Cooktop Fuel Options: From a Chef’s Perspective

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One of the hardest decisions you’ll make during your kitchen remodel is choosing your cooktop. The great debate between gas, electric, and induction is a hard one! We asked our good friend Chef Kathy Damm from Custom Distributors to give her perspective on the pros and cons of each. 


    Gas cooktops became popular is the 1880’s when piped gas was available in large towns in Britain. Since then, it’s been the most popular cooktop installed in kitchens across America! 


One of Chef Kathy’s favorite things about gas cooktops is their durability. Most Gas cooktops are also much more durable than their Electric and induction counterparts, so you don’t have to worry as much about damaging them with large pots and pans. The glass tops on most electric and induction cooktops may not take kindly to sliding that soup pot from one burner to the other. 

With gas also comes a flame, and like most of us, Chef Kathy likes the visual of the flame when cooking something on low for a long period of time. “This way I know it won’t scorch the bottom,” Kathy says. 

Because of their long history and familiar designs, many people also find the aesthetic of gas cooktops appealing. They fit in nicely with pretty much any design style.


The electric cooktop was slower in it’s climb to popularity than gas cooktops, but it really caught on in the 1930’s when the technology matured. 

“Personally there is nothing I don’t like about it.” Kathy says about cooking with electric. It’s easier to keep clean than gas (though you do have to use special cleaners). Electric cooktops have a more sleek design than gas cooktops and will look great in a modern or contemporary kitchen. Because of the glass top, however, you will have to be careful not to slam pots or slide pans on the surface to avoid scratches on the surface.


Induction cooktops have been trying to break the surface since the 1970’s. Despite their popularity in Europe, it took until around 2009 for them to really begin gaining popularity in the US. They are now a very popular choice! Induction cooktops technology is similar to that of a microwave. It produces heat by way of a magnetic field, and will only work with pots and pans that are made of magnetic metals. Because of the heat is only produced where the pan makes contact with the surface, there is no tangible heat on the surface of the top. This can be great if you have curious little hands in your home. It’s also a very energy efficient option because very little energy is wasted. They can be installed flush with a granite or quartz countertop to create a very seamless look in your kitchen. 


Chef Kathy loves induction cooking. “Induction is my favorite right now because it’s fast and responsive.” She also loves how easy it is to clean. Since the top never gets hot, you can clean up those drips and spill immediately so they won’t get cooked onto the surface and require lots of elbow grease later. 

    Another one of her favorite things about induction is their efficiency. They are more efficient than both Electric and Induction. This might be important if you’re looking to lower your carbon footprint, or just reduce the size of your utility bill.

     Whether your looking to remodel your whole kitchen or simply switch out your cooktop, all the great options available can make this decision a tough one. Chef Kathy’s suggestion,  “It’s such a personal thing!” You’ll what to consider the kind of cook you are, the design style of your kitchen and home, and the available connection options in your home. Not all homes in Cincinnati have gas available, so that could limit your choice right away. These questions, and others like them, can help you make just the right choice for you!

     A special thanks to Chef Kathy and Custom Distributors for their help with this post. Their beautiful showroom in Fairfield, where you can see, touch and try many of the great appliances, is a great place to start!


Our goal with these pieces is to help you get the information you need to make educated choices for your home and family. If you’ve found this helpful, share it with others. If you have questions or would like to request other topics to be covered, please use the comment section below and we’ll make sure you get you the answers you need.

Ready to get your new cooktop? We’d love to talk with you about your project!