Should I choose a gas or induction cooktop for our new kitchen?
Kerste Helms
January 5, 2014 in Design Dilemma
I have been dreaming of upgrading from our electric range to gas for years. Now that I have the chance to remodel, our architect is recommending induction over gas. He says it's cleaner looking and easier to clean and that it cooks as well as gas. Is this true?
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Gina
I am not sure; however, I'm a firm believer that what has worked for years will work for years to come. Check out the research on consumers and of course there will be great feed back from fellow houzz'ers.
January 5, 2014 at 2:10PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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dclostboy
Never used induction, but know either will be step up from electric :)
January 5, 2014 at 2:51PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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Jan Neiges, CKD
I would like to know why dclostboy discourages the use of Induction - all cruise ships use induction, the finest restaurants use induction. However, as I always suggest to my clients when getting ready to plan for their kitchen remodel, that they should do research and select their appliances first. I am not sure what city you are in, but here in Denver there are three professional appliance showrooms, with working kitchens, chef on hand and cooking demonstrations monthly - a must to attend when shopping for appliances. You need to get educated on the pros/cons of any cooking element to confirm how that fits within your lifestyle and budget. Good luck
January 5, 2014 at 2:58PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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dclostboy
@jan neiges, if you actually read my comment, I didn't discourage induction...merely stated I never used it. I believe in precision in language, but that doesn't always lead to precise communication.
January 5, 2014 at 3:06PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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cawarder
Our house we just purchased had an expensive induction cooktop; we took out and replaced with a Viking gas cooktop. My Husband is a Chef and SWEARS by gas!
January 5, 2014 at 3:27PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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saratogaswizzlestick
It depends. I have accumulated a number of very expensive pots and pans. Some do not have flat bottoms and would not work well with induction. I find gas cooktops very easy to clean and would guess that induction cooktops are more like electric flat tops which are a bear to clean. My preference would be for gas as the temperature can be controlled to such a fine degree. I also sometime char peppers - you can't do that with an induction cooktop. Some commercial kitchens use induction because it keeps the kitchen cooler but if you look at chef's kitchens at home they normally picture gas. Disclaimer - I have not cooked on an induction cooktop.
January 5, 2014 at 3:30PM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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starkster
I just remodeled. I've always loved and swore by gas, but our new induction is incredible. Absolutely love it! We can boil water in 1 minute, heat is only on the bottom surface of pan so ever even cooking. You can put a ice cube within 1/2 inch of pan and it won't melt. Much safer than electric or gas. Very streamlined look. I can't imagine ever going back to gas.
January 5, 2014 at 3:39PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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FINNE Architects
Our clients who use induction swear by it. At the same time, many of our clients prefer to be able to see the gas flame and will not switch over to induction. I suggest you do a test run of each cooktop type before you decide.
January 5, 2014 at 3:44PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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beverett1
I finished a kitchen remodel this summer and installed induction and I love it. It does not heat up the kitchen which is important to me. Like gas, it responds immediately when turning the heat up or down. I have a power boil on one of the "burners" for even faster boiling and a "burner" when can melt delicate chocolate. If I take a pan off the surface, the "burner" will turn itself off which is a good safety feature. A light indicates which "burner" is on and to indicate which area is still hot after turning the "burner" off. It is the easiest cook top that I have ever cleaned--much easier than the old ceramic glass or gas. I just use a little non-ammonia window cleaner and I'm done. The down side is that you have to use cookware that is compatible with the induction. While there are some pricy cookware sets available, I got a ten piece set under $100 at Bed, Bath and Beyond (Denmark) which works great. I would encourage cooks to be open to seriously consider this alternative and try it in the showroom or in someone's home to see for yourself. I can't imagine my going back to electric or gas after experiencing induction. Good luck.
January 5, 2014 at 7:38PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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Mary Jane Banks
I love my induction stove, however, my son and his wife are chefs and they don't like using it all the time. Mine tends to turn off unexpectantly, and if it gets water on the element that can also cause it to turn off. If you can get gas and then maybe 2 burners with induction - that would, in my opinion, be ideal. Oh yes, you can;t use ceramic like Le Crueset with induction.
