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What’s Cooking? Gas Hob vs Induction – A User’s Guide

Gas Hob vs Induction - A User’s Guide

Today, we’re diving into the sizzling debate of gas hob vs induction, a hot topic for anyone in the market for a new kitchen setup. Whether you’re a budding chef or a home-cooking enthusiast, choosing between a gas stove and a gas hob can feel like picking your favourite spice – both have their unique flavours! 

Let’s explore the differences, weigh the pros and cons, and help you make an informed decision that suits your culinary style and needs.

Gas Stove vs Gas Hob: Understanding the Basics

Before we stir the pot further, let’s clarify what we’re comparing. A gas stove typically refers to a freestanding unit that includes both the oven and the cooktop. A gas hob, on the other hand, is built into the kitchen counter and features only the cooktop, relying on gas for fuel. The choice between these two often boils down to kitchen design, space, and cooking preferences.

Are There Disadvantages to a Built-In Gas Hob?

While gas hobs offer sleek design and precise heat control, they’re not without their drawbacks:

  • Installation Complexity: Fitting a gas hob requires professional installation, especially for the gas supply and safety measures.
  • Cleaning Challenges: With grates and burners, gas hobs can be trickier to clean compared to their smooth induction counterparts.
  • Ventilation Requirements: Proper kitchen ventilation is crucial to remove combustion products, requiring additional planning and potential costs.

Which Is Better: Electric Hob or Gas?

When it comes to kitchen efficiency, not all hobs are created equal. The heart of the matter lies in how much energy they convert directly into cooking heat. According to the latest comparisons, induction hobs take the lead in the energy efficiency race. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Gas Hobs: Known for their flame-cooked charm, gas hobs are about 40% efficient. While they offer instant heat and control, a significant portion of energy escapes into the air rather than into your cooking.
  • Electric Hobs (Coil and Smooth-Top): These hobs fare better in the efficiency department, with around 74% of the energy used going directly to heating your food. They provide a more consistent heat source but still lag behind in terms of overall efficiency.
  • Induction Hobs: Standing at an impressive 84% efficiency, induction hobs are the clear winners. They’re highly efficient because there’s virtually no wasted heat. By using a magnetic field, they heat the cookware directly, resulting in quicker heating times for food and water.

Not only do induction hobs excel in efficiency, but they also prove to be more cost-effective in the long run, especially when compared to traditional ceramic electric hobs. 

Direct heat transfer means you’re not paying for energy that dissipates into the kitchen rather than into your cooking. This makes induction hobs a top contender for those prioritising energy efficiency, speed, and long-term savings. Thus, if making your kitchen as energy-efficient as possible is on your menu, an induction hob is recommended over its gas or electric counterparts.

Is a Gas Hob Cheaper to Run?

The question of running costs is not just about efficiency but also practicality, especially in South Africa, where load shedding is a part of daily life. 

Generally, gas hobs have been seen as more economical due to traditionally lower gas costs compared to electricity. This advantage is particularly significant in areas where electricity prices are high or fluctuate significantly.

However, the cost-effectiveness of gas hobs extends beyond just comparing energy prices. In South Africa, the reality of load shedding means that there are periods when electricity is not available at all. This makes electric hobs, regardless of their type (induction or traditional electric), unusable during these outages. Therefore, the potential savings from the higher efficiency of an induction hob might not be fully realised if you frequently find yourself without electricity to power it.

Considering the efficiency of gas hobs compared to induction hobs might seem to tilt the balance in favour of induction in terms of energy use. However, when factoring in the unpredictability of having consistent access to electricity, the efficiency argument becomes less impactful. The direct cost of running a gas hob might be slightly higher when looking solely at energy prices, but this is offset by the gas hob’s availability during load shedding.

Moreover, the efficiency of a hob doesn’t capture the full picture of cost. Installation, maintenance, and the need for specific cookware (as is the case with induction hobs) can add to the total cost of ownership. For gas hobs, the initial setup might require professional installation, especially to ensure safety standards are met, but the ongoing ability to cook during power outages adds a layer of value that goes beyond mere running costs.

Practical Advice for Shoppers

When navigating the marketplace for a new stove or hob, the choice between gas and induction models involves more than just comparing price tags and energy efficiency. For shoppers, especially those in South Africa grappling with the reality of load shedding, practical considerations should guide your decision. 

Here’s how to ensure you’re making the best choice for your needs:

  • Reflect on Your Cooking Lifestyle: If your culinary adventures require instant heat control and the ability to cook during power outages, buying a gas hob might be your best bet. For those prioritising speedy, efficient cooking and easy cleanup, induction could be the way to go—provided you have a consistent electricity supply.
  • Consider the Impacts of Load Shedding:  In places where electricity can be unpredictable, the advantage of being able to cook with gas during power outages cannot be overstated. An induction hob, while efficient and sleek, becomes a kitchen ornament without power. This practicality often tips the scales in favour of gas hobs for many households.
  • Evaluate Kitchen Layout and Space: Whether you’re leaning towards a built-in hob or a freestanding stove, think about how your choice fits into your kitchen’s design and your cooking habits. Built-in hobs offer a modern look and save counter space, but remember, gas hobs need proper ventilation to ensure safety and comfort while cooking.
  • Budget for the Long Term: Beyond the initial purchase, consider the total cost of ownership including energy costs, maintenance, and in the case of induction hobs, the potential need for specific cookware. Gas hobs might have slightly higher operational costs compared to induction, but they offer the reliability of being usable during load shedding, which can be invaluable.
  • Safety and Ease of Use: For families, safety is paramount. Induction hobs, which remain cool to the touch and have features like automatic shut-off, offer peace of mind. However, the simple, direct control of gas hobs is often preferred by many for its intuitive use.
  • Consult With Professionals: Before making a final decision, it might be beneficial to speak with a kitchen appliance expert or a home design consultant. They can provide insights tailored to your specific needs and kitchen setup, ensuring that you choose the most suitable hob.

“Hob” on Over to Hirsch’s

The choice between a gas hob and induction comes down to personal preference, cooking style, and budget considerations. 

While gas hobs offer traditional control and flame cooking, induction hobs bring modern efficiency and safety features. Remember, the best choice is the one that fits your culinary needs and makes you feel like a star in your kitchen. Happy cooking, and may your meals be as delightful as your cooking journey!

Check out our range of hobs here.