Product overview

Welcome to New Zealand's trusted, independent source of practical information. We provide recommendations on products and trusted businesses, exclusive deals and consumer advice. 


14apr cooktops hero default

Induction, ceramic and gas cooktops.

Find out which type of cooktop will best suit your needs, the features to look for, and compare test results for all 3 types.

On this page

From our test

F p ci905dtb1 mug small

Get instant access to 53 cooktop test results.

Find out which type of cooktop will best suit your needs, the features to look for, and compare test results for all 3 types. Join Consumer and use our expert test results and recommendations to find the model that's right for you.

Induction, radiant-ceramic or gas?

Which type of cooktop will best suit your needs?

Turn the heat off a radiant-ceramic element that's been on full for a few minutes and it takes some time for the element to cool. Turn off a gas flame and the heat's gone. Professional chefs overwhelmingly use gas for stovetop cooking because it gives them better and more responsive control over the heat. If you're at all adventurous with your cooking, gas is likely to suit you better.

Induction cooktops may offer the best of both worlds: the sleek good looks of ceramic cooktops with the speed and instant control of gas cooking. They heat up incredibly quickly, transferring energy to the cookware faster than any other method of cooking. Induction cooktops are also excellent from a safety perspective: since the element itself does not get hot, it’s safe to touch unless you’ve had a hot pan on it for a while.

With any cooktop, you need to consider installation issues – adequate ventilation and connection to power and fuel supplies. With induction cooktops you also need to invest in new cookware – the cookware used on induction cooktops must be made of ferrous (iron) materials. Pots and pans also need to be within, or close to, the diameter of the elements. Cookware that overhangs won’t heat properly around the edges, and pans that are too small won’t be recognised.

L-R: Radiant-ceramic, induction, gas.
L-R: Radiant-ceramic, induction, gas.

More on the 3 types

We’ve covered what you need to know before you buy.

How we test

The same test method was used for all 3 types of cooktop. In addition, ceramic cooktops were tested for chocolate-melting.

First we make white sauce on the simmer-burner or element with the lowest setting. This tests the cooktop’s ability to perform at a low temperature for a long time.

Next we cook rice on the medium-sized burner or element. This tests the "turn down" capacity of the hob and whether the cooktop can maintain a suitable heat at the lowest temperature setting.

We then use a beef and vegetable stir-fry to see whether the cooktop can deliver continuous high heat.

We also assessed the ease of use and cleaning of each cooktop.


3214 members told us about their cooktop's reliability in our 2011 appliance reliability survey.

Become a paying member or log in to view this content.