Choosing your stove top is one of the key decisions when renovating your home. However, with the vast range of options for cooker hobs, such as gas, induction, multi-functional, coil, portable, and pellet stoves, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.
To help make this decision easier, we’ve decided to narrow down the competition and distinguish the main differences between the two of the most popular options – gas and induction stoves.
Image credit: treasurepod
Gas stoves are a staple and were the norm for households, and there are a few variations, such as portable, built-in, or freestanding. However, the commercialisation of modern alternatives such as induction stoves has posed the question of whether or not such hobs are now redundant.
Despite the competition, some people still consider gas stoves as the most effective and proper way of cooking a meal. After all, it’s the only option that gives you that coveted wok hey.
Image credit: jacquelynedna
Induction stoves are comparatively new to the market, and though gas stove owners may hesitate to switch over, they have increasingly gained traction as more households have started to take it up.
Induction stoves generate heat by running electromagnetic energy through a coil under the stovetop. Like gas stoves, induction stoves can be portable, built-in, or freestanding.
Cost of installation & daily use
Image credit: Miele
While both gas and induction stoves can cost around $100 for low-end options, the average or high-end cost of an induction stove often surpasses their gas alternatives.
According to Product Nation, the best built-in induction cooker is the TECNO 2-Burner Built-In Induction Cooker Hob, which costs $1,228. Meanwhile, the gas stove rated as the best is the Rinnai 2 Burner Built-In Hob Schott Glass, which is more than two-thirds the price at $528.
Furthermore, an induction stove’s price can reach over $9,000 for a higher-end model such as the Miele KMDA7476FL induction hob. Alternatively, a high-end gas option from the same brand, the Miele KM3054-1 5-burner gas hob, costs a much more affordable $6,200.
Image credit: Miele
While it isn’t much of a problem for newly-built properties like BTOs, those looking to renovate their home or a newly purchased resale property might want to note that installing a stove type you previously owned is less expensive and hassle-free.
In simpler terms, it’ll be cheaper to replace a gas stove with a new gas stove, and vice versa for an induction stove, instead of having to overhaul and reinstall entirely new parts, outlets, panels, and so on.
According to a Reddit user, if you cook very often, the electricity bill incurred from using the induction cooker may also be more costly in comparison to the charge brought about by the gas bill.
However, for those who rarely cook, as induction cookers reduce the time taken to heat the pan and, by extension, the cooking time, the difference in bills will unlikely have a significant impact.
Winner: Gas stoves. In terms of upfront costs, they’re much cheaper. Those who cook often will also save more in the long run.
Which heats faster & is better for cooking?
If you’ve heard of the well-known Malaysian comedian-slash-YouTuber Uncle Roger, you’ll likely know of his “haiyaas” and food critiques, including his abhorrence and disapproval of induction stoves, seemingly backed by Singaporeans.
Despite being known for his comedic videos, Uncle Roger makes an important argument for gas hob supporters, as induction stoves are “so not satisfying” compared to their gas counterparts. This is especially so in Asian households aiming for wok hey when cooking, which is the charred, smoky flavour you get by exposing food to an open flame.
Additionally, gas stoves arguably have one notable advantage over induction stoves. According to Reddit user NiceGirl432, a “gas stove is better if you cook a lot, as you can adjust the flame and control the cooking.”
Image credit: Made In Cookware
And this is precisely the selling point for gas stove users – the visual and tactile feedback on the stove’s heat level where you can see and feel how much heat is being used.
Concentrating heat on a particular area of a big pan is tricky as you can’t tilt the pan on conventional induction cookers – you’ll lose the heat if you do so.
Nonetheless, this advantage is gradually being eroded as this function can be replicated by newer induction stoves, which give off blue lights that replicate the flames of a gas stove.
However, it’s vital to consider that hobs with this feature, such as Samsung’s Smart Slide-in Induction Range with Virtual Flame™, generally cost upwards of $3,000. In other words, you should be ready to fork out a substantial amount for a function commonly seen in gas stoves of a much lower price range.
An induction cooker’s heat activates only on the cookware surface.
Image credit: Homestead Furniture and Appliances
On the other hand, induction stoves have plenty of plus points. Contrary to popular belief, induction hobs allow for more precise control over heat as they transfer heat to the pan much faster than an open flame.
If you cook often, you’ve likely experienced how stifling the kitchen can feel while cooking. Hence, you’ll be glad to discover that less heat also escapes into the room from induction cookers than gas stoves – a significant boon in Singapore’s hot climate.
In the words of Reddit user lajf234, “with an induction stove, the kitchen won’t feel like an oven when cooking.”
However, induction stoves aren’t necessarily a bed of roses, as they aren’t for everyone. Since they use magnetic fields to produce heat, this may harm people who use pacemakers or insulin pumps.
Meanwhile, a common complaint from induction stove users is the annoying humming or buzzing noise they produce. The sound level may be negligible, depending on the hob model.
Image credit: Appliancist, Electrolux Australia
Another drawback some find is that using round-bottomed woks on induction cookers is troublesome, which are usually flat. These woks take a long time to heat up due to having less surface area in contact with the heating area; people who love tossing their fried rice in a round-bottomed wok may be disappointed by induction stoves.
But if you’re determined to continue using such woks even with an induction stove. In that case, you’ll have to either get a concave induction cooker specifically for woks – meaning you won’t be able to use flat-bottom pans on this particular stove – or a wok adaptor induction ring, adding to your costs.
Winner: Undecided. It depends on your personal preferences and needs.
Ease of cleaning & maintenance
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Compared to induction stoves, gas stoves are much more convenient as there are too many rules when cooking with induction.
