Induction cooking has been gaining popularity nowadays in contrast to the normal gas stove due to many reasons, which we will be diving into further. Meanwhile, if you are thinking of getting a new kitchen cooktop/stove, you might be wondering which one is good for you – induction stove vs gas stove. Well, we are here to help you make the right decision by keeping your actual needs as the priority.
What is Induction Cooking? (technical terms simplified)
Induction cooking works on the principle of electromagnetic energy. In simple terms, electromagnetic energy is nothing but a product of electric energy applied to the electromagnetic coil (electromagnetic coils are inside the Induction stove) which creates a magnetism that interacts with the iron in your cookware to generate heat.
You might have a question after coming across the term electromagnetic energy like-
Is induction stove safe to use health-wise?
Yes, they perfectly are! Electromagnetic energy has nothing to do with your food in the pan on the Induction stove. That energy is just used to heat the cookware which in turn heats the food in it.
Also, now it is clear that induction stoves do not have burners underneath the surface, which also makes them more power-efficient than gas stoves. Speaking technically, induction stoves are able to deliver roughly 80% to 90% of its electromagnetic energy to the cookware which in turn cooks the food.
Induction stoves/cooktops can achieve a wide range of temperatures, and these stoves take far less time to boil than their electric or gas buddies. Plus the induction stove surface stays cool so you don’t have to worry about burning your hand.
What is Gas Stove Cooking?
A gas stove is a cooking tool that utilizes various highly combustible gases such as natural gas, syngas, butane, and other flammable gases. All the burners on a gas stove don’t have equal and maximum heat output in fact it depends upon their size which can vary in certain gas stoves.
Gas stoves come with gas frequency control knobs which we turn to adjust the level of heat by increasing or decreasing the flame.
Gas stoves come with generally 2 or 4 burners nowadays depending upon the requirements. While some also come with inbuilt ignition capability, which means when we turn the gas stove controller knob, the inbuilt ignition lights the burner right away, resulting in no need for external spark lighters.
In terms of efficiency, the gas stoves are only capable of delivering 40-50% heat to the food in the cookware.
How the Induction stove is different than the Gas stove
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1- Energy Efficiency
This factor holds a lot of weight when you compare an Induction stove vs Gas stove. In terms of efficiency, we can clearly see that the Induction stove is more efficient (80-90%) in terms of power utilization than the gas stove (40-50%).
This is due to the surface contact where in terms of the induction stove, the magnetism involved is beneficial in providing maximum contact with the iron base of the cookware. This makes sure the food heats up quickly than compared to the gas stove where the contact surface between the cookware and the flame is pure air, which keeps on moving and getting replaced by the new cooler air, resulting in decreased overall efficiency.
2- Maintenance cost
In terms of an Induction Stove vs a Gas Stove, maintenance is a crucial factor that determines the ease of handling. We all love products with lower maintenance costs and frequency.
A gas stove demands high maintenance. Whereas, an Induction Stove needs less maintenance as it has fewer components to maintain out of which most are cheap.
In terms of safety, we obviously know that the Induction stove generates no flame whereas the gas stove needs a flame to heat the cookware. And it heats the burners too. In this case, the fire hazard is concerned with the gas stove.
Though if you have installed a pacemaker, then it is not recommended to opt for induction cooking as it might cause pacemaker malfunctions.
Gas stoves need gas cylinders to operate and any kinds of gas leakage from the gas pipe, cylinder, or regulator remains the concern of most gas stove users. In addition, gas stoves also increase the temperature of your surroundings, which can be difficult to tolerate if you live in a hot climatic area.
4- Capital cost
Gas stove cost around Rs2000-4000 plus it comes with lots of components which add up the cost considerably, whereas an induction stove comes as a single unit and costs around Rs2000-3000
Induction being a single unit needs no installation fees but in terms of the gas stove installation from a reliable person is needed for safety purposes, which leads to installation charges.
5- Space requirement
While installing a gas stove, you need multiple components. For example- it requires a regulator, an LPG cylinder, burner, gas pipe, etc. All these components take some space, which makes the gas stove less convenient to keep. They also make the whole set heavier, so if you ever decide to relocate it, you will need help.
With an induction stove, everything is a bit simpler as it comes as a single unit. You don’t need to spend time while installing it. Simply plug the cable and you are good to go. Your only concern stays the electrical plug which should be easily accessible.
Things that weigh-less are smaller and thinner is easy in terms of portability, which in our case is none other than the Induction stove.
Gas stoves are portable too but they are not that convenient as compared to the Induction stove
7- Working principle
The concept of induction cooking relies on Electromagnetism’s principle. When you use an induction stove, electricity is converted into magnetic energy which heats the iron bottom of the cookware, and further the heated bottom heats the food.
On the flip side, the Combustion principle is utilized to perform gas cooking. In other words, LPG gas has chemical energy, and a gas stove converts that to heat, which then is used for cooking purposes.
Induction Cooking Pros:
- Highly efficient- The gas cooktops function by converting the energy to heat and then directing it to the pot but induction cooking works in a different manner. It utilized a magnetic field to supply energy directly to the pot. This makes induction cooking more efficient than traditional cooking.
For example- when you use gas stoves, more than 60% of energy is wasted while induction stoves only waste 20% electricity.
- Stovetop stays cool- When you use induction, the heat generated by it stays only on the vessel and doesn’t get distributed to the other areas of the cooktop. This eliminates the risk of burns as the stovetop stays cool.
- Maximum safety- In most of the induction stove products, the stovetop remains cool after cooking. The reason behind this is that induction cooking is fireless and it only creates electromagnetic energy, which only gets transferred to other electromagnetic materials. This makes the entire cooking experience safer as you don’t have to worry about hand burns.
Induction Cooking Cons:
- Requires magnetic vessels- One major disadvantage of induction cooking is that it only works with vessels that have an electromagnetic base. These types of vessels are slightly expensive, and you must have to buy them if you want to use induction cooking.
- Power limitations- Induction stoves need electricity to function, which means that they won’t work in events of power interruptions.
- Interrupts pacemaker – Obviously, a very big con, if you have this device fitted as the electromagnetic fields, then it can cause interruptions in the normal functioning of the pacemaker.
Gas Cooktop Pros:
- No power loss- The best advantage of gas stoves is that they work properly even if there is no electricity. You can cook whatever you want with no power.
- Gradual heating- Gas stoves heat the vessels gradually enabling us to guess the temperature of the heated vessel, unlike the induction stove where the exact temperature of the vessel is not known as it heats it in a matter of minutes.
- Easy to use- With the gas stoves, there are just knobs to rotate and no extra buttons like in the induction stove. Gas stoves are best suited to the people that aren’t that good with the tech stuff.
Gas Cooktop Cons:
- Messy- Cooking on gas stoves can become extremely messy and tiring as these stoves come with metal grates over each burner to balance the cookware. This increases the chances of food spillage and cleaning the burners is not an easy task.
- Needs installation- The gas stove needs an installation from a professional due to safety reasons. It requires extra time and effort and you might have to spend some money too.
- Potential danger- Gas leaks are the single most yet biggest concern of the users as the leaked gas can disperse around your house which can lead to respiratory issues and hazardous fire accidents.
Now that we all know the differences and benefits relating to the induction stove vs gas stove comparison. So if you are planning to buy one, then take some time to consider your cooking frequency, habits, your style, your kitchen design, and so forth.
In the end, the safety of an appliance depends on the user plus you must take proper safety measures to keep you and your family safe. However, induction cooking is safer but when it comes to providing an uninterrupted cooking experience, then gas cooktops are slightly better. So you should assess your needs first, then proceed further.