Should I get an Induction Hob or a Gas Hob?

  • Apr 20, 2023

For those planning their kitchen renovation, you'd have likely come across the dilemma of choosing a kitchen hob. The most popular ones out there are induction hobs and gas hobs. Both have their pros and cons, so the answer really depends on your lifestyle and personal preferences. If you are still on the fence, this article should give you some clarity.

Heating method

Design: Design of Schatz

First things first—how do they work? An induction hob sends heat directly onto the base of your cookware using electromagnets that generate a magnetic field when switched on. For a gas hob, gas is released through the burner, which is then ignited through a spark, producing an open flame that heats up the pan.

Speed

Because of how they work, induction hobs heat up a pan a lot faster than a gas hob and correspondingly, your cooking also gets done quicker. If you don’t have a lot of time to cook and need your meals out faster, an induction cooker may be a more suitable choice.

Energy efficiency

Design: The Interior Lab

Because it takes a shorter amount of time to cook with an induction hob and it uses all the heat that is generated, it’s a more energy-efficient appliance compared to a gas hob. With a gas hob, heat is sometimes lost to the side of the pans during cooking, which makes it less efficient.

Safety and comfort

By using an induction hob, the heat is localised only to the area beneath the pan which greatly reduces the likelihood of accidentally burning yourself on any other hot surfaces. Plus, the surface remains cool when there is no pan on it, so it’s not hot to touch. No open flames make it a safer cooking option and it also means the kitchen doesn’t get too warm during cooking.

That being said, there is some danger to induction hobs as well as gas hobs that are made using tempered glass. As with any tempered glass surface, there is a chance of spontaneous shattering due to hairline cracks because of impurities within the material or it can occur during installation or improper use e.g. placing a pot down on the surface too forcefully. The good thing is that tempered glass tends to shatter into smaller pieces with rounded edges so injuries are hopefully kept minimal.

Appearance

Design: Arkhilite

An induction hob has a sleek, flat surface that is usually made from materials like tempered glass or ceramic glass. Conventionally, gas hobs feature a stainless steel surface, although, because of the more modern appearance, models are now made of materials such as tempered glass or ceramic glass. Gas hobs also come with exposed pan supports for cookware to sit on and these are usually made from cast iron.

Cleaning

With fewer components, an induction hob is easier to clean. And because the surface of the induction hob doesn’t heat up when there isn’t a magnetic pan on it, you can wipe it down immediately after without having to wait for the surface to cool down.

Design: The Interior Maison

A gas hob has more nooks and crevices that can potentially trap food spills or residue and come with several components (burner, pan support, burner caps, knobs, etc.), some of which you will need to remove on a regular basis to clean, although how many components it has ultimately depends on the make you get.

Versatility

Design: Ascend Design

With induction hobs, it’s likely you may need to invest in a whole new set of cookware since they are only compatible with ones that have a flat magnetic base. They can’t work with cookware made entirely from copper, glass or ceramic for example. Gas hobs are much more versatile as they will work with any pot and pan made from a wide variety of materials, including traditional woks with curved bases.

We've seen some homeowners who install both hob types in their kitchen or go with hobs that offer both options in one appliance. While this can definitely boost flexibility, consider also the increase in installation costs.

Cooking style

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Because of the usage restrictions in the type of cookware for induction hobs, there may be more limitations to the kind of foods you can cook if you don’t get the right pot or pan. In general though, with decent cooking skills and the right equipment, an induction hob can work just as well as a gas hob.

For instance, if you like simmering Chinese soups in clay pots for hours on end, there are even induction-friendly clay pots available. (Your utility bill may take a hit, but hey, at least you will have tasty soup.)

And that elusive wok hei which everyone says can only be achieved on a gas hob? Turns out, it’s not as achievable on a gas hob either as it needs a seriously high heat output—available only in commercial kitchens!—to really work. We’ve seen some home cooks imitate the singed flavour using kitchen torches, but that’s another story for another day.

Control

Design: Starry Homestead

Some induction hobs allow you to adjust to exact temperatures, which can be beneficial if you know what temperatures to be at. This also means they can easily maintain a certain temperature that you want. That said, having good control over your cooking in an induction hob does come with some practice and once you are familiar with your appliance.

Gas hobs, thanks to their open flames, offer a kind of visual guide that may help you better adjust temperatures during the cooking process, thereby offering greater control.

Price and running costs

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In general, upfront prices for built-in gas hobs are cheaper. They can cost anywhere from a low of S$300 to a high of S$1,500. Freestanding gas hobs will cost more, as they stand alone and can also be equipped with an oven. Induction hobs start from about S$600 and can go up to more than S$5,000.

In terms of running costs, it is less clear-cut. Electricity tariffs are higher than gas tariffs in Singapore: SP charges an electricity tariff rate of 29.62 cents per kWh (with GST) currently, whereas the current piped town gas tariff rate charged by City Gas stands at 23.41 cents per kWh (with GST).

Ultimately how much your utility bill will cost depends on how much wattage it takes when you cook and how long your food takes to cook. Induction hobs heat up faster so you will require less time to cook, thus cutting down the energy you spend. But if you often boil soups for long hours or often cook in high heat, then perhaps a gas hob will be a better choice for cost savings.

Key features to look out for when buying an induction or gas hob

Design: Authors Interior & Styling

  • Size: How much space have you set aside on the countertop? Domino hobs go for around 30cm in width, which is perfect for tiny kitchens. Medium-sized hobs can be between 50cm to 70cm, while larger hobs can reach over 90cm.
  • Number of burners (gas) or cooking zones (induction): Many of us tend to use between 2 to 3 at each given time, but evaluate your cooking style and lifestyle e.g. if you entertain often, consider getting a hob with more burners/zones.
    Spacing between burners or cooking zones: You want to ensure that your pots and pans will be able to fit together in one go.
  • Variety and type of burner for gas hobs: Make sure they can take on a variety of cooking methods from high-heat searing to low-fire simmering. Some common ones include wok burners, suitable for using a wok for stir-fries, and rapid burners, ideal for cooking food quickly or boiling water.
  • Power levels and cooking modes for induction hobs: Will they be able to fit in with your cooking styles?
  • Flexibility for induction hobs: Some induction hobs with flexible cooking zones can adjust to the size and shape of your pots and pans, making them more versatile for different cooking styles.
  • Ease of use and maintenance: Look at the design of the hob. Is it easy to adjust the settings? Sometimes you want to be able to go from searing to simmering quickly. Are there a lot of components? Are there a lot of crevices? Look for ones that are as sleek as possible to make it easier to clean.
  • Safety controls: Look out for safety features, particularly if you have elderly or young children at home. Some gas hobs cut off the gas supply when the flame accidentally goes out. Some induction hobs come with a child lock that will also help prevent changes to any settings on your hob.
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