Cooking with gas is both a phrase and a way of life. As someone who fancies herself as a pretty good amateur chef, I (like many), was brought up believing that to do it right you had to be, well, cooking with gas. But beliefs can change.
Five years ago, my husband and I bought a new-to-us house. When we first toured—what is now—our home, everything about it was PERFECT, except for one big thing… It had an induction cooktop. I, like many others, confused induction cooktops with old hot plate-style stoves. As a reminder, this was five years ago, not five weeks ago when the oil had not yet hit the flame (so to speak) on gas cooking. To be honest, the flat funny cooktop was a big enough issue for me that it gave me pause on a house that otherwise checked all our boxes (and there were so many boxes). Luckily, our realtor knew his stuff and explained the difference and the benefits of induction cooktops and, at the very least, got us past the hot plate perception and his 6% commission. We weren’t totally convinced about induction, but we took the plunge. When we moved in, we seriously considered swapping out the induction cooktop, but due to the cooktop’s placement, the cost of running a gas line through our home, and the fact that it was a darned expensive induction cooktop, convinced us we would just have to live with this chef’s travesty.
And then I started using it, and I fell in love with cooking without a flame.
Within months I was evangelizing my friends and family. Within a year I convinced my uncle induction was the right call for his kitchen rehab. And today, I would never go back to gas.
I understand people’s hesitation and why they do not want to let go of their gas stoves. So let me convince you, one avid gas fan (formerly) to another:
- Induction is controllable. We all have control issues and I promise you will have complete control over how hot (or not) you want your burners. Even better, you will have complete control without needing to be a fire bender too!
- It can boil a pot of water in minutes. I cannot overstate how fast induction cooktops operate! It will blow your mind while also getting that macaroni and cheese in front of your hangry teen or toddler (both are dangerous) so much faster!
- Induction cooktops do not get super-hot, nor do they stay warm long. When my dad was a tyke, he reached up and put his little hand right into a lit gas burner. He still carries massive scarring across his palm. This cannot happen with induction – when you remove a pan from a burner, it turns itself off and cools down in seconds. Safer for cooks and kids. Oh, and no need for those unattractive adult-proof—I mean childproof—knob covers!
- There is no fire hazard. Grease splattering? No problem. Leave a dishcloth too close to a burner? No problem! No flames = no fire danger. (I may know this from first-hand experience…).
- Induction is so easy to clean. A smooth surface, a quick mist, and a quick wipe are all it takes to clean up any mess. No removing grates, no charred burners, no muttering to yourself “out dang spot, out” as you scrub away.
- Induction cooktops give you extra surface area to work. This might be my favorite bonus feature. Because it is a smooth glass surface you can use the unused burners as an extension of your counterwork (space, my precious). Mine ends up housing my mise en place, along with all the other things I want to keep close at hand.
- And of course, induction has zero health pollutants. These amazing cooktops do not emit any known pollutants that damage the lungs or cause respiratory diseases, like asthma.
So, to those of you who claim, “you’ll take my gas out of my cold dead hands,” I hear you, but my guess is half of you never really cook, and the other half, if you gave induction a go, would be hard-pressed to go back to gas.
So here I am, a total induction convert. Any time you want to come over for dinner, put your hands on the burner, and experience the joy of induction, I am here for you.