Our eating habits are constantly changing in order to suit our lifestyles and with them the appliances that we use to cook food. While manufacturers have always tried to find new features to integrate into their products, the industry is currently moving away from natural gas kitchen ranges to electric ones.

Induction cooktops are a perfect example of the recent advancements in cooking technology. These new models are designed to use magnetic fields to help cook food, rather than gas and flames. Furthermore, as this new class of products becomes more and more popular, the prices go down.

However, as people start transitioning from gas cooktops to induction ones, the question arises: is the old, basic type of appliance more reliable and easier to use than the new one?

Electric vs Gas

There is a very big difference between cooking using an electrical appliance and cooking using a natural gas one. While things may not be too different when talking about the oven of an induction cooktop vs gas ones, the cooking process does change drastically when it comes to preparing food using an induction stove vs using a normal one.

Gas ranges have currently reached a peak in terms of development and developers are now looking to add electrical features such as electric ovens to their products. On the other hand, electric appliances are constantly becoming more and more efficient and are slowly phasing out their fossil fuel counterparts.

The main reason for their popularity is the fact that they are more efficient and they can cook food faster than normal ones. This is especially useful in restaurants where cooking and heating food in a short period of time is important. Also, as a secondary advantage, induction cooktops can be packed up and stored away a couple of minutes after they have been turned off as they do not actively heat in order to cook food.

How do induction stoves work?

The biggest difference refers to how the food is actually heated up and cooked. While in the case of a gas range, the fuel ignites and the flames then heat up the pan or pot, induction stoves work by passing electricity through copper coils that create a magnetic field. This magnetic field then touches the cookware place in the marked areas of the appliance and this makes the metal itself get hot. 

This having been said, induction stoves do require certain types of cookware. Essentially, they will not work with pans and pots made of materials that do not react to the magnetic field, such as glass, clay, or plastic. Containers made from non-metallic elements will not heat up and the stove will have no effect on them.

Cooking with gas vs induction appliances

Most induction vs gas range articles do specify the fact that induction cooking is more efficient, however, they usually fail to explain what are the practical, day-to-day improvements that a buyer would see:

  • Safer for the children – induction stoves do not heat up as gas ones do. As a result, they return to room temperature a couple of minutes after being turned off and can be safely touched by children. Furthermore, most models have digital controls that can be locked, not control knobs;
  • Great for speed cooking – these appliances can heat up pans and pots evenly, in under a minute. This makes them ideal for those who do not have a lot of time to cook food.
  • Quality-of-life features – generally speaking, induction stoves are easy to clean due to the fact that they the pan only touches a continuous sheet of material, and they are also very practical thanks to their timer functions that can switch the appliance off after a certain period of time;

However, this does not mean that induction stoves are always better than gas ones. For example, those who live off the grid may find that it is much more practical to own a gas range due to the fact that a gas tank can store fuel for an indefinite period of time. Meanwhile, using an induction cooktop requires energy that cannot be currently stored reliably for long periods of time.

From a cooking point of view, gas cooktops can be better than induction models in the sense that:

  • They can be used with any kind of pan or pot – Any kind of container can be used on a gas range as long as it doesn’t melt. Cookware made from iron, aluminum, copper and everything in between can be used to cook food. There are even bowls that are made from thermal resistant glass that can be placed on top of the burner and used to cook;
  • They are more reliable in remote areas – Electrical appliances are only useful in places where the lights never go out. For all the other areas, gas models are a safer bet due to the fact that they will work with no power at all. They only need fuel which can be easily stored in tanks;
  • More manufacturers – While induction cooktops are growing in popularity, these appliances are still in development. As a result, there aren’t as many models as one may expect, especially when compared to gas ranges which have been around for a very long time;

So, which one should you choose?

The best way to put it is that you should get the one that you will use the most and that will be the most reliable for you. Again, if you live in a remote area, then gas ones are probably your safest bet, however, if you live in the city, you may want to get an induction stove.

These electrical appliances take up less space than the gas ones and generally come with features suited for people who are always in a hurry. This having been said, this does not mean that these models are not just as useful as their fossil fuel counterparts when it comes to cooking a lot of food, on a daily basis.

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