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Gas & Electric Cookers

Eco-friendly and energy-efficient cookers - we investigate, score and rank the ethical and environmental record of 49 makes of gas and electric cooker.

We compare the energy use of gas and electric cookers, induction hobs and hotplates, give advice on saving energy, look at carbon emissions and home gas pollution, and give our recommended buys.

About Ethical Consumer

This is a product guide from Ethical Consumer, the UK's leading alternative consumer organisation. Since 1989 we've been researching and recording the social and environmental records of companies, and making the results available to you in a simple format.

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What to buy

What to look for when buying a cooker:

  • Is it electric? Although they currently have a similar climate impact to gas cookers, as the electricity supply moves towards renewables, they will become the better long-term option. They also avoid the potential health risks associated with gas.

  • Is it an induction hob? Induction hobs are energy efficient and super-quick to heat food.

  • Does it has an A++ energy label? This is the best rating we found on the market, so ensures you are getting a product with maximum efficiency.

Best Buys

Because of the need to rapidly decarbonise to address climate change, our best buy advice is to buy an electric cooker. The following brand is our Best Buy:

Recommended

Miele is a premium brand and its cookers come with a high price tag. If Miele is outside your budget there are some alternatives we recommend.

British company Montpellier and Polish company Amica (which also produces the CDA brand), are cheaper options made by smaller companies who avoid being marked down for some of the worst activities seen with many of the larger multinationals in this industry, such as likely tax avoidance and selling arms.

These brands can't be best buys as they receive a worst rating in the Supply Chain Management category.

What not to buy

What to avoid when buying a cooker:

  • Is it an Aga? A traditional Aga can consume as much energy as some people’s entire house!

  • Is the energy label rating B or below? The vast majority of ovens come with A or A+ ratings, so anything rated B or lower represents a bad deal both for running costs and for the environment.

  • Is it made by a company involved in military supply or likely tax avoidance? A number of cookers are made by larger companies with problematic links. See box below for some of the brands to avoid.

Companies to avoid

We recommend avoiding companies connected to supplying weapons or military equipment used in oppressive regimes. This includes the Koç brands Flavel, Leisure and Blomberg, as well as Beko and Grundig which are also the subject of a boycott call.

  • Beko
  • Blomberg
  • Grundig
  • Leisure
  • Flavel

Score table

Updated live from our research database

← Swipe left / right to view table contents →
Brand Score(out of 20) Ratings Categories Positive Scores
10

Montpellier cookers

Company Profile: Montpellier Domestic Appliances Ltd
8.5

Amica cookers

Company Profile: Amica SA
8

CDA cookers

Company Profile: CDA Group Ltd
8

Smeg Cookers

Company Profile: Smeg SpA
8

AEG Cookers A++ [E]

Company Profile: AB Electrolux
7

Sharp cookers

Company Profile: Vestel UK Limited
7

Belling cookers

Company Profile: Glen Dimplex Home Appliances
6.5

Hoover A++ cookers [E]

Company Profile: Haier Group
6.5

New World cookers

Company Profile: Glen Dimplex Home Appliances
6.5

Stoves cookers

Company Profile: Glen Dimplex Home Appliances
6.5

AEG Cookers

Company Profile: AB Electrolux
6

De'Longhi cookers

Company Profile: De'Longhi SpA
6

Electrolux Cookers

Company Profile: AB Electrolux
6

Essentials Cookers

Company Profile: DSG Retail Limited
6

Grundig Cookers A++ [E]