January 5, 2014 at 7:45PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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okdokegal
I had an aunt with an older induction and never liked it, she or I. I had many gas ranges over the years, in rentals, and they were always old and pretty much worn out... and preferred electric. Then this house had an almost brand new decent quality gas and I fell in love with that. In the remodel when I get to replacing appliances (I will have to reuse my present ones for awhile) I am going with gas. Look at your cooking style... and if you've collected some good quality cookware over the years (I have a lot of caphalon, all clad, even classic old cast iron, etc) it may not work with the induction... part of my reason I would not put in induction. I am going for 6 burner gas; two separate ovens, and might put in two electric burners in a secondary prep area... as I finalize what my kitchen will be.... If you can try before you commit that would be best. I am NOT a professional chef but I do like to cook and I can produce some pretty fair food (I have friends who are, and they will pull up a fork any time I want to invite them. :) )
January 5, 2014 at 7:52PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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jtoman
I love my induction cooktop. It cooks faster than gas and it is incredible quick and easy to clean!
January 5, 2014 at 8:01PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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rredpenn
When the power is out, you can still "cook with gas". All you need is a match :) (I loved my gas and will have it again someday!)
January 5, 2014 at 8:03PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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Kerste Helms
Thank you all for your input so far! I really appreciate it. We are opening up our kitchen to the living room and dining room, so keeping things constantly clean in the kitchen is a new concern for me...so far it sounds like induction will be much easier to keep clean. Ease of use and even cooking capability are also more important to me than worrying about the right pans. Most of my pans are ready to be replaced anyway. Our architect says induction has been used successfully in Europe for many years and is a tried and true technology, but I do wonder about resale value if we put in induction here in the US (Seattle). We don't plan to sell anytime soon, but I do want to remodel with the future in mind. Mary Jane, what brand do you have that turns off unexpectedly? Beverett, are you from Europe? Do many people you know use induction too?
January 5, 2014 at 8:42PM     
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starkster
I just wanted to add that mine does not turn off unexpectedly. When you remove a pan or turn off he burner, it stops instantly, preventing boiling over. Mine will automatically cool down if it senses a lot of water........again to prevent boiling over. I have a Bosch 5 burner.
January 6, 2014 at 5:34AM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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Curt D'Onofrio
We use gas. But, the safety features on induction stoves as listed above by others sounds good.
January 6, 2014 at 5:50AM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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juneee
you can't compare the ease of cleaning an induction with that of GAS. Of course I want my stove to be efficient and have all the "pros" of using gas,,,, BUT the ease of clean up is right up there with efficiency,,, so, I guess I'd say I want BOTH qualities. I think my next stove will be a Bosch !! I'm impressed with starkster's comments. Everything starkster says,,,,tells me that THAT is the stove I want !!!
January 6, 2014 at 6:50AM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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beverett1
I have a GE Profile slide in range which I am happy with. I wanted a versatile slide in that didn't break the bank. I live in NC, so I wanted a stove that did not heat the kitchen in my hot summers. Just think about the type of features that you what. Then go to a big box store to see a variety of appliances and what they have to offer. I never thought about a warming drawer, but I like this feature. Then have fun shopping!
January 6, 2014 at 11:51AM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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PRO
Adrian J. Naquin Interior Design L.L.C.
I have clients who swear by both
induction electric is more energy efficient , safer ( kids) , easy to clean ( day job)
gas is better for ( making sauces,roasting, and wok) so if you are an aspiring chef go gas
Both have been updated in recent years and are much better than the old electric or gas appliances of 10 years ago.
January 6, 2014 at 12:03PM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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PirateFoxy
Induction is getting much more common and more popular - I don't think I'd worry too much about it damaging future sale prospects. If it does turn out to be a major issue when it comes time to sell, you could probably also have the induction cooktop removed and switched to a nice electric one. (Or if you want to spend a little more now, have gas pipes run to the area where the cooktop will be so that you have the easy option of installing a gas cooktop later without having to rip everything apart to plumb it in.)