Induction stoves will only activate heat upon direct contact with the cookware. They’re also not as compatible with some materials – non-stick pans such as those made of aluminium, glass, or copper do not work on induction hobs as the electromagnetism can’t heat them.
An induction converter disk placed below a pan.
Image credit: Pinterest
For induction stoves, the pan size should be similar to the induction stove cooking area – if it’s too small, the induction cooker will not be able to sense the pot and heat it. On the other hand, if it’s too large, the edges will not be heated up.
In the long run, induction stoves can offset this inconvenience simply due to the ease with which they can be maintained.
Cleanup is much easier with induction stoves – simply wipe off any spills or stains from the cooktop, and it’ll be as good as new. Meanwhile, gas stoves may need routine maintenance or be deep-cleaned occasionally.
Gas stoves may also stop working when water is spilled on them. They’ll then need to be completely dried out before they can be used again. Continuous spills may even corrode your gas valves and parts, damaging them in the long run and reducing their lifespan.
Image credit: Hunker
For those who cook often, you’ll know that another downside to using gas stoves is blackened pans. When there isn’t a directly heated area, open flames may flicker up the sides of pans, causing your cookware to be blackened – and these stains are such a pain to get rid of.
Another pro of Induction stoves is that they’re more efficient. Since energy is transferred to the base of pots and pans almost instantaneously, it takes longer to heat the cookware and food on these stoves than their gas counterparts. This is partly because you won’t lose any heat from induction with its direct contact with the pan itself.
Furthermore, induction stoves may also help you to save more space as you don’t need to set aside space to store gas tanks under the hob.
Image credit: Taste of Home, Glass Doctor
But, between the two options, induction stoves are more easily damaged. The cooking surface may be ruined by dropping heavy objects or spilling hot liquids onto them.
If the stovetop is cracked or shattered, the entire unit usually needs to be replaced, which incurs a high cost. Gas stoves are generally more sturdy and won’t be roughed up so easily. Gas hobs are also easily repaired by simply replacing a broken part.
In terms of longevity, inferior induction hobs may only last 2,500 hours. However, depending on its brand and model, it can also last up to 10,000 hours.
To do the maths, with an average of 3-4 hours of usage a day, your induction stovetop can last 6-9 years compared to gas stoves, which have a much longer lifespan of 10-15 years.
Winner: The better option for you is simply one that fits your daily use – what cookware you use, to what extent you’re willing to maintain your hob, how fast you want your food cooked, and how carefully you handle the appliance.
Which is the safer option?
Image credit: Cookery Space
An induction stove is, by far, safer. It has many different safety features. For example, it won’t be able to turn on unless a magnetic pot is placed atop it. Also, it automatically shuts off to cool down if the pot is overheated or removed from the stovetop, lessening the risk of a fire.
However, this doesn’t mean your hands will be safe from burns. While the stove won’t turn on if your hand is placed on top of it, it’ll remain hot for some time if it was previously in use. People are still liable to get burns from the residual heat.
When flammable liquids spill onto an induction stovetop, they can be cleared away without becoming a fire hazard. On the contrary, flammable liquids may cause the open fire of gas stoves to ignite and grow larger, possibly even causing a gas explosion.
Image credit: Simco Group
Recent studies from the United States have revealed the dangers of gas stoves. As gas hobs produce naked flames and smoke, the leaking gas may also become an issue.
Research has linked gas stoves to around a 1 in 8 chance of developing childhood asthma. While an expert mentioned that gas hobs cause fewer problems than alternatives such as cooking with wood and charcoal, these gas stoves still pose a significant problem.
Studies also show that they emit nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde, harmful gases that may cause various health problems, such as exacerbating respiratory conditions. They also emit methane, which contributes to environmental issues.
Meanwhile, the induction counterparts do not produce indoor pollutants and are a great alternative to these gas stoves’ banes.
Winner: Induction stoves by a large margin – induction hobs are packed with many safety features and lack the pollutants we’ve come to associate with gas stoves, so it may be the better option, especially if you have young kids around the house.
Which looks better in your kitchen?
Image credit: imad trevor, Kate
It’s hard to find a clear winner for stovetop aesthetics. Colour-wise, gas and induction options remain similar, with black, white, and silver among the most common choices.
While induction stoves appear more sleek and modern, gas stoves seem more traditional and industrial. Your choice may come down to your interior design style.
Induction stoves typically go better with a contemporary, Japandi, or minimalist decor, while gas stoves may match an industrial, eclectic, or farmhouse style better. However, this is just a rule of thumb, not a surefire rule.
Image credit: Pinterest
You won’t have to be limited to an either-or option, as hybrid stoves are a thing. You can change up your stovetop usage depending on your daily needs by having a gas and induction hob in the same kitchen. This way, you’ll be able to make the most out of both types of stoves.
Winner: Your choice of stove will depend on what kind of decor you’re going for in your entire home.
Gas vs induction stoves
If there’s any takeaway to be had, it’s that each person has their own needs for cooking at home. Thus, don’t overthink it; simply pick a hob that matches your preferences.
Of course, if you still can’t decide on the stovetop type you’d like, there’s always the option of a combination hob. These stovetops can save you the headache of picking – with the best of both worlds, and you can reap the benefits of gas and induction stoves.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
Read more of our articles here:
- We Ask 20 Singaporeans To Give Us An Honest Review Of Their Cooker Hobs & Hoods
- We Ask Singaporeans About Their Favourite Piece Of Cookware
- Philips vs Mayer air fryers
Cover image adapted from: AGA, jacquelynedna