Is Carbon Steel Induction Compatible?

Short answer: yes.

By Noah Clark
Jun 23, 2022
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Whether you’re cooking on a gas, electric, or induction stovetop, it’s important to make sure that your cookware is compatible. Because induction stovetops work by creating heat directly in your pan through an electromagnetic current, only certain types of cookware will be induction compatible—luckily,  Carbon Steel is one of them. Here’s what you need to know when using Carbon Steel (or any type of cookware) on an induction stove.

What Is Induction?

Induction stoves generate heat through the use of an electromagnetic current that conducts with the materials in the pan being used. This creates heat directly in the pan, which in turn results in a very efficient and quick preheat. Since induction does not rely on thermal conduction like a traditional electric stove, it is much more energy efficient and allows for maximum heat retention.

That being said, to create an electromagnetic current, you need to have pans with enough ferromagnetic materials (or materials that are highly magnetic) in their composition so that the current can be generated. Metals like iron, nickel, and cobalt are all ferromagnetic and can therefore work on induction.

What Is Carbon Steel?

Made In Carbon Steel pans are made from sheets of 99% Iron and 1% Carbon, and are heat safe to 1200F. Since all of our Carbon Steel cookware consists of this same percentage of iron and carbon, every single piece is induction compatible.

Even though Carbon Steel has incredible heat retention, we don’t recommend turning your stovetop up to max heat—especially if you’re using an induction stove. Induction is highly efficient and heats quickly, sending its current at maximum strength and speed to get to your desired cooking temperature as fast as possible. While this is great for preheating your pan quickly, it can cause thermal shock to your pan if used at too high a temperature.

Carbon Steel is quite thin and somewhat malleable. While it's quite durable, warping is possible if the pan changes temperature too quickly. To mitigate this, we advise starting your pan on a lower heat, and working your way up gradually. This is going to be best practice for most cookware, but for Carbon Steel pans especially. You can absolutely use high heat on your Carbon Steel pan, just give it a few moments to get there.

Is All Cookware Induction Compatible?

Many types of Cookware are induction-compatible, including both our Stainless Clad and Non Stick lines. If you own an induction cooktop, it’s important to do your research when shopping for new cookware—luckily, most manufacturers will label their cookware as either “Induction Compatible” or “Not Induction Compatible”.

Any material that doesn’t have high amounts of ferromagnetic materials won’t do well on induction stovetops. Copper cookware, solid aluminum, aluminum clad, glass, ceramic and even some stainless steel products will not work on induction as they won’t have enough ferromagnetic (if any) materials to connect to the electromagnetic current. To get use of that induction stove, you are going to want Stainless Clad, Cast Iron, or Carbon Steel pans.