As far as actual cooking performance - I love to cook and I've used both decent gas and decent induction, and as long as your pans work with induction for the vast majority of cooking they're pretty interchangable, imo. For very specific types of cooking, one might be better than the other, but you have to look at how you cook to determine that for yourself. (For example, induction is not particularly great for wok cooking with a round bottomed wok because the wok base doesn't make contact with the induction surface well enough.) I'd definitely try induction out - you can get countertop induction models pretty inexpensively these days and while they don't have all the bells and whistles of a nice cooktop, it's still enough to give you an idea of what it's like to cook on induction, if you want more time to play with it than just visiting a showroom. I have a countertop unit and we actually took it with us this past summer on vacation (along with a couple of pans) because it is much nicer even as a wimpy countertop model than some older inexpensive gas stoves I've encountered.

(I also use the countertop one for things like parties and buffets where I want to set something out but keep it warm - a big pot of mulled wine or apple cider will sit happily on the induction for ages and be nicely warm but not burn, and there's no exposed flame risks if it's on a crowded buffet table or a paper napkin goes astray. I know someone else who uses a countertop one for her annual doughnut making event - I forget the proper name for them, but it's a big family gathering where everyone comes together to make them - because she can put parchment paper down between the cooking surface and the pan so all the oil splatters from frying go on the paper instead of all over the counter. Then to clean up, just throw away the dirty paper.)
January 6, 2014 at 1:28PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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Kerste Helms
PirateFoxy, I have just asked to borrow a friend's countertop induction burner for just that purpose! I will try it out to see how it works with my pans, how quickly it heats up and turns off etc. Great idea to have a single unit for a buffet table too. I appreciate people's recommendation to take into account the heat produced...I hadn't thought of that aspect yet. Heat production is a vote for gas b/c there is typically one week per year in Seattle that breaks the 90 degree mark, and we're always looking for more heat. :)
January 6, 2014 at 5:02PM   
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JudyG Designs
You need pots and pans that are magnet sensitive to use an induction cook top.
January 6, 2014 at 5:04PM   
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jtoman
If a magnet sticks to a pan - then it will work on an induction cooktop. I bought a nice - but very reasonably priced set at Costco. It works great.
January 6, 2014 at 5:20PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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decoenthusiaste
Didn't someone on Houzz recently post a kitchen remodel where they replace a double whammy with a cooktop of each - gas and electric - with a Wolfe range. I like gas and have used a Jenn-Aire. Gas seems more controllable to me. Not experienced with induction but understand its use in such environments as cruise ships where a kitchen fire could sink a ship.
January 6, 2014 at 5:35PM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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mfwolfe
I would never have any other kind of stove but induction. I have been cooking on induction for two years now and I am amazed at the fine tuning I can do with induction that I could never come close to with gas and certainly not with electric.
Go to amazon and enter induction and you will see a single burner induction cooker. It costs about $100 or so. Buy it and one pan....must be something a magnet will stick to but pan ads mostly say now if they are induction compatible...and cook for a couple of weeks. You will never go back.
Cleaning is no problem as many people have already said. Mine occasionally slows if I have all the burners on high heat, but that is a rare event. The only time it turns off automatically is when you take the pan off, but mine stays on after I take a pan off for about two minutes. Cleaning it is just like any glass top stove but I find that that build up from frying or boil overs do not stick as much as with electrics because just the area under the pan gets hot.
And if the electricity goes off I can plug my single burner induction into the auxiliary switch in my husband ' s truck.
January 6, 2014 at 5:37PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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Curt D'Onofrio
decoenthusiaste : I don't know, but i'm hoping they do manufacture them. I still can't choose between gas or induction. Good/bad points given for each
January 6, 2014 at 5:48PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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sierra90
Love our induction- ditto to all comments re: pots and pans. Still looks brand new after over 3 years of use. Never use smooth top cleaner or scrapers like old smooth top- just soap and water.
January 6, 2014 at 6:02PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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Designer Shylo Preston
One of the things that I'm really excited to see in kitchen design these days is people thinking out of the box - what about both? We're not only seeing clients breaking up the old work triangle into zones, but also taking advantage of new smaller modular appliance offerings to put exactly what you need, right where you need it. I'm just getting started on an installation that will have a 4-burner 30" induction cooktop installed side by side with a 15" two burner gas module for the best of both worlds. (Wolf makes these options along with a stainless strip to unite the two) - but there's nothing saying we even had to install these side-by-side - just happened to work best for this kitchen.

