Restaurant Equipment: Gas vs. Electric - What's Best For Your Operation?
Gas vs. Electric | Which is Best for Your Restaurant?
Your kitchen equipment directly impacts how your food is prepared, what your chefs interact with every day, and the amount of your monthly energy costs. No matter if you’re just opening up your first restaurant or if you’re looking to make a change in your commercial kitchen, there’s always the battle of choosing gas or electric equipment.
Understanding the Differences Between Gas and Electric Restaurant Equipment
When you’re running a restaurant, it’s important to understand the differences between gas and electric kitchen equipment. We’ve broken down the most notable differences so you can better understand which is the right choice for your business.
Gas equipment has been the standard in most kitchens for decades. Gas equipment uses gas to create a physical flame that heats ovens, ranges, griddles, and other standard appliances in the kitchen.
Operating Gas Equipment
Many chefs are trained on commercial gas ranges and ovens, which leads to a preference in their daily cooking. Chefs have more control over the flow of the gas on most ranges, allowing for more precise control of heat.
With gas equipment, there’s immediate heat when turned on. With electric appliances, there’s waiting for the element to heat up and less physical control over the heat once the appliance is on.
Just as the flame turns on immediately, it shuts off immediately as well. This allows for faster cooldown, which results in less ambient heat production.
Cost of Gas Equipment
While the initial purchase of gas equipment may be slightly more than electric, the heat production costs can be less. Gas equipment produces more heat per dollar than electricity, but can be less energy efficient than electric heat.
Electric equipment is newer to many chefs and restaurant owners, but it can often be a great cost-effective choice.
Operating Electric Equipment
While electric equipment does not produce a physical flame, it produces the same heat output in a different way. Electric equipment is generally more efficient than gas, as all of the energy that is produced is converted directly into heat. In some instances, some of the heat from gas appliances is sent up the flue.
Electric equipment is often less difficult to install. This can be a big benefit for small or oddly shaped commercial kitchens, as all you need to do is plug in equipment to a socket, rather than having equipment installed to the main gas line.
Cost of Electric Equipment
The initial cost of electric equipment can be less than traditional gas equipment. Depending on where your restaurant is located, you may face higher monthly electric costs due to state and city regulations.
Settling the Debate
For years, choosing between gas and electric equipment has been a major debate amongst restaurant owners and chefs. While gas has traditionally been the winner, many kitchens are making the change. With fewer costs, more energy efficient
operation, and less risks, electric equipment is making strides.