How bad is my gas stove?

335 points1
samwillis14 hours ago

To anyone considering switching to an induction hob and hearing anecdotal stories of how some people don’t think they are “as hot” or “slower” than gas. I guarantee these are all related to the pans being used. It is of upmost importance that you get a really good set of pans “designed” for induction.

We have found “tri-ply” stainless steel pans work really well, better than on gas. Cast iron is also brilliant, I inherited loads of them. We have aluminium none stick frying pans with solid stainless steel bases, they work well.

Aluminium pans without a solid steel base are absolutely crap on induction - even the ones that say they work. Avoid them.

If you have any pans with a slightly curved base they won’t work. And you will have to get a Wok with a flat bottom designed specifically for induction.

Make sure you read reviews before you purchase any new pans, and if you are changing your hob to an induction one be prepared for replacing your pans - budget to spend more on them than the hob even.

We are absolutely converted to induction, love it and will never go back. Planning to one day get rid of the gas boiler too.

amluto11 hours ago

I recently bought a Polyscience/Breville Control Freak, and I’m increasingly convinced this is the future. It heats dramatically faster than a supposedly high end gas stove I compared it to despite being a lowly 1.6kW or so device. (Gas stoves are stupendously inefficient. That 15kBTU/hr stove may well deliver 15kBTU/hr to the air but not to your pan.). It heats quite evenly. And best of all, it has closed loop temperature control. Want to sauté some onions? Just do it and watch the onions — there is no longer a need to fiddle with a knob to keep the pan at the right temperature.

I wish this type of functionality was more widely available. There is absolutely no need for devices like this to be expensive.

cmclaughlin7 hours ago

Wow, that Polyscience/Breville Control Freak looks great - if anyone knows of a mid-level/affordable induction cooktop that preforms similarly I'd love to know if one exists.

Currently I have two induction cooktops (counter top models, not built-in hobs) - one from Ikea and one Nuwave brand. The Ikea one looks pretty good, but it lacks precision. Looks like the Ikea one is no longer available in the US, but here it is on their AU website:

The temperature settings go from 20 to 70 degree F increments. In particular, the jump from 210F to 280F really sucks. But it's great for boiling water, cooking pasta, etc.

The Nuwave induction cooktop I have allows 10 degree F increments, which is great for accurate precision. But it doesn't look very good in my opinion.

I'm also in the process of remodeling my kitchen and have a built-in Bertazzoni cooktop, which I've yet to unbox or install. I choose that because my wife wanted physical knobs instead of digital buttons and I agree that that does provide a nicer UI. I'm optimistic the knobs will provide precision temperature control.

Overall, I love cooking with induction - for control and clean air inside the house. However, one other issue I've struggled with is uneven temperature. Originally I thought cast iron would perform well, but it's not great with induction. I recently got some pretty decent stainless steel pots/pans from Tramontina, which are affordably priced compared Allclad, and those heat much more evenly. I also hope that when I install my built-in induction cooktop it will heat more evenly, perhaps with more magnetic rings.

amluto1 hour ago

The Njori Tempo is cheaper and claims to be even better. But it’s currently vaporware.

yial9 hours ago

They are the future. The price will continue to go down slowly.

They were as low as $1,000 over December.

They are amazing. I believe that eventually (maybe 10 years from now) you’ll be able to get a 4 burner stove top with the same features.

CompelTechnic2 hours ago

Where does the induction stove measure the temperature? I'm assuming there's a thermometer near the surface of the stove, which I guess is close enough to the food to get good results.

amluto1 hour ago

It’s a spring-loaded thermometer in the center of the glass top. It presses against the bottom of the pan.

jtbayly11 hours ago

Whoah! But it is expensive! $1500 for one pan at a time?!?

giaour10 hours ago

I have a one-pan induction cooktop that I got at Best Buy for $50 that I use whenever I need more precise temperature control than I can get from my gas range (e.g., when I make candy or meringue).

I bet the Breville cooktop is much better than mine, but you don't need to spend anywhere near that amount to get something decent.

stephencanon9 hours ago

Yep, I have a $50 one that I use for boiling maple sap outdoors in the spring, but also indoors whenever it's useful to be able to set up a cook surface somewhere other than the kitchen. It doesn't have the super-precise control of the Breville, but it's still a great tool.

gibspaulding10 hours ago

I'm not sure what you're looking at, but my wife and I have a mix of cast iron and some stainless steel that has been great and I don't think we paid more than $50 for any one piece.

sidewndr4610 hours ago

I believe the question is asking about the induction cooktop. Which indeed does seem to cost about $1500.

greedo10 hours ago
dmd8 hours ago

How does something like that (at $1500) compare to the performance of e.g. a full range like (at twice that, but for an entire rangetop)?

amluto8 hours ago

The Profile can supposedly do the closed-loop trick if you pair it with Heston Cue pans. The manual makes this sound like a real PITA, and do you really want a pan with batteries and bluetooth? The Control Freak is compatible with any sufficiently flat magnetic cookware. Do you really want to be limited to a choice of a whopping three compatible pans? The world is full of excellent pots and pans at varying price points, and these are not compatible with the Cue system. This includes, for example:

Essentially disposable nonstick pans (pay a small premium for induction compatibility).

Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens.

Very high end nitride-coated pans from Hestan, compatible with any induction stove except Hestan Cue.

Plain old cast iron.

Magnetic steel comals.

Carbon steel seasonable pans, paella pans, etc.

A flat-bottom wok.

All of those work on induction stoves, and all work on a device like the Control Freak. Just put them on and set a temperature.

On the other hand, the GE range has an app and buttons. Where’s the knob?

dmd7 hours ago

Hmm. As someone who has never in his life measured the temperature of anything on top of the stove, maybe this is overkill?

jmu12345678905 hours ago

The problem with that is, how do I use it under a range hood?

amluto4 hours ago

Put it on your stove. It looks dumb but it works fine.

mhh__13 hours ago

The thing with gas for me at least isn't that the heat is better or anything like that but that I feel like I can control the application of the heat better. You can move the pan around heat-surface (or an isotherm, technically) in 3D whereas with induction (I imagine it's better if you spend enough) for the same price it seems harder to get that feel.

Definitely an electric oven though.

laumars12 hours ago

I thought that when I first switched to induction. Then I realised that induction responds instantly to any changes you set in temperature so you don’t need to move the pan about in 3D space, just leave the pan on the stove and drop the heat right down.

I’m now back on gas after a house move and I miss induction so much.

Macha12 hours ago

> I realised that induction responds instantly to any changes

Hmm... My electric hob seems to control temperature by the amount of time the heating elements are active (+presumably a thermostat). There's a red light when the heating elements are active (or hot but switched off), and a definite click sound when the heating elements come on. You can see the heat immediately turn on when you change to a higher temp, and when you change to a lower temp it seems to just leave the application of heat off longer (I guess allowing elements to cool down to whatever the thermostat says they should be).

peregrine12 hours ago
laumars10 hours ago
serf7 hours ago

>just leave the pan on the stove and drop the heat right down.

I still lift the pan to cool things a bit on an induction top; most units will give you 2 or 3 seconds before auto-off when you do so.

Why you may ask? My cheap induction hob has slowly failing membrane keys.

mhh__12 hours ago

I can believe it, maybe I've just only used bad induction.

gibspaulding10 hours ago
samwillis12 hours ago

Or more likely bad pans ;-)

noduerme11 hours ago

100% - the ability to visually check the flame is crucial. Especially when you're cooking a lot of things quickly at different temperatures. Without that visual cue, you're just guessing every time. Induction is amazing, but harder to work with. There might be a good idea in making stoves that visually show the temperature of what's in the pot versus how much heat is being fed into it. That would maybe convince me to switch off gas.

evilduck10 hours ago

A flame doesn’t tell you the temperature of what’s in the pot or pan either. You’ve trained yourself to intuitively understand your gas cooktop, you can do the same with an induction stove presenting you a heating number too. I don’t find induction any worse, it just took a while to relearn and internalize differences.

gibspaulding10 hours ago

On our induction top, you set the temperature you want per eye. Instead of remembering that eggs need a flame about *this* big, you learn that eggs need about 320°F. It took some getting the hang of, but I wouldn't describe it as guesswork.

LargoLasskhyfv9 hours ago

That's just a habit. Instead of visually checking the flame, you just visually read the large 4 digit LED where you set this in steps of 10 degrees Celsius, or whatever. They (mine) already do measure what's in the pot. Or how would you explain that it goes within 2 to 3 seconds from 90°C and just a few pearls to boiling bubbles if you set it to 100°C when there are 2 litres of water in it?

They are more easy to work with, IMO. Just get a good one.

mdoms8 hours ago

The flame doesn't tell you squat, but if you insist then you can get induction cooktops with a fake flame effect to help you to continue to believe this nonsense. I use this one, it looks pretty cool.

detritus10 hours ago

I was resoundingly in the 'induction hobs are crap' camp until this NYE when we found ourselves staying away in the countryside in a place with a basic plug-in induction hob. I sighed and presumed my Absolutely Necessary morning tea would take until the heat death of the universe to boil, but nup, it was done in significantly less time than it takes me at home, when using gas.

If a crappy plug-in hob can boil water that quickly, it can cook that quickly too.

Next move I'm getting that sorted out - no more gas! (Mind you, companies are beginning trials here in the UK mixing Hydrogen with the gas supply, so there's a part of me that still wonders at the future benefit/end to end efficiency).

kibwen10 hours ago

> there's a part of me that still wonders at the future benefit/end to end efficiency

The future is in completely abandoning residential gas infrastructure, which will have immense benefits in allowing us to stop maintaining and expanding millions and millions of miles of leaky underground pipes. No amount of tweaking the mixture will change the fact that electricity is broadly useful for everything, and that gas is only useful for a small number of things that are quickly being overtaken by electricity.

Hell, if we had devices that could instantly summon sufficient quantities of water from thin air, I'd get rid of my water hookup, too, even though water lines aren't nearly as bad for the atmosphere as gas lines are.

detritus9 hours ago

Of course, but I'm more thinking about near to mid term, where a heck of a lot of domestic heating and cooking infrastructure has been built upon the assumption of gas, so is an incumbent sunk cost.

All new builds and renovations should be encouraged to deploy full-electric.

- ed: Sorry, I should've specified - I meant 'in the UK' for the large amount of existing gas infrastructure.

Sharlin9 hours ago

But… Why did you think induction hobs were slow? It's almost their whole point that they're fast! Now, admittedly I'm speaking as someone who has never used a gas cooktop, and accustomed to coil-plate or glass-ceramic cooktops (gas hobs are very rare around here), and I guess anything is fast compared to a coil-plate, but still.

detritus6 hours ago

My experience with these goes back decades, and my experience - outdated as it clearly is - was not positive.

cooperadymas9 hours ago

"To anybody concerned about anecdotal evidence, here's my anecdotal evidence."

Snideness aside, the fact that you have to concern yourself with what pans you buy for an induction stove is enough reason for many to not buy one. You can no longer buy any pan at a store, you must do your research first.

Throw out my current pans and buy even more expensive ones? You're not exactly selling me the induction here.

gcheong2 hours ago

They’re not necessarily more expensive and you won’t necessarily have to throw anything away they just need to be made with enough ferrous metal that it will work. A simple magnet test will tell you. In fact of all the cookware I have one of my more expensive pots doesn’t work on induction which seemed really odd to me.

Gibbon12 hours ago

I'm thinking of replacing my crappy glass top stove with an induction one. I did a test with a borrowed portable induction burner. Out of six pots and pans, five of them worked with it. My gut feeling is induction has become common enough in rest of the world that most commodity cookwear will work with it.

zeendo6 hours ago

FWIW - cast iron is incredibly cheap.

pkulak8 hours ago

My favorite way to show people how my induction stove works is to put some cold water in a kettle, pop it on a "burner", then turn it to "power boost". You can instantly see tiny bubbles forming on the bottom, and 20 seconds later it's at a rolling boil so intense you fear it may explode. I have no idea how anyone can say induction is slower than gas. And on the other end, low will slowly melt chocolate or heat a hollandaise without needing to steam a mixing bowl.

lultimouomo3 hours ago

All the induction stoves I've tried, here in the EU, are great at boiling one pot of water. They suck at everything else.

E.g. want to boil two pots of water in parallel? No can do - after warming up seemingly forever you will have one pot boiling for 5 seconds, then stopping and letting the other pot boil for five seconds, and so on.

I want to love induction - no gas pipes, so much easier to clean, so much better for air quality - but the regular stuff you can buy in stores just isn't there yet. Just the fact that they use a plug which can carry at most 3kW should be enough proof that you cannot use them for serious cooking.

frobozz13 hours ago

I moved from induction to gas recently (not by choice).

Anecdotally, the gas feels slower. It seems to take an age to bring things up to the boil compared to my old induction.

Also, cleaning up after spills is a pain compared to a glass surface.

iamthemalto12 hours ago

Well the gas feeling slower to bringing things to a boil is to be expected; induction is much much much quicker at boiling things (~10 mins on gas vs ~2-3 mins using induction).

amluto11 hours ago

You can mitigate one of these problems with a Turbopot :)

Aaargh2031813 hours ago

> you will have to get a Wok with a flat bottom

If it has a flat bottom, then it’s not a wok.

Personally, I hate cooking on induction. My parent have it and it never worked for me. I need to see/hear the gas to be able to control the heat properly.

Once they shut off the gas lines due to the energy transition, I’m going to run a gas pipe from the kitchen to my basement and just buy it in canisters.

zrail13 hours ago

> Once they shut off the gas lines due to the energy transition,

This won't happen. What will happen instead is that the gas to cook your omelette in the morning will cost three times more than going to a restaurant would and you'll make your own decision about shutting down your gas lines.

adrianN11 hours ago

Uh, no. You can make Methane from CO2 and electricity with something like 70% efficiency. So while gas will become a lot more expensive, it won't become too expensive to use it for cooking. You don't need all that much gas for cooking.

fnbr10 hours ago
ashtonkem11 hours ago
Aaargh2031810 hours ago

> This won't happen.

Not sure where you live, but in my country the plan is to get everyone off gas by 2050. At that time the national gas network should be shut down.

bigfudge11 hours ago

Or you can get an induction wok burner with a curved base, which are just phenomenal… i bought a de detreich but there are a number of brands that do them. It’s way hotter than my previous gas wok ring, and also doesn’t produce so much smell because the gas itself is not rising around the pan and carrying vapours away.

stephen_g10 hours ago

That’s cool! I have an induction stove (it’s fantastic) but no woks. I’ll probably just end up getting a flat bottom one myself but it’s really cool that those curved induction burners exist (just googled it) - I’d never heard of them until now.

faitswulff9 hours ago

Chef Jon Kung posted a video talking about cooking on induction that features a rounded induction cooktop for woks:

ZeroGravitas13 hours ago

I believe they sell induction hobs that project blue light 'flames' to reflect the heat strength as a visual aid. Not sure if any do the audio as well.

smileysteve11 hours ago

You can hear induction if you can hear above 16khz too.

maxwell8613 hours ago

> If it has a flat bottom, then it’s not a wok.

