Are you shopping for a new cooktop or range but can’t decide between gas and induction?
Induction cooktops are safer, heat up faster, and are more energy-efficient. But they require compatible cookware, create a buzzing noise, and are more expensive. Gas cooktops are more durable, simpler to use, work with all cookware, and are less expensive.
That’s the high-level difference, but there’s much more to know before deciding which to buy.
In this comparison of induction vs. gas cooktops, you’ll learn how they differ in heating time, temperature control, safety, performance, care, price, and other factors.
I also reveal what appliance sales and service professions say about each option.
Ready to learn the 13 key differences between gas and induction cooktops? Keep reading.
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Gas vs. Induction Cooktops: Comparison Chart
- Difference 1: Heat Up Time
- Difference 2: Temperature Control
- Difference 3: Ease of Use
- Difference 4: Cookware Compatibility
- Difference 5: Model Choices
- Difference 6: Accessibility
- Difference 7: Energy Efficiency
- Difference 8: Noise Level
- Difference 9: Durability
- Difference 10: Cleaning & Maintenance
- Difference 11: Common Issues
- Difference 12: Safety
- Difference 13: Price
- What Appliance Sales and Service Professionals Say
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy an Induction or Gas Cooktop?
If you only have a minute, here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of gas vs. induction cooktops.
|Induction Cooktops||Gas Cooktops|
|Heat Up Time||It takes ~9–11 minutes to boil water in an 8-quart pot||It takes ~19 minutes to boil water in an 8-quart pot|
|Temperature Control||Precise heating levels; power boost mode||Controlled by a dial (less consistency and control)|
|Ease of Use||Requires you to learn how to use multiple settings and features||Easy to use, requires little effort to adjust the flame|
|Cookware Compatibility||Only works with induction-compatible cookware (magnetic bottom)||Works with any cookware suitable for stovetop cooking|
|Model Choices||Fewer options than gas||More options than induction|
|Accessibility||Plug countertop models into a standard outlet and ensure ample voltage if installing a range||Requires a gas line|
|Energy Efficiency||Energy-efficient; the technology received an ENERGY STAR award.||Less energy-efficient than induction|
|Cleaning & Maintenance||Must be delicate when cleaning. Can’t drag cookware across the stove.||It takes extra work to clean. Must be careful around fuel ports. Can handle heavy cookware.|
|Common Issues||Must position induction-compatible cookware correctly. Difficult/costly repairs. Easy to scratch. Noisy operation.||Burners not igniting. Pilot light going out. Weak flames. Gas odor. Gas leaks are possible.|
|Safety||Safer than gas. Cooktop stays cool.||Open flames can be a fire hazard.|
|What Appliance Experts Say||Induction cooktops heat fast, are energy efficient, and safer than gas but are costly to repair.||Gas cooktops are reliable and less costly to repair, but they do not heat up as fast as induction.|
Induction cooktops heat up faster than gas models.
A recent study by Frontier Energy tested heating times between a gas range, electric range, and three induction cooktops. They measured how long each type of cooktop took to heat water from 70°F to 200°F.
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Testers heated an 8-quart pot filled with 12 pounds of water on each cooktop’s largest element (burner). They also heated 5 pounds of water in a 3.5-quart pot on a medium element. All elements were set to the maximum heat.
The induction cooktops heated 12 pounds of water in 9–11 minutes, while the gas burner took 19 minutes. The 5 pounds of water hit 200°F in 5–7 minutes by induction, while the gas burner heated the same amount of water in 14 minutes.
The induction cooktop boiled the water in four minutes and nine seconds. The gas cooktop took eight minutes and nine seconds, and the electric coil took seven minutes and nine seconds.
Based on these studies, water takes roughly twice as much time to boil on a gas cooktop than an induction cooktop. Of course, heating time varies by model.
Induction cooktops enable precise temperature control. While each model is different, all are equipped with incremental heat controls. Some models feature numbered heat levels, while you can choose the exact temperature with others.
Some induction stoves have a boost or extra power mode (or “quick boil” mode) to intensify the heat for a set period.
It may take a few weeks to get used to all the settings. But once you learn, you’ll have more control over your cooking (and more precise results).
Gas cooktops are controlled by a dial, making it difficult to achieve the precision of induction. Even after you get the flame just right, a shift in airflow from a fan or people walking by the stove can vary the temperature slightly.
