What Is an Electric Oven?

An electric oven is a cooking appliance that relies on electrical resistance to generate heat. The oven and stovetop burners consist of metal coils encasing electrical wires, and when current flows through those wires, they heat up. This increases the temperature of the coils, producing enough heat to cook with.

Compared to a gas oven, an electric stove is slower to heat and less energy efficient. However, electric ovens are better at holding low temperatures, since a gas element cycling on and off produces more uneven heating. Electric elements are slow to cool, however, making it difficult to control heat with fine adjustments.

Typically, an electric oven has two elements. One is on the floor or below the floor of the oven's interior space and serves as the main heating element. Another element is situated at the top of the oven's interior and serves as a high-temperature broiler. Some ovens may use both elements to speed preheating. In addition, an electric oven may incorporate a fan in this space, using convection currents for more efficient heating and faster, more even cooking.

Some electric ovens have a magnetic induction cooktop instead of traditional electric burners. These panels create heat by inducing a magnetic field in iron-based cookware, heating the pan directly. The induction surface remains cool to the touch, and since the energy is concentrated in the pan, food heats quicker with less energy wasted as heat.