It has a flat bottom "outside", inside it has the same shape as a normal wok.

Aaargh2031810 hours ago

That’s still not a wok.

A wok has 2 important features: it has a round bottom and it’s thin. The thin sheet steel allows it to heat up and cool down quickly. Maybe you can make a thick-bottomed pan that has a rounded bottom on the inside. And maybe you can pump enough energy in it to make it heat up quickly, but you can’t suck the energy back out. If it’s that massive it will not cool down quickly.

dpark11 hours ago

Really? I’ve never seen a wok like this. Most flat bottomed woks are just flat bottomed.

A wok with a flat bottom outside and curved surface inside would also be heavy.

tempest_10 hours ago
mdoms8 hours ago


samwillis13 hours ago

True, a flat bottom means it isn’t a “classic” Wok but we find them just as usable.

I think there are probably still UX problems to be solved with Induction, the visual feedback on gas is better. We fortunately have knobs on ours (I hate the touch buttons on some).

kibwen9 hours ago

> My parent have it and it never worked for me

Can you clarify, are you certain you're talking about induction? Inductive cooktops are a relatively recent trend, if you grew up with an electric range there's a good chance it was a resistive cooktop, not an inductive cooktop. Resistive cooktops are pretty notoriously unsatisfying.

Aaargh203189 hours ago

> Can you clarify, are you certain you're talking about induction? Inductive cooktops are a relatively recent trend

Not that recent, at least not here in Europe. I know the difference, they had a resistive cooktop maybe 15 years ago or so, that was even worse, took forever to respond.

There are several problems with induction. While not inherent to induction, the controls tend to be crap. For some reason most induction cooktops have touch controls, which are an absolute disaster. At my parents previous place they had one where you had to first select the burner, and then use +/- touch buttons to change the temperature. You couldn’t quickly change anything. And of course the touch controls never worked if you had wet hands (and why would you have wet hands when cooking, right ?) Although indiction plates with knobs apparently do exist, I haven’t seen any yet.

A problem that is inherent is the complete lack of feedback: you can’t see a flame, you can’t hear it, meaning you can’t adjust the temperature by feel. Another inherent problem is that it limits the type of cookware you can use on it, only flat bottomed steel pans.

Basically, they are very impractical devices and not fit for purpose in any way.

kibwen9 hours ago
tinus_hn13 hours ago

How do you think those canisters are being filled?

Aaargh2031842 minutes ago

Not from the country-wide natural gas network, as they contain propane instead of methane. They will keep selling those as you can’t exactly take a induction hob camping.

Propane requires a slight modification to a gas hob (basically, different sized nozzles) but those came with my hob and it’s trivial to replace them.

dismalpedigree13 hours ago

Completely agree. Switched to induction cooktop 9 months ago. Aside from the health benefits (a nice bonus), we also find the cooking experience to be far superior over a gas cooktop.

bjoli8 hours ago

I love induction. I did however struggle with my carbon steel pan. It just wouldn't season properly. I followed the instructions from the manufacturer, online guides. You name it. The thing would start shedding its coat after a while. It was a mess.

Then we moved to a house with an old electric stove. The pans turned to pure magic. More non-stick than our teflon pans.

Then we moved again to a place with an induction stove and bam: the pans are shit again.

It is obviously me, of course. Heat is heat. But something about induction makes me unable to use carbon steel.

faeriechangling12 hours ago

The issue with induction isn’t speed, not even close. The issue relative to has is the evenness of the heat distribution over a large surface area.

Gas isn’t even remotely worth the downsides but there’s a number of dishes I can make that are easier and higher quality to do on gas, like if I’m trying to sear a large pan full of meat.

okaramian10 hours ago

I have an induction and the heat has been far more even and controllable than it has on gas. Maybe it has to do with the quality of the burner or of the pans?

saiya-jin11 hours ago

You just need an induction hob that has large induction surface (or even +-the whole surface), not usual circles of varying sizes, in case you have oversized pans.

From physics point of view the way you raise temperature of pan has 0 effect on what's happening in the pan.

leetcrew8 hours ago

> From physics point of view the way you raise temperature of pan has 0 effect on what's happening in the pan.

in a spherical cow sense, yeah, heat is heat. but the distribution of that heat is going to depend a lot on the implementation, and can make a big difference for searing meats or making delicate sauces.

radiant glasstops are really good at even heating, but only if the bottom of your pan is exactly the same size as the burner. the edge of the bottom ends up a little cooler, because energy is radiated out from the unheated sides, but not dramatically so.

I've found gas ranges to be pretty terrible for even heating. you get a hot ring where the most intense part of each flame touches the bottom, but a significantly cooler center. only the most expensive gas ranges come close to the evenness of a pedestrian glasstop. main benefit of these is you can effectively change the size of the burner, so nice if you have a lot of odd-sized pans.

I haven't had a chance to try an induction range myself, but I've read a lot of ymmv type posts on the internet. the gist seems to be that the tech itself is very good, but the outcome depends on the (electical) conductivity of the pan itself. which makes sense to me, at least in a handwavy sort of way. I wouldn't expect every pan to heat itself perfectly evenly in response to a uniform magnetic field.

faeriechangling11 hours ago

I’ve considered that should be perfectly possible in theory but in practice it seems pretty rare to see an induction stove with a coil larger than an 8” diameter which simply won’t really effectively work for a 12” frypan. By comparison it’s relatively easy to find a low to mid end gas burner that can evenly heat a 12” frypan or a wok or what have you. I think part of the reason why is the appliance being bottlenecked by its standardized electrical power source, but I also think it’s just a matter of manufacturers prioritizing cost and customers not understanding the issue.

The only real solutions to this issue I could find are smaller and thicker pans, and the use of things like ovens and barbecues.

duped9 hours ago

My issue is not the pans, it's using duty cycle to control the amount of energy added. I can't effectively pan fry anything without using cast iron or enough(read: too much) oil to retain some heat mass, because either it gets too hot and past the smoke point of the oil or too low and the food will cool off between heating cycles. The other slight annoyance is coil whine.

Absolutely unmatched for boiling water, and I'm very happy using it with a cast iron dutch oven for slow cooking and soups or stews.

darrylb428 hours ago

Sounds like you have a glass top electric coil stove, not induction. Induction has a very stable fast heat, cooks like gas. Glass top electric are the one that turn on for 10 seconds off for 30, never the right temp. I replaced a glass top stove with an induction one last year, couldn't be happier. I can actually fry eggs now.

duped6 hours ago

It is a tabletop induction burner, not a glass top electric coil. Its cycle frequency is about 60Hz, I can time it by the coil whine.

oxymoran12 hours ago

Yes the stainless steel tri ply pans on an electric stove are pretty awesome. I haven’t really cooked on a gas stove to compare though. Some people think stainless steel pans are worse/cheaper than non stick, but that is not the case. Chefs use stainless steel all the time and prefer it. But the secret is learning to deglaze the pan to free anything stuck to the bottom of the pan in order to make cleaning magnitudes easier.

maxerickson11 hours ago

Restaurants also discard things at a good clip.

Stuff that isn't reactive can be well cleaned using ammonia vapor (which will break down grease and burned on grease and so on). Just put it in a bag or other container with some ammonia (no need to submerge, it's the vapor that does the work) and let it sit for a while.

beanjuiceII10 hours ago

I've always had gas, and we moved into our new home which has electric.. After using it I don't understand the fuss..I love it and will never go back!

eyeball11 hours ago

Flat bottom wok doesn’t really work. You lose the heat going up the sides. I bought one of those butane table top burners just for wok use. Induction is great for everything else.

aczerepinski12 hours ago

I wasn’t really aware of induction until the house I bought this year happened to have it. It’s amazing. I never want anything else.

ectopod12 hours ago

Completely agree. Also, get a hob with physical knobs rather than touch controls. Not as pretty but much less frustrating.

mizzao13 hours ago

How do I use my trusty wok on an induction stove?

On gas we have a wok ring that just sits on top of the burner.

IdoRA12 hours ago

If you’re willing to use a cast iron wok, Lodge makes one with a flat bottom on the outside but curved on the inside. You have to make some major technique concessions, but it will work on induction, and if you use a butane torch while flipping food you can almost get a wok hei going.

This has sort of been my experience with induction beyond woks too, it often requires technique and equipment concessions. Great for boiling water and sautéing though. The tops also have durability/longevity issues when compared to gas and that isn’t usually acknowledged.

m_eiman13 hours ago

There are wok pans designed for induction, eg

samwillis13 hours ago

That looks fascinating, I would love to know the physics of that ring and how it works. I had always assumed you needed a whole solid ferrous ring touching the glass plate whereas this is only touching in three places. It must then be electrically conducting from the ring to the Wok to induct the eddy current as those three points wouldn’t be enough to conduct heat.

Alternatively maybe it’s just relying on inducting directly to the Wok bottom but the surface area touching the glass plate is very small so I can’t see it working well.

zrail13 hours ago

Induction works with magnets. The electromagnets in the stove induct energy into the pan and that's what heats up.

The ring does three things (probably). Keeps the wok supported, transfers heat to the pan, and tricks the sensors in the stove into thinking there's a flat pan on it.

samwillis13 hours ago

(Just edited my comment to mention woks, sorry)

You would need to get a special flat bottom Wok designed for induction. I believe there are also some induction woks that come with a special plate or ring you place them on to make them work and still have a curved bottom, I have no experience of them.

asteroidp13 hours ago

The ones with the ring are junk

arka214748364713 hours ago

A good point. Alot of depends on the style of cooking you do, and how heat is used in that cooking style. I personally dont even have a wok, so the idea would never occur to me.

zwily10 hours ago

When we got a nice induction stove we spend years showing off to friends how it could boil a pot of water in about 15 seconds. But the thing we like most about it is how easy it is to clean. :)

forty13 hours ago

I love induction and I hate gas. But aren't there possible effects of induction on health?

willis93612 hours ago

You mean the (non-existent) health effects of non-ionizing radiation exposure?

The damage feels like heat at lower frequencies (sitting in front of a fire oh no!) and a sizzle at higher frequencies (sitting in the sun oh no!). Induction stovetops emit orders of magnitude less than a fire and nothing at higher frequencies. Essentially: they get hot.

The best advice I can give: if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

forty11 hours ago

Well, at least sitting in the sun can definitely cause health issues :)

I think the article is precisely about studying more closely something that was thought to be safe (by the author at least), keeping an open mind never hurts :)

It's not like I would switch back to gas even if induction radiation was found to be causing some kind of health issue anyway, just like I'm still using my phone, because it's convenient (or going at the beach even if it's sunny because I like it ^^)

willis9368 hours ago

Keeping an open mind never hurts, but being willfully blind to a hundred years of studies does. There is no proposed mechanism for these health effects. It is literally "be scared of the boogeyman because you don't know better".

faeriechangling11 hours ago

Well induction has no measurable negative health effects whereas gas is so bad for you that it leads to a I think in the realm of a quarter increase in childhood asthma? In terms of negative health effects there’s combustion and then there’s everything else.

aqme2813 hours ago

Do you mean effects of gas on health? Those are well documented.

maxwell8613 hours ago

What kind of effects?

willis93611 hours ago

Magic, but the "jury's still out".

lrem13 hours ago

Denaturation of proteins? ;)

lumb6312 hours ago

EMFs (such as from induction cooktops) absolutely have an impact on health. A study I cited in another comment indicates that a compliant induction cooktop emits 16x the amount on non-ionizing radiation that’s considered safe.

KennyBlanken12 hours ago

I have an induction cooktop and my cast iron pans have been terrible. Cast iron has lousy heat conduction and induction stoves do not have even distribution. They negate a lot of the benefits of induction, which is the ability to put a massive amount of heat into the pan very quickly.

High carbon steel pans (the kind used by kitchen services) have been brilliant. Every time I've seen an induction cooktop in use in a commercial service (for example, at my work place cafeteria at the "rice meal" station) they use high carbon steel pans.

The biggest problem: no cooking during power outages, which happen around 2-3x a year.

samwillis12 hours ago

Surprised to hear you have had a bad experience. We use stainless still pans for all the normal sized pans. It’s large pots/casserole dishes/Dutch ovens we have in cast iron and they work really well. We also have an cast iron skillet that is great, gets very hot very quickly.

All our cast iron is Le Creuset.

IdoRA10 hours ago

You do need to be careful using carbon steel on induction, at least until you get the hang of it: the instant heat makes warpage easy to encounter, especially if the coil is undersized relative to the pan (US portable hobs have tiny diameter coils).

derbOac10 hours ago

I thought that was the point of cast iron though? Heat batteries basically: long time to heat up, but then you have a lot of constant heat energy.

Cast iron has never been quick on any type of stovetop.

I agree about carbon steel though. Underappreciated although gaining more attention.

rsfern12 hours ago

> I have an induction cooktop and my cast iron pans have been terrible. Cast iron has lousy heat conduction and induction stoves do not have even distribution.

That’s interesting, can you compare the heat distribution problem to resistive? I have a gas range now, but when I had resistive I would preheat my cast iron in the oven for nice uniform heat distribution

prometheus7612 hours ago

"Cast iron" and "high carbon steel" are the same thing by different names, so I'm a little confused by your comment.

SAI_Peregrinus11 hours ago

High carbon steel has less carbon than cast iron. Cast iron contains substantial amounts of Ledeburite, while steel contains none or at most negligible Ledeburite inclusions.

rsfern12 hours ago

They’re not quite the same, cast iron generally has a higher carbon composition range and a different phase distribution. Cast iron has a much lower thermal conductivity

na8511 hours ago

I've never been in a kitchen with induction that didn't have coil whine. Even really fancy high five-figure induction cooktops I can hear the whine.

I could never have that in my kitchen :(

mc3212 hours ago

Gas in general may cause incidental gas pollution —but I see a problem by the author. The author mentions high pollution results when cooking —which for the author does using a gas range. However the author doesn’t discuss results from alternate ranges. I have an induction stove and every time I cook the indoor air pollution also spikes (lots of frying). It’s likely less than that caused by gas stoves but never the less creates pollutants in the air.

I have no doubt that gas causes more pollution but they are remiss for not mentioning the cooking process itself causes pollution.

ClumsyPilot11 hours ago

> incidental gas pollution... the author doesn’t discuss results from alternate ranges... "

The alternative ranges produce zero. Combustion heating, cooking and driving produces NO2, electric doesn't. The article is specifically about NO2, it has specific adverse health effects.

> Every time I cook the indoor air pollution also spikes "

What kind of pollution are you measuring? My air purifier reacts to frying too and shows "high pollution', but it just measures particles in the air - it cannot tell apart cancerous coal ash from harmless pollen and frying oil getting in the air.

fennecfoxen10 hours ago

The food itself can give off emissions — obviously less so if you're doing something like, say, boiling eggs in water, but if you're using high temperatures and oil then it could be significant.

wintermutestwin10 hours ago

>I have no doubt that gas causes more pollution but they are remiss for not mentioning the cooking process itself causes pollution.

