Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gas vs. Induction Cooking

Totally non-yoga post. But the topic that's been consuming me all week has been: Gas or Induction cooktop? Oh, the joys of home remodelling!!

Since I posted a photo of a pair of questionable shoes I put on reserve yesterday and got an overwhelming response of NO!! DON'T GET THEM!! from the good people on Facebook, I figured I'd also post another question to help me with my indecision of gas cooker or induction cooker?
Incidentally, those questionable gladiator-flipflop Converse here:

(HAHAHA! I think I've been well advised about not getting them?)

It all started when I wanted to get a gas cooker with a single burner on each grill. It's just easier to clean this than to deal with lugging the huge grill that traditionally goes over 2 burners. But Miele only does single grills on a glass top. Like this:


Super stylish in comparison to the boring gas on stainless steel that is the usual, no?


But then of course the Miele showroom people showed me their epic-stylish induction cooktop and explained the joys of induction cooking (more energy-efficient, safer coz no open flame, only the part where the pot touches the stove heats up. And "If you want a stove that's easy to clean, this is the easiest of them all". Blah blah blah)


My sister also said "Eric Ripert uses Miele induction, so should you." Okaaaaaay. I had to google who Eric Ripert is, so obviously this is not going to influence my decision. HAHAHA!

OK - barring the huge additional expense of an induction cooktop, my main concern is: HEALTH EFFECTS. Anybody got a clue?! Mr. Google is throwing up mixed reactions and pretty much "non-conclusive evidence since not enough research has been done".

An induction cooker works by electromagnetic waves reacting with your magnetic pots/ pans and heating them up. Some kind of (minimal) charge/ radio-frequency radiation can be transferred if you touch the pots or stand too close (like... about 30cm too close). Say what you like, but I fall into the "better safe than sorry" category and hardly use my microwave oven these days because of the same mixed reports people have had on its health effects.

Which is kind of why I'm eyeing this induction technology with suspicion too.

Anybody have an opinion on this topic, please? (Otherwise I'm gonna stick to good old gas and get them stylish gas-on-glass cooktops).

Discuss, please! :)

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10 comments:

  1. Will you have to buy a new set of saucepans to use with the induction hob? A friend of mine repeatedly called her Landlord to say her hob didn't work. The Maintenance guy came out with a Pan ( correct type) and it worked every time, nobody told her you need special pans!

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  2. hahaha! classic! nope, i'd have to buy pots and pans anyway and want stainless steel or cast iron anyway, which are induction-friendly.

    i'm getting lots of comments off-blog to stick to gas! and of the numerous links i found, this is a pretty good (but long) one that makes me think "OK, maybe not": http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/appl/msg121411212234.html

    And this one makes me think "OK, maybe i'm being paranoid": http://theinductionsite.com/radiation.shtml

    Oh, and Sereflavour emailed me this:
    I'm sending you this because blogger won't let me post!

    Your sister is right. And isn't Eric R.hot? I got an induction stove for my cabin/shack in Maine and now I'm furious that I don't live there. I use "pioneer woman" style cast iron pots that I find on yard sales and ebay. Le Creuset and stainless steel work too. Just be careful not to slide & scratch. Energy efficient and FAST. I never owned a microwave because they suck at food preparation. Induction gives uniform, consistent heat distribution and that's why chefs love 'em. I wil ltry to control my enthusiasm for the rest of the renovation project. Nice shoes by the way.

    Sereneflavor

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  3. And to SF: I dunno man... I'm still leaning towards gas at the moment although I really, really, really want to want induction for all the other pluses it has going for it. It's just that big, giant WHAT IF... since not much research has been done on long-term health effects, if any. And I know it'll just keep bugging me at the back of my mind coz I'm a worry-wart like that. Grr.

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  4. I've never even contemplated induction - too expensive! If I were you, I'd stick with gas (never even consider electric!) and wait for the next time you move - maybe there'll be more reliable info by that time! :)

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  5. Eric Ripert is friggin awesome. ahem (cooking show nerd here!)

    Andrew (hubby) is an appliance nerd- and his answer to your question was: gas stoves are awesome to cook on, but induction stoves are more gadgety.

    Which of course he thinks is awesome.

    My choice though? Gas. All the way. They're more sustainable that coal-powered induction :) (AND just much more KICK ASS) :)

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  6. If you really love to cook, gas is the way to go.

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  7. Susie - great advice! This really resonates me. Didn't realize it till you mentioned it. So thank you! :)

    Eco - HAHA! I love that you're married to an appliance nerd. Interesting you say gas is more sustainable coz all the positive selling points of induction say it's "energy efficient" since it only heats up the pan and nothing else around it. But you're right. At the end of the day when you look at where the power source comes from...

    Sonya - well... my sister's professional chef friend is all about induction. and he loves food and cooking. and is also an appliance nerd. so i suppose it comes down to personal preference. I think I have decided, ladies and gents...

    Gas on glass it is for me. Putting in the order now. Here goes nothing!! ;)

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  8. I've never done any research regarding sustainability or efficiency or the health effects but I have much hands-on experience on both gas and induction heat.

    The induction stove tops are very nice to clean but that is the only thing I liked about it. I didn't like the uneven heating. I guess it just depends on what you'll be using it for... Boiling water?? Great choice! Any gourmet cooking... not so great. The heat seemed to rev up and down and never stay consistently on. I never had so many issues with burning food before!

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  9. Oh no I'm late to the party! FWIW, my in-laws have been using induction for...what seems like forever, and haven't heard any complaints from them. I guess the easy-to-clean bit is a big plus for my MIL ;)

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  10. well, since you want to try those fab recipes you learned in Mysore, they are going to work in a traditional gas range, not an induction one. i think these induction babies are s l o o o w. so go for the gas ones. i don't think it's you that has to lug the gas tanks.
    hugs
    Arturo

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