To decide which is better for cooking gas or induction it is necessary compare these two methods on various ground levels such as

1) Cost of entering and apparatus (cooking stoves) needed
2) Running cost of gas vs induction
3) Their ease of use
4) Energy transformed in the form of heat
5) Their cleaning methods and problems occurring in the process.
6) Effect they have on surrounding environment where actual cooking takes place (most of the time kitchens)
7) Safety for homeowners and kids.

Lets’ have a look at all these one by one

1) Cost of entering and apparatus (cooking stoves) needed

This is quite straightforward to understand and measure. You can easily go to your favorite online megastore right now and find out how much is the cost of buying a gas cooking range vs an induction range having the same number of burners.

As per my research here are some numbers

1) A GE cafe 30″ range with 5 burners and 6.7 cu ft. convection oven will cost about $3500 (in United States) and on the other hand a GE profile 30″ induction range will cost something around $2200 (in United States)

Another example

2) An Electrolux 30″ gas range with 4 burners will cost you about $2200 (in United States) and the Electrolux IQ touch 30″ range will cost about $2000 (in United States)

So the cost of entering for an induction range looks a little better when it comes to induction. Also depending upon the quantity of food you prepare everyday you can even buy a simple induction cooktop starting from as low as $70 and above.

In case of gas ranges another very important investment is that of a vent hood. Many people who are tall frequently complain that this vent hood sometimes becomes an obstruction because it keeps on touching head.

2) Running cost of gas vs induction

To understand which is better for cooking, gas or induction, it is necessary to understand how these two are measured. If you are not living in the United States then you may have to calculate this differently as cooking gas cost will be drastically higher or lower in other parts of the world.

In some countries cooking gas is supplied by their respective government in the form of direct gas pipelines (like water supply) or in the form of refilling cylinders.

Here are official numbers of cost of gas in the United States.

Many people who don’t have access to cooking gas are opting for induction system instead of conventional electric coil ranges because of the obvious reason of negligible difference in gas vs electricity running costs. If you go with the coil top electrical ranges then the difference in electrical consumption would be much bigger.

3) Their ease of use

  • Which is easier to use gas or induction is a matter of personal preference however many people who have shifted from gas to induction cooking have experienced faster results for the same type of cooking on their induction ranges.

The main difference lies in how much energy is actually transferred to the cooking vessel from the heat which gets generated by either gas or induction. To read more about this visit pros and cons of induction

Though it is true that cooking with induction feels safer and superior as compared to gas many homeowners cannot accept the idea of cooking on range with no fire flames visible. While cooking on a gas stove or range the fire flames are always visible and when knobs are turned around for more gas flow, flames get bigger or smaller.
This visual experience is not possible with an induction hob because in induction heat energy is generated using “electromagnetism” which is invisible. read more about how this works visit the page “What is induction cooktop?

People who need glasses for reading when cook on gas do not wear glasses because the flame is clearly visible and just from the size of the flame it becomes relatively easy to clearly judge the type heat being applied to the cookware and food within. But with induction this does not happen as flames are not visible.

However this point highly depends on individual preferences and anatomy of person who’s cooking. For a tall person who’s cooking, since the cookware is kept on the burner the gas flames are not even visible and in that case this point whether flames are “visible” or not do not really matter.

  • Many chefs lift the cookware up a little bit while cooking certain recipes and even tilt the pot so that only a portion of pot is receiving heat from the gas flame. This is a style of cooking which many chefs love and this kind of thing may not be possible with induction as there is no visual factor involved.
  • Another very important point white talking about “ease of use” with gas vs induction is the stability of cookware on both these types of ranges.

All gas ranges have grates on which cooking vessels, pots and pans sit firmly and even you stir in them while cooking they keep firmly places the they were kept.

But induction cooktops have a glass or partial glass top with no arrangement like a stand on which the pot can “settle”. Many people complain that while stirring the food the vessels move over the surface unless you hold them with one hand. This means the utensil must have a handle so that you can hold it with one hand and stir the food with the other so that it does not move around the surface of the induction cooktop.

  • If heavy cooking is involved in your daily recipes or meal making, it must be observed that with heavy work oil spilling and getting the smooth surface coated with oil will be natural. This can create problems because vessels can slide from this smooth glass surface and drop down. That is why frequent cleaning of the top cooking surface of the induction range becomes absolutely necessary when you are cooking a heavy meal. In a busy kitchen this frequent cleaning can be distracting and frustrating to some people.

