Gas or Electric: What Cooktop Should You Get?

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Electric is catching up to gas in the cooktop race with even some of Australia’s finest chefs wavering between the two. James Viles, best known for two-hatted Biota Dining & Rooms in NSW Bowral, said he has been using electric cooktops in his home and restaurants for many years. He said that an advantage of electric cooktops is the reduced carbon residue on cookware, hence keeping your pots and pans in better condition. Richard Ousby of Stokehouse Group, on the other hand, said that in a perfect world he would combine a gas 2-burner plus and an electric cooktop with solar powering. Ousby said he always grew up with gas and grew very fond of it but electric was accurate and more cost-effective in the long term in his experience.

He added, although, that it’s important to consider what would work best with your present equipment when deciding on a cooktop. Although induction has a number of advantages, gas, as well as electric, is more versatile when it comes to the variety of cookware you can use. If your current set of pots and pans aren’t compatible with induction, you will need to invest in new cookware. The magnet test is a quick and simple way to test if your pots and pans are compatible. If a magnet sticks to your cookware, they will work. This is because an electromagnetic field below the glass surface is used during induction. Heat is then transferred to the pan or pot. As soon as you remove the pan or pot, the heat stops being transferred.

A great safety feature when you have kids around, as Chef Massimo Mele would agree. “My son climbs up on the kitchen bench and having induction over gas is a much safer option as the induction cooktop stops heating and is cool to touch post-cooking,” he said. However, others may prefer cooking over a flame, as it provides them with a visual of how high the burner is set at, as well as the ability to roast foods like marshmallows or brown tortillas directly over the burner. Gas cooktops are also especially good for round bottom pans such as woks. The range of cooktops available on the market is as vast as ever, which can be as overwhelming as it is great. In the end, your style, budget, and availability of equipment will help make the decision easier.

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