Company Profile: Beko plc
6

Kenwood cookers

Company Profile: Kenwood Appliances Limited
6

Logik Cookers

Company Profile: DSG Retail Limited
6

Zanussi Cookers

Company Profile: AB Electrolux
6

Baumatic Cookers

Company Profile: Haier Group
5.5

Bosch Cookers

Company Profile: BSH Hausgeräte GmbH
5.5

Candy Cooker

Company Profile: Haier Group
5.5

Cannon cookers

Company Profile: General Domestic Appliances
5.5

Gaggenau Cookers

Company Profile: Gaggenau Hausgeräte GmbH
5.5

Hoover Cooker

Company Profile: Haier Group
5.5

Hotpoint Cookers

Company Profile: Whirlpool Corp
5.5

Indesit Cookers

Company Profile: Whirlpool Corp
5.5

KitchenAid Cookers

Company Profile: Whirlpool Corp
5.5

Neff Cookers

Company Profile: BSH Hausgeräte GmbH
5.5

Beko Cookers

Company Profile: Beko plc
5

Blomberg Cookers

Company Profile: Beko plc
5

Flavel Cookers

Company Profile: Beko plc
5

Grundig Cookers

Company Profile: Beko plc
5

John Lewis Cookers

Company Profile: John Lewis Plc
5

Leisure Cookers

Company Profile: Beko plc
5

Russell Hobbs Cookers

Company Profile: G2S Limited
5

Siemens Cookers

Company Profile: BSH Hausgeräte GmbH
5

Aga cookers

Company Profile: AGA Rangemaster Group Limited
4.5

Falcon cookers

Company Profile: AGA Rangemaster Group Limited
4.5

Mercury cookers

Company Profile: AGA Rangemaster Group Limited
4.5

Rangemaster cookers

Company Profile: AGA Rangemaster Group Limited
4.5

Rayburn cookers

Company Profile: AGA Rangemaster Group Limited
4.5

Redfyre cookers

Company Profile: AGA Rangemaster Group Limited
4.5

Stanley cookers

Company Profile: AGA Rangemaster Group Limited
4.5

Gorenje Cooker

Company Profile: Hisense Import and Export Co
4

Ikea Cookers

Company Profile: IKEA Ltd
4

Panasonic Cookers

Company Profile: Panasonic Corporation
4

Samsung Cookers

Company Profile: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
3

Bush cookers

Company Profile: Home Retail Group
0

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Our Analysis

This guide covers gas and electric cookers, including hobs, ovens and combined units. As household appliances go, cookers tend to have a long life, which makes choosing the right one important.

Alongside the activities of the companies behind the brands, the main considerations from an ethical consumer point of view are energy use and the resulting carbon emissions.

For the first time in this guide we recommend choosing electric rather than gas cookers for those living in the UK, a reflection of the country’s ongoing transition towards carbon-free electricity.

Finding an eco-friendly cooker

Cooking accounted on average for just 3% of the overall energy consumption of a UK household in 2019. 

Still, as it’s an appliance you’re likely to use every day for a decade or more, it’s worth taking the time to choose a cooker that will minimise both your costs and carbon footprint over the long term.

One of the first questions you might ask in your search for an eco-friendly cooker is whether it should be gas or electric. This hasn’t always been an easy question to answer when you try to balance energy efficiency, carbon emissions and running costs.

In the past Gas led to fewer CO2 emissions, but the evidence now shows that things have changed, and Electric cookers typically consume less energy than gas for the same amount of use. 

The table below presents the average energy consumption of gas and electric ovens and hobs (presented in Kilowatt Hours per use, week and year).

Energy consumption and carbon footprint of gas versus electric cooking
 

kWh/use

kWh/week

kWh/year

Annual CO2e (Kg) 2012

Annual CO2e (Kg) 2016

Annual CO2e (Kg) 2020

Hobs (average)

           

Gas

0.90

54.51

381.60

70.68

70.21

70.42

Electric

0.71

43.01

301.04

138.48

124.04

70.18

Induction

0.50

30.53

213.70

98.30

88.05

49.82

Ovens (average)

           
Gas

1.52

48.42

338.96

62.78

62.37

62.56

Electric

1.09

34.72

243.07

111.82

100.16

56.67

Table: Average kWh per use figures taken from Confused About Energy, with annual figures based on assumptions of 424 uses per year for hobs and 223 uses per year for ovens. Annual CO2e emissions are calculated using UK government conversion factors for natural gas and electricity use.

Running costs and carbon emissions for different types of cooker

Gas cookers are still somewhat cheaper to run due to the higher price per energy unit of electricity. And while electric cookers may use slightly less energy to cook with, this doesn’t take into account the fact that large amounts of energy are lost in the generation and transmission of electrical power.

Burning a fossil fuel to produce electricity, sending that electricity down a wire before converting it back to heat to cook your food is clearly less efficient than burning a fossil fuel directly under your pan. As a result of this, electric cookers have tended to lead to higher overall carbon emissions than gas. That is, until recently.

In the UK, where the electricity grid is undergoing a gradual process of decarbonisation, the balance is now shifting.

The right-hand columns of the table above compare the CO2e emissions associated with gas and electric cookers based on the UK energy grid in 2012, 2016 and 2020.

It shows that emissions from electricity use have roughly halved over eight years, while those from gas have remained the same, to the point where electric has begun to overtake gas as the low-emissions option.

