Gas, Electric, or Induction Cooktop: What's the Difference?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel #6501402861

You’re buying a new house and it comes with a built-in cooktop or a stove.  Is it gas, electric, or induction?  Does that even matter?  What’s the difference anyway?

Each type of cooktop has fans and naysayers, based on experience and preference. 

Gas Cooktop

Most professional chefs prefer gas cooktops.  With a gas cooktop, the flame is exposed.  The reason people like gas stoves is because the heat is very responsive.  In other words, if you turn the heat down, it automatically lowers the temperature that is going to your pan.  If you turn the heat up, it’s automatically cooking faster. There’s no lag time.  Another plus is that as soon as you turn off the heat, it’s essentially gone, which is not the case with traditional electric cooktops.

The downside of gas stoves or cooktops is they take more work to clean because they don’t have a flat surface.

Before you choose a gas cooktop, check to make sure your house has a gas line running to the kitchen for the hookup.   

Electric cooktops

Electric cooktops have a flat surface, generally with 4 circles that indicate where the heating elements are underneath.  They have a streamlined appearance, and are pretty easy to clean because food only stays on that flat surface, unlike gas cooktops where food can fall into the area housing the gas element. 

Electric cooktops are designed to be energy efficient by holding the heat longer, which is good for the environment and your energy bill.  The downside of this feature is they take longer to respond when changing the heat temperature.  If you are cooking food on high, then want to turn it down, you may have to remove the pan from the surface until the heating element cools down enough or you may burn your food.  Conversely, they tend to take longer for the heating element to get hot and transfer that heat to your pan.

Another issue with electric cooktops is when they are turned off, the heating element stays hot for a substantial amount of time and there is usually only one small button that indicates that the surface is still hot.  Be careful not to put a recipe on a hot cooktop or you could have a kitchen fire.

Induction cooktops

A newer form of cooktop or stove is the induction cooktop.  Induction cooktops have beneficial properties of both gas and electric cooktops.  They are flat and look like electric cooktops, but the heat source and response times are completely different.  In an induction cooktop, a magnet field causes iron in the cookware to move faster which heats up the pot.  Induction cooktops are very responsive, like gas cooktops, heating and removing heat quickly.  The added benefit of induction is that the cooktop itself doesn’t get hot, and only a little heat from the pot itself heats the glass cooktop, so spilled food doesn’t burn onto the cooktop making wiping up spills a breeze. 

The downside of induction cooktops is the requirement to have pots with enough iron in them to be able to work with the magnets.  This could necessitate purchasing all new cookware if your pots and pans don’t have enough iron content.  Ceramic coated pots tend to heat more slowly even if they have iron content in them. 

Happy cooking!


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debe Maxwell, CRS 04/16/2017 08:39 PM
Home Buying
gas or electric

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Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for the information. I will share this post with others 

Feb 28, 2017 03:07 AM #6
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Great jog in explaining the difference between an gas, electric or induction cook top.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Mar 01, 2017 06:42 PM #7
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


I stepped back to bookmark your post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Mar 01, 2017 06:43 PM #8
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

P.S. I love the safety feature on the induction electric stove for myself too! I think every consumer thinking about buying a new stove should consider making it a purchase!

Mar 02, 2017 03:12 AM #9
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

I LOVE GAS COOK TOP STOVES!  I currently am using an electric and I don't care for it at all. I have used a glass cook top and I liked it, but I live with a cave man who would break that in a minute. 

Mar 04, 2017 07:18 PM #10
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

I prefer to use gas stoves, but recently realize there is a downside.  My old dad is getting very unsafe and I won't let him use the stove top any more to put the kettle on because his long sleeves (kimono) get too close to the flames and it really worries me!  But besides the challenge of having an open flame in the kitchen, it sure is great.

Mar 06, 2017 02:17 PM #11
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is very good information to share with prospective home buyers.

Chef Dolores prefers gas cooking.

Mar 07, 2017 06:44 AM #12
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Thanks for the great explanation of the different types of cook tops. I prefer gas!

Mar 07, 2017 05:47 PM #13
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Beth - it is a matter of preference.  I have always liked electric because they are cleaner but lately I am cooking as a hobby and find the great advantage with gas.  I have seen induction.  Good to know all of the choices

Mar 09, 2017 07:49 AM #14
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Beth,  I sooner have gas but have electric  now.  Good way of explaining the differences. 

Mar 10, 2017 06:55 AM #15
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Such a nice explanation of cooking options. I went back to gas cooking a couple of years ago and have loved every minute of it. I like controling the heat so precisely.

Mar 11, 2017 03:32 PM #16
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks Beth.  My personal preference is to have someone else do the cooking regardless of the cooktop.  

Mar 14, 2017 05:07 AM #17
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

I prefer gas, Trudy likes electric because they are easier to clean, no arguement right now as we don't have gas, have never used an induction stove but have heard others say good things about them. Nice post, with a good explanation.

Mar 14, 2017 08:39 AM #18
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


An outstanding post . . . . keep them coming.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Mar 21, 2017 05:39 PM #19
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I grew up cooking on electiric.  When I got my first condo and tried cooking with gas, it seems like I burned everything.  Now, I wouldn't be without it.  

Apr 12, 2017 09:06 AM #20
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, what a wonderful explanation of the differences, Beth! I'm certainly no chef but, I'm spoiled with gas and will not have anything else! 

Apr 16, 2017 07:58 PM #21
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Have a productive week and great week.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Apr 17, 2017 06:13 PM #22
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I was looking for your current blogs. I hope you are enjoying a most productive spring.

Apr 24, 2017 04:03 AM #23
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Beth

Great overview on the options for stove. I love cooking on gas but not possible in our current house. But we are pretty happy with our induction stove. Most buyers want gas it seems but installing a gas line, if one does not exist, can get pricey.


May 02, 2017 07:27 AM #24
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

My mom has an induction cooktop in her home, Beth Bromund ... and she loves it.  (And I can't ever argue about the quality of food that is produced from it!)  

But as mom is now almost 92, the county's senior advocates recommended the induction cooktop when it was time to replace her old electric one.  Much safer for seniors cooking on their own as the cooktop, as you point out, does not get hot.  Fewer burns ... 


May 02, 2017 11:56 AM #25
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