Are you in the process of remodeling your kitchen? If so, you might want to replace your stove and wonder if an induction hob or a gas stove is better. Is there a clear winner?
Induction hobs and gas stoves offer multiple benefits, and the better choice depends on your preferences and taste. Induction hobs are great for those with kids and those who like sleek and modern kitchens. Gas stoves are a greener alternative and a more cost-effective option for those on a budget.
Induction hobs were invented in the 1930s but only became popular as a mainstream stove option in the early 2000s due to their flat and sleek appearance. They fit seamlessly into any modern kitchen with minimalist features but are more costly than gas hobs.
An induction hob’s most unique feature is how it heats the cookware. Instead of using thermal conduction (as with other stovetops), it uses electromagnetic conduction and heats the entire pot or magnetized surface, resulting in faster cooking.
On the other hand, gas stoves were invented by James Sharp in 1826 and, by the early 20th century, were the most widely-used stove type. Gas stoves are popular with chefs and cooking enthusiasts because the open flame browns food beautifully, giving it a professional finish.
Although gas stovetops use more energy than induction hobs (much of the energy is lost due to the open flame), they use natural gas as fuel and are a greener option, helping you reduce your carbon footprint.
Choosing between an induction hob and a gas stove can be challenging because they both have benefits and drawbacks.
Read further to find out more about induction hobs and gas stoves. I’ll also explain the benefits and drawbacks of both stoves so that you can make an informed purchase.
What Is an Induction Hob?
Induction hobs look sleek, elegant, and modern. But what are they, and how do they work?
An induction hob is an electric stove with copper induction coils that create a magnetic field when switched on. However, the coils will only heat up if you place a magnetic pot or pan on them.
Since the pot’s magnetic field causes the induction coils to create heat, only the pot will heat up. This means it won’t be hot if you remove the pot from the stovetop. This is an excellent safety feature if you have kids or if you sometimes forget to switch your stove off.
When using an induction stove, your food will heat up and cook faster because your cookware’s entire surface is heated, not just the base (as with other methods).
One of the main drawbacks of having an induction stovetop is that you can only use magnetic-based pots and pans. These include the following cookware types:
- Cast iron
- Magnetic stainless steel
- Enameled cast iron
Unfortunately, you can’t use aluminum or copper cookware with induction hobs unless you have an induction pot or pan adaptor. You can buy these from homeware stores or online; a good quality one shouldn’t cost you more than $20.
What Is a Gas Stovetop?
Are you looking for a greener alternative to an electric stovetop? If so, a gas stove is an excellent option because it uses natural gas. So, what is a gas stove, and how does it work?
A gas stove is connected to a natural gas supply and produces a blue flame when you switch it on. You control the stovetop heat by controlling the flame level. Gas stovetops are popular with chefs as the open flame browns food effectively.
Gas stovetops use natural gas, an environmentally-friendly option, but they’re not as energy-efficient as induction hobs because a lot of heat is lost through the open flame.
If you already have a gas supply to your home, installing a gas stove is straightforward. However, if you don’t, you’ll need to call in a gas professional for the installation.
Another crucial benefit of a gas stovetop is its ability to work during a power outage, making it ideal for off-the-grid living.
Gas stoves have a clunky but distinctive look. Unlike induction hobs, they have raised burners surrounded by metal pot or pan supports. These awkwardly-placed parts make cleaning challenging, especially burned-on food.
What Is the Difference Between an Induction Hob and a Gas Stove?
Induction hobs and gas stoves are two of the most popular stove options. Yet, some differences between them can impact which one is better for you.
The difference between an induction hob and a gas stove lies mainly in the energy source. Gas stoves use natural gas, while induction hobs use electricity. Other differences include appearance, safety, cookware, heating method, and cleaning options.
Below is a helpful table outlining the main differences between an induction hob and a gas stove:
|Induction Hob||Gas Stove|
|Energy Source||Electricity||Natural gas|
|Cookware Options||Can only use flat-bottomed and cast iron, magnetic stainless steel, or enameled cast iron cookware||Can use any type of cookware|
|Heating Method, and Speed||Electromagnetic inductionHeats the cookware and not the stoveHeats up fast||Thermal conductionCookware base is heated by the flame Immediate flame but takes longer to heat up|
|Style||Minimalist, sleek, and modern||Traditional, classic, and slightly clunky|
|Cleaning||Easy to cleanLess burned-on food||More challenging to clean as you need to clean around of the parts|
|Safety||Extremely safe as induction hobs only heat up upon contact with a magnetized pot||Not as safe due to the open flame and gas leak risk|
Let’s compare these differences in more detail:
- Energy source. Induction hobs use electricity but very little of it because they effectively heat the entire pot. Unfortunately, you can’t use them if the power is out. Gas stoves use natural gas, and you lose a lot of energy due to the open flame. However, you can use a gas stove during a power outage.
- Cookware options. You can use any cookware with gas stoves. However, you can only use magnetized cookware with induction hobs, and you might need to invest in new pots and pans or buy an induction hob adaptor.
