We are often asked by our customers which type of hob is best, gas or induction? Really, it is more about which option is best for you, how and what do you cook? What works best in your room and how it will affect the design?
You may have cooked on a gas hob for your whole life and this is what you are used to, so why change if it works for you? You may have had an induction hob in the past that was of poor quality or was limited to a 13amp supply, this would not have worked so well so you may be hesitant to use one again. Perhaps you have an induction hob, but you crave a gas hob to cook your favourite Chinese or Indian food?
Here, we will give an honest and objective overview of each with plenty of information to help you make an informed decision about what type is best for you.
First, think about where you would like your hob to go. If you are considering having your hob on an island, are you able to install a gas and power supply to suit? If you are planning to situate your hob on an island or peninsula with a breakfast bar behind, consider the safety of those who may be seated.
Gas – Gas Safe regulations require you to have a minimum of 30cm clear worksurface either side of the hob and for the hob to be situated at least 30cm from window reveals.
Gas hobs generate a lot of residual heat around the perimeter of the hob, make sure your breakfast bar is deep enough to protect those seated behind.
Induction – It is good practice to allow at least 30cm of clear worktop space either side of the hob.
There is no residual heat loss with an induction hob and no naked flame so a minimum breakfast bar depth of 30cm is sufficient.
Connection and installation
Your gas hob needs to be connected by a Gas Safe engineer who should also carry out a gas safety check ‘drop test’ afterwards. You should be given a certificate for this your own records and for insurance purposes. Expect to pay between £100 and £200 for this part of your installation in addition to the physical supply and connection.
A good quality induction hob will have a total connected load of at least 7.4Kw with some larger options having an 11.2Kw load. For either, you will need appropriate wiring and an additional 40amp fuse on your consumer unit. If you have no spare space or your consumer unit does not conform to current regulations, you could be looking at an additional cost of £400 – £1000. It is a good idea to discuss this with your installer or consult a qualified electrician prior to purchasing an induction hob.
Usage and cooking
Both gas and induction hobs are available in different sizes with varying number of burners/ zones. You need to select a model that works well for you. Now, think carefully about how and what you cook. How often do you need more than 4 rings? Do you often cook with a large wok, karahi or stock pot? Do you make a lot of sauces from scratch?
Gas – With high, intense heat and control over a visible flame, gas hobs are perfect for domed bottom woks and karahi’s. Although the intense heat and large burners are useful for large pots, how functional are small burners in relation to how or what you cook? For example, when making sauces, you will have to stir the contents of your pan frequently as the outside edges will often be much hotter than the middle, after all, you do not want your sauce to stick to the pan.
Due to the fixed position of each ring, give thought to the position of the largest burner, can you easily fit other pans on the hob when this burner is taken up by a large pan? Can your hob accommodate two large pans? The picture below shows a 75cm gas hob, you can see that it may be difficult to have a pot sit centrally on each of the other 4 rings.
Induction – Induction hobs do vary, some come with large flexi / dual zone areas which offer a great amount of flexibility with pan placement.(See our comprehensive guide to induction hobs) The picture below shows a 60cm induction hob with a flex-zone on the left, it’s amazing how much you can fit at once.
- High temperatures can be reached very quickly, it takes approx. 40 seconds to bring a small amount of water to the boil on an induction hob.
- The degree of control and precision is greater with induction than gas, this is ideal for maintaining a consistent temperature with oils and sauces.
- The heat is evenly distributed across the pan so there is very little need to stir sauces and soups.
- There are a huge number of accessories for induction, hot-plates, roasting trays, teppan-yaki and woks are all widely available. Whilst flat bottomed ‘induction-friendly’ woks are available, they do not cook in the same way that a domed wok does. This is something that you may get used to but those passionate about eastern cuisine may not want to change the way they cook.
Control and Responsiveness
Gas – For many years, gas has been the best solution for control. Instant on and off with no cool off. Twisting a sequential knob to open the valve in order to adjust the size and intensity of a visible flame is easy for most. With a good quality modern gas hob, you have more reliability with 6-9 click through, step-wise points of control to moderate the flame.
However, if you have arthritis or a limited grip, control knobs can be difficult to use. As mentioned above, you will have to frequently stir contents of your pans as the outside edge will always be hotter than the middle
Induction – The new generation of induction hobs offer far greater control than gas. Typically, each ring / zone will have 17 points of precise control. To give you a good example of how precise, you can slowly melt chocolate in a pot on the lowest setting and leave it for two hours without stirring and not worry about the contents sticking to the pot.
On full power, water can be brought to the boil quicker than a kettle and can be stopped in an instant, as quickly as a gas hob.
The current distributes the heat evenly across the entire base of the pan, so far less stirring is required.
Regulating and maintaining the heat of oils in a frying pan is effortless and there will be far less smoking and spitting.
Some premium induction hobs can be used in conjunction with pan sensors which communicate with the hob so you will never overcook again – See how by clicking here
There are different types of controls for induction, TFT screens, touch control, slide control and twist control – See our comprehensive guide to induction hobs
Gas – Naturally, a naked flame can be hazardous. A carelessly placed tea towel could quickly catch fire on a gas hob, pan fires can be accelerated where fats and oils spill over, you get the idea. Pots and pans get very hot when using a gas hob, especially if contents dry out, as a result, accidental damage to surfaces and burns are more likely to occur.
Most hobs now come with fail safe / gas fail features which automatically cut off the gas supply if a flame fails or is accidentally blown out. It is crucial that you choose a hob with this feature.
Induction – There is no safer hob solution. The power/ current is only activated when a pan is placed on the cooking zone.
As the heat is generated via a magnetic exchange, the cooking surface does not get hot like an electric or gas hob. Therefore, if a stray tea towel does find it’s way on to the hob, it will not catch fire.
There is no excess heat loss when using induction so the area around your pans will not be hot, over spill from a pot will not be exposed to intense heat.
The residual heat on the hob after cooking will be hot to touch but not hot enough to instantly burn.
Gas – Cleaning a gas hob can be a chore, pan supports and burners which are each made up of 3 or 4 component parts all need to be removed and cleaned regularly. Any over spill can get in between the ignition and burner which can be tricky to get to.
Induction – Cleaning a smooth glass surface is a cinch, simply wipe your hob after use with a damp cloth or sponge and dry with an e-cloth. As the surface does not get very hot, any over-spill from pots and pans will not fuse to the surface like a basic electric hob, simply mop up spills and wipe clean after cooking.
If your hob is positioned against a wall, you will need to have a splashback to protect the wall from splashing and grease.
Gas – There is a lot off excess heat loss from using a gas hob, the splashback behind needs to be heat resistant as well as being easy to wipe clean. Toughened glass, stainless steel, granite, quartz, glass or ceramic wall tiles are good solutions
Induction – With no excess heat loss from an induction hob, your splashback need only be moisture resistant and easy to clean. This gives a little more flexibility in terms of the materials you can use. In addition to those above, you could use mirror, laminate or acrylic.