If you have an active kitchen or have ever cooked your own meals, you know that investing in a good cooking hob is an important decision. If there is no source of heat in your kitchen that can provide temperatures high enough to cook, then the kitchen is ill equipped.
It’s said that humans have been cooking their own food for over 20,000 years. Things have came a long way since the primitive campfire, with appliance stores offering all types of fancy cooker styles and fuel types. For built-in hobs, – Gas hobs and induction hobs, along with ceramic, are the common contenders.
Today, we take a look at gas and induction as a fuel source for cooking, and discuss the key difference between the two.
Key Differences in Design and Function
While the final result with both a gas hob and an induction hob is that you will have cooked food, there are key differences in how the two hobs produce that heat.
A gas hob, as the name suggests, uses a gas flame to provide heat. This is a type of hob that most people are familiar with and is common in households with gas plumping.
Typically, gas is feed through a pipe and into the home, where it can be plumed to a hob burner. The flame is lit using an ignition switch that is built into the hob, and the intensity of the flame is controlled using the valve knob.
An induction hob, on the other hand, uses electromagnetism to provide heat. This is a flat cooking element that has copper wires beneath the surface. The appliance needs to be connected to a power outlet and runs on electricity.
The electricity flows through the copper coil and creates an alternating magnetic field. This electromagnetic field triggers a reaction between the induction zones on the burner and the bottom of the pan. This means that an induction cookers require special types of pots and pans that have a flat bottom and a magnetic metal base.
Now that the key differences in design have been explained, the following sections will cover some of the other significant differences between the two hobs.
An induction hob is generally costlier than a gas hob. However, if you do not already have a gas supply installed, that will be an additional cost since buying a gas hob by itself serves no purpose if you do not have a gas supply.
An induction hob is much easier to use and even someone who is renting or does not have a registered gas supply in their apartment can simply buy an induction hob and plug it up.
However, with an induction hob, you will also have to consider what kind of cookware you can use and may have to invest in special pans. So, while a glass induction hob tends to be the more expensive option, weigh out all these factors to see which suits your budget better.
When it comes to safety, the induction hob is no doubt the safer option. The danger with a gas hob is that in case of gas leaks, it can lead to a fire hazards. Unlike a gas hob, an induction hob does not have an open flame that could cause things to catch on fire.
Besides, the magnetic field only begins to generate heat when it reacts with the bottom of an appropriate pan or pot. So, even if the hob has been switched on, the induction zone will be cool to the touch unless you place a utensil on top of it.
Sure, there is a safety valve that allows you to shut off the gas in case you think it is leaking but even without a gas leak a gas hob can put one at risk of other kinds of accidents.
A gas hob is certainly a faster piece of equipment in terms of heating time. The open flame does a quicker job of heating utensils while an induction hob can take some time for the electromagnetic field to do its job. This is because the flame comes on as soon as the spark comes in contact with the gas, whereas an induction cooktop will slowly raise the temperature as the electromagnetic field is built.
However, the clincher here is that even if an induction cooktop takes longer to heat up, it is able to heat the food faster than a gas hob since the induction hob does a better job of distributing heat more evenly. In the case of a gas hob, even if there is a slight wind nearby the flame will falter and the food can take some time to heat up.
A gas hob has a physical regulator that allows you to control how high or low you want the flame to be. Getting this right can take some getting used to but it is not a very difficult learning curve. being able to control the intensity of the flame with a valve means you can get
An induction hob is certainly the appliance that offers greater control. There is a digital monitor that allows you to set the exact temperature and you can also set a time for how long you want the heat to be on.
The controls on an induction hob are extremely precise and accurate. With a gas hob, you can only switch between low, simmer and high. But an induction hob allows you to note down exactly what temperature setting you are using for a particular dish so you can replicate the exact same settings the next time.
Final Thoughts When Comparing Gas to Induction
Typically, an induction hob has a sleek and modern look that people are increasingly leaning towards, to bring style into the kitchen. They are easy to clean and maintain, in addition to giving you precise control over cooking conditions.
Having said that, a gas hob is also a reliable way of cooking that has been around for decades, though it is less environment friendly than an induction hob. Both are great options with their respective pros and cons. What choice you make depends on what suits your needs and budget.
Related: Ceramic vs Induction Hob