- Heating method and speed. Induction hobs use electromagnetic induction to heat the entire magnetized surface, resulting in rapid cooking. In contrast, gas stoves use thermal conduction through an open flame. This only heats the pot’s base, making cooking slower.
- Style. Induction hobs have a flat, glassy surface, giving them a minimalist and sleek appearance. They’re a wonderful addition to a contemporary kitchen. Gas stoves look clunkier and more traditional but have timeless appeal as they are widely used in restaurant kitchens.
- Cleaning. Cleaning an induction hob is fast and easy due to its flat surface. Since only the pot is heated, it results in less burned-on food on the stovetop should you make a mess. On the other hand, gas stoves have awkward parts that are difficult and more time-consuming to clean around.
- Safety. An induction hob is very safe. It remains cool even if you accidentally leave it on but forget to place the pot on it. Gas stoves use open flames and can easily ignite nearby objects. If your gas system has a leak, it can be a health hazard.
Advantages of an Induction Hob
- Looks sleek, elegant, and minimalist. Induction hobs have a “barely there” appearance, look neat, and seamlessly fit in with any modern kitchen.
- Heats up faster. Gas stovetops have open flames producing instant heat. However, because they use electromagnetic heating, induction hobs heat the cookware and food faster.
- Uses less energy. Induction hobs are very accurate and will only use minimal energy needed for cooking. This makes them very energy-efficient and cheaper to run than gas stoves.
- Excellent safety. If you have kids, an induction hob can be safer because, even when it’s switched on, it won’t heat up unless you place a magnetic pot on it.
- Fuss-free cleaning. Cleaning an induction hob is incredibly easy. With its smooth, flat surface, all you need to do is wipe it down.
Disadvantages of an Induction Hob
- Uses electricity. Induction hobs use electricity, which is not the greenest option unless you have a solar panel system in your home.
- Costly. Although induction hobs are easier and cheaper to install than gas stoves, the overall cost is still much more. They might not be a suitable option if you’re on a budget.
- Doesn’t work with all pots and pans. Another element affecting the price of an induction hob is suitable cookware. If you’ve never used an induction hob before, you may need to replace your current pots and pans because induction hobs only work with magnetic cookware.
- Surface is prone to scratching and damage. Induction hobs are durable, but if you use poor quality or warped cookware, the induction coils’ magnetic field can cause it to vibrate against the surface, resulting in damage or scratches.
Advantages of a Gas Stove
- Uses natural gas. If you’re keen to reduce your carbon footprint, using a gas stove instead of an induction hob or regular electric stove is an excellent option.
- Has a classic and traditional look. Having a gas stove in your kitchen gives it a timeless look and could hint that you’re a cooking pro because most chefs prefer cooking with gas stovetops.
- Works during a power outage. If you live in an area with frequent power outages or extreme weather, you can continue to use your gas stovetop, even when your home has no electricity.
- Browns food professionally. Many chefs prefer gas stoves because the open flame can brown food effectively.
Disadvantages of a Gas Stove
- The open flame can be a safety hazard. When cooking on a gas stovetop, you need to be careful not to place any flammable items nearby because the open flame can easily ignite them, making it a safety hazard.
- Risk of gas leaks. Gas stovetops are connected to a gas line; if a leak occurs, you might feel nauseous, lightheaded, or have a headache. In extreme cases, it can cause unconsciousness or death. Most gas stovetop manufacturers recommend installing a gas leak detector in your home to play if safe.
- Complex installation. If you already have a gas line in your home, installing a gas stove is easy. However, if you don’t have a gas line, you’ll need to call a professional to hook you up, which can be costly and time-consuming.
- Higher energy cost. When using a gas stove, a lot of heat is lost through the open flame, resulting in a waste of energy and an increase in your gas bill.
- More challenging to clean. When cleaning a gas hob, you often need to clean around the metal pan supports and raised burners, which can be tedious and time-consuming.
Which Is Better?
When considering buying an induction hob or a gas stove, the better option will depend on your requirements and preferences.
Gas stoves are better if you want to use natural fuel, enjoy well-browned food, and want a stove that works in a power outage. On the other hand, induction hobs are great for families, modern kitchens, and don’t need time-consuming cleaning.
Consider these points to decide which is better for you:
- Gas stoves use natural fuel. Many people are mindful of the devastating impact of fossil fuels on the environment. If you want to make a difference and reduce your carbon footprint, selecting a gas stovetop is suitable because it uses natural gas.
- Induction hobs are great for families. Induction hobs are wonderful options for families because they only heat up if you place a magnetized pot on them.
- Gas stoves can brown food beautifully. If you enjoy well-browned food, a gas stove could be the better option for you as the open flame cooks food professionally.
- Induction hobs fit in well with modern kitchens. Their sleek and minimalist designs make induction hobs fit seamlessly into modern kitchens.
- Gas stoves work in a power outage. If you live in an area with frequent power outages or often experience extreme weather events, a gas stove will continue to work with no power.
- Induction hobs can easily be cleaned. An induction hob can save you time cleaning your kitchen as it only requires a quick wipe-down.