Gas vs Induction – Which is best?

A common question we are asked is: Which is better, gas or an induction hob?

Kitchen Utility room

Sounds like a simple question but this is one which has completely divided opinions and even heated arguments!

In this article we look at the pros and cons of each, so you’ll be able to make a more informed decision when choosing an option for your new kitchen.

The quick answer

The decision between gas and induction is mostly down to personal preference. Largely made up by your cooking style, needs and of course aesthetics.

Gas hobs are quicker to heat up initially, control, generally less expensive, but less safe and not as environmentally friendly.

Induction hobs, while more expensive, are cleaner, more efficient, have more features,  are safer and more environmentally friendly.

The confusion around induction hobs

which is best induction or gas hob
The word ‘induction’ is a scientific name relating to how the heat is transferred to the cookware. This does add some confusion when trying to understand this method of cooking. Additionally, many fear that they will incur extra costs needing to replace all their cookware as they are unsure if it will work on an induction hob.

Induction hobs are super efficient in the way they cook your food. Induction cooking works by heating the pan directly rather than heating the hob. Coils made from copper wire beneath hob create a magnetic field as electricity is passed through them. This means that the hob doesn’t get too hot, but the pan will, a great safety feature.

What pots & pans work on an induction hob?

In terms of your cookware to support this method of cooking, the metal in your pot or pan needs to be a magnetic material so the energy can pass through and heat up the pan.

Stainless steel pans will work on an induction cooking surface if the base of the pan is a magnetic grade of stainless steel. Not all stainless steel is magnetic however so you will want to perform the magnet test to be sure.

The best cookware for induction hobs are made from ferrous metals such as stainless steel and cast iron. Other types of cookware such as aluminium, copper, glass, anodised or ceramic will not work unless they have an induction plate built into the base.

induction hob safety

Why are induction hobs safer than gas?

Induction cooking is generally considered as the safest method of cooking. This is because there is no direct flame to burn you (or your tea towel!) and there’s no risk of gas leaks or fume inhalation.

Because of the way induction works, the hob surface doesn’t get too hot and won’t burn you if you touch it. There are also smart sensors that switch off automatically so there is no danger of leaving the hob on by accident.

Why are induction hobs easier to clean

Why are induction hobs cleaner than gas hobs?

If you spill food on an induction hob, it won’t burn and become hard to remove. The flat surface on an induction hob also means it’s easier to clean and there are no nooks and crannies for grime to build up.

induction hobs

Are induction hobs cheaper to run than gas?

One of the problems with gas cooking is that it is inefficient. With gas, up to 65% of the energy produced is wasted and ends up in the atmosphere and heating up your kitchen.

With induction cooking, it’s a much more direct method of cooking with approximately 90% of the energy being delivered to your food. Expect to have less issues with a warm kitchen with induction cooking.

While gas costs may be cheaper than electricity costs, induction cooking is more environmentally friendly as induction hobs can be powered by renewable energy sources. Gas hobs, on the other hand, rely on natural gas to power them, which is a fossil fuel.

Why do people prefer gas hobs

If induction is so good, why do some people prefer gas?

Gas cooktops have been the preferred method of cooking for a long time. There is something about a seeing a flame that people love.  The ability to get an instant flame and reduce the heat by reducing the flame size is something that traditional chefs prefer to use. People simply love the control of gas.

One advantage of gas cooktops versus induction cooking is that if your electricity goes out, cooking meals for the whole family won’t be disrupted. They are also cheaper to buy than induction hobs.

That said, as more people begin to understand induction cooking and see the many benefits, it is rapidly becoming a more popular choice. The main reasons being practicality, ease of cleaning, safety, efficiency, aesthetics and environmental impact.

gas vs induction summary

Gas vs Induction Pros and Cons

The Pros and cons of gas cooktops

Pros
  • Instant heat – Cookware heats up quicker initially and can quickly adjust temperature.
  • Cost – Cheaper to buy than induction hobs.
  • Availability – You can still cook if the power goes out.
  • Cookware – All cookware will work – no need for new pots & pans.
  • Simple to use – Less complexity when compared to induction cooking.
  • Traditional – An open flame is more traditional and visual way of cooking.
Cons
  • Requires gas supply – Requires gas and installation by a certified professional.
  • Difficult to clean – Takes much longer to clean and spills will burn and stick.
  • Less energy efficient – Gas cooking is an inefficient method of cooking.
  • Safety – Gas is much more dangerous than electric and has a naked flame.
  • Heat retention – Your gas rings remain hot for some time after use.
  • Environmental impact – Less environmentally friendly than induction cooking.
  • aesthetics – Not as good looking as induction hobs.

The Pros and cons of induction cooktops

Pros
  • Easy to clean – Easier and faster to clean and maintain.
  • More features – Touch control, zoned cooking, boost & safety features.
  • More efficient – Heats your food more directly and not your kitchen.
  • Speed – Because of the direct efficient cooking method an induction hob will boil a pan of water much quicker than gas.
  • Environmentally Friendly – More eco friendly than gas and you can use renewable energy sources.
  • Safer – Safe to touch & child friendly.
  • No Gas supply required – Can be utilised anywhere.
  • aesthetics – Stunning looks.
Cons
  • Cost – More expensive to buy than a gas hob.
  • Cookware – Unless your pans are magnetic, you may need new cookware.
  • Power – If the power is out, you can’t cook.
  • No flame for charing – If you want to char your food, there’s no flame.

Did you know? Although a gas hob may be quicker to heat up initially, an induction hob will actually boil a pan of water almost twice as fast because of the efficient way it heats your food.

Summary

The traditional kitchen and chefs quick heating choice may be to go for a gas hob but if you prefer a modern, sleek, easy-clean and child-friendly option that compliments your super new kitchen & appliances, then induction is likely for you.

Either way, there’s a perfect hob out there just waiting for you. When you’re ready for your new kitchen, we’re here to walk you through every step to ensure your new hob matches your lifestyle, requirements and budget.

Ready for your new kitchen? Let’s get started!

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