a pot on an induction stove

Gas vs. Induction Stovetop: Which is better for home cooking

Let's uncover the main differences between gas and induction stovetops.

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Key Facts

  • A gas stovetop uses natural gas for cooking, typically featuring an electronic ignition switch that generates a spark and produces blue open flames upon turning the control knob. 

  • An induction stovetop utilizes electromagnetism to cook food. It creates a fluctuating magnetic field to generate heat through induction-compatible cookware

Stovetops have become essential in contemporary American kitchens as they seamlessly blend style with functionality. Their sleek and flexible design elevates your kitchen’s aesthetics and helps maximize storage space. If you plan to buy a stovetop for a kitchen upgrade, the crucial decision lies in choosing between classic gas and induction stovetops.

Dive into the main differences between gas vs. induction stovetops with this comprehensive guide. You will gain valuable insights as you explore each stovetop’s cost, design, installation, functionality, efficiency, and maintenance.

What is a gas stovetop and how does it work?

a tight shot of a gas stove - gas vs induction stovetop

A gas stovetop uses natural gas to cook food. Most modern gas stovetops come with an electronic ignition switch that produces a spark to ignite flames when turning the control knob. 

How it works is simple: the control knob triggers the gas valve to open, allowing pressurized gas from the fitted gas line to flow through and exit the burners. Once the natural gas mixes with air, blue open flames are produced.   

What is an induction stovetop and how does it work?

a tight shot of an induction stop with a woman turning it on - induction vs gas stove

An induction stovetop is a more advanced kitchen appliance that uses electromagnetism to cook food. The electromagnetic process is fascinating because electric currents flow through a copper coil underneath, creating a fluctuating magnetic field. So, when ferromagnetic cookware comes in contact with the induction surface, the fluctuating magnetic and electric current flows through the cookware and starts generating heat. 

💡 Did you know?

To work on induction stovetops, the pans or pots must be made of ferromagnetic material. Stainless steel or cast iron with magnetic properties heat up directly and faster when their magnetic regions interact with the induction stove. 

Want to know if your cookware will work with induction stovetops? Simply place a magnet against the bottom of the pot or pan; if it sticks, it’ll work fine. 

What is the difference between ceramic and induction stovetops?

Induction stovetops are sometimes mistaken as ceramic electric stoves as both have metal coils and flat glass surfaces. However, there is a significant difference between these two electric stovetops in terms of cooking speed, design, functionality, and safety. 

For one, an induction stovetop comes with copper coils that work as a magnetic field to generate heat, whereas a ceramic stovetop uses metal coils as heating elements. The induction models cook faster between the two because they directly transfer heat toward the conductive cookware instead of heating the surrounding glass-top surface.

Moreover, an induction stovetop's flexible design gives you more control over arranging your pots and pans. Meanwhile, a ceramic electric stove has fixed cooking zones, so you should always place your pans and pots in exact cooking zones to ensure proper heat distribution. 

Lastly, when it comes to safety, induction stoves come on top. You can touch an induction stovetop as it does not heat up, unlike ceramic electric stoves. 

Induction or gas stovetop: Which is better for your needs?

You might be planning a kitchen renovation soon, so you are here contemplating whether an induction or gas stovetop is better. Choosing the right one is tricky as you must consider many factors. Check out this comparison guide below to help you make an informed decision.

In terms of cost

Regarding the cost of an induction stove vs. a gas one, gas stovetops are much more affordable as they cost a hundred dollars less than induction models. However, although a gas cooker is cheaper, kitchen installation and repairs also add to the total cost of owning one. They can be expensive, especially if your house needs a gas connection. Additional cooling costs might also occur when using a gas cooker because it emits radiant heat.

Induction stoves also have their fair share of disadvantages. Although they help save electricity with their energy-efficient features, they usually require special connections. Moreover, this type of stovetop will only work properly if you have induction-compatible cookware at home. If you decide to make the switch, you need to buy new cookware, which adds to the overall cost.

Recommendation:  Gas stovetops are more affordable. However, induction stovetops are more practical in the long run.

In terms of design

an induction and gas stovetop in a modern kitchen - gas vs induction

When it comes to design, it depends on what kitchen style you want to achieve. For example, an induction stovetop with a modern or contemporary style looks great in kitchens because of its sleek glass stovetop. You can also integrate them into a kitchen island or peninsula for a seamless look. It allows you to hang out with your family and friends while you prepare and cook food.

Meanwhile, a gas stovetop with elevated burner grates looks bulkier, adding a traditional, country-style look to the kitchen. This type of kitchen stovetop would look lovely in a Hampton-style kitchen because the elevated iron stove grates add an interesting accent to the iconic light Hamptons color theme. Seek some professional advice from kitchen designers if you want a similar style for your kitchen.

If you are still trying to figure out the rest of your kitchen design aside from your cooktop, consider checking out this renovation checklist to get an idea of how and what to prepare for a complete renovation.

Recommendation:  Choose induction stovetops for modern kitchens, while gas stovetops for country-style kitchens.

In terms of installation

Installing a gas stovetop is easy if you already have a gas line connection at home. But if that is not the case, you may still need to call for gas installation services, which can be expensive and time-consuming. 

As for installing induction stovetops, this also requires some extra work. They use more energy than other kitchen stovetop types, so you need a licensed electrician to install a new outlet with enough amps to use the induction stovetop. Most induction stovetops need a 240-volt wire with a 50-amp circuit outlet.