The cast iron grates on gas cooktops retain heat well, making it challenging to reduce the temperature quickly in a hot pan. If the food is close to overcooking or burning, you’ll need to take the pan off the burner to reduce the temperature quickly.
With induction cooktops, you can reduce the temperature quickly by simply turning the heat down.
Gas cooktops are easier to use. Simply turn the dial to ignite and once the flame is lit, adjust the temperature.
Induction cooktops provide precise heat control, but you have to learn how to manage the heat levels properly. There could be a learning curve to get comfortable with all the settings depending on the model.
With a gas burner, you can use whatever cookware you desire: stainless steel, hard-anodized aluminum, copper, cast iron…you name it. I highlight the best cookware brands for gas stoves in this guide.
With induction, you must use induction-compatible cookware. Aluminum, copper, ceramic, and glass cookware won’t work. Some aluminum cookware, like the Misen non-stick pan pictured below, has a steel induction plate bonded to the bottom.
You’ll need cookware that has a flat magnetic bottom. Because of how induction cooking works, the entire bottom of the cookware must contact the induction surface. If the bottom of the pan warps and doesn’t sit flat, the cooktop will fail to detect it and won’t turn on.
Almost all stainless steel cookware is induction compatible, but non-stick pans are harder to find since many have an aluminum base. If you need help finding the best induction-compatible non-stick cookware, check out this guide (my favorites are Made In and All-Clad).
If you’re wondering if a pot or pan is suitable for induction, check for an induction label on the bottom of the cookware. You can also use a magnet to test — if the magnet sticks firmly to the bottom of the pan, you can use it on an induction cooktop.
Although induction cooktops debuted at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1933, they have surged in popularity in recent years. But gas stoves have been around since the 1830s and were a creation of English inventors.
While gas and induction offer a variety of model choices, gas cooktops outnumber induction models. A quick search on sites like HomeDepot.com or Lowes.com reveals twice as many options for gas than induction.
Induction cooktops are easier to install, especially portable countertop models that you can plug into an electrical outlet.
If you want to install an induction range, you just need to have the proper voltage in the electrical line that feeds the range. Most require a dedicated, grounded 240-volt circuit, but this varies by model, so check the installation requirements before buying.
Installing a gas cooktop is more involved and expensive. You need a gas line and electrical outlet (for the ignitor). You’ll need a plumber to connect the gas. The people delivering the appliance will bring it into your kitchen but aren’t licensed or trained to hook up the gas line. If you don’t have a gas line in your home already, a gas cooktop is not an option.
Difference 7: Energy Efficiency
Induction cooktops heat quickly, therefore reducing cook times and conserving energy. Residential induction cooktops received the ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award for 2021-22.
It’s an accolade given to technologies that reduce energy use and lower emissions from greenhouse gasses. According to ENERGY STAR, induction cooktops are 5–10% more efficient than conventional electric cooktops and three times more energy-efficient than gas ranges.
Induction cooktops transfer heat directly to the pan without waste, while gas cooktops waste some energy because they take longer to preheat.
Gas cooktops are quiet. Induction cooktops can be noisy, although some models are louder than others. Most induction cooktops make a humming or buzzing sound. It’s usually caused by the heating element and the integrated fan.
However, the sound is also amplified by the type of cookware you’re using and where it is placed. Here are a few examples:
- Heavier pans like cast iron make less noise than lightweight ones.
- Low-quality clad cookware with an encapsulated core can make a buzzing sound.
- If a pot is too small for the induction element, the unit will make noise.
- If a pot or pan is not centered correctly, you can expect to hear extra noise.
- Pans that don’t lay flat can cause a buzzing sound.
- Adjacent pans on an induction range may interact and produce whistling or humming noises.
These noises don’t impact the function but may irritate some people. If you prefer quiet operation, gas cooktops are better.
Difference 9: Durability
Since induction cooktops usually have a glass surface, you need to use more caution. The glass can scratch or shatter if you drop a heavy pot on it.
Never drag your cookware across or slam it down on the surface. Make sure you fully pick up and carefully put down your pans.
Gas cooktops are much more durable than induction. Most have cast iron grates that can handle significant abuse, which is one reason commercial kitchens use gas. You don’t have to worry about glass scratching or breaking if you accidentally set a heavy pot down too hard.
Difference 10: Cleaning & Maintenance
It’s much quicker to clean an induction cooktop than a gas stove. You can clean induction cooktops with just a few wipes in a matter of seconds. With gas cooktops, you need to remove and clean the grates and wipe the area around the fuel ports.
