When considering a new cooktop, gas and electric options are what typically come to mind. But what type of cooktops are there that are newer to the kitchen scene? Induction models use a magnetic field to transfer heat directly to cookware. Learn the differences between gas vs electric vs induction models to determine what kind of cooktop is best for you.
Comparing and Contrasting
Gas vs Electric vs Induction Cooktops
How do you decide between a gas vs electric vs induction cooktop? Personal cooking preferences, budget, and kitchen design are all valid considerations. We’ll discuss how each cooktop works and their pros and cons to help inform your decision.
Electric cooktops remain the most popular option in the US, largely because of their affordability and ease of use. The burners on electric cooktops are typically metal coils that rest on the cooktop or radiant heating elements that lie below a smooth ceramic surface. While both use electric heat to cook food, ceramic cooktops heat up faster than metal coils. They are also easier to clean and offer a more sleek and modern appearance.
Here are the pros and cons of electric cooktops:
- Low price point: When comparing gas vs electric vs inductions cooktops, electric models have the lowest upfront cost.
- Consistency: Electric heat settings offer steady and even heat, providing a reliable and consistent temperature with each use.
- Ease of use and installation: Electric cooktops are easy to install, requiring no more than an electric outlet. They are also relatively safe and easy to use, requiring no special cookware and less vigilance than gas models.
Image from Viking
- Less efficient: While electric cooktops cost less upfront, their excessive electricity usage increases their overall cost over time.
- Slow response time: Electric stoves take longer to heat up and aren’t as responsive to temperature changes, resulting in less precise control.
- Limited durability: While traditional electric coils are fairly durable, ceramic cooktops can crack, chip or scratch with the wrong cookware or cleaning methods.
A gas stove vs electric cooktop provides better control, making it the preferred choice of professional chefs and serious home cooks. What creates this precision? The open gas flame provides instant heat, as well as instant reactivity to temperature changes. Most modern gas stoves offer a power burner that can reach high temperatures quickly. They also provide a simmer burner that can provide a more gentle, but sustained, heat.
These are the pros and cons of gas cooktops:
- Fast and efficient cooking: The ability to quickly reach high temperatures and respond to temperature changes make for more rapid cooking, using less energy.
- Restaurant-quality performance: High-end gas stoves offer both higher and lower temperature ranges and commercial-level parts that can result in higher quality results.
- Wide range of uses: From cooking with woks to charring chili peppers, a gas stove’s flame offers more options than electric or induction cooktops.
Image from Wolf, Sub-Zero, Cove
- Complex installation: Gas cooktops require a gas line connection to operate, limiting them to only areas where gas is available. To ensure safety, they also require professional installation, adding to their cost.
- Difficult to clean: The delicate igniter and multiple burner components can be difficult to clean and are prone to permanent staining.
- Decreased ease of use: Not everyone is comfortable cooking with an open flame and use of gas requires extra vigilance. The multiple burner components are also more prone to malfunctions, such as a gas burner sparking but not lighting.
Is induction better than gas when it comes to speed and efficiency? While these stoves can boil water faster than a gas cooktop, they’re equal when it comes to consistency and precision.
Induction stoves utilize electromagnetic energy to cook food. Below the ceramic cooktop, an element creates a magnetic field that reacts with cookware with iron, steel, or magnetic stainless steel when the stove is on. This reaction creates a current that passes into the pan so the pan provides heat, not the element. This leaves the surface of the cooktop cool, transferring all the cooking heat to the pan.
Image from Samsung
Induction cooktops have the following pros and cons:
- Speed and precision: Induction vs electric cooktops heat up much faster and are equal to gas in speed and temperature consistency.
- Easy to clean: The smooth ceramic cooktop never gets hot so it easily wipes down with no baked-on food.
- Safety: Induction cooktops reduce burns, as the surface never gets hot. No open flames and no gas also reduce the risk of fires and gas leaks.
- Highest price point: Induction cooktops have a significantly higher price point than gas or electric models.
- Doesn’t work with all cookware: Pots and pans must be magnetic to work with induction cooktops.
- Requires some adjusting: Though induction cooking isn’t new, it isn’t as familiar to most American cooks. This means that most will have to adjust to new cooking speeds, cookware, and general use and care.
Whether you have a gas vs electric vs induction cooktop, malfunctions can occur at any time. When they do, contact Ortega’s Appliance Service for an expert range and cooktop repair.