Also the carbon impact of electrical appliances should continue to decline in line with the further planned decarbonisation of the national grid. Gas appliances however, which burn fossil fuels at the point of use, will always lead to emissions.

The Committee on Climate Change has recommended no new-build homes be connected to the gas grid after 2025, a measure that has already been implemented in the Netherlands.

All of which would suggest that, in the UK at least, electric cooking looks to be the better option for the future.
 

Cooker Manufacturers and Brands

The market for cookers is a confusing array of brands and models, with this guide listing over 40 different brand names.

However, many of these brands are ultimately owned by the same multinationals that dominate the rest of the home appliances market such as Whirlpool Corporation, AB Electrolux, Arçelik and Samsung.

Another notable player in the industry is the British manufacturer AGA-Rangemaster, who produce a multitude of brands at the premium end of the market including the iconic Aga, which we feature below and which has a very high energy use.

Robert Bosch GmbH was marked down in our scoretable for supplying parts to the automobile industry, while Koç Holding had interests in petroleum as well as automobiles. The latter is also a major supplier to the Turkish military via its subsidiary Otoka and is subject to a boycott call as a result.

Carbon management and reporting

Only two companies featured in this guide received our best rating for Carbon Management and Reporting: Panasonic and IKEA.

A majority of companies were considered to have insufficiently reported on scope 3 carbon emissions, despite the fact that the majority of emissions for the manufacture and supply of appliances is likely to occur in the use phase, which falls into scope 3.

Best: Panasonic Corporation, IKEA Ltd.
Middle: AB Electrolux, Whirlpool Corp, Arçelik, Sharp cookers, Dixons Carphone Plc, J Sainsbury plc, The Miele Group, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
Worst: Koç Holding, Haier Group, Hisense Import and Export Co, Amica SA, John Lewis Partnership plc, Glen Dimplex Group, Matchstick Men Group Limited, Montpellier Domestic Appliances Ltd, Robert Bosch GmbH (automobile), Siemens, Smeg SpA, De’Longhi SpA, The Middleby Corporation.

Indoor pollution from Gas cookers

Growing awareness of the health risks associated with indoor combustion may also help persuade you to turn off the gas.

Recent research shows that gas cookers can cause harmful levels of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide inside the home, substances that are linked to a range of health problems including heart problems, diabetes and cancer.

If you are already using a gas cooker, you can mitigate these risks by installing a carbon monoxide detector, ventilation to the outside and by opening windows when cooking.

ceramic hob with red heat rings

Eco-friendly electric cookers

Now that we’ve convinced you to leave the gas in the past, there are some additional choices to make when shopping for eco-friendly electric hobs and ovens.

Electric ovens

Unlike with hobs, electric ovens are already more popular than gas, (as evidenced by the availability of many ‘dual-fuel’ free-standing cookers, which offer electric ovens combined with gas hobs). Electric ovens are better for heat distribution and accurate temperature control, making them ideal for baking.

Electric hobs

For those used to cooking on gas, electric hobs can take a bit of getting used to. They typically take longer to heat up and cool down, making it trickier to control. However, this type of complaint will be diminished by newer ceramic and induction hobs, which offer faster heating and responsiveness.

Induction hobs

Induction differs from traditional electric hobs by using electromagnetism to directly heat the pan, leaving the hob surface cold. This process heats liquids such as oil and water much more quickly, reducing cooking times and wasting less heat in the cooking process. All of this leads to better cooking time and greater energy efficiency. As you can see from the table above the average induction hob should now outperform gas and traditional electric hobs in terms of energy use and resulting emissions.

One drawback is that the induction process only works on pans with a magnetic base containing iron (cast iron, some stainless steel) – copper, glass, ceramic or aluminium pans simply won’t work. Check to see if the base of your pan is magnetic using a fridge magnet or look for an induction loop symbol.

This problem can be alleviated through the use of a diffuser, basically a round sheet of metal with a handle, which sits in between the hob and the pan. Using a diffuser is likely to reduce energy efficiency since it essentially converts the induction hob into a traditional hob, but it may be a useful stopgap if you don’t have the right pans.

Ceramic and metal hotplates

Traditional electric hobs are available with either ceramic or metal heated surfaces. Ceramic hobs heat up more quickly and are easier to clean than metal. They often feature ‘dual zones’ on a single ring which means that you can set it to the size of your pan, maximising energy efficiency. Metal (or ‘solid plate’) hobs are available on the cheaper end of the market, so may be a good option if you’re on a tight budget.

