Induction vs. Gas: Which Cooker is Best for You?
So you’re on the hunt for a range cooker? Good for you! Because without one, a kitchen is not quite a kitchen. Unlike built-in models, free-standing cookers require less investment, architectural, design, and installation fees are eliminated. All you need is ample space and you’re good to go. Now the question is, which cooking range to buy?
Smeg has a line-up of several Italian-designed aesthetics, each model boasting of an outstanding level of functionality and performance that the brand has been known for since 1948.
For Smeg’s signature timeless 1950’s look, there is the Victoria. If you are leaning towards simple but tasteful elements of industrial design, the Concert is for you. For more vibrant colors and clean lines, go for the Portofino. Professionals who prefer modern and minimalist styles will appreciate the Sinfonia and Opera.
Induction vs gas is a debate that continues to rage on, even the pros are still arguing on which one is a better choice. Truth is, there’s really no absolutely correct answer. It all depends on priorities, purpose, and circumstances.
As you make your decision, here are some aspects you might want to look into:
1. Energy Source
Gas cooktops use flammable gas like liquefied petroleum gas, this means you will not be dependent on electricity. However, every time you run out of gas, you will have to order a new tank and may need professional assistance for installation. These days, many new apartment buildings no longer allow gas cooktops and require induction instead. Bear in mind though that with induction cooktops, you won’t able to cook during a power interruption.
2. Energy Efficiency
Induction technology is based on magnetic fields which induce heat onto a ferrous material on the base of the cookware. So when you cook using an induction hob, what happens is that your pot becomes the element that cooks the food resulting in energy maximized and heat loss minimized. More than 80% of the energy from electricity is actually used. This also results in shorter cooking time. Water boils within 6 minutes on an induction cooktop while it takes 13 minutes on a gas cooktop. Less than 50% of energy is actually used with a gas cooktop because the energy has to be converted to heat before it can be directed to the cookware. Gas is a cheaper form of energy compared to electricity though so at the end of the day, gas may come out cheaper.
Gas cooktops can be tedious to clean because of the cast iron grids. While they serve the important purpose of being able to hold different sizes of cookware, they have to be dismantled and cleaned separately. You also need to clean around the burners. Smeg makes maintenance easier though with its enamel finish which prevents grease residue from sticking. It also contributes to durability, preventing cracks.
Cleaning is much simpler with induction cooktops, thanks to its single flat surface. And because the glass-ceramic surface only heats up where your cookware has been, the cooktop is cooler to the touch and can be wiped immediately, no need to wait for it to cool down. All Smeg induction cooktops feature the suprema black glass surface. This hard-wearing glass offers excellent heat resistance and any splashes or spillages will not burn onto the cooktop.
With induction cooking, there are no open flames and the heat is only transferred when there is substantial electromagnetic material. So if you accidentally switch it on and put your hands on top, it will not get activated. Even if you’re wearing metallic objects such as jewelry, you will still be safe. And the cooktop remains relatively cool because the heat only stays on the pot or pan. A cooktop that stays cool is less of a burn hazard. This is very important especially when there are kids in the household.
Gas cooktops call for more caution, an open flame while cooking means there should be more distance between the cooktop and any overhead furniture or equipment. And even while not in use, the gas can leak and cause respiratory problems or fire. That is why Smeg gas range cookers are equipped with gas safety valves to prevent gas from flowing when the hob is not in use.
With a gas cooktop, heat is generated instantaneously by a burning open flame in direct contact with the cookware. It also allows the user the ability to control the intensity of the heat immediately by adjusting the size of the flame. Temperature control is very visual, you can tell just by looking at the flame. With induction cooking, you need to give the burner more time to switch temperatures, it’s not instantaneous with electricity.
Induction cooktops require induction-compatible cookware made of materials such as cast iron, enameled cast iron, and certain types of stainless steel. These can be quite pricey compared to regular cookware which can be used for gas cooktops. This additional shopping requirement can be a turn-off for some while it may be a welcomed excuse to others to update their kitchen utensils.
Another choice you have to make is the size of your range cooker. Smeg has them in three sizes. The Victoria 60 and 90cm, and the Concert 60 and 90cm are available in induction and gas, the Portofino 90cm is available only in gas. The Sinfonia and Opera 60cm and 150 cm are available only in gas, while the 90cm is available in both induction and gas.
With the Opera 150cm, you get a lot of extras on your gas top. This particular model and size comes with a large and powerful wok burner that has 2 rings of flames which you can control together or individually. Just what you need for Oriental nights or when high-speed cooking is required. It is also equipped with a teppanyaki plate for those days when you’re in the mood for Japanese-style grilling.
Regardless of whether it’s a gas or induction cooktop, all Smeg range cookers come with electric ovens, some as many as three, with cavity sizes that start at 33 liters and go up to 115 liters. You have more than enough to choose from.