Yes, and the real problem is vents that do not exhaust outside. Even in code crazy California, it is perfectly legal to have vents that just blow the air around.

stinos11 hours ago

Author also mentions pollution from the gas furnace though, so no cooking involved. But you're right: would be interesting to know amounts of NO2 released by frying though.

homero10 hours ago

I was never taught you must use the hood and barely use it.

gibbonsrcool12 hours ago

The author is comparing cooking between different types of stoves, not indoor air quality between different activities. I believe you would call this a controlled variable, for example by making sure you cook the same meal, at the same quantity, the same way. Real scientists can correct me.

rboes1 hour ago

No, the author is not comparing different types of stoves. I never saw anything about induction or wood stoves.

jtbayly11 hours ago

No. The author didn’t do this.

gibbonsrcool10 hours ago

You might wanna take a second look at the title of the article.

topaz09 hours ago

You might want to take a minute to read the article itself. The author measures NO2 levels in their house with the equipment (stove, furnace, etc) that they have and the meals that they cook (or don't, e.g. when getting takeout). They make no comparison to other stoves.

mrblampo17 hours ago

My wife and I decided to switch to induction after the NYT article on this topic a few months ago.

Not only did we have a gas stove that was probably spiking NO2 levels when we actually used it; we also seemed to have a gas leak. It was not a big one, just a faint smell, but it was hard to pin down. A plumber concluded the connection between the range and the pipe wasn't the problem. No specific part of the range smelled stronger than the rest of it. For all we knew, it might be a hole in a pipe. So we wanted to make gas stop flowing through our unit (a condo within a three-family home, very normal here in Cambridge, Massachusetts) altogether.

We contacted an appliance company about switching to induction. To prepare, they told us, we would first need to upgrade the range power outlet to 40 amps, and cap off the gas pipe behind the range.

The electrical work cost $1800. It could have been much more; we were lucky our circuit breaker was positioned such that they only needed to make two openings in our walls. (They suggested we put little hatch doors in those spots to make future work easier.)

We asked our plumber to not only cap off the gas pipe behind the range, but also put in a valve in the basement, such that gas flow could be shut off to our unit, but also easily turned back on if a future owner wants to reverse what we did. We did this rather than turn off our gas altogether, because we have a gas water heater and still needed gas available there. The plumbing work cost about $300 I think.

To make cooking stay as close as possible to being how great and fast it is with gas, we chose a range with an induction stove: The LG LSE4616ST, which cost $3000.

We were lucky to be able to afford this change for our health. Of course, it would have cost a lot less if we hadn't cared about induction, but still multiple thousands of dollars.

We should be subsidizing conversions like this.

crisdux12 hours ago

> We should be subsidizing conversions like this.

This is the epitome of the current green movement. Proponents want an unnecessary luxury green product subsidized for higher income households, even though there are perfectly fine substitutes that are just as good for the environment at 1/5 the cost you just described. I just can't get on board with a movement like this.

antishatter12 hours ago

I mean, they could have just fixed their gas leak (lol what the fuck) and bought a nice hood. Even having to suggest people fix their gas leak is comedic and reminds me of how absurd many tech people are. Bragging about transitioning, recommending a subsidy, allowing a gas leak.

micromacrofoot12 hours ago

if you have natural gas service there are probably active gas leaks in your city from the supply lines, gas is very leaky

maccard10 hours ago
selimthegrim8 hours ago

Here in New Orleans they take your meter if you report a leak and you can’t get it back for a couple weeks and thousands in reconnection fees because they don’t trust people’s plumbers apparently and have to reinspect everything themselves

adrianN11 hours ago

So choose the amount you subsidize so that the cheapest reasonable solution becomes affordable to most people. There are induction stoves costing just a few hundred dollars for example. There is no need to subsidize $3k, but subsidizing electrical or plumbing work to replace fossil fuels with electricity makes perfect sense.

neutronicus11 hours ago

Certainly the case with electric cars.

Subsidy in the form of a tax credit (so you need to front the government the money until tax season), so that you can buy something that basically only works if you own a house, into which you've already installed some infrastructure, itself subsidized via tax credit.

I can't help but think it would have been better to subsidize the purchase of used hybrids (or, you know, transit)

crisdux11 hours ago

I agree with you on hybrids, I think hybrids are a better fit for most people right now. Especially for renters and households with one car. I also think people need to come to terms with the reality of the world we live in right now and take responsibility for their own resiliency. We cannot externalize complete resiliency to government. We are in a bit of a chaotic transition right now. In the last two years we've seen electricity failures, public safety failures and basic government services failing. I think people need to make sure their lives are resilient through decisions like should I buy an EV or hybrid.

Overall I'm not against green subsidies. I'm against subsidies going to higher income households, it's government transfers to the rich! Especially in California, their green subsidies benefit the rich and hurt the poor.

Tiktaalik8 hours ago

We've wound up with subsidies because it is what is politically feasible.

The most efficient approach would be to correctly price the negative externalities of gas on health and environment, but pragmatically politicians understand that enormous carbon taxes are a very quick way to be voted out of office. Accordingly we arrive at the solutions available: subsidies for alternatives and/or a very slow phase in of carbon taxes.

Progressive jurisdictions are straight up banning gas hookups in new developments for environmental and health reasons.

nightfly17 hours ago

I live in an apt and bought a ~$100 induction hot plate and now do about 90% of my cooking on that (formerly used semi-faulty burners on a cheap electric range). In the future when I own my home I plan on just a having a few cheap restaurant induction hot plates at ~$250 each I can replace/upgrade at will. It might not look as classy, but it will do everything I could ever ask it to do.

Symbiote12 hours ago

A cheap induction hob with 4 "burners" should cost about $250, once they cease being marketed and priced as luxury appliances in the USA:

(Comparing, where they are all fancy and start at $1000.)

maccard12 hours ago

A half decent mid range one is "only" about twice the price too; still nowhere near $1k

maccard12 hours ago

We should absolutely not be subsodisong someone who has the means to install a $3000 induction range and do $2k worth of additional work at the same time. A semi decent 4 ring induction cooktop can be had for less than £300, and it plugs straight into a wall socket with no electrical work needed. If you're removing a gas stove and making the point safe, I'd say $100 to cap the pipe at the point of the old range (based on me having that work done in my last apartment). Prices may vary with cost of living.

For people using small burners in apartments, single ring plug in induction cooktops are available for about $100 with no other work required.

asdfasgasdgasdg11 hours ago

Typical American wall sockets rarely deliver more than 120V * 15A. Plug in induction hobs targeting the American market clock in at 1800 W spread across all burners, at most. There are no four burner solutions for which this power is sufficient.

smileysteve11 hours ago

If wired for an electric resistance range and oven, the typical American home has 240x30+

asdfasgasdgasdg11 hours ago
rootusrootus10 hours ago

This is true, but a lot of newer homes have a cooktop and separate oven, rather than a drop-in or slide-in range as used to be popular. This is nice because the oven is at a better height (and it's pretty convenient to have a double oven), but the consequence is that gas cooktops are almost never wired for 240V. If the cooktop is on it's own circuit then the upgrade can be done without rewiring, but I don't imagine that's a very common arrangement, it's probably shared with a few outlets, or microwave, etc.

maccard10 hours ago

The curse of 120v strikes again. I did a quick Google and it looks like it'll cost you about $500 to install a 240v circuit, which is still a far cry under the 5k+ the above poster paid. A 3600kW combined set of burners is likely more than enough for many households

asdfasgasdgasdg9 hours ago

Yeah, I think it really depends on the state of your cabinets. The bare bones induction option is something like

But you also need a 220+V and 40A circuit installed. How expensive this will be is 100% dependent on where your breaker box is in relation to your kitchen. Moreover, this option only works if your kitchen is already configured for a cooktop, as opposed to a full range. Most American kitchens are still configured for ranges, so to install something like this you'd also need to retrofit your cabinets. Now prices are starting to add up.

The minimum induction range is about $1000, so I don't think you're going to get away with spending less than $1500 except in a very exceptional case.

All that being said, yes, it can be done for much less than what OP paid in most cases, but I wouldn't necessarily count on the quality of the barebones induction range (at least based on my experience with portable induction cooktops -- they are often shit with small heating coils that produce intense hotspotting).

NullPrefix11 hours ago

>A semi decent 4 ring induction cooktop can be had for less than £300

Yeah, but it doesn't have wifi. The one for $3000 is wifi enabled. Shame it doesn't have an LCD, means Doom is kinda of hard to run on it.

maxwell8612 hours ago

We bought a single profesional induction stove, 4.5 kW for a single plate, on ebay, barely used, for 100$. The thing is a beast. You can heat a pot with 50L of water in ~10-15min with it to like 60 + degrees celsius.

With gas it takes an hour.

Latty12 hours ago

Water really does make it obvious. I always used to use an electric kettle to heat water and then pour it into a pan to avoid waiting for it to heat on gas. With an induction hob it's super fast to heat.

54245812 hours ago

It’s very bizarre to me how you can get very inexpensive single burner countertop induction plates ($50-100), but multi-burner built-in cooktops are dramatically more expensive ($1000-4000). Anybody know why this is?

maxwell865 hours ago

The professional machines don’t look nice, don’t have fancy buttons or electronics. They are not fashion items for fancy looking kitchens.

Instead, They are practical. They have insane power (4.5kW is low range… and it goes directly into the pan…). They are easy to clean, and they have physical knobs: one for on/off, and a dial for power, which they display in a cheap display in kWs.

mwint4 hours ago

Any pointers on where a residential customer could get one of these?

bradly11 hours ago

Is the US most homes use combination stove/ovens called ranges. These are the cheap option because they are mass produced. Stovetops are more common in bigger, more expensive homes which is why the stovetops at Best Buy are the "premium" models.

Also, at least in the US people have been told over and over how a kitchen remodel actually adds value to your house. "Every dollar you spend you get a dollar twenty back!" Well maybe so or maybe not, but if you don't sell your house before you need to remodel again, you are never realizing that gain.

rsynnott11 hours ago

Interestingly, this is more or less the opposite to Europe these days. While integrated stove/ovens are somewhat rare now, they tend to exist almost exclusively on the high end; a bog-standard cheapest-possible installation will be a separate halogen or induction (or gas) stovetop and a single oven.

Macha12 hours ago

Product segmentation I guess. One is competing with microwaves and other loose utilities, the other is installed as part of a kitchen outfitting which is expected to be expensive.

Latty12 hours ago

I'm sure it is at least partially just what you can get away with charging.

Single burners are common for students and people with little room for anything larger, often very budget constrained.

Cooktops are often being put in as a part of an already expensive kitchen refit/build.

With that said, I'm sure there are other factors. Built-in hobs tend to need to be a lot thinner to fit in the available space, at least from what I have seen.

adrianN11 hours ago

I can order a Bosch induction top with 7.4kW and four fields for 350€ off Amazon. Where do you pay $1000?

tssva10 hours ago
akvadrako14 hours ago

> We should be subsidizing conversions like this.

No we shouldn't. Whatever you care about, like maybe CO₂, at those prices you can get a better bang for your buck elsewhere. For new installations it might make sense.

jacquesm14 hours ago

It could be that your gas lines are old and porous, leading to slow release of gas. Usually not a problem, unless the space is enclosed or poorly ventilated, in which case it can cause pooling of the gas and possibly an explosion.

Gas is dangerous, lines should be checked every couple of years (pressurized or vacuum tested) and the rubber connection hose for the range should be replaced every five years or so.

rootusrootus10 hours ago

Rubber hose for gas? Is that really a thing? For years now all the appliance-to-supply line connections I've seen have been flexible stainless steel.

jhallenworld11 hours ago

>The electrical work cost $1800

For less than 8 hours of work I'm sure.. I'm in the wrong profession.

It could be worse, try doing this in an old building in NYC.

hyperbovine10 hours ago

Unless there were serious unmentioned complications, that is a ludicrous amount of money to pay for a new 40-amp circuit. Upgrading the entire panel costs less where I live.

rootusrootus10 hours ago

I expect it will cost at least that much for me to do it, and I think my arrangement isn't that uncommon. My meter is on the exterior garage wall, and so the panel is on the interior in that same location. The only path for wiring to my kitchen is up and into the attic then down, or around the garage in conduit until it can enter the crawlspace. Either option is going to cost a day of electrician time, and he's going to charge at least a grand for that. Add in materials, covid pricing, and if I get out of it for less than $2K I'd be surprised.

Fortunately my brother in law is a licensed electrician and he'll do it for his normal rate, which won't include the 100+% markup from the business. I'll pay him generously and still end up paying less.

ajmurmann9 hours ago

We would probably better off not relying on politicians to use what technology wins, but instead tax carbon emissions. And I mean tax it properly at real cost of the externality. Not some fig leaf $1/gallon.

JasonFruit9 hours ago

Well, that was a nice read. Now I'm going to go cook lunch on the woodstove. To me, not everything is about safety and health; some things are about what my family likes. We like to work together cutting wood and stacking it for the winter. We like the feel of wood heat. My kids are proud that they can cook on an appliance most people never even attempt. We like the feeling of a tie to the past, that we're doing tasks our great-great grandparents would recognize.

I think we as a society are over-prioritizing personal safety. I cringe whenever a business sends me a notification saying, "Your safety is our #1 priority!" and proceeds to explain why I won't be allowed to do yet another thing I am accustomed to do. My safety isn't my #1 priority, and I certainly don't want the companies I do business with to decide how safe I have to be. I'd rather live the way I want to live, and I'm not really bothered if my happiness cuts ten years off my life; I'd prefer seventy years of living to eighty years of not dying.

dionidium8 hours ago

> I'd rather live the way I want to live, and I'm not really bothered if my happiness cuts ten years off my life; I'd prefer seventy years of living to eighty years of not dying.

This is a mis-framing of the relevant tradeoffs. Your options aren't a truncated life of joy vs. a longer life of asceticism. The tradeoff might instead be that one of your kids gets asthma and suffers with the condition for their entire life. Or maybe you get cancer and, yes, you die earlier, but it's not an instant death. Maybe you live with that cancer for a decade of treatment and remission and treatment again and ultimately an intense suffering like you've never experienced.

So instead of dying in your sleep at 80, you die of lung cancer at 70, which you were diagnosed with at 60, after a decade of struggling with the emphysema you discovered when you were 50.

You're not just rolling the dice on a shorter life weighed against a happier one; you're rolling for an increased likelihood of a much worse life (that's also shorter).

You're right that safety isn't always #1. But I hope you're thinking about the actual tradeoffs involved and not some kind of idealized version of them.

artificialLimbs4 hours ago

This is what you fantasize about for everyone at the drive through at mcdonalds? You utopian idealists ruin everything with your fanaticism.

schmichael9 hours ago

Findings like this, like all societal issues from climate to pandemic, are naturally read as “What should I do?” when they should be read as “What should society incentivize?”

