Choosing your cooktop is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make during your kitchen remodel. The great debate between gas, electric, and induction can bea tough decision for some homeowners. We asked our good friend, Chef Kathy Damm from Custom Distributors, to give her perspective on the pros and cons of each option
Gas cooktops became popular in the 1880s when piped gas was readily available in most large towns in Britain. Since then, it’s been the most popular cooktop installed in kitchens across America!
One of Chef Kathy’s favorite things about gas cooktops is their durability. Most gas cooktops are also much more durable than their electric and induction counterparts, so damaging them with oversized pots and pans is less of a concern. The glass tops on most electric and induction cooktops may scratch when sliding that soup pot from one burner to the other.
With gas also comes a flame, and like most of us, Chef Kathy likes the visual of the flame when cooking something on low for an extended period. “This way I know it won’t scorch the bottom,” Kathy says.
Because of their long history and familiar designs, many people also find the aesthetic of gas cooktops appealing. They fit in nicely with any design style.
The electric cooktop has been slower in its climb to popularity compared to the gas cooktops. Still, it caught on in the 1930s as the technology matured and people became more familiar with cooking using this method.
“Personally there is nothing I don’t like about it.” Kathy says about cooking with electric. It’s easier to keep clean than gas (though you do have to use special cleaners). Electric cooktops have a sleeker design than gas cooktops and look perfect in a modern or contemporary kitchen. Because of the glass top, however, you will have to be careful with your cookware to avoid scratches on the surface.
Despite their popularity in Europe, induction cooktops were introduced to the US marketplace in the 1970’s and have been a little slower gaining popularity here. This began to change around 2009 and they are now it a prevalent choice! Induction cooktop technology is similar to that of a microwave. It produces heat through a magnetic field and will only work with pots and pans made of magnetic metals. Because the heat is only produced where the pan makes contact with the surface, there is no tangible heat on the top’s surface. This can be great if you have curious little hands in your home. It’s also a very energy-efficient option because very little energy is wasted. They can be installed flush with a granite or quartz countertop to create a clean, seamless look in your kitchen.
Chef Kathy loves induction cooking. “Induction is my favorite right now because it’s fast and responsive.” She also loves how easy it is to clean. Since the top never gets hot, you can clean up those drips and spills immediately preventing them from getting cooked onto the surface, requiring tedious scrubbing and frustration later.
Another one of her favorite things about induction is its efficiency. They are more efficient than both electric and induction. This might be important to you if you’re looking to lower your carbon footprint or reduce the size of your utility bill.
Whether you want to remodel your whole kitchen or just switch out your cooktop, all the options available can make this decision challenging. Chef Kathy’s suggestion, “It’s such a personal thing!” You’ll want to consider the kind of cook you are, the design style of your kitchen and home, and the available connection options in your home. Not all homes in Cincinnati have gas available, so that could immediately limit your choice. These questions, and others like them, can help you make the right choice!
We’re sending a special thank you to Chef Kathy and Custom Distributors for their help with this post. Their beautiful showroom in Fairfield – where you can see, touch, and try out many great appliances, is a great place to start your search!