Using an electric casting furnace is a lot more comfortable than toiling over a hot stove, and some electric furnaces, such as those offered by Lee Precision, are quite inexpensive. Pay a bit extra and get one with a temperature control-you'll be glad you did. The main benefits of the fancier equipment, such as the RCBS Pro-Melt bottom-pour furnace I've used for a quarter-century, are speed, temperature control and large capacity (more than 20 pounds). Of course, they also cost more and mainly appeal to high-volume bullet casters. My suggestion for beginners is to start off with a moderately priced, thermostat-controlled furnace.