Gas stoves are usually more expensive to buy but cheaper during use compared with electric stoves. Not only are gas stoves more energy efficient but gas is also usually cheaper than electricity, which results in operational cost savings.
A gas stove uses propane, butane, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas or other flammable gas as fuel, while an electric stove uses electricity to heat coils (or flat-top surfaces like glass-ceramic cooktops).
edit Cooking and Heat Distribution
Gas stoves have been widely used for much longer than the electric stove. Heat from the flame of gas stoves can be accurately and quickly adjusted. Heat is evenly distributed on the sides and bottom of the pans, allowing faster and uniform cooking. The over all heat generated is less leading to a cooler kitchen.
Electric stoves tend to retain heat for a longer time after the burner has been turned down or off. This makes delicate cooking a problem. But baking is more even and roasting is more optimal with an electric stove.
edit Operating cost and energy efficiency
Operating costs of electric and gas stoves vary from state to state due to variations in the utility rates.
Due to the accuracy in temperature control, gas stoves are widely preferred by chefs. A gas stove which uses electronic ignition instead of a pilot light uses 30% less gas and is more cost efficient than an electric stove.
The cost of a GE standard 30” free-standing electrical range is $799 whereas that of a GE 30” free standing gas range with similar features is $3,299. Although the gas range costs more, it can work out to be cheaper in the long run if the gas price in your state is low.
edit Risks and Disadvantages
Gas stoves are difficult to install and require a gas line in the property. They pose the dangers of gas-leak related fire accidents. Moreover, having toddlers near an open flame is risky.
During a power outage, an electric stove will not function. The spiral design makes it difficult to stabilize pots while cooking. Smooth-top stoves are now available in the market which provide better stability when using pots and also more counter space.