Best Cooktop - Gas vs Induction
I'm often asked by my customers which cooktop is better - gas or induction? I always
answer the same way - that depends on what you mean by better! Let me explain...
In the past, if you wanted the best performing cooktop, you wanted a pro-style cooktop, or rangetop as it is
commonly referred to in the industry. There are many brands that offer high output burners which will also give you
a delicate simmer. These rangetops make it possible to boil something quickly while never having to move the
cooking vessel when it is time to turn the heat down to a simmer. (You may have seen the chocolate chips melting on
a paper plate demonstration showing how delicate some rangetops can be.) Most brands offering high-end rangetops
will give you an incredible simmer. My favorites are Wolf and Viking as every burner will give you the low simmer
and high output.
Here is the drawback to gas cooktop - they are NOT easy to clean! I can't tell you how many people tell me about
how they've scratched the porcelain or stainless steel on their cooking surface trying to scour it clean. And
that's not to mention normal heat discoloration that is easily visible after regular use with stainless steel
cooking surfaces. The grates are also hard to keep looking new. Grates should not be washed in the
dishwasher as the rubber grommets will wash out. The grates will more than likely develop rust in the
This is where Induction
cooktops spark the interest of my customers who want the performance of a professional rangetop, but want
something easy to clean. Induction - or magnetic induction - works on the molecular level. The magnet creates
friction in the cooking vessel (ferrous metal pots and pans are necessary - if a magnet sticks to it, you are good
to go) creating the most efficient source of heat at more than 90 % efficiency. Gas cooktops are about 60 percent
efficient, depending on the model. Back to the cleaning issue... Because there is no heat passing through the
ceramic glass on the induction models, they are a breeze to clean. You don't have the usual burning in on the
surface as you do with radiant smoothtop or gas cooktops. Soap and water usually does the trick to clean the
Induction is very fast to bring water to a boil, too. Depending on the electrical specs of the cooktop, you may
be able to boil 1 quart of water in 30 seconds! The fastest gas rangetop will do the same in around 2 mins. 30
seconds. It will also go to a simmer instantly - great for when you've noticed the fudge starting to boil over!
So why wouldn't everyone choose induction over gas? Here are a couple things:
If you need a range (with oven), there aren't many to choose from right now with an induction top. Your choices
currently are Viking and GE Profile.
Induction cooktops require more power. If you have a 30" cooktop presently, you more than likely have a 30 amp
breaker. Most 30" induction cooktops will require a 40 amp service. You will more than likely need an
electrician to make this work.
If you need to boil more than one vessel at a time, make sure to find out about power sharing on induction
cooktops. Some cooktops will only be able to produce a boil on one burner while others are being used. This can be
problem for large families or for those who hire caterers to cook for dinner parties, etc. Having said this, there
are models available that you are able to boil more than one pot at a time. Make sure you know those models that
So which is better - gas or induction? That's up to you to decide. If you want high performance and easy
cleaning, induction is a great choice. If you entertain and need to boil many pots at once, or even if you lose
power often where you live (most gas cooktops can be lit manually with a match), gas may be the right one for you.
The great thing about cooktops today is we have so many great choices to choose from in gas and induction.
For more information on the Best
Cooktop or Wolf Cooktops. Go to the Best Cooktops.