Sure electric instead of gas, bike instead of car, N95 instead of cloth, are all beneficial choices on an individual level, but it’s much more important for authorities to create incentives to encourage optimal behaviors.

Want to use a wood stove and understand the risks? Great! But maybe building codes are stricter to discourage using them in new construction and/or regulations require proper ventilation.

We shouldn’t expect every individual consumer to be an expert on indoor pollution, carbon emissions, and viral transmission. You’ll never get the kind of aggregate behavior needed for significant change, and the people most likely to suffer are those who don’t have the leisure time and ability to install NO2 sensors all over their house and contact friends who are experts.

JasonFruit8 hours ago

> Findings like this, like all societal issues from climate to pandemic, are naturally read as “What should I do?” when they should be read as “What should society incentivize?”

I could not disagree more. First, I value personal freedom, and an important part of exercising freedom responsibly is being informed. Good information helps you make a choice that wisely balances what you want with what's wise. I read things like this with the question, "What should I do about this?" hanging in my mind, because that's the relevant question: do I alter my life based on this information, and if so, how?

"Authorities creating incentives to encourage optimal behaviors" is nice talk that is either a) a euphemism for making it illegal to do as you please, or b) a euphemism for making it prohibitively expensive to do as you please. In either case, it comes down to forcing people to act against their preferences but in accordance with the will of the authorities, which I can't agree to.

bumby8 hours ago

I read the OP differently. As in, modern society is enormously complex, to the point where everyone can’t assimilate all the information necessary. For example, maybe you bought a car based on the freedom to choose between performance and emissions. But how much do really know about the fuel mapping in your car? Do you know enough to make that accurate judgement even without the added complexity of fraud in reporting?

As far as the euphemisms hiding intent to control choice, I agree that can happen. But I think there is a area of nudging incentives before strict regulation. The classic example is changing organ donation from an opt-in to an opt-out system. Nobody’s choice was removed, but a small nudge can have a measurable systemic impact

glial8 hours ago

Curious what you think about taxes on cigarettes.

JasonFruit7 hours ago

I think that taxation should be simple, unopinionated, and minimal.

wolverine8768 hours ago

To me, that reads like a response to an all-or-nothing strawperson. Nobody says you should sacrifice 100% to safety and nobody 100% disregards it (if the wood stove had a 25% chance of maiming your children, of course you wouldn't use it). Everyone makes that trade-off.

If we can save and significantly improve lots of lives by improving appliances, that seems like a good outcome. I personally don't want resperitory problems - for myself, my family, or my neighbors - it makes it hard to enjoy all those other risky things I love.

> I cringe whenever a business sends me a notification saying, "Your safety is our #1 priority!" and proceeds to explain why I won't be allowed to do yet another thing I am accustomed to do.

I don't recall ever receiving a notice from a business telling me that I am not allowed to do something (other than for IP). Who is sending these notices? Can you provide an example?

antattack8 hours ago

(Indoor) pollution has long term consequences, we need carbon tax so the costs of it are not socialized while profits are privatized.

throwawaysea7 hours ago

The consequences are non existent for almost everyone. How many people have issues with strong causal link to indoor NO2 pollution in houses with vented gas appliances? Leaving that aside, lots of costs are socialized so why are we randomly picking out this one? Why not start banning specific recipes and ingredients if we are so concerned about socialized health costs? No more fried chicken for anyone! To me these bans and taxes are just political cohorts with power retaining their private benefit without restraint while restricting others who think and live differently.

smokey_circles6 hours ago

> I'd prefer seventy years of living to eighty years of not dying

You're going to be disappointed then. Closer to 40 years of living, 30 years of being imprisoned by your failing health.

I support your right to make stupid decisions but at least make sure they're accurate and informed stupid decisions.

throwawaysea7 hours ago

> I think we as a society are over-prioritizing personal safety.

This is called safetyism. It’s the notion that perfectly safe conditions are worth the immense tradeoff they require, like removing individual freedom and agency. But it is also the recent trend of claiming safety matters above all other factors to an absolute degree, and that everyone should be forced to value it as such. We see this manifested in political actions that are absolute (mandates, bans etc). There are other definitions for safetyism as well ( ). But my point is that life isn’t one size fits all and our policies shouldn’t be either.

Thanks for sharing your experience of working with wood alongside your family. These experiences and their value are unknown to most city dwellers, and they default to assigning zero value on these things when they propose banning everything that isn’t part of their own life. I get what you’re saying about a wood stove. There is value in that ritual and tradition and life’s pleasures. I personally love a gas range for a similar reason, which is that cooking over a flame is culturally important to me. I also find it is simply far better than my induction top for most cooking (except boiling water, for which I have a $20 electric kettle anyways).

In the case of gas stoves and gas furnaces, it’s astonishing that people ignore that most new setups vent to the outside, which is required in many areas. Even if NO2 is elevated, my feeling is that not everything in life has to be 100% clean or safe, since life inherently comes with risks and it is up to each individual to make personal choices about what risks to tolerate for the benefits. Most people cooking daily with gas stoves live long healthy lives and don’t have issues stemming from NO2 exposure and very few are sensitive enough that a minor elevation of NO2 would cause health issues. This is only a problem for the most sensitive of people.

So are gas ranges really a problem or just an overblown fear by proponents of safetyism or climate activists used to justify top down gas bans?

aemreunal19 hours ago

I enjoy cooking a lot and I cooked on gas stoves, electric ones (the ones that have those red hot spiral things under a glass) and top-of-the-line induction ones. In my opinion (and probably many restaurants' opinions from what I can see through their reactions on bans for gas appliances in new buildings), a gas stove is just unmatched in how much easier and better it makes cooking.

I totally get the desire to switch to electric appliances for many reasons, but I am yet to meet an electric stove of any kind that I remotely enjoyed cooking on. Is this everyone's experience? Did I just not meet the right induction stove yet? Is there some sort of new technology on the horizon that will make electric stoves infinitely better?

leobg18 hours ago

I love induction. The main annoyance, for me, are the touch controls.

You regulate up or down in steps, and the controls sometimes have trouble recognizing your fingers if they are wet. There’s also no tactile feedback.

I’d much rather turn a knob.

Then it would be perfect.

gambiting16 hours ago

I'm the same. I was a huge proponent for gas stoves, until I got a good induction one and wow. It's just as good when it comes to heat, with extra advantages like not throwing extra heat into my kitchen, things never burning onto the actual plate and it just generally being a much neater solution. But yeah the heat can easily match gas, it's great.

And I also agree that the touch controls are absolutely the worst, they are abysmal. I see why they are done this way - it allows the entire plate to be wiped clean very easily. But I still wish you could have separate controls somewhere on the side, with actual tactile knobs.

sgt16 hours ago

Tactile feedback? Knobs? What do you think this is, the 1950s? No no. Your next stove should have a touchscreen, maybe not even a screen at all - control everything via your phone using a cloud based platform that connects to your stove./s

wantoncl14 hours ago

OK, but where does the blockchain and Stovecoin mining fit in? I gotta make money from cooking on it somehow!

zrobotics13 hours ago

>> I gotta make money from cooking on it somehow!

This may be old-fashioned, but have you considered using the stove to cook food and then selling the food? If we need to get technology involved, you could accept payments via square. Hell, you could probably even accept payment via blockchain.

But then again, how will the poor stove manufacturer continue to capture monetary value from your purchase? I just bought some delicious tamales from a coworkers mom, and I doubt she shared any of those ill-gotten gains with Samsung. Clearly this is a sector in need of disruption StoveCoin is sounding better and better. Plus, all the waste heat from mining can make kitchens as hot as operating a gas stove, which is what induction stoves are missing. Let me know when the ICO is happening!

Moru13 hours ago
adrianN11 hours ago

Your next stove mines bitcoin on recycled Pentium 4s that were overclocked to 5GHz.

SoapSeller14 hours ago

Control via phone will actuallly be the best.

I could buy a bunch of expensive hifi qualitu knobs and potentiometers and build my own panel to control the stove.

reaperducer13 hours ago

Control via phone will actuallly be the best.

And then your toddler throws your phone in the toilet while you're making Christmas dinner, and you can't turn the thing off.

leobg16 hours ago

Haha. Exactly! Or just use Alexa. „If you don‘t subscribe to Amazon Music now, I‘ll burn your food!“.

CommanderData15 hours ago

Alexa. Turn lights on.

: Ok, burning house down.

rvba14 hours ago

More like "we have detected that you try to cook meat, so the stove wont start"

DyslexicAtheist15 hours ago

I don't know how anyone can cook with these things for exactly the reasons you mention. Cooking can be chaotic with many things to keep track at once. Fingers are wet, or greasy so buttons don't work. Something overflows with just a few tiny drops the thing switches off leading to a problem with something else on the stove that requires constant stirring because now you're forced to clean your hands, dry to spillage from the stove before you can continue. Lift a heavy pot from the stove and put it back down (because it was a wee bit too hot to handle) - BAM! the fucking glass is broken. (I broke already 1 induction stove from my brother and my own Ceran this way).

WTF designed these things? Certainly not a chef!

A bialetti (moka) pot will not work because they're made from aluminum (no induction).

The whole thing upsets me so much that it's very high on my list for deciding if I can live in that country. If there is no gas cooking (most of North of Europe) un/-surprisingly the food is also terrible. Maybe there is sample-bias in my statement but I know literally nobody in my family or friends who owns a ceran/indusction stove and who is actually a great cook.

The only things better for cooking than gas are wood or coal fires. But gas is the next best natural flame.

eptcyka13 hours ago

My mother uses her bialetti moka pot on her induction stove every morning. I'm not entirely sure what you're on about.

jonnycomputer12 hours ago
leobg15 hours ago

Apparently you can use propane tanks. That's what a family told us that wanted to move into our last apartment. They swore by their cherished old gas stove, and said one of those tanks lasts them... well, I don't remember exactly, but it must have been half a year or something. In any case, much less of a hassle as I would have thought.

DocG14 hours ago

Half a year to a year depending on usage. We use these 11kg tanks we get on any gas station for as long as I remember.

No fuzz with running extra big wires for stove.

params17 hours ago

This is so true, my parents have an induction stove with touch controls. It takes ONE drop of water on the 10x40cm touch control square to make the whole stove top shut down with a beeping alarm sound. If you have buttery fingers it won't recognize any touches (major annoyance when making butter heavy sauces). On top of that it also relies on long-presses, you have to hold your finger on the "button zones" for 2 seconds, then you can alter the heat, one touch at a time on a 1-10 scale. Takes about 10-20 seconds to adjust the heat.

When I looked for a new stove last year I tried to find one with induction AND knobs. I ended up getting a non-induction stove, with knobs, works well enough although I would swap it for one with induction and knobs any day, haha!

leobg16 hours ago

Yeah. Manufacturers act like having wet or oily fingers was some kind of edge case in a kitchen.

wallacoloo15 hours ago

stove/oven UX has been shit ever since they were first digitized. my first home had an analog-controlled electric oven: turn the dial to the temperature you want. every oven i’ve owned since uses up/down touch buttons to adjust the temperature in 5-degree increments. it turns the half-second process of swinging a knob to the right place into a 5-second process of holding a button until it hits the right temperature.

worse, i find myself trying to micro-optimize my use of oven temperature buttons: instead of holding up until the temperature is reached, i repeatedly tap it to make it go faster — but not so fast that the debouncing mistakes 2 presses for just one press, otherwise it’s net slower. i find myself actively making latency v.s. throughput decisions: i can preheat the oven by pressing “on”, dialing in the temperature, and then pressing “start”. or, i can press “on”, “start”, and then dial in the temperature and press “start” an extra time. preheating begins whenever you first press “start”, so this shaves off 5 seconds of preheat latency at the cost of 1 extra second spent on an extra button press.

i get irrationally angry every time i use a digital oven. the digital oven is like some looking glass into a half-dozen interlinking societal systems that have managed to settle into some totally unsatisfying equilibria… and they’ve stayed there for decades. it’s legitimately depressing.

jonnycomputer12 hours ago

what you can't get induction stoves with knobs? is this just a high-end thing in general?

man, in the kitchen, keep the controls simple.

gerikson16 hours ago

We searched high and low for a stove with an induction top that used knobs and finally settled on a stove from Bertazzoni. Expensive but worth it for us.

IMHO touch controls are popular because they are cheap to make and offer a simple way to integrate the hob onto a counter. For a lot of people that is important. For us (my partner is blind) it is not.

maxwell8612 hours ago

We bought one from a restaurant on ebay. The "professional" models for restaurants don't have touch controls or fancy electronics. Just knobs. 100% recommend.

Jailbird11 hours ago
_jal14 hours ago

- They fail to work with non-standard sized pans.

- You can't use a wok on them.

- In fact, you can't use them with lots of other things, or in many ways I use my gas stove. Yes, these are "off-label" uses, sometimes not even related to cooking. So? Tools should be flexible, not fight back.

lukeschlather13 hours ago

It's a different tool, it works differently. Induction boils water in less than half the time, and it also has very precise heat control which can go very low, down to 100 degrees, where a gas stove's lowest setting is fast high heat by comparison.

How long have you cooked with a gas stove? I would wager that if you spent decades cooking on induction you would have similar complaints about gas. I love cooking with gas, but also I love cooking with electric, and I imagine I could love cooking with induction. (3 minutes to boil sounds brilliant, who needs a dedicated electric teakettle.) The stuff I could do with precise control down to 100 degrees F, I don't even know but that sounds like it requires patience but allows wonders that are impossible with gas.

Not to say gas can't work wonders that are impossible with induction, but they're different tools and it's not fair to judge simply on the basis of a few missing features.

Also there are pans that don't work as well with gas in my experience. I suspect that if anyone lived with an induction stove for decades and tried to replace it with a gas stove they would also be complaining that half their pans don't work anymore, or at least don't work for the task they've been used for anymore.

brianwawok12 hours ago
_0ffh14 hours ago

My carbon steel wok works perfectly on induction.

TulliusCicero14 hours ago

You can absolutely use a wok on them. I bought a wok while on electric and it turned out to be fine for induction too.

carlmr14 hours ago

>You can't use a wok on them.

Buy a cast-iron wok from Staub, they work wonderfully.

gomox13 hours ago
selimthegrim8 hours ago

I guess old school jiggle top pressure cookers are right out too (but I guess anyone buying an induction stove would buy an Instant Pot anyway)

andix16 hours ago

I hate those too. There are a few models left, that have knobs, but they are getting fewer and fewer. No idea why.

Sometimes you need to react really quickly and turn down heat, if it takes you 5 sec more, the food might be burnt already. Lifting the pan might be a good „hack“ though.

leobg16 hours ago

Yeah, lifting the pan is what I resort to, too. Like cooking on medieval fire. It‘s kinda ridiculous, given the granularity, precision and immediacy that electric heating, and especially induction, would allow for were it not for those dumb touch controls.

Tiktaalik8 hours ago

You can def get induction ranges with knobs, I've been appliance shopping recently and saw plenty of them, but at the moment it may be a "luxury" feature that requires getting a model that is a few notches up from the cheapest model.

