Even though gas cooktops are still the most popular ones, the truth is induction cooktops have slowly gained ground to traditional hobs. During the latest years more and more people have chosen this system. Moreover, they have become the biggest induction defenders. This has created an intense debate between gas favourables and induction favourables. Meanwhile, vitroceramic is doing its best to try to survive, but lately its disadvantages have made unsatisfied gas users prefer induction cooktops.
Everything seems to indicate that in a near future the choice will only be gas or induction, but we are going to include all three systems in this post so as you have complete information before making your choice.
Gas cooktops. The system chefs and traditional cooking lovers use
Gas cooktops are the most widespread option in professional kitchens and the main reason is it provides the required heat since the beginning. It also uses the cheapest energy with the lowest consumption which it’s essential in a business that requires using it all day. Moreover, you can use any cookware on it without restrictions, heat is constant and stable and can easily be controlled, and it’s the most appropriated system to cook at very low temperature.
Main inconvenience is they are more difficult to clean –or at least less comfortable- and less secure because they send out real flames.
Vitroceramic cooktops. The first alternative to gas
Vitroceramic cooktops are made of vitroceramic glass. Their glory days were in the 90’s but nowadays induction technology is much more advanced.
Their main unique sales points as an alternative to old gas cooktops is they are theoretically easier to clean and safer, but their inconveniencies never convince gas cooktops favourables: they provide less power, they warm up very slowly, heat intensity can’t be precisely controlled, energy consumption is the highest one and, even though they allow using residual heat, the reality is most times nobody takes advantage of this possibility.
Induction Cooktops. The most innovative system
In fact induction cooktops evolved from vitroceramic cooktops, as they are made of the same material. The main difference between both is how the heat is transmitted. Induction cooktops create a magnetic field to transmit heat directly to the cooking vessel, as we explain in our post “How Does an Induction Pan Work”.
This is the system of the future according to manufacturers, who have invested many resources to improve its technology. Induction has solved most of the main inconveniences of vitroceramic cooktops: they are more powerful, have less consumption, heat intensity can be precisely controlled and, as the cooking surface never warms up, they are easier to clean and much safer than the other systems.
Their main disadvantage is price. They are much more expensive than induction and gas cooktops, especially latest generation ones. They also require using induction ready cookware and some of them limit cookware use, as we explain in our post “My pan doesn’t work. Issues with induction cooktops”.
Which is the best one?
If you like cooking we recommend you not to choose a vitroceramic cooktop and consider only induction or gas.
If you finally choose induction you must take into consideration price will be the highest one, especially if you choose one of the latest models –which is something we recommend you so as to take advantage of all benefits of induction cooktops without the inconveniences of low range models-. Remember you would need to replace your old non-induction ready cookware and that induction energy consumption is higher than gas cooktops one.
On the other hand, remember if you choose a gas cooktop you will keep on cursing your hobs every time you have to clean them, you will surely burn yourself again in an unguarded moment and you will probably leave the hob on during dinner time. But you will be able to keep on using your old cookware, as it is not necessary to use induction cookware in non-induction cooktops. Moreover, non-induction cookware is cheaper. Castey has developed a vitro-gas special cookware collection that will not only save you some money but also help you take the most of energy used to cook faster.
If you can’t still make up your mind, there are half induction half gas cooktops so as you can enjoy all the advantages –and disadvantages- of both systems.
As you will have noted, choosing a new cooktop is not going to be easy, as all them have some pros and cons. You will need to take all your needs into consideration and choose the one that better fits your needs. Once done, you will probably need to choose the best cookware for your cooktop. There are many materials and qualities and not all of them have the same good performance. This quick guide to choose a frying pan will help you with some smart tips.