Cooking is a major energy consuming activity in every home, with the LPG and piped gas cook-tops being the most popular choice in Indian homes. In recent years, induction cookers have also entered our kitchens. So if I were to ask you which method of cooking is better for the environment and your pocket, do you think you have the right answer?
LPG And Induction – How They Work
LPG, or Liquefied Petroleum Gas is filled in cylinders and transported to our homes. This gas is ignited to produce heat, which helps to cook food. CO2 is also emitted in this process.
On the other hand, induction cooker works on electricity. It uses the magnetic property of iron (and steel) to heat the vessel that it is in contact with. Unlike gas stoves and electric heaters, there is no flame or hot coil, and it heats up only the area it is in contact with. The area beyond a small vessel being heated will remain cool. Hence it is both efficient and safer to use.
Technically speaking, the efficiency of gas cook-tops is roughly half of induction cookers. In gas stoves, some heat is lost when the flame flows sideways or beyond the vessel. This heat affects the surroundings and will increase your energy bills if your kitchen is air conditioned. In induction cookers, no additional heat is lost as energy is transferred only on the surface it is in contact with. A point to be noted here is that the carbon footprint of induction cookers depends on the source of electricity. Even with a dirty coal powered grid, they are greener than traditional gas cook-tops because of their efficiency. You can save up to 50 percent on costs, especially if you have non-subsidized cylinders.
Pros And Cons Of Gas
Pros: Runs without electricity, easier to control as you don’t have to worry about positioning the vessel properly.
Cons: Releases heat and CO2 to the surroundings, refills have to be ordered (piped gas eliminates this), flame and cylinders are dangerous, no timer.
Pros And Cons Of Induction Cooker
Pros: More efficient and hence cheaper to cook, safer as there is no flame, a cooler kitchen, timers and cooking menus can be useful.
Cons: Can’t work without electricity, not easy to control as vessel position is important, works on steel and iron vessels only.
What Is The Best Combination?
Use an induction cooker for most of your cooking. Use the gas as backup and for making chapattis. If you are planning to install solar or other renewable electricity, you can cook on an induction cooker without producing any emissions.