"What's The Difference?" Series: Induction, Halogen, Hot Plate, and Gas Cookers

In the “What’s The Difference?” series, we cover the difference between the different types of kitchen wares and equipment, and how to choose the best one for you.

Induction, Halogen, Hot Plate, and Gas Stoves

Most people have gas stoves at home. A handful have an induction stove, and some have hot plate and halogen stoves.

Induction Stoves

Induction uses magnetic waves to heat up pots. “Induction-friendly” cookware usually have a visibly thicker layer of metal at the bottom as compared to the rest of the pot. Most/all induction pots are made of stainless steel, and are magnetic to a certain degree. Using an induction stove, pots usually heat up evenly and quickly because the entire base of the pot is heated up at the same time, not just the middle portion. You can practically use any stainless steel or cast iron pots on an induction stove, even Zebra or 333 stainless steel mugs, which is very convenient, but watch the handles when you pick them up!

Taiyo Induction Stove:

Halogen Stoves

Halogen stoves use far-infrared rays to heat up cookware. You can use any stove-friendly cookware on a halogen stove, including claypots, visions or pyrex glassware, and most metal cookware. Heat is evenly distributed throughout the circle on the stove-top, and is transferred to the pot by contact. The surface of the stove may be made of glass or ceramic. This is a very convenient cooker as you can practically put any cookware on it.

Takada Halogen Stove:

(Source: http://www.mytakada.com/stove.htm)

Hot Plate Stoves

These electrically or gas powered stoves were usually found about 25 years ago on stoves as an alternative to gas-tank cooking, or if you ran out of gas and NEEDED to cook. It takes a while for the hot plate to heat up, before you can start cooking. It works by heat-transfer, an electrical element or gas fire heats up the metal plate, which in turn transfers the heat to the cookware. Recently, this type of stove has re-surfaced as a very convenient portable travel stove, and a mess tin is provided with it, so you can boil water or cook when you are away from home. You can use any stove-friendly cokoware on a gas stove, as mentioned in the Halogen stoves section.

Dual Hot Plate Stove:

Rommelsbacher Travel Hot Plate:

Gas Cookers

The most common household stove uses gas, either tank gas, CityGas (aka Town Gas), or the portable cannister gas. You can use any stove-friendly cookware on a gas stove, as mentioned in the Halogen stoves section.

Gas Stove:

Portable Cannister Gas Stove:

About Energy Use

Energy-wise, using Induction stoves to cook are the most energy-friendly. Halogen and Hot Plates are good because they works with *any* cookware. Gas prices are dependent on the planet’s declining supply of natural gas.

Availability of Induction / Halogen Stoves

If you go out and buy a portable electric stove, the chances are very high that you would get an induction stove. There are a few rare models which are Halogen stoves. Cold storage usually sells the Halogen stoves before CNY, limited stocks. Roman also has a model of Halogen stove.

Benefits of using Electrical Stoves

You get assurance of even-heating as compared to using gas stoves where the “small flame” only heats up the middle of the pot, and causes what we call a “hotspot” in the middle of the pot where food tends to burn, or causing uneven cooking.

Another MAJOR benefit which I love is the ability to set timer. You can put a kettle of water, set timer, and go do other things. Or if you use a pressure cooker, bring up the pressure, set timer, and go do other things. When its done, it turns off automatically.

Article written by Melvin Chia, a member of Munch Ministry.

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