Short answer: it depends.
If you own an induction cooktop, it’s important that you know that when it comes to cookware, all pots and pans are not created equally. You likely know that you need induction-compatible cookware, but may not know what materials fit that bill or what the best cookware for induction is.
While Stainless Steel Cookware is the most recommended by professionals and will, for the most part, work on an induction cooktop, even this popular cookware staple has its limits for induction cooking. Here’s what you need to know about Stainless Cookware and induction stovetops.
Induction cooktops require pots and pans that are made from specific materials, as the electromagnetism that heats an induction stovetop requires a magnetic material. Materials like Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, and Cast Iron are commonly induction compatible, while materials like copper, glass and aluminum are not.
While Stainless Steel Cookware is widely regarded as an induction compatible material, not all types of Stainless Steel will work on an induction cooktop. This means that when you are choosing the best type of Stainless Steel cookware for induction cooking, it is important to know which types are indeed induction compatible.
Stainless Steel cookware works on an induction stovetop only if the base of the cookware is made with a magnetic grade of stainless steel. Those with a high nickel content will not work because the magnetic field will be blocked. Stainless steel 432 and ferritic stainless steels, which both have a magnetic field, makes them both great choices for induction cooktops.
Induction cooking uses a different technique than cooking with an electric or gas stove, which is why induction compatible cookware is a must. This special cookware is designed with layers of stainless steel and is referred to as being ferromagnetic, meaning that it has a layer with magnetic properties on the bottom.
An oscillating magnetic field is created when the copper coil and electric current join forces in the cooking area. The electric coupling with the magnetic field then permeates the cookware’s bottom to generate heat, which is then used to cook the food.
Most induction compatible Stainless Steel Cookware, like our Stainless Clad line, offers a layer of stainless steel at the bottom of the pan as well as a copper or aluminum layer inside, since these materials are better conductors than just stainless steel alone.
Induction cooking uses less heat, is more controlled, and is also more responsive to changes in temperature, meaning that it can be quickly switched on and off. Induction cooking is also a safer way to cook with easier clean-up, as only the bottom of the cookware gets hot while the other parts of the cooktop remain cool to touch.
To see if your favorite Stainless Steel Cookware is induction compatible, there is an easy test you can perform before use. Simply take a regular magnet like those used on refrigerators and check to see if it reacts to the bottom of the Cookware.
If the magnet sticks to or is repelled by the cookware, this means it was made to work with induction stovetops. If the magnet does not stick or has a very weak reaction, the pots and pans are not a magnetic grade and are not considered to be induction compatible.
Today, many manufacturers indicate that the cookware is induction compatible by including a special symbol on the bottom that is designed to look like a coil, a horizontal zig-zag, or have the word “induction” inscribed on it.
Choosing induction compatible cookware like our Stainless Clad Cookware that will work well with your stove is the best way to ensure your food is cooked evenly each and every time. In addition, its low maintenance and high resistance to corrosion makes it an excellent choice for all home cooks.