Energy efficiency labels on cookers

Unlike most other household appliances, cookers and ovens are not yet subject to the new improved EU (and UK equivalent) energy labelling system. This means that until the next round of updates, cooking appliances are still labelled according to the old system, which ranges from A+++ to D.

Manufacturers are required to include energy labels for conventional gas and electric ovens, whether they are built-in ovens or part of a free-standing cooker. Hobs and grills are not covered by the labelling system, and neither are many ‘non-conventional’ types of oven (such as ovens with built-in microwaves, steam-only ovens and more). Labels must be provided for each conventional oven ‘cavity’, meaning that units with multiple ovens may come with two or more different energy labels.

While the stated maximum energy rating for ovens is A+++, our research did not find a single product on the market using the highest rating.

Only three brands were found to offer products featuring a second-best A++ on specific models: AEG, Grundig and Hoover. As these models were exceptional in achieving an A++ rating, they received a product sustainability mark on our score table. The vast majority of products available were rated A or A+, with B being the lowest rating we found on any current models.

Clever cooking - how to save energy

Besides what you cook with, how you cook is also important for reducing energy consumption. Here are some simple steps you can take to save energy:

In the oven

  • Think carefully about how you reheat food – microwaves are 60-80% more efficient than ovens.
  • For baked potatoes, give them ten minutes in the microwave before finishing in the oven.
  • Cook as much as possible in one go to make sure all the space and heat is being used.
  • Keep the oven closed while cooking as each time you open the door the oven loses heat and requires more energy to get back up to temperature.
  • Defrost frozen food in the fridge overnight to reduce the cooking time.
  • Whenever possible use the fan assist cooking option that allows you to set the oven at a lower temperature.
  • For longer cooking cycles, you can switch the oven off 10 or more minutes before the end of the cooking time and use the residual heat to finish cooking.
  • Maintain the seal on your oven.
  • Glass and ceramic dishes heat more efficiently than metal.

On the hob

  • Keep lids on pots and pans wherever practical.
  • Copper-bottomed or cast-iron pans heat more effectively than stainless steel.
  • Where possible use a steamer to cook multiple vegetables at the same time.
  • Cut food into smaller pieces so it will cook more quickly.
  • Use the right sized pan. According to SmarterHouse, a 6” pan on an 8” electric ring wastes more than 40% of the heat produced by the ring.

Straw box cooking

A long-time favourite of earlier Ethical Consumer reports has been the idea of making your own 'straw box' or 'hay box'. This involves placing a pan of food, once heated, into an insulated box to finish the cooking process. There are lots of videos/ instructions on the web for anyone interested. Wrapping towels around a pan on an insulated surface is an even lower-tech way of achieving the same result.

See also the box below about solar cooking.

Energy use of self-cleaning ovens

A significant number of ovens now feature pyrolytic self-cleaning, which works by heating to extreme temperatures of over 400ºC. This means that all food deposits are turned into ash for you to simply sweep away once the oven is cool.

Heating to such high temperatures for several hours at a time is clearly an energy-intensive process (although definitive figures were hard to find, one test found that the self-cleaning cycle consumed 8 kWh, which would be equivalent to around two weeks of normal use).

Some proponents of self-cleaning ovens argue that the quality of insulation needed to contain such high temperatures mitigates the extra energy used, although no statistics were found to support these claims. However, a more obvious advantage of self-cleaning ovens from an environmental point-of-view is that they may enable you to avoid highly toxic oven cleaners.

Cooking on sunshine

Although not the best adapted to British weather, solar cookers have the potential to improve the lives of many people around the world living in rural areas of high sunlight, while reducing harmful pollution, deforestation and carbon emissions.

Solar cookers are simple devices that make use of highly reflective materials (such as mirrors, polished metal, or aluminium foil) to concentrate sunlight and generate heat in a small area into which a cooking pot can be placed.

There are three main types of solar cooker, which apply this concept in different ways:

  • box cookers reflect directly into an enclosed box.
  • parabolic cookers use a curved surface to concentrate sunlight to a single point.
  • panel cookers have a simplified design that incorporates elements of box and parabolic cookers.

Panel and box cookers are especially simple and inexpensive to make. They are used to cook food at relatively low temperatures in a similar fashion to a slow cooker, meaning a pot can be placed on them and left for several hours.

