Since its invention, the gas stove has been serving mankind for ages in cooking food to suit his palate. This loyal kitchen companion is in for some stiff competition to unseat it from its position of being the preferred cooking solution. The electric cooktops, particularly the induction cooktops have been posing a serious threat to the conventional gas stoves. Now, the question is if it is time to kiss your gas stove good bye? Well, let us see it for ourselves.
Let me take you through the comparison between the features of the gas stoves and its rivals.
In terms of achieving high temperatures within a short span of time, the induction cooktop is the undisputed leader. Having said that, the gas cooktop is not that behind. However, the method that involves cooking over a simmered flame cannot be reproduced using the induction cooktop.
The gas cooktops are usually installed, involving a piped connection to the main source or gas cylinders (as in some developing countries). This limits its portability. On the other hand, the induction cooktop is a “plug and play” gadget. You can carry it with you anywhere, all you need is a power source. Here, the induction cooktop is the clear winner. Still, most people cook in the kitchen and for them cooktops is expected to be a static object!
Ease of use
This factor depends on the user. Over the ages, people have got used to cooking on the gas cooktops, that they find the controls in the induction stoves to be quite complicated. It is easy to teach a child or an octogenarian to use a gas cooktop without the fear of overheating as the controls involved are quite minimal. Though, there is not much to choose from here, I would say this round goes to the gas cooktop. In fact, the majority population in the US is still comfortable with the gas cooktop is ample evidence of this.
Scalability and flexibility
Gas cooktops come with more than one burner, some even house 4 or 6. Though the regular induction cooktop can house just one vessel at a time, we may have multiple cooktops in one gadget, but this would reduce the portable advantage. Induction cooktops require specific vessels that have to be made of ferromagnetic metal. Else, they fail to heat it up. This is one of the major limitations of the induction stoves, whereas for the gas cooktop anything goes. You can cook using any utensil on a gas cooktop. Further, power cuts would not interrupt your cooking experience while using the gas cooktop. We have a clear winner here – the gas cooktop!
Cost of use
This varies according to the cost of electricity and gas available in different countries and hence there is little to choose from. Places where electricity is cheaper, induction cooktops have an advantage over their gas counterparts and vice versa.
Having seen through the salient features one would expect in a cooking solution, I would say that the gas stove is indeed being challenged strongly. However, weighing in all options I would still prefer it to the other cooking solutions. Technology brings about a change. While some are breakthrough, others are incremental. I’d like to stick with the incremental changes to the tried and tested solution – the gas stove.