A question we are often asked when designing bespoke kitchens is whether to go for a gas or an induction hob. The truth is that both options have their advantages and disadvantages, meaning that it always comes down to what suits the individual or family.
Let’s investigate gas vs induction hobs and find out which one is right for you.
Gas vs induction hobs: The complete comparison
One of the most common questions asked when planning a new kitchen nowadays is ‘are induction hobs better than gas?’ Many would reply that nothing quite beats the feeling of cooking with gas. Gas is satisfyingly easy to understand – you can see the flame, feel the flame intensity, and adjust it as needed. You can shake the pan about with a flourish to adjust the heat, and, for many people, cooking this way feels very instinctive and natural.
Gas hobs are ideal for everyone from amateur cooks to professional chefs, and they also work well for all types of cooking, from simmering to flash grilling. In terms of aesthetics, although gas hobs are more often seen in traditional and rustic-style kitchens, this doesn’t mean that they don’t look good in a more modern space – with so many different types of gas hob available, you are sure to find one that works with your decoration.
Photo credit Sub-Zero Wolf
There are some negatives for gas in the gas vs induction hobs argument. To start with, they require gas mains, which modern buildings may not have. They are also significantly harder to clean, with induction hobs being a smooth flat surface and gas hobs having the pan support to contend with. Perhaps most importantly, they are not as energy efficient as induction hobs, meaning they are not as good for the environment.
So what exactly are induction hobs, and why are induction hobs better than gas? Induction hobs are cooktops that use electromagnetism to heat when in contact with certain materials. They are the more environmentally friendly choice, having the option to be powered by renewable energy. They are also more efficient as they distribute heat more evenly, and this allows for better precision cooking.
Induction hobs can also be very aesthetically pleasing, with an easy-to-clean glass surface that does not interfere with the lines of the kitchen counter, meaning they can also be used as an additional work surface when not in use. They have a modern minimalist look that can either act as a focal point in a contemporary kitchen or blend into the background of a more traditional space.
Since induction hobs will only heat when a pan is in contact with the surface, they are also safer, especially for people who have younger children and pets around. Many even have a child lock option.
Photo credit Sub-Zero Wolf
On the other side of the gas vs induction hobs debate, the induction cooking experience is slightly different, and this can be a difficult adjustment for those who have been cooking with gas all their life.
Also, since they are only compatible with certain pans, many people will find that some of their pans do not work on an induction hob. The best cookware for induction hobs is made from stainless steel and cast iron. Other types of cookware such as aluminum, copper, glass, anodised or ceramic will not work unless they have an induction plate built into the base.
Gas vs induction hobs: Which is the winner?
When it comes to efficiency, cleaning and safety, induction is a better choice. However, if you prefer to cook in the traditional way, and want to be able to easily produce food to the best possible standard, then you may prefer a gas cooktop.
If you are lucky enough to have a supporting scullery kitchen alongside your main cooking area, then the ideal thing would be to have one of each, allowing you and your family to swap between as preferred. However, if you can only pick one, think long and hard before you decide, perhaps testing out a few induction hobs to see if they work for you.