Of course it's silly that knobs would belong only to "premium" models.

bbarn14 hours ago

I've had two induction stoves over the last two years, one newer and one a little older. I came from a lifetime of cooking with gas.

First complaint - exactly the same as yours. Even a little boil over can sometimes just shut everything off.

Second complaint - "smart" pan sensing. I have a few pots that don't really fit the rings on the stove perfectly, and they have been relegated to the "useless" corner of the cabinet. The temp setting starts to either flash whenever the pot isn't big enough to cover the ring, or just takes forever to heat up.

Last complaint - some of my pans are not perfectly flat on the bottom, from either a rough life or warping in the oven, etc. Those pans are also useless on the induction hob.

schwartzworld14 hours ago

My lg induction stove has normal knobs. It's awesome. I wouldn't go back to gas.

The only thing induction can't do well are cooking hacks that utilize the open flame, like toasting tortillas or roasting peppers on the burner without a pan.

magicalhippo14 hours ago

My previous induction cooking top had a very nice system as far as touch controls go. Each of the four zones had a separate ~5cm strip from 0 to 10, and beeped when changed.

After a short while I could easily operate it while not looking, and precision control (half-steps) was easy by simply rolling finger.

Sadly very, very few seems to have this design. Some have a shared control, but having to select the zone and then power is just... not good in comparison. I have that on my current one and I routinely adjust the wrong one, split between forgetting to select zone and it not recognizing my zone selection.

It was still touch though which overall sucks compared to physical controls.

maxwell8612 hours ago

> I love induction. The main annoyance, for me, are the touch controls.

We bought a professional induction stove from a restaurant online on ebay for very cheap. One of the reasons is that all controls were "manual" and with "knobs". The amount of electronics on these is minimal.

leobg10 hours ago

Do you have a link to a picture or product page? Just to get an idea. I've been looking for something like that for a while.

maxwell865 hours ago
ajmurmann8 hours ago

I looked into this a few months ago and found a stove that came with magnetic knobs you put onto the control area. You turn adjust temperature by turning the knob

sirwitti14 hours ago

I happened to buy a used quality induction stove, that has knobs. At the time I didn't think a lot about it, but to me it's the best stove I ever used.

I honestly don't know thw reasoning for using toch controls on induction stoves. They are a pain to use for most people.

danw197914 hours ago

Please can you tell us which one you bought ? I’ve scoured the market in the UK for a decent beknobbed induction stove and come up with nothing !

maxwell865 hours ago

I got a similar to this one, can’t find mine:

Jailbird11 hours ago

Currently scouring the US. No joy here either.

Gigachad14 hours ago

Touch controls mean it’s much easier to clean. For me, that’s worth more than slightly easier usage.

samwillis13 hours ago

We have an electric Range Master stove with an induction hob. Love that it’s controls are all still knobs!

The are big plus is it doubles as extra worktop as it’s just so big (and flat).

kergonath15 hours ago

Yeah tactile controls are rubbish. I can’t wait for the next design fad where we’ll go full circle and have dials and knobs everywhere.

drudoo9 hours ago

You can get induction with knobs.

reaperducer14 hours ago

I’d much rather turn a knob.

I have induction with knobs. It's no different. I suspect it's just a knob on the user side, and there's still the big steps behind-the-scenes.

My stove's induction knobs give me tactile feedback, but lack the granular control that a real analog knob has.

leobg10 hours ago

Good point. Some things look like a knob but are not the same as a know. At least when compared to how it works on a gas stove.

It's really weird. Granular and immediate control should be such an easy thing to do with electric.

It almost seems as if manufacturers are adding in these "steps" to make it more user friendly in the sense that you can say "I've turned it up to 3".

Is there any technical reason to have discrete steps?

lstodd9 hours ago

If they did put a decent encoder behind the knob that wouldn't be a problem. But hey, decent encoders cost.

jillesvangurp13 hours ago

Induction plates vary a lot in quality and in the amount of energy they transfer. The more expensive ones can dump a lot of energy into a pan really quickly. Some go up to 3-4KW even. If you are trying to boil a large pan of water/soup/etc., a good induction plate gets the job done very quickly whereas you might have to wait a bit with a gas stove or a cheaper, lower capacity induction plate. Like wise, if you are searing a steak, you'd want a large wattage to get the pan really hot, really quickly.

Gas is nice mainly for things that are really temperature sensitive like searing meat, using a wok, etc. Of course when cooking stuff like that you want good ventilation for this because otherwise you end up with a lot of grease and soot all over the kitchen. So, the pollution of gas matters less if you have that set up correctly.

The main reason gas is so nice for cooking is how quickly you can adjust the temperature. Induction plates also respond really quickly of course. The old fashioned red hot spiral things, are much more tricky because they stay hot for so long; it takes a minute to reduce the heat; or to raise it. I have one at home and I'm used to it but it is still annoying. A neat trick is to simply move pans away from the heat to control it.

Induction plates don't have that problem. But I really hate the touch controls many of these things have. They are very fiddly; especially with wet hands and they also can get hot. I'd prefer to have some old fashioned dials. But in terms of instant, fine grained control, they are actually pretty good.

askvictor15 hours ago

In terms of fine control, induction is a game changer (me resisting moving from gas for a long time). I use lower, more precise cooking techniques more now. For high-temperature (e.g. searing a steak) stuff, there's something different about how it heats. I haven't worked out what it is yet, as induction gets the pan insanely hot really fast (on 'boost mode'); almost too hot, which should be excellent, but seems wierd, and sometimes seems to burn the pan. But for that kind of cooking I use the gas BBQ outside mostly.

Having bought an induction stove when refitting our kitchen, then replacing it with a different one a couple of months later, I can advise that the size of the elements matters. The 'linked zones' thing seems to be rubbish, and doesn't heat evenly (maybe it does on really high end stuff). I now have a three-element stove (60cm) - one really big one and two smaller ones. I don't think I've ever used 4 burners at once anyway...

I just wish there was an API for induction stoves; interfacing with a thermometer to keep a certain temperature, or for a set time, or even a removably physical control panel (i.e. knobs) that would let you put it away and keep the flat-top thing (which is actually really nice when you need the bench space).

HPsquared14 hours ago

Induction stoves with temperature control do exist - set the desired temperature and it'll control the heat output accordingly.


maxwell8612 hours ago

We bought a professional "manual" (no fancy electronics) from a restaurant (with knobs and no touch), for 100$ each. And built our own system with that.

You can set the knob, and turn it on and off with a relee, connected to a raspberry pi. We have temperature sensors on the "food side" of the pans and pots, since what we care about is the temperature that the food feels.

99% of the time we don't use it with the pis, but have a couple of recipes as Jupyter notebooks that we use the temp control and temp staging with.

One advantage of induction over gas here, is that the thermal mass of some induction pots and pans is almost zero, and temperature changes are instantaneous, so from the point of view of control algorithms, programming induction cooking is infinitely better than any other system that i've used, cause you don't have to solve a PDE to regulate the temperature. YOu can just turn it on if its too cold and off if its too hot, and that's it. +-0.5C of accuracy, which at the 100$ level for a single plate is unbeatable.

We spent ~400$ for 3 heats. 100% recommend.

askvictor4 hours ago

What model?

amelius15 hours ago

Perhaps someone could use an IR camera to determine the difference.

kergonath15 hours ago

Induction is very good, in different situations than gad. With induction, you have a reliable temperature control and can heat the whole pan uniformly, even at low temperatures. It’s very easy to let something simmer for hours or heat something just so it does not cool too much.

One of the main issue with common domestic gas stoves is that the heat is not well distributed, and good pans don’t necessarily have a great thermal conductivity. This is a problem when what you’re hearing is not liquid enough to redistribute heat by convection. Another is that you don’t control the temperature of the flame, just its size. So temperature control is always finicky, particularly at low temperatures.

So personally I go for induction most of the time, and a barbecue when I need a flame.

oofabz18 hours ago

I do a lot of cooking and I prefer electric. I'm sure it's because I've cooked on electric ranges my entire life, the kind where the pan sits directly on the spiral heating element. I only ever cook with gas when I'm visiting a friend or relative.

Gas stoves are great at bringing a pot of water to a boil. But they are not so good at very low heat, like leaving a covered pot to simmer. Most gas ranges don't go as low as I would like, and I need to watch the pot more carefully and stir more frequently than I would at home.

I'm sure most of my issues are familiarity. If I had spent my life cooking with gas, my techniques would have developed to work better with gas. But now that I'm set in my ways I will stick with electric.

ericbarrett18 hours ago

A proper induction range will boil water much faster than gas. Under two minutes to take a full pasta pot—8 quarts (7.5L) of water—from tap-cold (50F/10C) to a rolling boil. Do not confuse them with resistive coil electric stoves, which are inferior in every way! Unless you're dead set on aluminum cookware.

Flashtoo15 hours ago

I like induction cooking as well, but it's not _that_ fast. Assuming a 3 kW (usually it's less powerful) induction stovetop, 7 kg of water, 4 J/(g.c) specific heat and 90 C temperature increase, that would take at the very least 14 minutes. Should take longer if you include heating the pan itself, phase change energy and heat losses. If you wanted to do it in two minutes, that would take twice as much power as a home Tesla charger. Heating water just takes a ton of energy.

JackMcMack14 hours ago
bob102914 hours ago
diiaann17 hours ago

My gas stove has an XLO mode, it actually will cycle on and off automatically. Makes a little clicking noise, but it's very effective for the lowest of simmers.

em-bee18 hours ago

the stoves here have two rings with the inner ring being small enough that i can leave a dry pan on it for hours without it getting noticeable hotter than at the start. when cooking something i can leave it unattended for several minutes or longer.

throwawaysea18 hours ago

Many gas ranges have a concentric simmer burner on at least one of the burners for this reason. It’s a low heat level that allows delicate cooking with all the intuitive feel of a flame.

test001only14 hours ago

I love cooking on gas. As you mentioned the convenience is unmatched and it is a pleasure compared to cooking using induction or hot plate. Induction certainly seemed more efficient with how fast it used to boil water, but when cooking food, gas always wins for me. Not to mention, lot of pans I have will not work on induction or hotplate.

maxwell8612 hours ago

> I totally get the desire to switch to electric appliances for many reasons, but I am yet to meet an electric stove of any kind that I remotely enjoyed cooking on. Is this everyone's experience?

We bought a profesional induction plate, 4.5kW, 100$ on ebay. Performance wise, its ~4x better than the 4kW gas stove it replaced. The time required to heat 50L of water to 60C went down from 60min with gas to about 10-15 min with induction.

Instantaneously hot, and instantaneously cold. For us it opened a lot of new ways of cooking.

What kind of cooking do you prefer doing on a gas stove over an induction stove?

Obviously the same pots and pans don't work on both, but if you have a top of the line induction stove you know this already.

aemreunal3 hours ago

> What kind of cooking do you prefer doing on a gas stove over an induction stove?

I haven't cooked much on induction stoves. I only do so at my parents' place. So among the few things I cooked on both induction and stove, I know I prefer gas for cooking steaks and making scrambled eggs.

I know part of my frustration is with the touch controls, though, and I presume some of it is due to my lack of intuition with what setting is good for what sort of "cooking I want to apply to food".

I do agree with one of the replies to your comment, though: it seems like everyone just talks about how good induction is at boiling water and not much else specifically. I have an electric kettle for that job so it's not some alluring aspect to me.

asdfasgasdgasdg11 hours ago

What kind of cooking requires raising the temp of 50L of water by 60C? I'm open to the induction stove thing but I don't understand why its proponents are so focused on the speed of boiling large amounts of water. Is this the primary cooking activity of many ordinary families?

nemo44x8 hours ago

Because it’s the one thing induction is good at. People who don’t cook often are impressed by it.

I have a gas range with a high quality induction plate built into it. So I can boil water faster. But I hardly cook on it, for that gas is king.

maxwell865 hours ago

Beer brewing.

Latty12 hours ago

If you get hot while cooking, induction is the best—all the heat ends up in the pan, not the air around it.

Induction took some getting used to, but outside of a few very specific things (mainly stir-fry), it's better than gas across the board for me.

jart14 hours ago

First they came for rough and tumble, then the cigarettes, then the lightbulbs, and now prometheus fire. Before you know it you're in a Darth Vader pod and you have no mouth but you must scream. Wealth inequality has gotten so dramatic that the state probably profits 10x more off people existing than the people do themselves, so the state cares 10x more about people living as long as possible than the people might themselves; as such, the state will show no hesitancy in making any tradeoffs that maximize long-term economic value extraction.

R0b0t119 hours ago

I was able to get the most even heating with a high quality (but not insanely expensive) induction stove. Boiling water in about a minute, insane. And because the heating element is necessarily closed loop you don't have the regulation problems you do with an ohmic heater.

A gas stove is a lot more powerful (10-60kW vs 1-3kW) but a lot of that heat simply escapes upwards.

bogota19 hours ago

Its not about power or speed for me. Whenever i visit my parents i hate cooking anything because the electric stoves release heat in bursts then turn off for a bit then a huge burst. It’s impossible to cook anything the way you want . Normally i just go for overcooking everything. But in general i find cooking relaxing and that stove turns it into something that makes me mad every morning.

Maybe this is specific to the stove they have though. I have and will continue to use gas because of this.

pengaru17 hours ago

That's not an inherent quality of electric stoves, just crappy ones.

I use a 50s-era GM Frigidaire electric stove+oven and it doesn't modulate current to control temperature. It's quite a gas-like pleasure to cook with, prior to this I'd only ever experienced electrics like you're describing and they're awful.

danachow16 hours ago
bamboozled18 hours ago

I don’t know why but when I visited Japan, every stove has this sensor which cuts off the gas almost completely when the pan gets to hot, I guess it’s to prevent oil fires. If you want to hate cooking, go to Japan and use one of those things.

leoedin18 hours ago

My AEG induction stove has short enough pulse cycles it's not noticeable - a low setting just means low heat. In fact, it's the best stove I've ever used by far - it can go from gently melting chocolate to way too much heat in about 2s. Apart from boiling water I never use the most powerful settings because they'll burn stuff. The only thing it can't do better than gas is wok cooking - the curved sides don't get hot.

My parents have a different brand induction which does seem to have longer pulse cycles - maybe one every 5s or so. That is probably the effect you're describing - it'll go from essentially off to too hot and back. It's obviously a manufacture specific thing.

winkeltripel13 hours ago

For the wok, you can get a ring for heating the sides of it.

Symbiote15 hours ago

You are comparing a cheap electric radiant hob to a gas one.

The GP was praising an induction hob, which is the third type.

JackFr13 hours ago
reaperducer14 hours ago

a gas stove is just unmatched in how much easier and better it makes cooking.

I agree with you there. I've had gas for the last ten years, and recently moved to a place with induction. It's a significant change.

I had regular electric for a long time before I had gas, so there was an adjustment period there, too, but I got used to it pretty quickly. But induction is somehow very different from either of those two.

