If you haven’t figured it out, I’m a big proponent of induction cooking and induction cooktops. I’ve used portable cooktops or hobs for many years and recently upgraded a 4-burner gas range to an induction cooktop and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Induction cooktops may not be for everyone. There are a number of different types of cooktops available (electric coil, gas, electric smooth top and induction). For that reason, I have added this topic to discuss the pros and cons of gas vs induction cooktops.
Gas cooktops have long been the preference of great cooks for their even cooking and ability to heat up quickly. Today, more amateur and professional cooks are making the switch to induction cooktops. An induction cooktop creates heat by way of magnetism (induction) to create heat to cook food. Induction cooktops are not new, but many people do not know how induction works or how it compares to cooking with gas. There are pros and cons for each cooking method that make one or the other the best choice for every consumer.
Gas cooktops offer a number of advantages, many of which are known to cooks around the world. A common reason that users prefer gas cooktops is the instant heat, there is no waiting for coils to gradually heat up before you can start cooking.
The same is true of the dissipation of heat once the gas stove is turned off. Unlike an electric coil, the heat goes away as soon as the flame is no longer burning. Gas also makes it easy to control the temperature while cooking food and gas is a lot less expensive than electricity.
- Most every type of cookware can be used on a gas cooktop.
- Gas cooktops are relatively inexpensive compared to a similar induction cooktop.
- There are a lot of options from simple gas stoves to professional gas ranges.
While there are many people who refuse to use any method of cooking other than gas because of its advantages, there are also those who fear it. Gas stoves can easily start fires and produces vapors that can be dangerous to your health. Fittings for a gas cooktop must be professionally installed to ensure there are no leaks. An improper connection can cause a fuel leak and possible fire, explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Energy efficiency is important to a growing number of people today. The large amount of energy lost when cooking with gas makes it a negative for some cooks.
- The construction of the gas burners can make the cooktop difficult to clean.
The advantages of gas cooking have always been based on the comparison to cooking with electricity. Many of these advantages dim in comparison to those of induction cooking. Induction creates heat through a magnetic field that results in significantly faster heating than that from gas. The same amount of water that takes between eight to nine minutes to heat on a gas cooktop will boil in about 2-1/2 minutes on an induction burner.
The heat created through induction comes from a magnetic field created between the cookware the cooktop. As a result, the heat is more distributed for more even cooking. The temperature of the induction cooktop can be easily adjusted to cook all types of foods. Moist foods remain moister and high heat foods become crispy without the need for a lot of oil.
The induction cooktop is safer than its gas counterpart in a number of ways. It doesn’t have an open flame, does not produce exhaust fumes, and the cooktop remains cool while cooking. The only part of the burner that gets hot is the part that is directly under the cookware.
- Induction cooktops are incredibly energy efficient, up to 90% of the energy is used transferred to cooking. In comparison, gas cooktops use indirect heat, resulting in the use of about 38% of energy, releasing the rest into the kitchen.
- The flat surface of the induction cooktop makes it much easier to clean than the gas cooktops. Baked on food is less likely because the cooktop stays cool.
- A single induction cooktop can be portable, all you need is an electricity source.
Only cookware made from magnetic materials will work on induction cooktops. While copper, brass and aluminum cookware are excluded, those made from magnetic stainless steel, cast iron, or steel can be used. The cookware you already own can be used if it is magnetic.
- Induction cooktops tend to be more expensive than an equivalent gas model.
There will always be cooks who are devoted to the use of gas cooktops. For those that prefer greater precision and safety in their cooking, induction offers a new choice that is even more efficient, precise and easier to clean.