Studio M designs luxury interiors for new construction homes in Florida, as well as a number of projects in multiple states. There used to be very little discussion regarding which type of cooktop is best because luxury kitchens historically had gas ranges. Today, the Induction cooktop is gaining popularity. Induction is far better than electric, so there is little debate on that subject. There is a growing debate when it comes to gas vs. induction.
I selected induction for our home during a major renovation 4 years ago and have not looked back. I have owned electric, gas, now induction. Since owning induction, I have used gas at a vacation home, two or three times. I found it was a huge step back in terms of functionality, and many people find that surprising. I’m writing this to help explain why I find the induction valuable in the hopes it helps people work through their decision on which cook top to buy? In full disclosure, my induction cook top is the Wolf 36 inch contemporary model. I have not experienced other brands and models, so there could be some variation in experience.
How does Induction Work?
Induction heats cookware through magnetic friction. In both electric and gas cooktops, an exposed source of heat, such as a cooking element or flame, touches the cookware to heat it. Induction heats the cookware differently, as it uses magnetic friction which takes place underneath the surface. There is an element, but only the pot or pan is getting hot. The surface in turn heats up a bit because the pot sitting on it is hot.
Is Gas Quicker than Induction?
Induction is actually 50% faster than gas to boil water. If you are getting ready to boil a sauce, or get the cookware up to heat quickly, induction is virtually instantaneous. Not only does it heat up quickly, it is just as responsive as gas as soon as you turn it down or off. Another area where induction preforms really well is the low heat settings. You can actually melt chocolate without needing a double boiler. Low heat is often a struggle for gas ranges. Even high-end gas ranges can fail this task over time.
Is Induction easy to clean?
It is easy to pick a winner in terms of cleaning gas vs. induction cooktops. It is no secret that cleaning the splatter on a gas range is cumbersome as it requires taking off the grates and cleaning the surface around the burners. People typically agree that a electric glass cooktop cleans more easily than gas because you can use cooktop cleaner on flat cleanable surface. The downside of electric is that the electric surface gets very hot and remains hot. Splatter often bakes into the electric cooktop.
You actually get the best of both worlds when it comes to cleaning induction cooktops. The glass top gets hot, but not nearly as hot as an electric cooktop. In addition, it’s only hot under the cookware, so splatter is hitting a completely cool surface around the cookware. You can clean an induction cooktop soon after use. I typically wipe mine down during use so that when the food is ready the kitchen is completely clean including the cooktop.
Which one Looks Better
This is a tough one. The gas range is a statement piece so most consumers think it is visually more appealing. I prefer a more minimalist look, and the Wolf Induction cook top comes in a contemporary design as shown above where it can be recess mounted. I also like the recess mounted cook top vs. the transitional one that sits on top of the surface. If you think the gas range is the greatest cooking tool ever, you will love how the gas range looks. If you think induction is the greatest thing ever, you’ll love looking at that too. My main advice is to dive in a little deeper on the functionality and technology and be open to a new way of thinking.
When it comes to gas vs. induction, the only thing induction can’t do is flambé a sauce. So just keep a torch on hand! This decision was agonizing for me at the time as I was going to have to run gas through a house that didn’t have gas. Looking back on it now, I could not be happier with the choice of induction. There’s a lot more I can say on the subject, but please feel free to ask questions and provide comments. Next time I’ll talk about the Wolf Steam Oven, my true favorite must have in the kitchen!