New year, new kitchen: Gas versus induction

It is an age old debate: gas versus induction cooktops. Do you choose an appliance that American chef's have popularized for decades? Do you go with a European staple and select induction? Do you choose energy efficiency over a non-renewable resource? What works better/faster/longer/harder for you? There is no one position to take when it comes to ferromagnetic technology over the confidence of gas.

I recently had an inside tour of with a Thermador distributor while in the U.S. for NKBA Chapter Officer Training. I can't say I didn't learn anything too new, but it made me think about the selection process and what drives our choice for one type of cooking appliance over the other.

Efficiency

Gas cooking has been around forever, it feels like. Well, older than I am, and, I am only twenty-nine, so they say. I like to describe gas as a four-step process to help me understand how it cooks. First you have to heat the gas, that heats the air around it, to heat the pot, to heat the food. Induction, on the other hand would be a two-step process. The magnets supercharge the pot that heats the food. Again, this is how I quickly remember which cooking fuel operates, and you may or may not have the same view, but when it comes to efficiency in cooking induction cooks faster because we are removing the middle-man - hot air.

Energy savings

There is a bit of a myth that induction is more sustainable over gas because it truly depends on where you purchase your electricity from and what their production method is, but more over, dollar for dollar, induction is heavily stated to save loads of cash, and for the most part, is more energy conscious because gas is a non-renewable. Again, I make no claim that electricity is non-renewable, and in fact, BC Hydro purchases coal power during peak periods so we are not as green as we seem. No one can beat how quickly a pot of water can boil on induction. Maybe it should be a bit of a cautionary tale to tell new users that you will have to re-learn how you cook with both heat sources.

Cooking method

When it comes to cooking on a hob or a burner, I can't say that I'm the best person to ask this question. I cook, a lot. I am currently on a raw food kick, but, still, I've been cooking and baking since I was knee-high to a grasshopper so I think that makes me an expert. So I have to be honest, gas frightens me, it always has. What is revolutionary is that the future of cooking is induction. There will be no one area for your pot to rest in order for it to cook your food - and that is so Jetson! However, although I am afraid of it, I have seen, tasted, heard, and loved the most amazing meals cooked with gas. Honestly though, the cooking control that is so desired in gas is also evident in induction.

Design

I'm not a fan of big appliances, mostly because I live in a small space and love it that way, but if I could do nothing less I would want a combi-range that looks sexy. Okay, okay, a flat induction surface has a purpose and a feel that is quite modern, and, well, sometimes gas can be chunky, but if you are looking for something with a bit of a twist, then I'm not opposed to the super-sized range. Whatever keeps you away from fast food. I have to admit, I've been holding onto the photo above for a long time because I was just chicken, but thanks to my fav appliance guru for the treat.