Parabolic cookers use a somewhat more advanced design and are capable of attaining much higher temperatures but have the drawback of needing to be moved frequently in order to capture the sunlight as the sun moves across the sky.

Solar Cookers International (SCI) is a US-based advocacy group which aims to increase the use of solar cookers around the world. They state that over 500,000 cookers are currently in use in both India and China, as well as many thousands more in other areas. According to the organisation, “For areas in the world experiencing deforestation and limited access to clean water, solar cooking is a valuable part of the solution, by providing a safe, smoke-free alternative method of cooking and purifying water.”

To find out more about the solar cookers, including how you can make your own, visit SCI’s ‘Solar Cooking Wiki’.

Aga do or Aga don’t?

Long admired for their build quality and multi-functionality, the cast iron Aga ‘heat-storage’ cooker is a mainstay of many English countryside kitchens and is manufactured in the UK by Aga-Rangemaster along with several other brands.

Although the company now produces a range of models including electric ones, traditional Agas and their equivalents are designed to stay on all the time, constantly consuming fuel and, as a result, consume exorbitant amounts of energy. In recent times this has led to strong condemnation by environmentalists such as George Monbiot and Mike Berners-Lee.

Defending against such criticisms, Aga-Rangemaster has pointed to the fact that the Aga can also serve other functions in the household as evidence that the “Aga home doesn't use more energy than an alternative home”. For example, the constant heat they produce and various functions can eliminate the need for a toaster, microwave, tumble drier and several radiators. The Aga’s ‘sister’ cooker, the Rayburn, goes a step further in this regard by including a built-in boiler that can provide hot water and central heating.

Rayburns aside though, it is hard to credit claims of the Aga’s efficiency after crunching the numbers. Using energy consumption figures from Aga’s own website, a gas-powered Aga R5 Series 4 oven would produce a staggering five tonnes of CO2e in a year—that’s equivalent to 38 conventional gas cookers (based on figures in the table above), or around 60% of the average CO2e emissions for an entire UK household. You’d need to be making toast for the whole village to make up for that! The oil-powered Aga R5 Series is even worse, burning 51 litres of Kerosene oil a week and leading to 6.7 tonnes in annual CO2e emissions.

Another argument used to support the eco-credentials of the Aga is that they last a long time, and this is undoubtedly true—the oldest AGA still in use is said to date from 1932. However, given their voracious energy demand, this longevity is almost certainly causing more harm to the planet than good. As Mike Berners-Lee wrote in his recent book, an Aga is probably one of the few pieces of kit that is better to throw away than to sell second-hand.

Full steam ahead - an alternative

Steam ovens are becoming increasingly popular, and are available from most of the major brands, either as ‘steam-only’, which can cook with steam, or ‘combi-steam’, which can also be used like a conventional oven.

Both types use an internal water canister, which must be regularly refilled, to generate steam inside the oven. Steam cooking is considerably faster than roasting or baking and is therefore likely to offer energy savings, as well as the health benefits of not having to cook with oil.

Avoiding buying new

Given the lack of high-scoring brands on our list, not to mention the high cost of new cooking appliances, you may well be inclined to avoid buying new.

Buying a used cooker

The good news is that, with cookers among the longest lasting of household appliances, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a second hand unit with plenty of life left in it and that could save you a considerable amount of money. What is more, supply of many household appliances has been disrupted by Covid-19, so if you need a cooker urgently, second-hand may be a better way to go.

For reliability, it’s better to buy from a local appliance repair centre than from an individual on an online marketplace like eBay. That way it should come fully tested, and lots of dealers also provide a delivery and fitting service.

Repairing what you have

Unlike with many other household appliances, common faults with cookers, such as failing elements in electric ovens, are often practical and economical to repair, so it’s worth calling a repair specialist about a faulty cooker before you think of chucking it out for a new one.

The UK Whitegoods website at is a useful resource for repairs advice and spare parts for cookers and other appliances.

Companies behind the brands

Koç Holding AS owns multiple home appliance brands via Arçelik AS, in which it owns a 57% share. These brands are Beko, Blomberg, Grundig, Defy, Flavel and Leisure.

Koç also owns an airline and several energy sector businesses, including petroleum shipping and power generation plants that use natural gas.

It is also a major supplier to the Turkish military via its subsidiary Otoka and is subject to a boycott call.

Want more information?

If you want to find out detailed information about a company and more about its ethical rating, then click on a brand name in the Score table. 

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