Recommendation:  Go for gas stovetops if you already have a gas connection.

In terms of functionality

a red pot on an induction stovetop - gas vs inductionSwitching to induction cooking might pose some challenges if you use a gas cooker at home. Aside from the installation woes, you might find it jarring to cook without a visual indicator of flames coming out from the burners. But give it a few weeks, and you will find cooking with an induction stove convenient. Unlike gas cookers, it heats food faster, and the induction cooking surface does not heat up.

Furthermore, Induction stovetops are a great addition to modern smart kitchens because they have built-in safety features. This includes temperature monitoring, automatic switch-off, child locks, and pan detection. The only downside is that they need compatible cookware to function properly. This is where gas stovetops gain the upper hand because you can use any pot and pan with this type of stove.

Recommendation:  Induction stovetops

In terms of efficiency

Induction stoves are more efficient. When turned on, they instantly heat up after placing a ferromagnetic cookware on top of the glass surface. Meanwhile, gas stovetops would take some time to heat and cook food because the open flames from the gas burners are slow to adjust to a desired temperature. 

Hotspots are also a problem in gas cooking, causing food to have burnt edges or be undercooked after cooking. Fortunately, this won’t be an issue in induction cooking because the pot becomes the heating element, so heat is evenly spread while cooking. This ensures food is always evenly cooked.

Another interesting fact is that induction stovetops boil water 20 to 40 percent faster than gas and electric stovetops, further proving that they are more efficient.

Recommendation:  Induction stovetops

In terms of maintenance and durability 

a woman cleaning the gas stove - induction vs gas

Maintaining a gas stovetop requires more work because it has burners and grooves with crevices and holes, which are difficult to clean. Moreover, you should first remove the cast iron grates (or pan supports) to clean a gas stovetop properly.

Meanwhile, cleaning and maintenance are more manageable for an induction stovetop because of its flat glass-top surface. You can easily wipe off grease and food spills with only a microfiber cloth soaked in a homemade baking soda and vinegar solution. Also, since the stovetop surface doesn’t get too hot (unlike in gas cookers), you can clean your induction stovetop right after cooking.

However, since induction stovetops are made of glass, they are prone to scratching and breaking. Thus, gas stoves are more durable as cast iron grates are incredibly strong and can last years. Even if you accidentally drop a pan, the gas stove won’t break.

Recommendation:  Select induction stovetops for easier cleaning, but gas stovetops for durability.

In terms of eco-friendliness

Gas stovetops produce indoor air pollutants, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This causes our planet to heat up and hasten climate change. Moreover, a lit gas cooker produces indoor air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde, which can harm one’s health. A study even found that gas stovetops contribute up to 12% of childhood asthma burden. 

Since gas stovetops are environmentally harmful, more people are now switching to induction cooking to build sustainable kitchens. As mentioned, induction stovetops use electromagnetic energy, directly heating your pots and pans instead of transferring heat around the glass surface. This reduces heat loss and increases energy efficiency, with 85% of the energy transferred to cookware. 

Recommendation:  Induction stovetops

Make your dream kitchen a reality

Deciding which is better, induction cooking or gas cooking is just one step in building your ideal kitchen. Understanding the differences between the two is crucial, as well as identifying your home cooking preferences and needs to install a suitable appliance

Seek help from kitchen renovation experts on Airtasker to gain valuable information on renovation costs and interior design tricks. With their skills and experience, these professionals can assist you in building your ideal cooking space!

Gas vs. Induction Stovetop: Which is better for home cooking

Gas Stovetop Induction Stovetop
Cost More affordable units
Cheaper running operational costs
Design Traditional, industrial look
Sleek and modern glass cooktop design
Installation Installation is a breeze with a gas connection
Requires special connections
Functionality Uses traditional, open blue flames to cook food
Uses electromagnetism to heat food
Efficiency Requires some time to reach the desired temperature of heat
Fast heat transfer on conductive cookware
Maintenance and durability Burners are difficult to clean but more durable
Easy-to-clean glass surface, but less durable
Eco-friendliness Not sustainable, as open flames release harmful gases

Eco-friendly due to energy-efficient features

FAQs on gas and induction stovetops

In some aspects, induction is better than gas. For one, it is faster and more energy-efficient than gas. Induction cookers are also eco-friendly because they don’t release harmful gases, unlike gas. However, gas cooker units are undeniably cheaper. Plus, a gas wok burner is the ideal cooktop used for stir-fry dishes. 

Yes, because gas stoves can accommodate all types of cookware. The only difference between regular and induction cookware is that the latter has ferromagnetic properties. Trying to use an induction pot on a gas cooker will still work as traditional cookware. 

However, it would be best not to use induction cookware with a magnetic bottom on gas stoves because the gas flame can ruin the magnetic properties underneath. 

Yes, it is safe to touch it because the cookware becomes the heating element itself, preventing the induction cooking surface from getting hot. But don’t try to touch the induction stove right after cooking because the pot is still hot and can transfer some heat around the glass-top surface.  

Yes, there's a difference between a cooktop and a range. A stovetop is a standalone unit, typically with 2-4 gas or electric burners, used for cooking. In contrast, a gas or electric range is an entirely freestanding appliance that combines a cooktop and an oven in a single unit. 

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