Can’t decide between a gas or induction hob? Don’t worry: we have the lowdown on both, so you can read all about them and make up your own mind.
Let’s be honest: gas or induction is the main choice when you come to buy a hob. Yes, there are also other options such as ceramic hobs and mixed-fuel. But most people will plump for either gas or induction. So here’s the skinny on both, to help you decide between them…
NB Some properties don’t have a mains gas supply, and some can’t get induction (in which case, the decision is made for you!). So if you’re about to move into a property, check first before ordering a hob.
Gas or induction: which is fastest?
Which is fastest, gas or induction? You’d think it would be gas, as it only takes a second to turn on – you usually just twist the knob and push it down to ignite the flame. So I tried cooking my eleven-year-old daughter’s baked beans on each type of hob to see which was quicker! The gas hob heated them through at about the same speed as the induction hob.
Induction is a type of electromagnetic hob which heats up as quickly as gas. However, it only gets hot when in contact with the correct kind of pan (cast iron, stainless steel or enamel over metal). The pan heats up rather than the whole hob, so it’s very energy-efficient.
Gas is instant heat of course, as it’s fire, and you don’t need a pan for it to heat up. It’s not energy-efficient for this reason, but gas as a fuel costs less than electricity.
Which is safest?
Which is safest, gas or induction? The answer is induction, hands down. Firstly, there’s no gas, so no possibility of a gas leak or of accidentally leaving the hob on without igniting it. Secondly, there’s no heat unless a pan is on the ring, so no chance of children’s fingers getting injured. Even after a pan has boiled on an induction hob, the ring still isn’t especially hot.
So induction is a great choice if you have little ones. Even if they get curious and play with the controls on the hob, they’re very unlikely to come to any serious harm. It’s also best for homeowners who might fear leaving the gas on, as you don’t have to keep checking it.
Gas or induction: which is cheapest?
Wondering whether gas or induction is cheaper? The answer is gas, by some way. As a fuel, gas is cheaper than electricity, though induction hobs use less electricity than other electric hobs.
Also, your average gas hob tends to come in in the £200-£600 range, while your average induction hob ranges from £400-£1000. So you’ll probably have more money in your purse with gas.
Which is easiest to clean?
Induction hobs are definitely easiest to clean, as the metal pan supports on a gas hob are fiddly. Induction hobs are flat and sleek, so a quick wipe over is all you need. While those metal pan supports on a gas hob need lifting up and cleaning in their crevices (use an unused toothbrush). Saying that, induction hobs don’t generally fit flush with the worktop, so there is a lip you need to clean around carefully. (Definitely don’t do what I did: run a kebab skewer round it out of frustration and scratch the worktop!)
Which is best to cook on?
Well, most pro chefs prefer gas. I think that’s because it looks more flamboyant with the visible flame. They also like that they can see the heat and gauge how hot the pan is. However, induction is actually more controllable, because if you turn it up to, say, 5, it generates the same amount of heat each time. It’s definitely not as showy though.
So the jury’s out on this one. Maybe gas is more ostentatious and fun?
Which looks better?
This really depends on your own personal style. Induction hobs are sleek and glossy so suit modern kitchens better, while gas hobs complement a more traditional setting. So which do you prefer the look of most? That’s what it really comes down to. I’m Team Induction on this front, but it’s entirely up to you.
Featured image: Induction PRO 90cm Five Zone Induction Hob, £3067, Novy.
So, are you any clearer as to whether you want to choose gas or induction now? If not, then this feature might also come in handy.