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Damn, how I once loved my gas stove.

I own it still, a beauty, a Wolf with its signature red burner controls we acquired by chance when we moved house about 10 years ago. But like a relationship gone sour, the glow has now worn off and I’m casting my eye for a replacement.

I’d cooked on gas before, but it wasn’t anything like the Wolf.

The very first house I rented in Edmonton was a post-war ’40s bungalow with a tiny gas stove that looked to me like one of the very earliest iterations of its type. It wasn’t powerful and took ages to boil a pot of pasta water. But I learned to love the controls that took a burner from high to low in an instant.

I moved a lot after that, and it was all electric ovens with coil burners all the time. It took me a bit to get used to them. The time it took them to reach full heat always seemed long and the cooldown time even longer. I burned a few dishes during my early cooking efforts and always longed for a return to a gas cooktop.

My wish came true when we moved to the home we live in now. The previous owners had sprung for the Wolf and I was thrilled to inherit it.

Simmer, no problem. Works like a charm. Boil pasta water, easy. This gas stove has kick.

There are other attributes I also enjoy. I like to roast peppers and eggplants directly on the hob, charring the skins, which peel easily but imbue the flesh with a wonderful smoky flavour.

So I ignored the first reports I read about the ill health effects of gas stoves in homes; this was news I just didn’t want to hear. But the studies continued to pile up and, of course, working for a climate publication, there came a point when I could no longer brush them off.

I used to love my gas stove with its responsive controls and power. Now it just makes me feel guilty. @AdrienneTanner writes for @NatObserver #gas #FossilFuels #induction

I also got the full-court press to ditch my gas stove by my colleague Chris Hatch, who writes our newsletter Zero Carbon, and an indirect push from Canada’s National Observer columnist Barry Saxifrage, two writers who know as much about climate change as pretty much anyone.

Aside from the health risks of using gas in your home, there is a bigger picture here. By now, we all know we need to stop using fossil fuels to keep the world at a manageable temperature. And yes, governments, not individuals, are largely what is needed to turn the dial.

Nonetheless, the stove that once brought me joy has started to make me feel guilty. Now, every time I turn on a burner and sometimes get a slight whiff of that noxious smell, I’m reminded that no matter how much I enjoy roasting peppers on the cooktop, this stove is a bad idea.

And as soon as my mindset turned, I started to take note of the excellent options. Cooks I respect who had lifelong love affairs with gas cooktops, like Globe and Mail food writer Lucy Waverman, are starting to switch to induction stoves. She was pushed to change after moving to a home that has no gas hookup. Her conclusion? Induction is better.

“Once you get used to it, induction is quicker, clear and more energy efficient… And cleanup is a cinch — a damp cloth wipes the cooktop clean. No more burnt-on messes,” she said in a recent column.

Other top chefs concur. John Horne, district executive chef for some of Toronto’s most notable restaurants including Canoe, Biff’s, Liberty Commons and Auberge du Pommier, is sold on induction. For starters, say goodbye to an overheated kitchen. Induction stoves transfer heat directly to the pot whereas with gas, a lot of heat is wasted, he notes.

Further afield, the chefs at Napa Valley’s The French Laundry, a restaurant I’ve longingly read about but never had the good fortune to try, have also switched over.

When cooks this accomplished talk, I listen. So basically, I’m sold and gearing up to make the switch myself. I’m waiting just a bit longer until induction stoves are more available and hoping good ones come down a wee bit in price. Then I’m going to buy one.

I’ll find workarounds for my peppers and eggplants; I’m pretty sure convection can accomplish close to the same result. I’ll buy a flat-bottomed wok for Asian dishes. But I’ve already done the magnet test on my stable of pots and pans and found all but a couple are compatible with convection.

When divorce day comes and we can seal off the gas connection for good, I will shed no tears. The love affair is over.

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agreed it is better to not use gas.
but just like a full picture of renovation v teardown of a house, the math says better to fix an existing house than dump all that material and use new stuff.
so it is with stoves? if your gas stove is a good one, what will happen to it when it goes out your door? recycled? reused? how does that add up in total life cycle footprint? if you have minimal health concerns( you appear to have a good hood fan) in using it, I would say keep it till you need a new one and then switch, like with cars? use, reuse, recycle? maybe in a few years, we will be able to keep the shell and retrofit it with induction? who knows!
get over your guilt. it is a bit on the nose.

Half measures! We're the real hardcore household. We gave up having a "range" entirely, to great savings and reliability benefits:

http://brander.ca/range/

I do wish my induction hotplates had a lower setting than "1", for the merest of simmers; but it's easily had with a steel plate (used for aluminum pots) between the induction and the pot. The super-quick up and down changes in heating are JUST the same as with gas. Try it! Canadian Tire will sell you a hotplate for under $65, and you'll be hooked.

I grew up in the country. Our gas stove with 2 propane tanks made our lives so much less miserable as it fed us through scores of winter blackouts, one lasting three days.