I am doing a bit of food science research around induction cooktops, and wondered if there are any measurable differences in the cooking outcome when using electric heat vs. gas heat. In specific, gas heat creates a current of air, heated by the gas and carrying water as a combustion byproduct. This air goes past the lip of the cookware, and possibly causes effects due to the change in humidity and air temperature.

Contrast this with induction, where the temperature of the cooktop generally stays within a few degrees of ambient.

So, assuming that the cooking is otherwise identical-- and ignoring any questions about which is easier to use, cheaper to buy, more "traditional", etc...-- are there any known ways by which a chemist could determine if food was cooked on gas vs. induction?

If the answer is yes, taking that a step further, and fully aware of the fact Does using Electric stove vs Gas stove have any difference in food taste? exists[*], could a trained taster possibly discern the difference?

[*] which does not answer my question, as my focus is enquiring about the science not the practical daily usage. I'm looking measurable differences, even when those differences are not noticeable.

  • Actually the combustion products of methane contains water, so it's not dry
    – L.Dutch
    Mar 16 at 19:23
  • @L.Dutch that is correct, but I'm making an assumption that the relative humidity goes down and so the heated air is locally drier than ambient. It's possible I'm incorrect in that assumption! Mar 16 at 19:27
  • Whoa, generally in SE we don't vote to close or downvote without leaving explanations, esp. for new contributors. The people who voted to close missed the essential, which is that this question is about the physics of cooking, not about people's personal experiences when cooking w/electric vs gas. Mar 16 at 21:29
  • Hi Kenn, maybe you can help us understand what you are asking then. As a cooking site, our presumption is that everybody is asking from a culinary viewpoint, and we mostly follow the SE rule that behind each question, there should be a practical problem to solve. We do take physics questions, if there is sufficient culinary angle. So maybe you can explain, what are these "chemical differences" you are looking for?
    – rumtscho
    Mar 21 at 8:56
  • @rumtscho thanks for the helpful explanation. I'm researching whether there are any measurable differences in the chemical transformation of food when it is cooked with gas vs. induction. The goal is to tie this into the cultural context of gas vis-a-vis induction, although I absolutely am not taking a side on the US culture war aspect. I've done a fairly deep dive in to the literature via scholar.google.com, and am coming up dry. This seems like low-hanging fruit for academic studies, so I'm a little surprised. I'm guessing that my search approach is what's wrong, so reached out to SE. Mar 21 at 12:36


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