Before cleaning an induction cooktop, make sure it is cool. There may be residual heat transfer from the hot pan.
To clean an induction cooktop:
- Wipe up any spills as quickly as possible using a non-abrasive cloth.
- Use only non-abrasive cleaning products on the cooktop surface.
- Be sure to clean up any food debris or spills thoroughly. Cooking on a stained induction cooktop can cause permanent marks or scratches.
Always wait until the gas cooktop has cooled before attempting any cleaning. The cast iron grates can get extremely hot and will burn you if you try to handle them too soon.
To clean a gas range:
- Remove the grates. Run warm water on them while wiping with a soapy cloth. Set them aside to dry.
- If the grates have caked-on food or oil, you can use an abrasive product like Bar Keepers Friend. Before using any product on your stove, refer to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Remove the gas cap covers. Wipe them with a soapy cloth and rinse. Set aside to dry.
- Use a soapy sponge to wipe the range clean. Wring out the soap and use a wet sponge to remove all soap residue.
- Place the dry gas cap covers and grates back on the clean range.
Always take care when cleaning around the fuel ports. They are the most delicate part of a gas stove. If they get clogged with soap or debris, they will not work properly.
Difference 11: Common Issues
Let’s look at the main issues you can encounter with induction and gas cooktops.
- Poor pan fit or position: You must have the right-sized pots and pans for the heating element to work properly. They must fit within the pot grid or circles. If the pan is too small or big, the induction burner won’t transfer heat appropriately.
- Cooktop doesn’t detect the pan: If the cookware is not induction-compatible or won’t lay flat on the surface, it won’t be recognized by the induction cooktop. Above all, make sure you’re using magnetic cookware.
- Cooktop is locked: Some induction ranges feature a lock. If your cooktop burner is not working, you might have the lock engaged. Be sure to unlock it before you begin cooking.
- Faulty coil in the burner: Induction cooktops use a copper coil under the glass surface to produce heat. If that coil stops working, you’ll need to replace the coil. One broken coil can also cause all other burners to stop working (and that’s an expensive issue).
- Scratched cooktop: Because induction cooktops are often made from smooth glass, they can be easily scratched. Never use abrasive products or drag your cookware across the cooktop.
- Noisy operation: Remember, it is normal for an induction cooktop to make noise. The noise will not affect the cooking performance.
- One burner won’t ignite: Sometimes burners get clogged and won’t ignite. You may need to clean the fuel ports. If they are clean and there is no flame, examine the pilot light (most new models use an incognito instead of a pilot light).
- Pilot light goes out: If the pilot light goes out, the burners will not work. Pilot lights can go out due to low gas pressure, a clog, wind blowing it out, among other reasons. If you have repeated issues, call a service professional.
- Weak burner flame: Dirty fuel ports may cause a weak flame. If the flame is still weak after cleaning them, you may need professional help.
- Gas odor: A subtle gas odor right when you turn on the stove or oven is normal. But if the smell is strong and persists for more than a few seconds, there might be a leak. If that’s the case, turn off the main gas valve and open windows to ventilate the room. Call a service professional to evaluate the situation.
Difference 12: Safety
Induction cooktops are safer than gas. They often feature a lock to avoid accidental operation and keep children safe. Furthermore, the induction technology only emits heat when compatible cookware is placed on the burner. Also, induction cooktops cool quickly after use.
Conversely, gas cooktops can make your kitchen feel warmer, which is not desirable in the summertime.
Plus, gas cooktops can be a safety hazard. The entire cooktop gets very hot, and it’s easy to get burnt if you accidentally touch the stove. The grates and metal burner cover take significant time to cool after use.
Finally, having an open flame powered by gas is a safety concern. The flame can cause a fire if flammable items like dish towels get too close. Also, fats, oils, and liquor can cause the flame to flare up, creating a dangerous situation if you’re not prepared.
That said, gas cooktops are relatively safe if used properly. You just need to pay close attention and use caution.
Difference 13: Price
While gas cooktops are generally less expensive than induction, the price largely depends on the specific brand and model.
In general, induction cooktops are more costly to fix than gas. That’s because most issues are electrical or technological (sensors, controls, copper coils, etc.). The most common problems with gas cooktops are related to blockages that you can clean and remove easily.
Both induction and gas cooktops are available in different price ranges. If you compare similar brands and features, induction ranges usually cost more.