I've been on induction for six months, and I still have such a very hard time with temperature control that I cook at home a lot less than I used to. It has a thousand controls, but only seems to have two settings: surface of the sun, and off.

That said, I'm OK with the move toward eliminating natural gas in homes. I just wish I ended up with a regular electric stove top instead of induction. But it's an apartment, so you get what you get.

goodpoint14 hours ago

Even a cheap portable induction hob is so much better than gas.

clusterfish13 hours ago

Apparently unpopular opinion: despite growing up with gas stoves and cooking every day I do not find them any better at it than decent electric ones (not talking about induction). Granted, my kitchen is not Michelin rated, but I have no idea what fancy temperature control people are constantly raving over with gas. Electric has a bit of thernal inertia, yes. If you cooked more than a few times on your own, you know what it's like, and it's not a problem. This gas hype is very puzzling.

jonnycomputer12 hours ago

So, here is an example. To make yogurt, I first heat up milk to just below boiling for about half-an-hour (this denatures the whey in the milk making for a thicker yogurt). If it boils, then it will usually boil over and make a mess. My electric stove heats on an on-off cycle. That means it goes through periods of being a lot hotter than average, and a lot cooler than average. If I set the electric stove so that the average is at the target temperature, then when the cycle goes up, it boils over. So I have to set it so that the average is below the target temperature, or constantly monitor it and adjust the stove. This is the type of temperature control a gas stove (and and induction i guess) affords.

clusterfish12 hours ago

Then why don't electric stove makers make the stove cycle run at a higher frequency, reducing the deviations? Or provide a larger diversity of max power outputs on different burners of the stove, or something.

Seems like this problem would have been solved long ago if enough people actually cared about it...

ktkoffroth10 hours ago

I would imagine this is a situation where cost won over convenience. Particularly in the appliance space, products are often made actively worse in the name of driving down cost. And this isn't just one or two companies, it's virtually every single one.

This, of course, makes it unviable to produce a better product (like an electric stove with better temperature feedback/control) without dramatically increasing prices to make up for the loss in market share.

jonnycomputer10 hours ago

Well, not sure, but I had a little portable one that did not cycle at all.

test001only12 hours ago

Yes, the fact that heat on electric is controlled by switching on and off cycle is what prevents me from switching to it (I believe induction does the same to control the heat). We need no fancy control or michelen rated appliance, just a basic gas stove allows us better control than electric stove.

bmicraft10 hours ago

Induction does not do the same thing, mine seems to (from what you can hear) use pwm with a period time of a few milliseconds and adjust duty cycle based on the heat setting

adrianN11 hours ago

You can make this a lot less severe by using a pot with a higher thermal inertia, e.g. something with a heavy bottom.

jonnycomputer11 hours ago

Probably. Or I think another trick might be to put the container holding the milk inside another larger container of water. As the water goes to boiling, it steams away, and I think the boiling temp of water is slightly lower than milk.

TedDoesntTalk10 hours ago

Why can't electric use a potentiometer instead of cycling on/off ?

BuildTheRobots12 hours ago

I might have only experienced olderand cheaper electric hobs, but the thermal inertia is more than a bit. Off to low or low to high can take minutes, and the same for cooling down. With gas o have instant increases and decreases in energy.

Induction hobs are much better in thst regard, but they fail in other ways - eg with gas i can lift the pan slightly above to shake it ans mix the food, with induction the second i get a few mm above the surface, the pan stops being heated.

Its a massive change in process and feel... Its a bit like going fron riding a motorbike (extremely responsive) to piloting a canal boat where action and effect can be minutes apart.

GuB-424 hours ago

I hated my old electric stove, took forever to heat up, and forever to cool down. Thermal inertia was a problem because I am not Michelin rated, when it is too hot or too cold, I like being able to fix my mistake quickly. I have a gas stove now, and being able to turn a knob when my pan is about to overflow and have it instantly settle down is nice.

I think there are some nice electric stoves that use infrared heating and are plenty powerful and reasonably reactive, maybe that's what you have. Induction, of course, is even better.

Maybe the problem is really about price and quality. A gas stove will always work, even the cheapest gas stove has good temperature control and power. Even a camping stove can do decent cooking. You can also put anything on top of it, including your cheap bent aluminium frying pans. Cheap electric stoves lack power, and electric stoves, induction in particular require good quality, compatible cookware to work correctly.

Another problem with cheap electric stoves (especially induction) is that a lot of them have absolutely terrible capacitive switches that work half of the time. I never had this issue with knobs on a gas stove, even the cheap ones.

seanmcdirmid4 hours ago

> Another problem with cheap electric stoves (especially induction) is that a lot of them have absolutely terrible capacitive switches that work half of the time. I never had this issue with knobs on a gas stove, even the cheap ones.

I didn't think people were using electric stoves to be a superset of induction stoves. As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as a cheap inductive stove, and the break down (where I live) is: low end - electric stoves, mid end - gas stoves, high end - induction stoves. Induction just has a lot of advantages in speed and cleanup.

lettergram11 hours ago

> you know what it's like, and it's not a problem

I don’t think it’s a “problem” per say, but it’s different. The flame indicates temperature in a way most people understand. Have you used a wok? How about cast iron? There’s a lot of nuance to certain dishes and methods that don’t work as well on an electric stove. The flame itself rises and hits the pan in three dimensions and a more distributed way.

I’m not saying it’s not okay (I’ve used an electric stove for a few years). But it’s not “puzzling” why people would like a flame to cook.

mhh__13 hours ago

It isn't so much average temperature control as much as being able to very finely choose where you want to apply the temperature. If you're making a stew that doesn't really matter, Induction is easier to clean, nothing wrong with it, for searing a steak I've always felt slightly limited by induction.

I'd take anything over the awful "student house electric oven" I have now though.

bennysomething13 hours ago

My wok doesn't work as well with electric and I find it easier to cook steaks with gas

SuoDuanDao13 hours ago

Wow, that really is unpopular! I had no idea people felt this strongly.

lr4444lr11 hours ago

What about broiling?

aaron69512 hours ago
ZeroGravitas13 hours ago

I'm surprised this person was surprised.

Do the American home building standards not take account of this?

Fairly certain it's already law for a while in other places, e.g. if you have a gas stove or central heating then you need greater ventilation and maybe carbon monoxide alarms and so forth.

New houses in some places aren't allowed to have gas connections at all, which is partly greenhouse gas related, but the health benefits and cost savings are part of the discussion. No new home today should be built around the assumption that gas is a sensible fuel source.

asteroidp13 hours ago

I am glad I don't live anywhere near places that are prohibiting gas appliances

Gas furnace, stove, dryer and water heater are much nicer than the electric counterparts

maxwell8613 hours ago

Good induction is light years better than good gas stoves. Ours has 4.5kW _per plate_, and its awesome. Silent, instantaneously hot, instantaneously cold, full control over the heat, no gases, etc.

For heating and hot water, "remote heat" is infinitely cheaper, both in acquisition and maintenance costs, and infinitely more environmentally friendly than gas and electric heating.

Sure, if you live in a remote region or a third world country, then you get what you can get. But in any modern first world city, there is no quality in the solution space in which gas is better than the alternatives, and as a whole, gas is just substantially worse.

oxymoran12 hours ago

Heat pumps only work on their own in mild climates. Cold climates still require furnace in conjunction with the heat pump. Good luck convincing anyone in the northern United States of getting rid of their furnace or hot water heater. Spouting this sort of head-in-the-clouds, wrong information only weakens your cause.


Heat pumps are more common in milder climates, where the temperature does not typically drop below freezing. In colder regions, **they can also be combined with furnaces**for energy-efficient heating on all but the coldest days. When the temperature outside drops too low for the heat pump to operate effectively, the system will instead use the furnace to generate heat. This kind of system is often called a dual fuel system – it is very energy efficient and cost effective.”

adrianN11 hours ago

Heat pumps are fairly popular in Scandinavia where it gets quite cold, they fall back to resistive heating when it gets below -20°C, I think.

dashundchen10 hours ago
ZeroGravitas11 hours ago

This is the same as "hybrid" cars. It seems like a sensible halfway point but once you try it you find that just going fully electric has many benefits.

Like for example, if you're going to go to the expense of laying gas pipes for those furnaces, why not lay a geothermal loop instead and use that to boost the heat pumps output?

And, like the "EVs don't work in the cold" claim, there's lots of experience outside the US of EVs and heat pumps working well in cold climates. You might need to insulate your house or stop actively subsidizing fossil fuels to make it happen in the early stages but it's totally doable.

maxwell865 hours ago

Why are you talking about heat pumps?

If you have remote heat, you don’t need a heat pump.

Heat pumps are expensive, and hard to service and maintain (though they usually have a long lifetime). Some of them use pretty toxic chemicals that you don’t really want leaking.

asteroidp12 hours ago

Most people don't live in a dense large city. It is telling you equate those people with living in a third world. Country though.

Gas blows induction out of the water for actual cooking, not just reheating stuff

maxwell8612 hours ago

> Most people don't live in a dense large city.

Actually, most of the world population (>50%, ~4 billion people) lives in dense urban areas since ~2007:

The current trend is expected to continue to increase.

jonnycomputer12 hours ago

Well, urban vs rural in the United States -- it certainly does suggest most people live in urban. Not sure what you mean by "dense" urban though.

As one guy put it, there are more Republicans living in Orange County than there are in the entire state of Mississippi.

KennyBlanken12 hours ago

My medium-end bought-off-craigslist induction cooktop made by GE is faster and more controllable than either the stove at a friend's house which is an old-school huge commercial-range-style gas stove, or my parent's stove which is a newer but high-end gas range.

I've never seen a stove bring 8 qt of water to boil so quickly.

occz12 hours ago
rootusrootus10 hours ago

> Ours has 4.5kW _per plate_

That's impressive. The top-of-the-line Bosch induction cooktop, which retails for $2500 USD, tops out at 3.3kW on the largest plate. The rest are all most like 1.7-2.2 each.

A four burner range that could pull off 4.5kW per plate would probably require a 100A 240V circuit. Woof.

maxwell865 hours ago

I have a similar model to that one, but can’t find mine (it’s a bit older). That one cost 140€ and has 3.5kW. Mine was cheaper (~100€) and has 4.5kW, which is insane.

twobitshifter10 hours ago

Which induction range do you have? Most electric stoves don’t come close to the heat output of gas but 4.5 kw is within range.

NikolaNovak11 hours ago

Interesting. We are gas everything in the great white north, but the only reason is the almost prohibitive cost differential. I would not claim that gas is "nicer" than alternatives.

ericbarrett19 hours ago

NO2 is also produced by diesel and gasoline combustion and is a significant pollutant in most cities; its value changes during the day ( has this info if you are curious). I don't see that the author is controlling for the outside value. Some of the variance could be regional air quality (e.g. the low values around Christmas).

nickkell16 hours ago

So why would there be spikes during the night? And how do you explain the dip on days when they don’t cook?

ericbarrett12 hours ago

I don't know, but actually (again, according to Windy) NO2 spikes at night across the U.S., but less on weekends. Industrial processes? Furnaces? Weather? Bad data? This is why they should have an "outside" control away from any house exhausts.

I'm also not saying the gas stove has no effect, just that they don't seem to be controlling for ambient NO2.

logifail16 hours ago

Can anyone recommend (ideally inexpensive) devices/kits to measure CO2 and NO2 levels in a residential home?

Ideally capable of sending data to be stored & processed locally (Home Assistant or similar).

wallacoloo15 hours ago

if you have a high-uptime PC, you can find USB-enabled SDS011 sensors for $30 on Amazon or anywhere else, and free software that creates a web dashboard that shows VOC count by time. can’t remember if these devices measure CO2/NO2 specifically though.

TedDoesntTalk10 hours ago

Any other recommendations for stand alone units?

ysleepy15 hours ago

I got a MH-Z19 co2 sensor attached to an esp with esphome, works really well.

logifail15 hours ago

Fantastic tip, thanks!

I have a dozen or so ESP32 boards littering my desk left over from a work project, so that sounds perfect :)

ajmurmann8 hours ago

Does it measure NO2 though?

analyte12310 hours ago

It’s telling all these studies he’s citing are from the 70s - scientists and regulators found out the hazards, and then they mandated vents via the building code since approximately the year 2000. This should basically be the end of the story. The message could be “unvented gas stoves are bad, consider this when buying or renting and remember to always use your vent if you have it”.

If the real goal is to ban gas stoves because of climate change it needs to be said upfront. From this perspective the problem isn’t the 0.12% direct emissions but that people like it enough to generate demand for residential gas service at all.

ajmurmann9 hours ago

To me the core point of the article is that things in theory could be safe, but in practice aren't. Vents might not be used, vents might not be set up correctly, the furnace is leaking or not properly venting. As the article points out, this seems to be the norm rather than the exception. The article doesn't purpose any policy changes. Not everything needs to go straight to politics.

fma11 hours ago

"The more likely norm is unused range hoods, furnace flues that spill chemicals into the air we breathe, and ultimately higher rates of illness..."

The range hood on average American houses are weak, because they are the cheapest. Till I got a range hood built by an Asian manufacturer(Fotile) did I know what I was missing out. Range hoods are measured by the amount of air it can move, CFM.

Futile starts out at 850...while regular ones (GE, for example) are 300, 400. And it's not even a price thing...there are range hoods near the price of Fotile which still only do 400 CFM!

I turn on the fan before turning on the gas stove, and leave it on for a bit after cooking.

The reasons I call out Chinese range hoods is because stir frying is a huge part of cooking and you gotta have something powerful enough to pull out everything.

briHass11 hours ago

The problem is, you need a source of makeup air entering the building to actually move that much CFM out. Even with my basic 400 CFM (likely overstated) hood, it's only when I crack a window on the other side of the kitchen that I clearly see all the steam fly up the hood.

fma5 hours ago

Good point, and true even if people were to open windows to fresh air (open 2 on opposite ends of the house).

Entirely possible I have a source by default...I do have a chimney and even with the flute closed I feel a draft. All I know is in the past, before replacing my hood I can smell the cooking from I can't.

technothrasher11 hours ago

> there are range hoods near the price of Fotile which still only do 400 CFM!

Ok, but having just shopped for range hoods (and purchased a 1000 CFM Thermador hood) there are plenty of good hoods in the same price range by various manufacturers that do 800-1000 CFM. I'm not trying to say the Fotile hoods aren't good, I honestly didn't look at those. But I don't think there's anything particularly unique about the fact that they do 800+ CFM.

You're right though, there are plenty of underpowered hoods out there also, and one should definitely pay attention when purchasing, along with other factors such as source of make up air.

ospzfmbbzr13 hours ago

I have induction but I do prefer gas for cooking with a good gas stove. Induction is great for boiling water FAST. I see people saying gas is faster but it's not even close with a decent induction stove.

That said I wouldn't stand with my balls next to the front burner on an induction stove due the EMF. I stand a few inches back.

The recommendation is to primarily use the back burners and occasional front burner use as required.

I've tested this with an EMF meter and it's pretty bad right up against my stove.

