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Induction hobs heat up twice as fast as ceramic or radiant heat hobs, and offer greater precision in temperature control. Gas hobs offer instant heat and are the only ones that can impart wok hei (or smokiness) in Asian dishes. But there are many other factors to weigh, says Kelvin Leong, a trainer at BSH Home Appliances.
Induction hobs are the clear winner for energy efficiency, as they transfer heat directly to the pan and food, unlike gas and ceramic hobs. They are a much safer option, especially for families with young children, as the hob surface is safe to touch.
Gas hobs are cheaper to run than electricity-powered induction and ceramic, and are more environmentally friendly as they give off less carbon emissions. Price-wise, induction is the priciest of the three.
The flat surfaces of ceramic and induction hobs are easy to wipe clean, while gas hobs have pot stands and gas rings that need to be disassembled for cleaning. “Induction hobs work only with ferromagnetic (stainless steel or cast iron) cookware. So if you have already invested in aluminium, Pyrex, glass, copper, and non-magnetised stainless steel cookware, induction might be the most inconvenient choice,” adds Kelvin.
Lastly, think about placement. If the hob is sited at a kitchen island and you choose gas, concealing the gas piping might be challenging. Consider using LPG gas tanks or just go for induction or ceramic.
If you still can’t decide, some brands offer combination hobs. Bosch offers a range of modular Domino hobs, each 30cm in width, so you can “combine” various hobs to suit your needs and cooking style.