Gas vs Electric Equipment for your Kitchen
Investing in kitchen equipment can be costly, and many try to stretch their pennies when it comes to deciding what to get. When choosing between gas and electric equipment, there are more factors than just cost that can affect your restaurant! Knowing the differences between gas and electric equipment for your kitchen can help you make an informed decision in purchasing foodservice appliances.
Many focus solely on this aspect, and while it should be considered in your purchasing decision, it is certainly not the most important factor! Initial costs for electric appliances tend to be at a lower price point than their gas counterparts due to the fact that electric equipment merely need an outlet to plug it in. Conversely, gas-powered equipment will need a natural gas source and line installation, making it a bit pricier out of the gate. While this may save your initial overhead costs allowing for allocation of funds to other areas of your kitchen, you’ll also want to take into consideration the myriad of other differences in the two options before making your decision.
Electric and Gas Rate Prices
While electric appliances may be cheaper initially, their gas counterparts take the cake when it comes to rates and prices per BTU! While the advantage is only slight, the exponential summation of the costs for a larger commercial kitchen can be substantially different between gas and electric rate costs, so it may be worth the bigger investment in gas from the beginning as the savings over time could null the purchasing cost argument.
While you save money per BTU when using gas based on rate prices, taking into consideration whether or not you’ll need to use the same amount of BTUs for a job when using gas versus electric is important. Electric appliances tend to be more efficient, as gas-powered equipment will lose some of its energy as vapors escape. With electric, all energy is converted directly to heat. Also consider the indirect impact of this, as research tends to show that the escape of vapors and heat in gas appliances means a hotter kitchen.
Heating Speed and Power
Gas appliances heat much faster and can reach much hotter temperatures. The knobs on a gas-powered appliance means you can control the intensity of the heat as well, making for a more accurate cooking control. The flame lights immediately, so there’s no waiting time to heat up the coils as you would have to with an electric appliance. Conversely, the cooling speed for gas appliances is quicker as well, as when you dial the appliance to ‘off’, the flame is immediately extinguished. For electric counterparts, the coils need to cool, making for a hotter ambient temperature over a longer period of time.
As we’ve mentioned before, gas appliances will need to have a natural gas line run directly to the equipment. This means that it will be more difficult in the future to move that appliance, as you’ll need to reroute your lines. Electric equipment can be shifted and moved so long as you have an electrical socket nearby!
While the differences between gas and electric equipment are numerous, there are benefits to each option and disadvantages for each as well. I’d love to help you find the right fit for your kitchen!
E Friedman Associates Inc