Use the chart below to compare prices across major retailers:
Nobody knows the benefits and drawbacks of gas and induction cooktops better than the people selling and servicing them every day.
So, I reached out to several appliance sales and service companies to get expert insights and advice.
I asked each expert the same questions:
- Do you recommend induction or gas cooktops/stoves?
- What are the pros and cons of each?
The head salesperson at Sunrise Appliance Center said, “Induction is much safer than gas, and it’s just as fast as gas. Many customers I have worked with that have induction said they would never go back to gas. But there are some that just really love cooking on an open flame. If the power goes out, you can normally still light the gas top with a match.”
She also listed the following pros and cons:
- Safety (as soon as you move your pot, the cooktop is cool to the touch)
- No gas smells
- cooks as fast as a gas cooktop
- More energy efficient
- If one burner goes out, you have to replace the whole top.
- You have to buy pans that will work with induction (if a magnet sticks to it, it will work)
Harrison Refrigeration, an appliance center in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, said, “Induction is becoming increasingly popular. Induction works with a magnetic field interacting with the metal pots and pans to heat up instantaneously. Once you remove the pan, the surface is cool. With induction, you need a 220-volt electrical line.”
He continued by saying, “Many people enjoy duel fuel ranges, where they can cook with gas on the range top, but bake with electricity in the oven. This is because people like the instant heat of gas. With induction, you get the speed of gas heat, but the range is 100% electric.”
The cooktop and range expert at Ray’s Appliance in Taunton, Massachusetts, said, “The induction process provides instant response to power adjustments. There is no lag time up or down. It provides a safe, cool cooking surface during the cooking process, which allows wiping up spills as they occur.”
Appliance Services, LLC, an appliance repair company based in Exeter, New Hampshire, said it had a strong opinion on this matter. They said:
We’re not big fans of induction cooktops for several reasons:
- They require special pots/pans that are expensive.
- They cost a fortune to repair, and parts are difficult to acquire.
- They’re a nightmare to repair (i.e., all burners are connected by a harnessed wire, so you have to replace everything to fix one burner).
- The electronics frequently fail and are costly to replace.
- They generally aren’t worth the money. You can buy one separate induction burner from Amazon if you want to have a burner that heats things fast.
- You can still use a gas cooktop when the power goes out.
If you don’t want a gas oven, you can always consider a dual fuel stove (gas burners and electric oven). It really just comes down to preference.
The appliance specialist at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center in Studio City, California, said, “Induction is more efficient, heats faster, and is safer. But you need to have at least a 50 AMP circuit breaker, and not many manufacturers make induction, so your choices are limited.”
United Appliance Parts, a company based in Schenectady, New York, said, “Replacing the burner elements or the glass top on induction stoves is quite expensive. Gas cooktop parts are usually cheaper to replace.”
Choosing an induction or gas cooktop is personal. They each come with pros and cons to weigh against your lifestyle and preferences.
Let’s quickly recap the key differences:
- Induction cooktops are safer, heat up faster than gas (and electric) cooktops, and are more energy-efficient.
- Induction technology offers precise heat control and power-boost modes. Gas ranges can’t match these features.
- Gas ranges are simpler to use. Simply turn the dial to ignite and adjust the flame. Induction ranges have more controls and settings to learn.
- An induction cooktop requires delicate handling and cleaning. A gas cooktop can stand up to rougher treatment and only requires special care around the fuel ports.
- You need compatible cookware to use induction burners. Alternatively, you can use any type of cookware on a gas burner, and pans don’t need to sit completely flat for the cooktop to work.
- There are more choices for gas cooktops than induction.
- Induction cooktops are easier to install but more expensive to maintain.
- Gas ranges can pose a fire hazard if you aren’t careful.
- Induction technology can be noisy, while gas ranges function quietly.
- While both are available in different price ranges, induction cooktops are usually more expensive.
Bottom line — while induction cooktops have undeniable energy efficiency, sleek looks, and fascinating technology, I recommend gas.
You can use any cookware on gas cooktops (even if the bottom is slightly warped), and they operate more simply, so you don’t have to worry about technology malfunctioning. Some service professionals won’t even repair induction cooktops due to how difficult it is to find parts and the complexity of repairs.
Ultimately, there are fewer headaches and repairs with gas cooktops.
Some people swear by induction, and it’s easy to see why. But, in my opinion, nothing compares to cooking with a flame.
What type of cooktop do you prefer? Share in the comments below.
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