Choosing a hob: is induction better than gas?
A gas hob – with its visible flame – is something many homeowners are used to cooking on. But in recent years, another type of hob has been growing in popularity.
The induction hob runs on electricity. However, it is not to be confused with old-style electric hobs. Induction is much more efficient and effective. And it boasts a pretty sleek aesthetic too.
If you’re investing in a bespoke kitchen, you have free rein when it comes to your appliances. So should you ditch the gas and embrace a new style of cooking?
Let’s take a closer look at induction hob pros and cons to help you decide: is induction better than gas?
How does an induction hob work?
An induction hob uses electromagnetism to heat the base of a pan.
Induction coils sit beneath a glass hob top. When you turn the hob on, electricity travels through the coils. And when you place a pan with a magnetic base on top of the hob, a magnetic field is created.
This magnetic field creates a current, which generates the heat you need to cook whatever culinary masterpiece you have planned.
But the connection between hob and pan is all-important. Even when switched on, the hob will remain cold until you place a plan onto the hob surface.
Which pans work with an induction hob?
As you may already have guessed, you need magnetic pans to create a magnetic field.
Anything with a base of iron or steel will work with an induction hob. But aluminium and copper pans aren’t compatible and simply won’t heat up.
If you’d like to find out which of your pans would work with an induction hob, grab a fridge magnet and find out which pan bases it sticks to.
Is induction better than gas?
So why is induction the rising star of the hob scene? And can we really say that induction is better than gas?
Let’s take a look at how gas and induction measure up in terms of cooking experience, energy efficiency, safety, maintenance and style.
The cooking experience
Gas hobs heat up faster than induction hobs. You switch it on and the hot flame is there. A visible flame also gives you a clear idea of how hot your pan is going to get.
But gas hobs don’t cook food faster. That’s because an induction hob distributes heat more efficiently. And you can actually boil a pan of water more quickly on an induction hob than you can on gas.
It’s also easier to control the temperature of an induction hob. You’re less likely to burn a sauce or have your pasta water boil over. Induction hobs do a low simmer really well.
One downside? Induction hobs tend to make a noise when they’re switched on, particularly if you have them turned up to a high temperature. They make a low hum or whirring noise that can be irritating to some home cooks.
This kitchen features a full-surface 90cm Gaggenau induction cooktop, with a dedicated teppan on the side - perfect for the avid cooks in this household. The control knobs are cleverly mounted on the upstand as a unique feature.
If you’re looking to create a greener kitchen, induction is the way to go.
Gas hobs are powered by natural gas, a fossil fuel that contributes to global warming. Induction hobs are powered by electricity, which we can get from renewable energy sources.
There are no laws about it yet. But government advisers are saying that we need to move away from gas usage to reduce CO2 emissions.
As well as being powered by greener energy, induction hobs use that energy more efficiently. They only heat the base of the pan.
Gas hobs are less precise. Heat from the gas flame is transferred into the surrounding air and up the sides of the pan, where it is wasted.
With no open flame, induction hobs are much safer than gas – particularly if you have young children running around.
Because the hob only heats the pan, it’s very hard to burn yourself. And you don’t need to worry about pans catching fire.
However, if you have a pacemaker, induction hobs are not a safer option. An induction hob generates an electromagnetic field that can disrupt pacemaker settings.
The British Heart Foundation advises people with a pacemaker to stay at least 60cm (or 2 feet) away from an induction stovetop.
Gas hobs can be fiddly to clean. They have lots of additional parts – like burner caps and pan supports. And because the whole hob heats up, you’re more likely to get burnt on spillages. Cleaning an induction hob is much easier. It has a completely flat surface so you can simply wipe it over with a damp cloth.
Some would argue that the sleek finish of an induction hob is better suited to a contemporary style of kitchen. And that gas hobs look great within a more traditional scheme.
We’d argue that both types of hobs blend beautifully into any kitchen design. And a decision between induction and gas comes down to your priorities in terms of cooking experience, energy efficiency, safety and maintenance.
A flush-fitting induction hob looks nearly invisible on a dark worktop, creating a sleek, seamless design, well-suited to modern, minimalist kitchens.
Induction hob pros and cons
Here’s a quick summary of everything we’ve covered: all of the pros and cons of an induction hob.
Induction hob pros
- A sleek and stylish look
- More energy efficient than gas
- Easy temperature control
- Easy to clean
- Improved safety – because there is no open flame
Induction hob cons
- They don’t work with all types of pan
- More expensive to buy than gas hobs
- They make a low noise when they’re in operation
- Not suitable for people with pacemakers
Induction vs gas: which comes out on top?
So is induction better than gas? It comes down to your own priorities.
Some people love the sense of control they get when cooking with a gas flame. When using an induction hob, cooking can feel a bit more technological and a little less intuitive.
But if you’re willing to give induction a go, you may find it easier than you think to get used to this new style of cooking.
With an induction hob, you can count on minimalistic design, easy cleaning and efficient cooking. You also get to do your bit for the environment.
Still undecided between induction vs gas? Then – if you’re prepared to spend a little extra – you can get the best of both worlds, with stove tops that provide a mix of induction and gas hobs.
Whatever hob you have in mind, the David Lisle team can incorporate it into a beautiful and bespoke kitchen design. Get in touch to book an appointment at our kitchen showroom in Cheshire.