Madison area chef says electric stove tech still lagging for restaurants

Recent studies from MDPI attribute roughly 12% of children’s asthma to gas stove emissions.
Published: Jan. 15, 2023 at 10:55 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2023 at 1:23 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Reports from federal agencies have brought gas vs. electric stoves to the center of public conversation, and as debate continues on the future of the stove, area government officials and chefs bring the discussion to Dane County.

“There are significant public health risks associated with cooking with a gas stove particularly,” said the director of Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change Kathy Kuntz. “That burning creates nitrous oxide nitrogen dioxide and Tiny Airborne particulates that we call PM 2.5.”

Recent studies from MDPI attribute roughly 12% of children’s asthma to gas stove emissions. It is one of several studies on such emissions that led to reports earlier in the month from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission saying a ban was in consideration, a report the head of the agency has since refuted.

In Dane County, Kuntz says gas stoves are one of the home appliances officials hope to switch to electric for more households and businesses, and in an effort to advance that goal, going to area chefs to champion the move.

“Few chefs in town, in particular, have been approached about trying to sort of champion induction technology specifically,” said Cadre owner and chef Evan Dannells.

He says there is a push to get more electric, specifically induction stoves, into kitchens, using chefs to popularize the switch from gas stoves. While Dannells says he believes the industry will head that way eventually, the tech is still too costly and impractical.

“Just a cost of equipment standpoint induction capable commercial ranges are three times as expensive as conventional gas ranges,” said Dannells.

And it is not just the initial purchase. Dannells says the cost to run the electric vs. gas is substantially different, along with repairs. Gas stoves are very few parts, and chefs can order and replace most damaged parts. For an induction stove with a problem, a specialist is required for a fix. He says if chefs are asked to lead the charge on electric, they should receive incentives.

“I feel like it would be fair for if they’re choosing to have chefs and restaurants champion this cause, I think it would be reasonable to expect incentives for us to do so,” said Dannells.

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