In terms of clean up - imagine this - you're about to fry up a big pan of bacon. You cover your induction cooktop with paper towels (yes, set your pan right over the paper towels). Fry up your bacon and then when you're done, crumple up the paper towel and throw it away - 2 second clean up! Induction will bowl water MUCH faster than gas - respond to increases/decreases in heat faster than gas, and all of the heat goes directly to your pan - versus only 12% of gas (the other 88% of gas heat/energy goes into your kitchen). Since the pan will loose heat immediately when contact is lost with the induction unit - induction is not great for certain types of cooking, ie. wok cooking, etc...
January 6, 2014 at 7:27PM        Thanked by Kerste Helms
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PirateFoxy
@Designer Shylo Preston - that arrangement is almost exactly what I wanted to do, with induction and a gas module. Unfortunately I think my kitchen space is too small for a cooktop and separate ovens so I'll probably end up sticking with a gas range. (I love induction, but so far I haven't liked the induction range options as much as I like the selection of cooktops and rangetops.)
January 6, 2014 at 10:59PM   
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ddux97
We purchased a portable induction cooktop so we could try using one before making a decision for our new home. It seems to cook a little hotter than gas at the low temps, but after using it only a few weeks, I'm really leaning towards it. I would never go back to electric because it's so slow to respond, but the induction seems to have the best of both worlds with the easy cleanup of the glasstop electric & the cooking power of gas. I put parchment paper under my pan so the surface doesn't scratch, but the paper (& pan) move around slightly because of it. Just beware if you do this, especially on a portable unit, so your pan doesn't fall off & spill. Now when I use parchment paper, I make it long enough to tuck under the feet on both sides of the unit so it can't move around.
February 7, 2014 at 8:48AM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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Designer Shylo Preston
@ddux97 - not encouraging or advocating putting anything under your induction - following manufacturer's instructions (liability reasons and all that ;P ) but ddux97 we use paper towel instead of parchment paper and don't have any problem with the pan moving around?
February 7, 2014 at 1:04PM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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Rhiannon Crain
I had had when I was younger, and then a series of rentals with electric. YIKES.

I just redid my kitchen ( as in I've been cooking in it for one week), and went with induction after talking to some food business friends I took a chance on induction. So far I am impressed. Boils water at a drop of a hat. Cooks a grilled cheese to golden perfection.

I used cast iron almost exclusively before and now my vintage pans work perfectly on the induction. Cleans up nice because when stuff boils over it doesn't cook on because the burner isn't hot like with glass electric range.
February 9, 2014 at 7:55PM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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divacooks
If you prefer style over function, induction adds counter space in a small area kitchen and a sleek look if modern is your choice. Induction cooks like electric. Truly serious cooks always use gas.
July 20, 2014 at 7:37AM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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owilder
Thanks Shylo Preston! Probably go for a 4-2 split for gas and induction. WIll mostly use induction to boil water and gas for wok, sauces, and roasting as suggested.
July 23, 2014 at 9:39AM   
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Designer Shylo Preston
You'll love that 'owilder' enjoy!
July 23, 2014 at 10:20AM   
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Greg Rubinstein
I have been researching induction cooktops and am still undecided about installing induction or gas when I remodel. I currently have an old electric stove. The problem I have found with induction is that changing the temperature takes several steps compared to simply turning a knob with gas. With induction, you usually have some sort of touch screen. To change the temperature of a burner, you have to tap the touch pad to select the burner, then usually a number of taps on a "+" or "-" until you get to the temperature you want. I have also seen slide a slide where you select the burner and then slide the numbers sideways.

For example, on the Miele, I believe that first you have to turn the cooktop on, then select the burner, and then tap the plus sign until you get to the given temperature. (Although there is a short cut to get to high or boost).

On top of that issue is the fact that the touch pads are not very responsive--they are slow to react when you tap or touch them. I am not sure if this issue depends on such things as the moisture or dryness of your finger or getting used to what kind of touch it takes.

So although a change of temperature of an induction cooktop is instant, making that change takes some steps and is somewhat slow.

Compare that to gas: turn the knob and it lights. Turn the knob and it changes temperature instantly. But gas does cause a lot of heat...
August 21, 2014 at 11:05AM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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decoenthusiaste
Real chefs use gas! Gas is more controllable and subtle for the fine art of cheferie!
August 21, 2014 at 12:56PM     
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Monica
I tried really hard to like induction, but as a lover of good cooked food I was never as happy with the result as I was with gas. So much so that I am just about to move and there is no gas supply at the new property, I am having a hob converted so I can use an LPG bottle and get my gas hob.
August 21, 2014 at 1:14PM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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Kerste Helms
Thanks Greg Rubenstein, I saw this in action at the appliance store. The controls were not responding to the salesman's touch, and there were many touches necessary for each adjustment. This could certainly get old in a short time. I don't mind the heat from gas since we need to supplement our heat in the NW in general- even in the summer it's not too hot outside...high of 71 today for instance ;0
August 21, 2014 at 1:16PM   
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retirewalnut
New construction - looking at Wolf induction and gas modules side by side, 15 inches each. Along, with a 24 inch steam oven over a 30 inch gas. I do not like the blue interior of Wolf's electric and worried about the chipping comments on Gardenweb. I am not a big baker. Thinking, the best of all worlds???
September 7, 2014 at 1:21PM   
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helixg1
I have a GE profile induction cooktop. I love using it.the only time it cuts off is if you remove the pot and leave it off. It's very easy and quick to change temperature.
September 7, 2014 at 1:59PM      Thanked by Kerste Helms
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