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Induction Vs. Professional Gas Cooking: What Is Faster?

Saba Wahid  |  November 06, 2020  |  9 Min. Read

Professional Ranges  |  Induction Ranges  |  Cooking

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You probably think professional gas is the fastest and most precise fuel type on the market.

A BlueStar professional range with eight burners has 200,000 BTUs total.

However, it's not the fastest.

In this article, we will explore which cooking method is the fastest: professional gas or induction?

I tested both induction and professional gas ranges by boiling water and boiled pasta with gas and induction so that you will know the exact time differences.

The answer may surprise you unless you've witnessed induction in action.

For Massachusetts residents, induction and professional gas cooking appliances will have special venting requirements as well.

You will learn about the infamous Massachusetts Make-up Air regulations.

You will also learn the effective differences between gas and induction, as well as the science behind both.

Professional Gas Cooking

wolf-pro-range-configurator (1)Wolf 48-Inch Professional Gas Range

 

Cooking on a professional (pro) gas range has traditionally been the fastest cooking method.

Restaurants use pro ranges for their powerful high heat output and fast simmering capabilities.

Professional Gas Cooking Advantages

  • You can see an actual flame from the burners, making it easier to gauge the different temperature settings. When the flame is big, it's understood that this means it's at a higher temperature, and when it's small, it's at a lower temperature.
  • You wouldn't need to relearn how to do everything. This is something that comes naturally
  • You do not need any special pots with gas.
  • If you lose power or electricity during a storm, you will still use your gas stove or range.

Professional Gas Cooking Disadvantages

  • Your cooktop metal grates retain a lot of heat. When you adjust the heat from a high boil to a low simmer, it will take a lot longer for the temperature to change because the grates will hold onto the residual heat, which will be absorbed by the pans.
  • There is a lot more to clean for a gas cooktop or gas range. The cooking surface itself will need to be wiped down and the tops of the burners and the grates. There are a lot more places for splatter to collect.
  • Gas emits a lot of residual heat. This is especially an issue in the summer. Cooking inside a hot kitchen is much hotter than cooking with gas.
  • Your kitchen ends up hotter because much of the heat is lost.
  • A high powered hood is also required with a high BTU burner.
Short on time? Get our free Induction Cooking Buying GuideLearn More

Professional Cooking BTU Output

In a professional range, typical high BTU output ranges from about 15,000 BTU to 23,000 BTU on sealed burners and up to 25,000 on open burners.

While the BTU output is an important figure in deciding how effective gas is, some brands like Thermador's star burner are also important.

Star-Burner-Flame-LowThermador Star Burner On A Professional Gas Range

 

Thermador uses a star-shaped burner as opposed to a standard circle for more even heat distribution.

Wolf uses a circular burner with a dual-stacked flame. Thus, it keeps the flame closer to the sides, and it loses less heat than other burners.

Wolf-burnerWolf Professional Range Gas Burner

 

With gas cooking, much of the heat is wasted away off the sides of the pan. Because of this, gas is 60% efficient, meaning that you may be losing up to 40% of the heat. That 23,000 BTU burner is effectively 13,800 BTU in actual heat to the pan.

While BTU output is an important factor in determining how fast a gas burner will heat a pan, burner shape and how it operates also must be considered.

Read More: How To Buy A Residential Professional Gas Range

What is Induction Cooking?

how-induction-cooking-works

Unlike a traditional electric cooktop where the entire element heats up, induction uses magnets and electricity to transfer heat from the cooking surface to the pan directly.

Induction Cooking Advantages

  • Induction cooking is extremely precise for an almost infinite amount of control over the temperature. You can jump from a low simmer to a high boil in a matter of seconds and vise versa. Since there is no residual heat from cast iron grates, like with gas, the temperature can drop from a high boil to a simmer much quicker as well.
  • In addition to the extreme temperature changes, you can also hold or simmer your sauces in an extremely low setting without drying out your food or scorching the bottom of your pan.
  • The temperature remains consistent, and no gas vapors are drying out the foods as they sit and stay warm on the cooktop.
  • Cleaning an induction cooktop is quick and easy because the glass does not heat, and foods do not bake on. It is a single surface that will require a quick wipe down.
  • In fact, if you are making a messy tomato sauce or frying, you can place a piece of parchment paper down and cook through the paper, which cuts your cleanup time down to a bare minimum.
  • Because it's the most efficient, there is less venting required.
  • Induction is the safest child. You need metal to activate induction. Also, the glass only absorbs residual heat from the pan, so burns are unlikely.
  • Induction is available with bridge elements to connect burners for platters, trays, and odd-sized dishes.

