What’s better for cooking, gas or induction hobs? | Food

“I’m having my kitchen redone and I’m wondering if I need to gand a gas or induction hob. To help!”
Hayley, Lancaster

“I don’t know anyone who has converted to induction and wants to go back,” says food writer and host Tim Hayward. The benefits of not cooking with gas, he says, are countless, but the first question to ask yourself, Hayley, is what coverage you need: “For most of my life, I’ve had big five-burner stoves, and I’ve never used them all at once,” says Hayward. So he opted for something smaller: a Sage Control Freak, which is a single induction burner that sits on top of the worktop and has two built-in probes to measure the temperature of the pan and the food in it. inside. His wife also insisted on a single-pot induction hob, but it’s not much use: “If she left me two Control Freaks, I’d be fine.”

Guardian columnist Thomasina Miers also prefers induction – well, most of the time. “It’s fast, efficient and you don’t get too hot while cooking because it doesn’t give off heat,” she says. “It’s also less energy, which everyone will now need.” On this point, which one? ran a cooking speed test last year, comparing the time it takes to boil a large pot of water: gas came in at 9.69 minutes and induction at 4.81. But that’s not the only reason to consider induction. “There’s no ignition point, so you don’t have to worry about things like frying pans catching fire,” says Hayward. Moreover, it is very controllable: “You can turn the device on or off and wait for a response in the pan in seconds.”

The downside, of course, is that you may need to invest in a new set of pans (they need to have magnetic properties to conduct electricity). “Any pan, you can stick a magnet in the bottom of it [ie, cast-iron] will work on an induction cooker. What didn’t do so well, however, were Hayward’s “nice old” French copper pancake pans, so he also got himself a single portable gas burner: “I can now make pancakes suzette on a cart table.”

Miers, meanwhile, mixed things up with four induction and three gas burners. “I hedged my bets, which not everyone is able to do, but there’s just something I like [cooking on] fire: grilling aubergines and peppers, heating pancakes and for my wok, which I use a lot. Asimakis Chaniotis, chef at Michelin-starred restaurant Pied a Terre in Fitzrovia, agrees: “Fire is real cooking,” he says. “This is where the magic happens. At home, I have a large gas stove, but if you want a more efficient solution, go for induction.

That doesn’t mean you have to get rid of fire completely. If you have the outdoor space, get a barbecue grill to grill up those summer veggies and flatbreads. “There are lots of fun bread ovens you can use, or Big Green Egg type things,” says Miers. “In terms of space, flexibility and cost of gas, having an outdoor cooking option is a very welcome alternative.”

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