I saw that “gas stove ban” is the topic of this 24-hour news cycle (Terrain has a good recap and analysis) and I realized I hadn’t blogged about ditching my gas stove. It’s an opportunity for to drop some timely #content.
In March 2022 we had a bunch of electrical work done on our house. It was built in 1914 and had knob-and-tube wiring in the walls. Which meant we couldn’t blow insulation into the walls due to the fire risk and paid too much for homeowners insurance. So we got new wiring and insulation, increasing comfort and peace-of-mind and saving money each month on heating/cooling and insurance.
We took advantage of the timing to get a 240V line run to the kitchen and upgraded our stove from a Viking gas range & oven to an electric induction unit. It’s been great. Here are some pros/cons of the change for me. I’m skipping the obvious ones you’d find in general comparisons like, it’s good that my cooking doesn’t involve fossil fuels and the indoor air is cleaner and it was bad to have to buy some new cookware.
- Spills/boilovers are easy to clean up. I boiled over oil (!) while deep-frying corn dogs and it was no big deal.
- My kids can take a more involved role cooking since there’s no flame and less heat.
- In general there’s less cooking heat in the kitchen. Whereas excess heat from the Viking oven once melted a salad spinner that was sitting nearby.
- More precise temperature control and more powerful output. I benchmarked flame vs. induction for time to boil 1 quart of water, that could be its own post but induction won.
- More digital controls in general. Maybe a fancier gas range would have had automated stop-baking times, I dunno, but mine was Viking brand and it didn’t even have a temperature readout on the oven.
- Visual indicators make it less likely that I leave a burner on low and forget about it.
- A bit of a learning curve.
- On a gas stove I’d turn off a pot of rice or hard-boiled eggs and leave the residual heat to finish the job. I’ve learned that on the induction, I need to leave it on low.
- And I had perfected stovetop popcorn in my old stockpot, which wasn’t induction-compatible. Now I’m learning the nuances of cooking popcorn in a stainless steel pot.
- I liked my old range better as a pot-drying rack at the end of the night. There were more nooks and crannies to wedge the pans in and water drops didn’t pool.
Overall, the induction range has been an improvement and I am pleased to be rid of my old stove. Some of the changes involved in decarbonizing our lives and society are uncomfortable, e.g., facing a reduction in air travel. But this one has been a simple upgrade for our kitchen and our lives.