Induction Cooking Disadvantages

  • Another factor to consider with induction is the technology aspect and how it will impact your cooking style. Although induction is very precise, easy to control, and clean, I would not consider it a workhorse like gas cooking.
  • If you frequently cook with multiple pots and pans at high temperatures, there is a chance you could overload the electrical system and cause the unit to shut down and cool off.
  • Induction cooktops are made with ceran-glass, which can be broken, unlike a gas rangetop. If you drop a heavy pan or scrape it across the surface, there is a chance it could scratch or crack.
  • You need metal pans to attract the magnet of induction.
  • If you lose electricity during a storm, you will not be able to use your induction cooktop.

Induction Cooking Wattage Output

Wolf-36-inch-induction-range-IR365PEWolf Induction Range

 

In comparing output within gas ranges, we are used to talking about BTU's. In induction, we measure power based on wattage.

The differences in output for induction can range from about 1,500 watts to over 5,000 watts with a power boost.

See how this compares to BTU output:

Wattage to BTU Output Conversion Chart

Wattage BTU Equivalent 
1,500 W 5,000 BTU
2,500 W 8,5000 BTU
3,500 W 12,000 BTU
5,000 W 17,000 BTU

 

Induction is the most efficient cooking method at 90% efficiency versus 60% for gas, so the effective output is much greater.

Read More: Best 36-Inch Induction Cooktops

Induction Vs. Professional Gas Cooking: Which Is Faster?

The Experiment

To put some factual data to the question of which is faster, I tested this out on a few floor models we have in store. I used five cups of water in an 11" pan for each test.

The induction boiled water faster and more efficiently than gas.

It reacted quicker by getting to higher and lower temperatures faster than gas because there is no residual heat being absorbed by the pan.

Induction Vs. Professional Gas Cooking: Sear Test

In addition to boiling water, I also did the sear test. I quickly heat a pan and sear a steak a few minutes faster than with gas.

I also made a complete pasta dinner from boiling the water for the noodles to poaching an egg and sauteeing ingredients for a sauce simultaneously.

The dinner cooked 7 minutes faster on the induction cooktop.

This test's main point was to see how brands and induction would compare to professional gas.

There are variations in BTU or Wattage output between brands and sometimes even within a brand on certain models.

Induction Vs. Professional Gas Cooking: Ventilation

In Massachusetts, we have Make-Up Air regulations.

After 400 CFM on a permitted job, you must plan for an equivalent return of air.

A 36-inch pro-gas rangetop should have a 600 CFM hood.

However, induction emits less heat and could be vented at 400 CFM depending on how you cook.

Should You Buy Induction Or Professional Gas For Your Cooking Appliance?

You don't have to look far past the facts to see, which is faster.

Induction is the fastest cooking method on the market, even faster than the hottest professional gas range.

However, you may still prefer the visual of a gas flame and manually adjust the power, unlike the electronic induction controls.

Also, while there are many brands and styles of professional gas ranges on the market, there are far less professional induction ranges (Miele HR1622 is my favorite)

Still, if you want better performance from a cooktop, induction is the faster and more responsive choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Induction Cooking Use More Electricity Than Gas Cooking?

Yes, induction uses more electricity than gas. Induction is powered by electricity, so if your power goes out, you can not cook.

3. Can Non-Stick Or Non-Metal Pans Be Used On An Induction Stove?

There are some brands of non-stick pans that are induction compatible. The material will have to be a ferrous metal that a magnet can stick to, such as stainless steel and cast iron.

Additional Resources

Read our Induction Cooking Buying Guide for features, buying tips, and ratings of every available induction cooking product in the market. Well over 620,000 people have read a Yale Guide. Induction is our most popular.

View our induction cooking buying guide

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In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

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Saba Wahid

Saba is the Resident Chef for Yale Appliance. Using her culinary expertise, Saba teaches Yale's sales team and clients how to use the latest appliances from steam ovens to induction cooktops. She has been in the culinary industry for many years working in various aspects of the business. She began her career in New York City and then made strides in the Dubai culinary media market while doing a live TV show and hosting food-based events all over the Emirates. From recipe development with several international brands to teaching cooking classes here in Boston, Saba's experience has evolved incredibly over the years.

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