What is the difference between an oven and stove?

In this brief article we are going to answer the question,”What is the difference between oven and stove?”, and discuss what an oven is, how an oven works and the types of oven, how a stove works and the different types of stove.

What is the difference between an oven and a stove?

The difference between an oven and stove is that an oven uses gas or electricity to transfer heat to cook food and has a temperature control button to regulate heat whereas a stove is a kitchen appliance where heat is exposed directly to food to cook it. All ovens are stoves but not all stoves are ovens.

An oven is simply a box that’s used to heat or cook food whereas a stove is technically any enclosed space that uses fuel to provide heat. 

What are the types of stoves?

The types of stove include the following:

Gas stove

Gas stove works by an electronic ignition system. When the burner is made active, clicking noises are heard in a series which cause the production of small sparks to turn on the burner. Gas ovens are present in older traditional homes. They have an advantage to instantly heat up as opposed to other types of ovens.

Electric stoves

Electric stoves are usually found in hotels, apartments and rental properties. The way an electric oven works is by a set of coils that are either exposed or are present inside the cooking surface . The electricity runs through the coil and the metal is heated, which turns the coil bright red. A major setback of using electric ovens is that it’s difficult to tell precisely how hot the surface is, the setting of knobs are not as precise as a gas stove.

Induction stoves

Induction stoves work by current flowing through a coil situated below each cooking zone which creates an invisible magnetic field. The field penetrates the pan with electrical currents, heating it up. 

How does the oven work?

Oven works by the use of two heating elements which heat the air inside the oven. The heating on the top is used for broiling whereas the heating at the bottom is often used for cooking and baking. It also has a fan and an exhaust for circulating the hot air on the inside of the oven.

Types of ovens

Types of ovens include:

Wall ovens

They are also called built in ovens, built in a wall space, which gives a wider area in the kitchen. Wall ovens can also be installed in the ground.

Freestanding ovens – contains both an oven and a hob and are used for smaller spaces and kitchens having a few fixed cabinets.

Toaster ovens

They are a countertop appliance that can grill bread and is used to toast food. They are cheap but do not offer the same baked quality as others. Because of their small size, you can only cook a limited amount of food. 

Steam ovens

They are mainly used for cooking vegetables or certain types of meat. They reduce cooking times, preserve the flavour and retain vitamin and minerals of food. They can cook only a small variety of food.

Benchtop convection ovens

They are a type of conventional ovens that circulate hot-air and distribute it evenly to create a constant temperature. They are expensive but can cook fast, at lower temperatures. 

Microwave ovens

They are good for heating cooked food rapidly but cannot brown or crisp food and don’t cook food evenly. 

Self-cleaning ovens

They are those which clean themselves. They are of two types

  1. Proteolytic ovens – has a self cleaning mode and can heat the oven to 500 degrees celsius. This decreases the residue of food converting it to a thin white ash which can be wiped away easily.
  2. Catalytic liners – specially developed oven that can absorb particles of fat and food which are then burnt off by running a cleaning setting. 


In this brief article we have answered the question,”What is the difference between oven and stove?”, and discussed what an oven is, how an oven works and the types of oven, how a stove works and the different types of stove.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.