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Endesa - Electricity, Gas, People

What kind of stove is best? Induction, gas or ceramic?

Published on August 12, 2019

As with all things that affect our gastronomic preferences, the debate is endless: What kind of stove is best for your dishes? The answer depends on your preferences and your lifestyle. Cook the way you live, and live the way you cook.

It is perfectly possible to cook without using much energy. What isn't so easy is getting advocates of gas cooktops (who argue that real flame improves flavour) and induction advocates (who argue that hygiene should be the top priority ) to agree—not to mention the ceramic cooktop die-hards (who say that no one cooks as comfortably as they do).

This controversy is present at all levels, from the top chefs who support (and advertise) one system or another to the home cooks who want to cook the way they live. Or live the way they cook? In either case, the answer is the same: they want to live and cook well.

Induction, gas or ceramic?

One thing is for sure: each option has its pros and its cons, so it's best to choose one based on how you're going to use it and, most importantly, based on your priorities in the kitchen... and in life.

Induction: clean and fast

A cook using an induction cooktop might introduce herself as an express chef: these days, it's the fast, modern cooking solution.

Even though at first glance it may look like a glass or ceramic plate, the magic is on the inside. When it turns on, it doesn't get hot. If you put your hand on it, you don't get burnt. This is because it uses electromagnetic waves to heat the pot or pan (rather than classic electrical resistors).

An induction stove works because it magnetises the material in the pot or pan. For this to work, induction uses specific kinds of cookware: pots, pans and saucepans that must be made of magnetic material (chiefly iron, cobalt or nickel). Since these materials are magnetised, they become internally agitated and energy is released in the form of heat.

Pros:

  • You can cook faster: at about twice the speed of normal ceramic cooktops. Water boils quickly and your dishes are ready in a jiff, which is something that many chefs value highly..
  • They are very safe: if you have little kids at home, induction gives you the peace of mind that they won't get burnt, no matter how hard they try.
  • Food doesn't stick: since the heat doesn't transfer from the cooktop to the surface of the pan, your rice won't stick, and you can say goodbye to crusted-on burnt food that you have to scrub away. You can also say goodbye to the little bits of food that fall onto the cooktop itself, where they become petrified.
  • They're the most efficient: ahead of gas and ceramic.

Cons:

  • They're only compatible with certain kitchenware: specifically with pots and pans made of magnetisable material (mostly metals and stainless steel, as well as enamel-clad cookware). Aluminium, terracotta, ceramic and copper pots and pans don't work with induction stoves. They simply won't heat up.
  • They're expensive: they cost about twice as much as a ceramic plate with the same size and power.

Induction is for cooks who prioritise speed and safety. Efficiency in the service of the palate.

Glass-Ceramic: simple and functional

A glass-ceramic cook is someone who adapts to the times, with no complications. He doesn't want to sprint or fall behind, and he understands cooking as a functional and simple task: preparing food the easy way.

Ceramic plates have already been on the market for a while. When they were released, they caused a hubbub among consumers and launched the polemic we're talking about here. Do you diminish the quality of your cooking when you don't use a real flame? If we banish gas, we banish fire, and many chefs have invoked age-old traditions to warn against this change.

As hard as it is to accept, at the end of the day, it's a question of taste. Does food taste better if it's cooked with a flame? What gets to decide? Not us.

What we know is that ceramic stoves offer a lot of freedom when cooking: you can use any kind of cookware, it's fast, there's no risk of gas leaks and they are an interesting option in terms of energy efficiency.

Pros:

  • You can use any kind of cookware: this is one major area where ceramic is better than induction. Things don't have to get complicated when you're choosing pots, and it's very possible for a stew or a soup to conserve its flavour better if it remains in a ceramic pot.
  • It conserves residual heat: even though they're not as efficient as induction stoves, they are an efficient kind of cooktop that will save you money and help you respect the environment.
  • They're relatively cheap: compared to induction stoves, you'll spend about half as much money on a normal ceramic stove.

Cons:

  • Cleaning can be difficult: whatever falls on the plate ends up carbonising and must be cleaned. The food at the bottom of the pot or pan might stick if there's too much heat and/or not enough liquid (water, oil) in the mix. Not to mention, ceramic plates require a moderate amount of maintenance (period cleaning with specific products) to keep them in good shape and to prevent them from getting scratched.
  • It's not the safest: you avoid the risk of gas leaks, but the plate is hot for as long as it's on, and for a good while after it's been turned off, too. If there are little kids around, the most prudent thing is to use the safety measures that are built into most models (controls that can be locked, alarms that go off when the plate is hot).

Ceramic is for people who don't want anything complicated and who view cooking as something simple and functional

Gas: the gastronomic option

There is no doubt that cooking with gas is the only of the three options that allows you to cook with fire, as has been done for centuries, since the beginning of time. According to most professional chefs, for certain recipes, it's impossible to achieve the same result, in terms of flavour and texture, without fire. This explain why it's the preferred method at many restaurants.

A gas cook is a chef, or an aspiring chef, who refuses to renounce fire in favour of modernity. In terms of palate, gas's ability to provide a very high level of heat from the instant it's turned on seems crucial.

Pros:

  • The professional's choice: with or without a scientific basis, the reality is that most chefs praise gas as the best way to conserve flavours and textures.
  • Admite todo tipo de utensilios: aunque hay que tener en cuenta que algunos de ellos, dependiendo de su estructura, podrían sufrir quemaduras o desperfectos.

Cons:

  • It's not the safest: besides the self-evident dangers of the flame itself, it's important to periodically revise your gas installation.
  • Hard to clean: it's not the most practical or fastest stovetop to clean.

Gas stoves are the choice of professional cooks, and the kind of stove used in most restaurants

What is the best rate for cooking?

The debate above leads us to another question: Which electricity or gas rate is best for cooking?

There are many options on the market today, and some of them allow you to personalise your rate to help with certain situations, such as, for example, energy that is free during the hours when you are most likely to be cooking.

See our catalogue and choose the rate that best fits your needs: