Ambassador explains benefits of both technologies.
Asko’s Duo Fusion II HIG1994M (RRP $5,999) is a unique cooktop in the Australian market combining two energy sources – induction cooking and gas in the one unit. Duo Fusion II includes the Asko Volcano wok burner, allowing concentration on wok cooking while relying on one of the auto programs on the induction side of the cooktop, providing flexibility of using two methods of cooking in the same unit. Chef and Asko ambassador, Adam Liaw (pictured below) describes the benefits of both technologies, and why he can’t choose between either.
Benefits of gas
Gas cooktops are the more traditional of the two and are often preferred in professional kitchens as the chef can intuitively control the pace of cooking. Most classic cuisines were built from cooking over a flame so there’s no reason to learn a new style of cooking. Liaw suggests using gas for wok cooking and sautéing. “Cooking with gas is best when you want to keep tossing the pan as the open flame continues to heat the cookware,” he says.
- No specialty cookware
Opting for gas means there’s no need to buy new cookware. “I have lots of different pots and you can’t use all of them on induction. An advantage of having a gas cooktop is that cookware made of any material can be used,” Liaw says.
Gas cooktops are hard-wearing, so they’re able to withstand heavy cookware that could otherwise crack or scratch a ceramic or glass induction surface.
Asko’s Duo Fusion II cooktop
Benefits of induction
Induction is extremely efficient and economical as the cookware absorbs heat quickly and entirely, unlike an open gas flame that allows heat to escape. “The instant temperature change of induction is a great time saver when boiling eggs or pasta,” Liaw says.
- Ideal for odd shaped cookware
Induction cookware must be made of a magnetic based material to absorb heat. Any old pots and pans can be tested for suitability simply by holding a magnet to the bottom. If the magnet sticks then it will work with induction. Pots and pans that are too small, too big or an odd shape and don’t fit on gas burners can be used with induction cooktops.
Cooking on induction means ultimate precision and control. The heat distribution is even, leaving no hot spots. Modern induction cooktops have a variety of functions, programmes and timers, helping to prepare perfect dishes consistently.
- Easy cleaning
Not only is the cooking time reduced with induction, so too is the cleaning time. Cleaning an induction cooktop is as easy as cleaning a benchtop, there is no need to separately clean the burners or trivets. Also, because the surface does not heat up, there’ll be no burnt food to wipe clean.
“Gas and induction cooktops have unique features, so it’s hard to choose between the two. I want to get the benefits of wok cooking over gas plus the efficiency of induction so having a mixture of the two is perfect,” he says.