I live in Phoenix AZ. Which will be more expensive in the long run, an Induction or propane gas cooktop?

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    It is nigh on impossible to predict the movement of electricity and gas prices, so any answer to this question will likely be speculation. – razumny Feb 8 '14 at 18:28
  • I think that it is interesting to see if somebody can give a good comparison on the amount of energy used. I would expect an answer of the sort "To heat one liter of water from 20 to 100 degrees, you will use up X liters of gas and Y KWh of electricity" using standard efficiency numbers for both technologies. From there, everybody can make their own calculation based on gas and electricity prices in their area and the price of the units they are intending to buy. – rumtscho Feb 8 '14 at 20:07
  • Induction would be thermodynamically more efficent. Local pricing and the speed you desire to heat, have a large effect. – Optionparty Feb 8 '14 at 21:22
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about food or cooking itself, but rather about finances. – Mien Feb 8 '14 at 21:53
  • It's not at all off topic. Let's just say a banker or power engineer is less likely to answer the question than a cook. – Muz Feb 9 '14 at 4:32

Some approximate figures

Energy efficiency while cooking

  • Induction 90%
  • Electric resistive 55%
  • Gas 50%

Energy efficiency while heating up

  • Induction 99%
  • Electric resistive 0%
  • Gas 0%

Time, total energy used, and cost to boil 2 l of Water

  • Induction 2:20, 0.2 kWh, $0.034
  • Electric resistive 5:00, 0.34 kWh, $0.058
  • Gas 4:00, 0.37 kWh, $0.016


Gas burner is clean and correctly adjusted

Costs are estimates based on USA high prices as of 2013

In many other countries gas will be much more expensive

Bottled gas will be nearly twice the gas price from town supply gas


TDF gave a fantastic answer as far as price for the usage of the product, but you also have to factor in a few other things. While the induction ovens are by far the most effective, you also have to consider that only certain pans will work on an induction surface. You also can't have pans that have a textured bottom as they will scratch the surface. On top of those problems with induction tops, you also have to use special cleaner on them instead of a little soap and water, and they get dirty incredibly easy.

According to the report below, factoring in the cost diference of electricity to gas, the average induction oven would take 23 years to pay off the difference in energy saving (at current rates of course) That said, I doubt the stove top would last that long as they are prone to chipping and such.

To the benifits of the induction stove, for all the problems with them, they are still a favorite (if it can be afforded) of the food industry due to how incredibly fast they heat food up compared to the other options (due to its significantly higher efficiency.) They also do not have all the crevices that normal electric or gas stoves have.

Gas stoves on the other hand tend to last much longer, simply because of their construction, and are considered by many people to be the more enjoyable to cook with. When you shut them off, it is off (unlike electric stoves that continue to radiate heat) and are instantly to the heat you set them to. They do have to have a pilot light though and put off significantly more pollution (if you are one to care about such things)

Sorry to muddy up the water a bit, but you should definitely consider more than cost when looking at a stove. Also while looking only at the numbers, for the long long run a induction stove top is the cheaper option, it is unlikely to last the time required to get the extra investment back


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    Dear thatdude38, appreciate that you have invested your time in giving some good answers here. But I wanted to point out that we are not a regular discussion forum. Specifically, we have the policy to take questions very literally, and match answers exactly to what was asked. So, if somebody asks about the price difference in induction vs. electricity, there is no need to explain all criteria in choosing a stove. Not only would a shorter answer save you time, you will find that the community is more likely to show appreciation and upvote your answers when you keep them to the point. – rumtscho Feb 9 '14 at 21:01
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    @thatdude38 Thanks for your addition. It is ALL very valid (I cook on gas). Rumtscho is sort of correct too though :-) – TFD Feb 9 '14 at 21:52
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    @rumtscho, while i am new, i would have to disagree some, a simple question rarely has a simple answer. Cathy Radziemski had asked about the long term costs, which will include maintenance, upkeep, cost of electricity/gas, how long they last in general, and how long the energy cost differences would take to offset the initial cost difference. I will say I did go off topic some with one of my other answers, and I will work on cutting the length down on my answers to be more concise. Like I said though, a simply question rarely has a simple answer. – thatdude38 Feb 10 '14 at 17:24
  • @thatdude38 Yes, I know what you are talking about. I didn't mean to imply that this one answer is bad, even though it goes off on some tangents beyond long-term price effects (e.g. scratching). I noticed that you are leaving many answers, with some good advice in them, but not in the style usual to this site. So I thought I would gently warn you about our expectations before you post something which gets downvoted or flagged for deletion and you don't understand what's happening because it would have been a fine answer on the average discussion board. – rumtscho Feb 10 '14 at 22:59
  • Our induction hobs have a glass surface, are easy to clean and require no special cleaner. Also, the comment about electric stoves continuing to radiate heat does not apply to induction. – Mark Pattison Jun 13 '14 at 10:56

There are also other parameters to consider. A gas cooker will use half of the energy (according to TFD's brilliant answer) to heat the room.

If you live in cold climate this is almost an added boon as gas is a fairly cheap way to heat your dwelling. If, on the other hand, you live in a warmer climate (I don't know much about Arizona, but I haven't heard it mentioned as a winter sport destination...) you may have to use a not insignificant amount of energy to get rid of this heat.

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