All-electric semi-commercial kitchens – what you need to know

If you’ve decided to take the plunge into a new semi-commercial kitchen for your church, we understand that it can be difficult to know whether you want electric or gas appliances. Here, we weigh up the different available options

Choosing between electrical and gas appliances can feel complicated, but when you consider the Gas regulations and more intricate requirements needed for the latter, electrical can feel a lot more straightforward. We’ve pulled together the pros and cons of an all-electric kitchen to make your decision that little bit easier…

Gas vs electric: your kitchen requirements
As with in any domestic setting, gas-powered equipment requires the installation of running gas pipes, an appropriate ventilation system and a gas cut-out valve – all of which need to be installed by a professional. Electrical equipment on the other hand, just needs to be plugged in and, voila, they’re good to go. Making them not only cheaper to install but also more portable as they just need to be placed near a plug socket, rather than pipes.

You do need to be aware that electric cookers use a great deal of power, so if your new equipment draws more current than its older counterpart, you may need a bigger electricity cable. Simply because the larger the cable, the more electricity it can deliver – something Steelplan can advise you on during the planning stage.

However, before you go ahead with your all-electric kitchen, it’s worth noting the following:

Pros

  • Gas equipment is less energy-efficient and produces more heat, which can create a hotter, more uncomfortable kitchen environment. Electric equipment, in comparison, requires 15-50% less energy than conventional gas hobs
  • No gas leaks, which can be dangerous and also prevent anyone from using the kitchen until repaired
  • Electric appliances are less expensive up front and they’re cheaper to install, saving you money on set-up fees – but while most will just need a plug socket, if the appliance’s power exceeds 3,000W, it may need to be hardwired into your church’s kitchen supply
  • While many commercial kitchens prefer gas ranges, electric ovens actually cook more efficiently and evenly – ideal if you’re planning to open a community café or serve a Sunday roast to your congregation
  • Electric ovens cook more evenly than gas-fired ones – plus, with a dry, even heat, they’re great for baking or roasting. Perfect for the Brownie’s bake sale!

Cons

  • Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, you are obliged to protect those using the kitchen by maintaining all electrical equipment, which can often be more costly to repair than gas appliances should something go wrong
  • Gas appliances can reach an optimum temperature more quickly that electric ones – but with gas, it’s much more difficult to maintain a consistent cooking temperature
  • An all-electric kitchen will cost more to run than gas
  • With electric hobs, you have to factor in a waiting time for an element to heat up – gas hobs light immediately
  • If you suffer a power outage, it’s likely that gas equipment won’t be effected

Steelplan Kitchens’ top tip: Don’t forget that if the infrastructure of your church allows, you could always go for dual fuel, saving you the hassle of having to choose. Allowing you to have the best of both worlds, with the precise temperature control of electricity to heat the oven, but the speed of the traditional gas hob – just be aware that if your old kitchen is only set up for electric appliances, it’ll be costly to reroute a gas line. And vice versa – switching from gas only will require the installation of an electric line and a capped gas line.

Are you ready to start your new project in 2021? Call the Steelplan Kitchens team on 0844 809 9186 – we can discuss which options are best for you.


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