SuoDuanDao13 hours ago

Did your EMF meter note the frequency? I didn't think it was in a frequency that would interfere with normal cellular function but I didn't exactly check either...

lumb6313 hours ago

It probably doesn’t interfere with cellular function, but that doesn’t mean it has no impact on your health. EMFs at virtually all ranges of artificial (and natural) magnitudes have been shown to cause a vast variety of health problems.

The OP neglects this entirely. Maybe you save on the respiratory illness by converting to electric or induction from gas, but you now expose yourself to EMFs instead of dirty air. I don’t have solid info on which is the worse environmental contaminant but am reasonably certain there is no “safe” way to cook.

SuoDuanDao12 hours ago

Got some studies you could share on that? It's something I've heard rumoured but not had a look at the data myself yet.

lumb6312 hours ago
sdflhasjd13 hours ago

If I want to boil water as fast as possible, I use an electric kettle instead of my gas hob.

jsharpe1 day ago

I'm curious what improvement, if any, is seen from using the fan on the range hood while using the gas stove/oven. Since I heard about this issue, I've been using it every time I use the stove or oven, and it does make a different to the subjective gas smell around the house, but I don't know if it impacts actual NO2 levels.

rsanheim19 hours ago

This thread ( is from a different author on the same subject, but basically, the range hood had no effect on NO2 levels. It helped a lot with PM2.5 levels, but not at all with NO2.

From the linked study (

> Ventilation hood installation did not significantly reduce indoor NO2 concentrations in our study, and there was a trend toward higher NO2 concentrations in follow-up visits, although not statistically significant. The reason for the lack of efficacy of ventilation hoods is uncertain.

The research explains that the lack of effectiveness of hoods could be due to many factors (improper installation, lack of use), but at least at first glance it seems that a hood doesn't help with NO2.

As someone who has always preferred a gas stove over electric, this doesn't really align with what I want to believe =). But I also realize there are many times I preheat the oven and cook a frozen lasagna for 50 mins or boil water on the stove without turning on my range hood, so I definitely understand at least one reason that a gas stove with a range hood may not help in terms of reducing NO2 levels in my house. I tend to use the range hood if I'm cooking something really smelly or messy (ie frying), but don't think of it if I'm just baking something in the gas oven for a long period of time.

I know for my part I'm going to be buying an induction cook top for things like boiling water or frying foods where I really don't need gas. I have kids and don't really wanna add to risk of air pollutant exposure.

throwawaysea8 hours ago

I happen to have a kitchen with both induction and gas tops, and to be honest I avoid using the induction ones almost entirely except for boiling water. It’s simply not the same experience cooking on induction compared to having an actual flame. I feel better as a cook with a gas stove but I also just enjoy it more.

> The research explains that the lack of effectiveness of hoods could be due to many factors (improper installation, lack of use), but at least at first glance it seems that a hood doesn't help with NO2.

I don’t know if you can claim a hood doesn’t help. As you noted, the study admits they don’t know if hoods were even turned on by the residents. It simply doesn’t make sense that hoods venting to the outside would have no effect, and so I have to imagine this is a lack of appropriate controls over the experiment here.

andrewberls1 day ago

I agree, a discussion of ventilation seems like a critical omission from the article. Do vent hoods help, and to what degree? Is installing more effective / higher CFM hoods a productive avenue to explore, vs replacing the whole stove? What about the impact of air purifiers? Or opening a window? I hope these things are covered in part three.

xenadu021 day ago

Besides improving air quality you should use the vent hood anyway otherwise your kitchen will get a nice coating of grease on everything over the years. This applies to the oven too, not just the stovetop.

I wish residential vent hoods came with interconnects like commercial kitchens so they would come on automatically whenever cooking.

leoedin18 hours ago

AEG make stoves and hoods that have some sort of wireless communication so they come on automatically. Expensive though.

c_o_n_v_e_x23 hours ago

Assuming it is not a recirculating hood and it’s venting outside, it should help reduce NOx levels. When you’re venting to the outside, you’re creating a negative pressure inside the home which is drawing in fresh air, which in theory will dilute the concentration. Some systems have “make-up air” which blows in fresh air, roughly equal to what is being vented out.

jacobolus18 hours ago

While we are discussing vent hoods, one thing people doing kitchen remodels (or new houses, etc.) may want to look into is putting the vent fan inline in the duct (e.g. in the attic) instead of in the hood itself. With a silencer (cuts about 20 decibels) between the hood and the fan, kitchen ventilation hoods can be made dramatically quieter than the typical extremely noisy version. The fan noise more or less goes away and the remaining noise comes from the air flowing through the grease filter / into the duct.

Adding the make-up air system increases the cost by 50% or something (needs a similarly powerful fan and similarly sized duct for air coming in vs. going out), but any powerful vent hood should probably include one (and building codes demand them in many places, though I think this is often overlooked in practice).

c_o_n_v_e_x18 hours ago

Story from a previous life when I was an HVAC tech in college… got a call out to a new restaurant where the owner was complaining that the place was not cooling.

After doing the routine checks, the AC was fine. Upon further investigation, there was no make up air. The owner decided to delete the MUA out of the design to save money (didn’t listen to his MEP designer). Not only was the kitchen vent hood exhausting kitchen air but conditioned restaurant air as well. It was permitted city construction, I have no clue how the place passed inspection.

zejn14 hours ago

I can confirm turning on the fan helps with PM2.5/PM10 significantly.

Don't know about NO2 or VOC.

spacephysics12 hours ago

I feel we’re nitpicking far too much for climate change in the case of at hone stoves and cooking. The pretense of climate change, and the implication of “well if you have a gas stove, you’re contributing” is going to cause more harm socially and psychologically than to the environment. At some point we have to realize that some climate effect is OK, and to live our lives. Let’s go after the big ticket items, like sea vessels or large scale fishing operations. Those are far worse than any modern car emissions.

dashundchen10 hours ago

I'm not sure why you think car emissions aren't important.

Transportation accounts for nearly 1/3 of the US's greenhouse gas emissions and has been the fastest growing contributor. The vast majority of that comes from light and medium duty vehicles so personal cars and trucks.

If we stopping building our cities to require driving and electrify where we can, we'll see a huge reduction in GHG emissions.

rsynnott11 hours ago

The article isn't about warming-forcing emissions; it's about indoor pollution. A gas burner isn't a major problem for greenhouse gases, in the scheme of things, but the article is alleging serious health effects (I'm kind of dubious; I would wonder did they have a proper extractor fan venting to the outside...)

Tiktaalik8 hours ago

Home cooking might be a minor climate change issue, but home heating isn't. In Metro Vancouver 26% of total CO2 emissions come from home heating.

Accordingly Metro Vancouver wants to get people to stop heating their homes and water with gas.

If people think they "need" gas stoves that can be a barrier to moving them toward electric heating. If they "need" gas for the stove, might as well heat with it too.

Creating greater understanding of the health risks of gas ranges and that induction stoves are just as good if not better is good in helping make people more comfortable with the idea of shifting to electric next time they need to replace a main component of their heating system.

SamuelAdams11 hours ago

I agree with you. We could accomplish far more by creating a carbon tax for big corporations than if a million households converted to induction ranges. Even if every American household was using an induction range, the needle would only move slightly.

This is the big problem with climate change and how it’s presented. It’s far too ambiguous for any one person to be able to make an actionable difference. So companies that sell products (like induction ranges) execute a campaign that enables individuals to feel like they are making a difference while selling them a product

The irony is that the carbon cost to manufacture and distribute that new induction range will likely offset any amount of future carbon burned from simply continuing to use and repair your current range. If you’re in the market for a new range then yes consider induction.

But if your stove is working fine, the better action is to write to your elected officials and encourage them to make policies that have a far broader impact than how you make your eggs each morning.

pibechorro11 hours ago

And the military emissions, and people who commute hours to work everyday, climate controlled brightly lit buildings on 24/7, etc.

martythemaniak11 hours ago

Yeah, home cooking is irrelevant for climate chage, but it is very relevant to people's health. Burning things produces compounds that are bad for you to breathe in, and this is what anti-gas stove articles talk about.

hoffspot10 hours ago

Can anyone recommend an NO2 detector? What was used wasn’t mentioned in the article that I could see.

garrettgrimsley8 hours ago

I reached out to the author and they're using an uHoo Smart Air Monitor and will be writing a review of it in the future. Most reviews of air quality monitors seem to focus on details like the size of the screen, or whether the monitor app is easy to use, and fail to actually test the accuracy of monitor itself. Hopefully this author's review is different.

See this EPA testing table for some measures of accuracy:

lettergram11 hours ago

I’d like to see a comparison with a wood burning stove (what the majority of the world likely still uses).

I’m installing a wood burning and an electric stove in my current house.

twobitshifter9 hours ago

It appears that most of the worlds wood burning stoves are terrible for health but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be options that do much better at removing smoke.

for taste charcoal/wood > gas > electric IMO.

noduerme11 hours ago

The good Norwegian ones, cast iron, burn almost all the fuel in a single log and put out an immense amount of heat, and are perfectly safe if they're vented properly. It's almost as close as you can get to perfection in terms of safety and efficiency. The only downside is it's damn hard to control the heat. (So work on your wok stir fry skills).

andrepd11 hours ago

I really really cannot see how a device that burns wood can ever be "perfection in safety and efficiency" wrt. induction cookers.

lettergram10 hours ago

I think the point is just generally pretty efficient.

If you are interested in technicalities:

- 5-15% loss in power transporting energy [1]

- 30-40% efficiency of natural gas turbines (where most power comes from, 2nd highest is coal; which is worse)[2]

- 80% efficiency induction heating [3]

- in all likelihood (haven’t done math). The heat lost from wood stove cooking heats your house and cooks your food with a renewable resource. It’s likely more efficient than induction.




crmd1 day ago

If anyone is worried about combustion byproducts in their living space, I highly recommend looking into upgrading your furnace and hot water heater to direct vent models. Both appliances have sealed combustion chambers, and there are two pipes coming down from the roof that supply air in, and two pipes that vent exhaust gasses out.

I did this because I live in a converted industrial loft, so my furnace and hot water heater are essentially in the same space as my bed, and having open flames in the same space seemed risky.

quickthrower215 hours ago

What? I thought ventilation of water heaters was a legal requirement. I am sure it is in the UK. It is illegal not to do this. Because of CO poisioning.

Same with furnaces, heaters, etc.

I like my current setup - the entire boiler is outside and away from any windows.

rohitb9114 hours ago

I always see vented and even power vented in ontario.

yaomtc17 hours ago

Is direct vent the same kind of tech as a heat pump?

maxerickson13 hours ago

No, older furnaces draw their combustion air from inside the building, the direct vent draws combustion air from outside.

Modern furnaces release a lot less heat as waste, one result of that is that there aren't a lot of hot gases to deal with, a flue isn't necessary.

thurn10 hours ago

What kind of air quality monitor is being used here? I've been looking for a good one to purchase for myself, would be good to get one with N02 capability.

aulin8 hours ago

Any cheap sensor (electrochemical? single electrode or even dual) sold for amateur use is unlikely to provide any useful measurement, especially if you want to draw any conclusion about concentrations exceeding safety limits like the author is doing. They are a pain to calibrate, the absolute values you get cannot be trusted, the most you can use them for is to say something about trends and spikes. "Look the gas stove is on, there's a NO2 and CO spike!", now let's get a chemoluminescence spectrophotometer to see it we should worry.

thurn2 hours ago

Hm, so you'd dispute uHoo's claim of "±20 ppb or ±10% of actual value" for their NO2 sensor?

garrettgrimsley8 hours ago

I reached out to the author and they're using an uHoo Smart Air Monitor and will be writing a review of it in the future. Most reviews of air quality monitors seem to focus on details like the size of the screen, or whether the monitor app is easy to use, and fail to actually test the accuracy of monitor itself. Hopefully this author's review is different.

See this EPA testing table for some measures of accuracy:

thurn2 hours ago

So, there are basically no consumer products on this table that have a respectable accuracy, right? The ones with good R² values all seem to be $1000+ scientific tools.

garrettgrimsley1 hour ago

Unfortunately, yes. And I wouldn't trust the uHoo marketing claims about their sensor even one bit.

I found another testing table if you'd like to take a look:

matthewaveryusa13 hours ago

Well now I’m curious. I just got a new high efficiency furnace and gas range, all venting outside. Whats the cheapest air sensor I can get to monitor no2 levels? I have spare rpis and arduinos if that can drive cost down (and fun up.)

diiaann17 hours ago

I can sympathize with the desire to have gas but what I can't accept is people who want massive BTU stoves with inadequate ventilation or worse none. Honestly, I'm surprised that a lot of building codes are so lax.

My preferred setup would be 4 induction burners with one or two gas burners. I understand if you have a house without gas, it does't feel worthwhile to just have one or two burners. Induction would be the daily drivers, i.e. boiling water. The gas would for occasions where I want tighter heat control or want to use a pot/pan that doesn't work with induction.

raffraffraff11 hours ago

In Europe (or at least big tea drinking Nations like Ireland and the UK) electric kettles are in every home, and they can boil 1l of water in just over 2 minutes. So while I have a gas range stove, I actually use the kettle to boil water for tea, coffee, rice, pasta, stock etc. Other small appliances like air fryers and standalone induction hobs reduce reliance on the has burners. And from a "green" perspective, switching to an induction stove would mean junking a 100kg stove. I'll probably never change my stove.

silverlake10 hours ago

I have this setup. Gas is for wok cooking, roasting directly on flame, some pans not induction capable. Induction for 95% of cooking tasks. We use gas so infrequently I’m not sure it’s worth it for us.

userbinator17 hours ago

or worse none

I've never seen a stove without a vent hood above it...?

nightfly17 hours ago

I have. I've also seen vent hoods that don't actually dump to the outside, they just pass through a small filter and dump the air right back inside...

londons_explore15 hours ago

Which is okay if it's a carbon filter to remove smells and nox you're going to change every year.

But many are just mesh grease filters and are never changed.

marcianx17 hours ago

I've seen a bunch in NYC, especially in older apartment studios.

mint217 hours ago

Hope he put a sensor outside his home as a control to rule out outside sources. Air pollution pools at night and the early morning 6-7 am is the worst time to go running anywhere remotely near freeways.

nemo44x12 hours ago

Cooking food indoors creates many combustible particles. From oil approaching smoke points to the act of browning food - the Maillard reaction is precisely that.

So of course this guy sees more things on the days he cooks and not on the day he gets takeout. On the take out day run a burger and measure. You won’t see much. Not compared to cooking in general. Get some induction plates and cook and note the results.

“Studies” show kids that grow up in cities acquire asthma at higher rates and also that dwellings in cities are more likely to have gas appliances.

drudoo9 hours ago

Loving gas stoves seems like such an American mentality. Currently living in Denmark and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have induction. All new kitchens will come with induction stoves. Gas is a thing of the nineties…

I had a gas stove in the US but honestly I don’t see a big difference between gas and induction.

kibwen9 hours ago

The gas industry here uses propaganda to elicit positive emotional responses to gas ranges:

halpert1 day ago

So the gas stove wasn’t causing elevated NO2 levels, but rather the furnace was? I’m confused as to what the conclusion is. Gas stoves ok, but furnaces not?

