Cooktops: Induction vs. Gas vs. Electric
In a never-before-done vote, we are having you decide what type of cooktop to install in the Hope House, a St. Jude Dream Home Showplace in Bryan-College Station, Texas!
With only one day to go, this vote has raised a lot of discussions – and plenty of questions – about the differences between induction, gas, and electric cooktops.
We reached out to Bosch home appliances for more information on the three cooktop choices. As a national sponsor with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and a leading innovator in home appliances, Bosch conducts hours of thorough consumer research every year. “No matter the trend, we truly pride ourselves in designing every detail of our appliances with the consumer experience in mind—what we call purposeful design,” said Anja Prescher, Bosch Director of Brand Marketing.
If you are planning your own renovation, you know how many decisions go into designing a kitchen. After deciding on a kitchen layout, you can start thinking about what appliances you must have. Below, we explain the pros and cons of induction, gas, and electric cooktops to make your cooktop selection a bit easier.
Induction cooktops use electromagnetism to produce heat and cook food. When magnetically reactive cookware (cookware made with iron) is used, a magnetic field induces electrical currents inside the pan, turning the cookware into the heater.
Pros of Induction Cooktops
- Precise heat. Magnet technology heats the cookware rather than the air surrounding it. This means that 90% of the heat produced goes into the cookware, compared to 40-55% with gas and 65-75% with electric. With more of the heat going directly to the food, this speeds up cooking time and keeps the kitchen cooler.
- Safety. If there is not a pan containing iron on the cooking zone, no heat will be produced, making it safe to touch. Flames and fumes are both nonexistent with induction cooktops.
- Easy to clean. The cooktop is a flat surface which is cool to the touch when cookware is removed. Cleanup is fast and easy without having to wait very long for the cooktop to cool down.
Cons of Induction Cooktops
- Cost. Induction cooktops are generally the most expensive of the three, making this choice the most costly to install.
- Cookware compatibility. With heat produced by magnetic induction, your cookware must be made of or contain iron to function properly. (Tip: Test your current cookware by holding a magnet to the bottom. If it attracts, the pan will work with induction!)
A Word From Bosch
“Beloved for its accuracy, speed and efficiency, Bosch induction cooktops allow consumers to cook faster and more efficiently. The process of heating cookware stops as soon as the cookware is removed from the cooktop, making induction cooking somewhat of a secret weapon to a perfectly cooked meal, every time.”
Gas cooktops use natural gas or propane gas. Each burner works by creating an open flame to cook with. As you turn the cooktop knob, you increase or decrease the size of the flame.
Pros of Gas Cooktops
- Precise control. With the flame from the burner creating instant heat and temperature change, gas cooktops are both precise and efficient. In addition, the size of the flame produces a visual cue for the temperature setting.
- Versatile. A controllable open flame and the ability to use any type of cookware means chefs can use a variety of cooking techniques, including browning tortillas and using a traditional wok.
- No electricity needed. In the event of an electrical outage, gas cooktops still work.
Cons of Gas Cooktops
- Hard to clean. Grooves and crevices around burners and burner grates make gas cooktops more difficult to clean than cooktops with a flat surface.
- Inefficient heat transference. With only 40-55% of heat from the flames going to the food being cooked, gas cooktops increase the temperature in the kitchen.
A Word from Bosch
“All Bosch gas cooktops provide high heat and low simmer options to deliver perfect results with minimal effort. Once the meal is complete, the seamless one-piece stainless steel design makes cleanup a breeze, so consumers can get to sharing a meal with friends and family faster.”
Electric burners consist of coils of electrical wires enclosed in metal. Electricity runs through the wires to heat up the metal coils. Increase the temperature by increasing the amount of electricity running through the wires.
Pros of Electric Cooktops
- Flat burners. Flat burners allow the heat produced to come in direct contact with the bottom of the cookware. With up to 75% of the heat going directly to the pan, the kitchen remains cooler.
- Easy to clean. Smooth electric cooktops are especially easy to clean once they have cooled down.
- Cost. Electric cooktops are usually the least expensive option.
Cons of Electric Cooktops
- Poor temperature control. Temperature changes happen more slowly than with gas or induction cooktops. This makes switching from boiling to a simmer more difficult.
- Retains heat after cooking. The electric coils retain heat even after burners have been shut off. Cooktops remain hot to the touch and require a cool down period after cooking.
A Word from Bosch
“Bosch electric cooktops offer precise temperature control for consistent cooking results. With PreciseSelect®, an intuitive control panel allows consumers to select the cooking zones and set the specific power level wanted, quickly and easily.”
More Factors to Consider
Now that you know the pros and cons, you may still be having a difficult time deciding. Begin by determining what can be installed in your kitchen. For example, not all homes have a gas line that can be hooked up to a gas cooktop. If this is the case, you’ve already eliminated an option. From there, think about what type of cooking you will be doing. If you love having exact control over the temperature, gas or induction may be the way to go. If you need something easy to clean, electric may be top on your list.
As far as cutting-edge technology goes, Bosch has you covered whether you choose induction, gas, or electric:
“With the upward trend of technology in the home, it’s no surprise we are also seeing a demand for cooktops that provide multi-use functions. The movement toward features such as connected cooktops, inverted grates, faster boiling times, more accurate temperature control, cleanability and understated design are all at the forefront of kitchen cooktops. At Bosch, we’re proud to provide effective, reliable and easy-to-use solutions to these trends through cooktops that not only feature sleek design, but also enable users to create the perfect meal, every time,” says Prescher.
A cooktop is an essential choice in any kitchen. What cooktop would you install in your dream kitchen? Let us know in the comments.
Have you voted this week? The kitchen layout for the Hope House was designed by builders from Magruder Homes and Pitman Custom Homes, but you get to choose the cooktop!
Go to The House that Social Media Built’s Facebook or Instagram to vote now, and check back tomorrow for the winner!
[Note: this vote has ended. Check back frequently for new votes!]