All about energy in Brussels. A Sibelga initiative
en menu
Logo energuide

Changing gas hob for induction: good idea?

Last updated on 22 February 2021

Induction hobs are modern and attractive, and are increasingly popular with households and budding chefs. This isn’t surprising since they offer a whole range of advantages... but these are offset, as always, by a few disadvantages and constraints. Let us explain...

Cooking with induction, how does it work?

Induction hobs operate using electricity, but unlike conventional electric hobs, which heat your pots and pans by conduction (i.e. by contact with a hot surface), they work by electromagnetic induction.

Underneath the induction hob where your food is simmering away is a copper coil in which an electric current flows when the hob is in operation. When a magnetic metal surface (the bottom of your saucepan or pot) approaches, an electric current is induced in the bottom of the pan.

It is therefore the bottom of the pan that heats up directly and not the surface of the hob.

What are the advantages of cooking by induction? 

90% efficiency

With an induction hob, 90% of the energy generated actually heats your pot or pan. With gas, it's 60%. Cooking with induction therefore consumes less energy.

Ease of maintenance

No more scrubbing your hotplate after letting your pan overflow: with induction, the residue does not burn onto the hob because the heat is contained within the metal at the bottom of the pan.

Safer

Induction presents less risk of burns, again, since it is primarily the metal of the pan that heats up and only then does the hob heat up through contact. Unlike gas, there is no flame. In addition, you can usually activate a childproof lock.

More flexibility

New induction hob models offer a range of interesting features. For example,

  • you can freely determine the position of your pots and pans
  • you can combine two cooking zones to use very large pots and pans
  • you can heat water very quickly with a boost function.

Also, the power from induction is much more modular than gas:

  • you can cook on an extremely low heat, which is impossible with gas
  • or you can grill with a power that is unattainable with gas or with a halogen hotplate.

More aesthetic

Induction hobs are generally tactile and have a very clean and modern look.

What are the disadvantages of induction cooking?

Higher purchase price

The price goes up significantly if you buy a large induction hob.  For small formats (60 cm wide, 4 cooking zones), allow for between € 350 and € 400. For larger formats with plenty of options, you can easily reach €2500 or more.

By way of comparison, a 4-burner gas stove costs between € 100 and € 200.

Electricity costs more than gas

This means that, even if your induction cooker is more efficient, it will not reduce your energy bill. If you have solar panels, on the other hand, cooking with electricity can make sense to use up the surplus energy you produce!

Only works with special cooking equipment

To use an induction hob, your cooking equipment must have a flat, smooth bottom and be magnetic (if you put a magnet to the bottom of your pan, it will stick).

Don't worry, you won't have to part with your favourite casserole dish: there are adapters that act as an intermediary between the hob and your pan. However, these accessories can slow down the cooking time.

Operating noise

Each coil is equipped with a small cooling fan. They can be quite noisy, especially as they age and more especially on a cheap model. This is particularly true if all four hotplates are working at the same time.

Limited power on some models

On some models, it is not possible to operate all four plates at full power at the same time: the appliance will automatically distribute the available electrical power between the plates, heating one after the other alternately at full power, which will slow down the overall cooking of the whole hob.

Connection: you have to do it right!

There are different models of induction hob:

  • portable induction hotplates which plug into a conventional socket;
  • built-in induction hobs which have to be connected to a 32 A cable outlet.

In the second case, a few precautions must be taken to ensure a safe connection.

In short, it is advisable to call in a professional.

Don't miss our new tips

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed about energyfacts.

We promise we will only use your data to send you our newsletter as stated in our privacy policy.

Did you find this article useful?
How could this article be improved?

We promise we will only use your data to send you our newsletter as stated in our privacy policy.

Tips on how to save energy!

We promise we will only use your data to send you our newsletter as stated in our privacy policy.