were first married we bought a very inexpensive gas oven. When I made a cake I noticed a considerable difference in how high the cake rose compared to the electric oven I grew up with.

When we bought our home we spent considerably more for an electronic oven. I was disappointed, just like in my childhood home the cakes did not rise as much as they did in our inexpensive gas oven. As anyone experienced a major difference between baking in gas v electric.

We are in the market again and we are trying to determine which type of oven to buy.
 
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When my husband and I were first married we bought a very inexpensive gas oven. When I made a cake I noticed a considerable difference in how high the cake rose compared to the electric oven I grew up with.

When we bought our home we spent considerably more for an electronic oven. I was disappointed, just like in my childhood home the cakes did not rise as much as they did in our inexpensive gas oven. As anyone experienced a major difference between baking in gas v electric.

We are in the market again and we are trying to determine which type of oven to buy.
I prefer gas. While electric is steady heat, the dry and intense heat results in dry over baked goods. The reason cakes bake lower is the dry heat is setting the batter too fast. It’s a guessing game as to what is the right temperature for an electric oven. I suppose you could reduce the baking temperature of everything as a matter of course.

But the oven isn’t the only factor in rise. The type is metal, rack placement, temperature of butter before creaming, how long you cream, and oven temperature are more important.

Cake is better baked at 325°F (160°C). Unless it is a cake with a lot of items such as a carrot cake, hummingbird cake, or a really dense chocolate.

Use untreated metal as it will not radiate a lot of heat. I prefer Chicago Metallic Commercial II uncoated bakewear. NordicWare also makes a line of untreated metal called Natural. Pans made of anodized aluminum, non-stick coating, or dark metal conduct heat more intensely. Batter bakes from the outside edge toward the center. The batter in contact with the anodized aluminum, non-stick, and dark metal will bake too. This causes a low rise on the outside edge, and a domed center. The cakes are drier with a brown crust.

We say place the rack in the middle. What people don’t realize is the cake pan is 2” high. In my oven, if I place the rack in the center, the cake pan will rest in the upper 2/3 of the oven. So in my oven, I place the rack one rung below the middle.

Things to keep in mind about gas ovens...

- they are slower to heat, so preheat for a minimum of 20 minutes before baking. My oven is very slow to heat. I actually preheat my oven at 25°F higher than the needed temperature to ensure it comes up to correct temperature in time.

- always use an oven thermometer and confirm the temperature before you begin baking anything with chemical leavening. When chemical leavening isn’t involved it’s no big deal if the oven isn’t at temperature.

- gas ovens create moisture, so baked goods take longer to brown (and yes, electric ovens brown faster and tend to dry things out as well)

- gas ovens tend to have hot stops, so rotate midway through baking
 
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My new apartment has a gas oven so I'm getting used to it. I've only made cupcakes and cookies so far, which both turned out fine. I'm hoping to make a victoria sponge at the weekend to test something a bit larger
 

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