Of course there are differences between how and how much food is prepared in home vs in a commercial space like a restaurant. While cooking in home, food is prepared in limited quantities and so much frequent cleaning should not be a problem.

4) Percentage of Energy transformed to cookware.

Let us now have a closer look at how much energy gets transformed to actual cooking in the form of heat using both gas and induction. According to a study conducted by US DOE (Department Of Energy) there is differences in the actual energy transformed to the vessel on the top in both these methods.

In case of gas burners as 35% to 40% heat is transferred to the cooking vessels and the remaining gets dissipated into surrounding atmosphere. However in case of induction cooktops this number is much higher which is almost 85%.

Lets’ take an example here.

The heat in gas burners is measured in BTU-hr (BTU = British Thermal Units) and in case of induction ranges it is measures in KwH. According to the numbers presented by the US government a gas cooking range with 23000 BTU-hr only 33% to 40% energy will be transferred to the cooking vessel which comes down to just 9200 BTU-hr.

In case of an induction range we must first convert the KwH into equivalent BTU-hr to compare them properly. To achieve simply multiply KwH by 3412.42 which means an induction range with 2.3Kwh draw is equivalent to 2.3 X 3412.42 = 7847 BTU-hr. But the cookware on top of the induction range will receive almost 84% of this which is 6735 BTU-hrs.

So according to our simple calculations above

A gas range with 23000 BTU-hr delivers actual 9200 BTU-hr to cookware
An induction range with 2.3 KwH delivers actual 6735 HTU-hr to cookware
But This power of gas range costs almost $5600 and the induction range will cost you $ 1900 approx.

So by investing a lot less in the induction range you are getting a substantial amount of more energy in the form of efficiency and saved costs.

5) Ease of cleaning and maintaining.

One more very important aspect of gas vs induction cooking is what happens when you finish your cooking in the kitchen. Most of the times the gas ranges are a big mess when it comes to cleaning. The above and under of the gas cooking range becomes so dirty that many women simply ignore it and keep a complete day aside for the same task.

Cleaning a gas range requires removing the heavy iron grates and washing them outside of the house and then waiting so that they will dry. Sometimes washing the heavy iron grates is not an easy task. It may involve scrubbing food deposits using a sharp knife for hours and this will damage some of the original finish applied on the grates by the manufacturer which makes it uglier.

In case of an induction cooktop none of this is necessary. Induction cooktops or hobs have a glass or partial glass top surface that can be easily cleaned using a spray of Windex and a wet cloth (once the top surface is cooler enough) and you are done with cleaning.

6) The surrounding environment in interiors

In case of gas cooking ranges the gas burns forming a flame which transfers heat to the cooking vessel on top. However only 40% of the heat generated by the flame is actually transferred to the vessel and the remaining gets dissipated into surrounding environment (kitchen).

This can make the kitchen really uncomfortable for the person who’s cooking. If you live in a hot climatic zone then this can becomes even a big problem. Since gas burner heats up the cookware slowly it takes more time to cook food and more wasted energy is dissipated into surrounding atmosphere. If heavy cooking is involved with long hours of gas range operations then it is absolutely necessary that your kitchen has good quality of ventilation so that suffocation does not occur and at the same time fire hazard is reduced to a minimum.

In case of induction since heat is generated using electromagnetism no flames are present in the stove. You see no heating element like flames, red hot coils or anything like that and hence it’s much more safer and environmental friendly. In case of induction systems almost 85% heat gets transferred to the cooking pots and pan making it almost impossible to dissipate any excess heat into kitchen making the surroundings very healthy and comfortable for the person who’s cooking.

7) Cooking safety

If you have kids or teenagers who want to cook in your home then safety becomes the primary factor. In case of gas ranges once you turn on the knob gas starts flowing out rapidly and unless you apply “ignition” it starts spreading everywhere causing big problems for kids and even adults.

In case of induction systems almost every model has an auto shut-down feature which take effect if the cooking hob does not detect a cooking vessel on it’s surface after 60 seconds. This features is really handy and a great way to prevent serious accidents.

Also unlike all gas ranges induction hobs do not have a “burning flame” on top which completely eliminates accidents like burning of hands, clothes and even your cat jumping around on kitchen platforms.