Maursault1 day ago

I'm confused about the source of the NO2 product. From trace amounts of nitrogen compounds (NO2 and N2O) in natural gas? What conflates the trace amounts to dangerous concentrations?

garaetjjte1 day ago

NOx are formed from the atmospheric air during the combustion.

nickkell16 hours ago

I gathered that both were at fault

PostThisTooFast18 hours ago
defen18 hours ago

Can anyone recommend a good air quality monitor for home use?

doitLP12 hours ago

The author seems to be using the uHoo in home monitor, which is what I have myself. They’re pricey but I’ve been happy with mine for 2 years.

uHoo Smart Air Quality Sensor – 9 in 1 Indoor Air Monitor with Temperature and Humidity Gauge, CO2, Dust (PM2.5), VOC, NO2, Allergen Meter -to Breathe Easy and Boost Health with App

Spooky2312 hours ago

The website is “carbon switch”, so the solution to this problem is obviously going to be induction stoves, although that isn’t the problem.

An easier solution to the actual problem is to open a couple of windows slightly.

The obsession with sealed living spaces to yield marginal savings in HVAC has pretty obvious downsides and measurable, marginal savings.

vehemenz10 hours ago

This was my conclusion as well. Use a good vent fan and crack a window. Unlike many commenters here, most aren't willing to spend $20k to replace their appliances for vague health reasons.

For example, natural gas powers my furnace, water heater, stove, and fireplace, as is common in the midwestern US. It would be impractical, not to mention expensive and wasteful to upgrade my electrical system to 200A and replace each appliance. Utility costs would increase too, and I couldn't use my fireplace or range when the power goes out (a battery backup would solve this, for another $2k).

asdfasgasdgasdg12 hours ago

We made a gas line extension for an outdoor grill during a recent remodel and are being forced to fix preexisting code violations as a result. I'm not entirely sad about this, because even though it is expensive, it will also require us to add a fresh air intake to our boiler room. Im going to take the opportunity to make the fire door more airtight as well.

My hope is that the net effect of this will be to essentially eliminate air exchange between the boiler and the rest of the house. (Note that our heat system's air exchangers are not in the same room as the boiler.) I kinda want to see what the indoor air quality is looking like before and after.

Personally, I don't intend to exchange out my gas stove for a while since as this article points out the vast majority of gas burned in the house is for heating, not cooking.

lumb6312 hours ago

It is really disappointing to me to see a comments section most glorifying induction stovetops because of how much “healthier” they are. They win on energy efficiency, but I think the argument over health is less clear cut.

Consider that induction stoves emit EMFs roughly 16 times the “safe” limit for non-ionizing radiation [1]. And when you’re cooking, the parts of the body that are most likely to be exposed to the highest EMFs are your reproductive systems and the heads of children, which the study cited above notes can be damaged by EMFs 8x weaker than those from an induction stove.

Investigate and consider all the health risks of your decisions. It may be very well possible that one form of pollution (air) is no worse than another type (electromagnetic).

Sources: [1]:

bluejellybean7 hours ago

I agree that health should be considered fully. As is the case with gas, don't put your body on the burners, the distances discussed in that paper are extremely close, less than 50mm, and upto 300mm.

From the paper linked[1]:

"the exposure of the non-pregnant models at the largest distance (300 mm from the cabinet) is always compliant with the basic restrictions for the general public even when including all body tissues for the current averaging."

And to consider the case of close distances...

"the exposure limits for the general public can be exceeded by more than a factor of 5 (distance < 50 mm; Fig. 5). When considering CNS tissues only, the basic restrictions for the general public can be reached for the child models (Thelonious and Roberta) at close distances from the cabinet edge when allowing for the overall uncertainty of this evaluation. The combined numerical and experimental uncertainty was assessed as 6.0 dB (k = 2; Supplementary Table V) or as 0.50–2.0 of the provided exposure with a confidence interval of 95%."

I read this as don't push your kids face onto the stove top, which is probably good advice no matter what cook surface you're using. It also reads to me as having the cooktop being further back as desirable, and not being directly inline with the edge of the counter.

As for pregnant mothers...

"The exposure of the mother and fetus models exceeds the basic restrictions for the general public by a factor of 6 for the mother and 3.5 for the fetus when standing at the cabinet edge, if considering all body tissues. Given the numerical and experimental uncertainty, the violation of the occupational limits can be regarded as likely for the devices with high B-fields. For CNS tissues of the fetus, the induced current density can reach the order of magnitude of the basic restrictions when taking into account the uncertainty. The combined numerical and experimental uncertainty for the exposure of the fetus was assessed as 6.4 dB (k = 2; Supplementary Table VI) or as 0.48–2.1 of the provided exposure with a confidence interval of 95%."

From this data, it seems to me that the best way to use these devices is to force yourself to 'reach' over the countertop rather than being directly up against the cook surface.

From the summary of the paper.

"The measured B-fields of 13 professional induction cooktops and the three domestic devices evaluated in Viellard et al. [2006] were evaluated experimentally. The field strengths are compliant with exposure limits for the general public when measured at 300 mm from the cooktops as specified by IEC 62233 [IEC, 2005]. The current densities reached the exposure limits according to the ICNIRP 1998 guidelines for the general public at 300 mm from the cooktop. The results were then scaled to the measured B-field levels of the professional and domestic cooktops. The findings can be summarized as follows: Most of the measured cooktops are compliant with the field limits for public exposure at a distance of 300 mm from the cooktop. Due to the high field gradients in the close environment of the cooking zone, most devices exceed these limits at closer distances. When considering the entire body of the exposed user for the current density averaging, the basic restrictions of the current density for the general public can be significantly exceeded and reach occupational levels. A generic worst-case cooktop which is compliant at the measurement distance specified by IEC 62233 can lead to current densities that exceed the basic restrictions for the general public by a factor of 16. The brain tissue of young children can be overexposed by a factor of 2 with respect to the basic restrictions for the general public if they come close to the cooktop. If exposure limits of the general public apply to the fetus of a mother in a working environment, the current density in the CNS tissue of the fetus can exceed the basic restrictions while they are still fulfilled for the mother."

There's pros/cons with any cooking devices, and it makes sense to consider the potential risks with any heat source. With that said, we are not talking about the induction burner spewing these fields across your entire kitchen, unlike say, with gas burners. From my point of view given your source's data, it is still a much healthier option to operate these devices properly than to subject the family preparing the meal in the kitchen with me to a poisonous gas.

Anecdotally speaking, my rental doesn't have a fume hood (yes in 2022!), and if the gas burners are operated my partner gets nauseous with headaches sitting in the other room. The benefits of induction are quite clear and until something better comes along, I don't see myself ever going backwards to inferior heating devices.


lr4444lr11 hours ago

What I want to know is, what data is there on food service workers? Because their exposure is well above the average person's, and reduces a lot of other potential other noise in the data when compare to their counterpart subpopulations of the same SES and geographic region.

drobert7 hours ago

I'm curious if using an extractor hood makes a difference. If it's sized correctly the extractor should replace the air 8-10 times per hour so that should eliminate I guess most pollutants in the kitchen.

Another way to look at the this is checking the health outcomes of chefs, given they spend much more time next to the stove we should see increased respiratory problems.

Jedd11 hours ago

My problem <sic> with both is in trying to achieve very low simmer-like temperatures.

With gas the challenge is to ensure the flame hasn't gone out.

With induction the challenge appears to be partial cycling (microwave-style) or simply just reducing power down to bare minimum.

For some things, say an authentic bolognese sauce or a chakchouka, I desperately want a tiny amount of heat, but neither modern gas cookers, or most induction cookers, will give me that. Xiaomi (yes, that Xiaomi) have a 0-99 induction cooker that nearly got me there, but even then I had to utilise a diffusion plate.

doitLP12 hours ago

In case anyone is wondering what air quality monitor they should buy the author seems to be using the uHoo 9-in-1 monitor, which is what I have myself. They’re pricey but I’ve been happy with mine for 2 years.

uHoo Smart Air Quality Sensor – 9 in 1 Indoor Air Monitor with Temperature and Humidity Gauge, CO2, Dust (PM2.5), VOC, NO2, Allergen Meter -to Breathe Easy and Boost Health with App

loeg8 hours ago

I'm sympathetic to the argument, but the data presented is anecdotal, or pure hearsay. Also a bit weird that he's talking about measuring his stove, which he knows produces less emissions than furnaces or water heaters, but ends up measuring his furnace. This is not a compelling argument against gas stoves.

peterohler11 hours ago

Electric stoves are fine until the power goes out. With power issue in California it's nice to be able to cook a meal on the stove instead of resorting to a tiny camp stove.

timzaman17 hours ago

When i bought my house last year, first thing i did is upgrade to 400A electric and removed all gas. Welcome to 2022

bbarnett17 hours ago


I heat my entire home with electric, baseboard heaters, and have 200A. And it gets to -40C where I live!

(Power comes from hydroelectric, and is cheap)

What are you doing?

rohitb9114 hours ago

Wow that would be exceptionally expensive. In cold areas I've seen people with moderately sized homes have $1000 bills in the cold months in ontario.

fasteddie3100311 hours ago

Regardless of gas or induction, whenever you fry, have the oven on, or burn something, air quality drops dramatically. I have a pretty robust air quality meter and see PM2.5 go as high as 400 when I fry food. The most microwave vents only recirculate air. You really have to cut a hole in the wall to properly vent cooking fumes. I think this is a bigger issue of gas vs induction for indoor air quality.

cpsns12 hours ago

It's telling how many people posting live in areas with cheap electricity. Running a propane stove is still cheaper for me, they deliver propane every few months.

taf212 hours ago

It'd be interesting if the hardware used to measure this was described... maybe something along the lines of it would make the data collected and reported in the article much more easily replicated and for fun we could do this at home too...

mikewarot1 day ago

A truck hit a pole near our house and we lost power overnight. It was running 2 burners with water on our gas stove all night long that kept our house from freezing, as it was 15 degrees F outside and 49 degrees inside. (Old house, no real insulation)

I was glad to have it as a backup plan.

teirce18 hours ago

This is a really, really bad idea. Please do not do this. A quick search online will give you tons of results about potential fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

mikewarot13 hours ago

Carbon monoxide detectors were in place, and, as stated, the house is drafty and cold, and I was staying awake the whole time.

I agree, it was a really bad idea, but better than letting the pipes freeze.

skybrian19 hours ago

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector?

lostlogin19 hours ago

> It was running 2 burners with water on our gas stove all night long that kept our house from freezing

As in, boiling the water? Wasn’t it very humid?

antisthenes18 hours ago

Unlikely in the winter. My current humidity sits at 17%, for example, far below the comfort level (no house-HVAC humidifier installed).

I would welcome a couple of boiling pots in my room right now.

maxerickson12 hours ago

Yeah, I have a humidifier that matches the square feet of the house running and it can't keep humidity over 20% when it gets colder. Need to work on air leaks I guess.

meristem10 hours ago

Question for the folks who switched to induction, from someone in the initial process of thinking about it: 1. what is the plan for when there is no power (I live in an area currently prone to seasonal brownouts/blackouts) and 2. what did you do re: oven?

toddmorey12 hours ago

Does anyone know good indoor air quality monitors where the data can be graphed over time as the author has done?

mlok11 hours ago

See this comment for example :

BXLE_1-1-BitIs11 day ago

Newer building codes require a separate air supply for gas stoves as well as venting outside.

With a high efficiency furnace the combustion air comes from outside and is directly vented outside.

That leaves water heaters which are vented either up the chimney (mostly these days with a liner) or a forced air vent.

A mid or low efficiency furnace vented to a chimney without a liner could well result in combustion products leaking through the chimney into the house.

Heat exchanger leaks could also be a factor, but usually the duct space is higher pressure than the vent which has the chimney draft. Leakage can still happen before the draft develops after ignition.

Schiendelman1 day ago

The newest building codes (in New York, Seattle, and a few other places) simply ban gas hookups. You don't want that NO2 outside in a dense city, either.

hardolaf1 day ago

My biggest motivation in buying a condo this year is the ability to switch to an induction stove and electric oven from shitty gas appliances.

throwawaysea18 hours ago

Can confirm. I have a high efficiency furnace and gas stove and both vent outside. I also have air quality monitors and filters and cooking does not set them off, so I feel like the claims about indoor pollution are overblown and just being used to try and justify banning gas stoves.

antattack8 hours ago

It's quite possible that the author's increased nightly NO2 pollution is from their neighbors, not just from their appliances alone.

itsjustmath5 hours ago

Is a gas powered heater a source of nitrogen dioxide?

sputr14 hours ago

Current level of NO2 in our city, as measured by the official sources is 48 um/m3, with the official safe level of 200.

Why is my gas stove a problem?

nipponese11 hours ago

Where is the part where he explains the specific measurement tool to capture air quality data?

tigerBL00D12 hours ago

I wonder, would a gas dryer suffer from the same issues, or is it somehow better due to forced venting?

jopsen12 hours ago

Cleaning alone is the best motivator for induction.

I mean who doesn't spill when cooking?

koksik20218 hours ago

Thank you now I can explain spikes on my air quality monitor

operatingthetan18 hours ago

I think particulates in smoke can cause air quality monitors to go off as well, I notice this with my electric stove.

hashimotonomora11 hours ago

Please start plots at y = 0.

globular-toast16 hours ago

What types of gas is this relevant to? Natural gas?

bagels15 hours ago

It's referring to natural gas. Probably similar effects with propane.

PostThisTooFast18 hours ago
dijonman214 hours ago

Electric cooking is awful, gas is superior except for boiling water. Induction will boil water much faster.

oxymoran12 hours ago

“ the climate community would risk backlash and not be as effective at convincing people to get rid of their furnaces and water heaters”

Is this a thing, wanting to convince people to get rid of furnaces and hot water heaters? Are we replacing them with anything? Seems like an extremely tough sell, especially for people living places that are cold. Take the poor little boy who just died because his “family” forced him to take an ice cold shower in the middle of winter as punishment. This seems like the hairbrained idea of people who don’t experience seasons.

keeganjw12 hours ago

In many places, heat pumps and electric hot water heaters would work great! Even in relatively cold places, heat pumps can still work. My office in Vermont switched over to using heat pumps to heat and cool the entire building and we have plenty of heat this winter plus very efficient AC in the summer.

PebblesRox8 hours ago

My understanding is the goal would be to swap out gas-burning models with other versions that don't have the same emissions issues, not to eliminate these appliances entirely.

Macha12 hours ago

There's a push to replace them with storage heaters or immersion heaters or other forms of electric heating for sure in my country. But not to replace them with nothing.

samsa12 hours ago

There is a push to get rid of new natural gas hookups and force new construction to use all electric appliances. Some localities have legislated this.