Gas vs induction cooking, what’s better? Gas stoves have been used a lot longer than induction cooktops. They are the automatic choice for most people looking for a new cooktop for their kitchen.
But induction cooking has become more popular in recent decades. It offers many advantages over a traditional gas hob.
If you are shopping for a new cooktop, it’s worth considering the pros and cons of each type to find the best one for your needs.
Zachäus Winzler made the first gas stove in 1802. But it wasn’t until 1826 that the first proper gas stove was patented. By the early 1900s, many people in Europe and the US were cooking with gas.
Most people prefer gas stoves because they produce instant heat and once you turn it off, the heat goes away (almost) unlike electric coils that remain hot. It’s also easy to adjust the temperature simply by turning the knob.
Cooking with gas is also significantly cheaper though the initial costs can be fairly high if your home is not yet equipped with a gas line.
Another advantage of gas is that you don’t need to buy any special pans. Any pan, be it aluminium, copper, cast iron or stainless steel, will work fine on a gas cooktop.
On the downside, cooking with gas is less efficient compared to induction cooking.
Only 40-55% of heat from a gas hob reaches food, the rest getting wasted. In contrast, 90% of heat from an induction hob reaches food.
Even an electric cooktop is more efficient, with 70% of the heat reaching food.
That’s why it takes longer to bring the same amount of water to a boil with a gas cooktop compared to an induction one.
Induction cooking works through electromagnetism. When you place a pan on top of the hob, it creates a magnetic field that makes the pan heat up.
The heat is then transferred to the food.
Unlike gas and electric cooktops that transfer heat to the pan using flames or a coil, an induction hob heats the pan directly.
This is what makes induction cooking so efficient. Only 10-20% of the heat is wasted.
A pan of water on an induction hob will boil in about half to two thirds of the time it would take on a gas hob.
Induction hobs also provide more precise temperature control compared to gas cooktops. This is important for recipes with specific temperature requirements.
For families with young kids, safety is one of the biggest reasons to go with induction over gas. Even when it’s on, the cooktop stays cool to the touch. This reduces the risk of accidental burns. But remember that the pan itself will get hot.
As good and efficient as it is, induction cooking has a couple of downsides.
The main one is the cost. A good quality induction hob is expensive though costs are coming down.
Gas vs Induction Cooking: Which One Should You Choose?
The overall winner is easily induction cooking. It’s faster, cleaner, safer, more efficient and cooks more evenly than gas.
But that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for everyone. The ideal choice for your kitchen depends on your needs and situation.
If your home already has piped gas, you may find it easier to just get a gas cooktop. But if your home is not gas-ready, an induction cooktop makes more sense especially in terms of your budget.
An induction hob is also the best choice if you prefer a cooktop that is efficient, cooks fast and is safe for your kids.
Before you get an induction hob, check if your pans are induction-ready. A quick way to check is to stick a magnet on the underside of the pan.
If it sticks, it’s induction ready.
If it sticks weakly or doesn’t stick at all, you’ll have to buy a new set of pans for induction cooking.
Most induction-ready pans are made from stainless steel. But there are also aluminium ones with a stainless steel bottom.