Getting the right cookware is essential for induction stovetops. Here's the best type to get.
If you have an induction stove, you’re likely used to double- and even triple-checking that your Cookware is induction compatible. Due to the specific nature of the induction cooking process, only certain types of cookware materials work on these stovetops—which makes checking for induction compatibility even more important.
Here, we’ll go over what induction compatibility means and what the best type of Cookware is for these types of stovetops.
Unlike a standard gas or electric range, which uses thermal conduction like flames or an electric burner, an induction stovetop uses electromagnetism to transfer heat. This means that inside an induction burner, electricity runs through a copper coil and creates an electromagnetic field that creates heat. This is the same technology used for radios and microwaves.
Alone, this electromagnetic field does nothing. When paired with induction compatible cookware, the electromagnetism excites the molecules in your pan and transfers heat energy from the stovetop to the pan and, finally, to your food. Because induction cooking requires electromagnetism, only pans made from a magnetic metal, otherwise known as ferromagnetic cookware, are compatible for induction cooking.
Here’s the takeaway: to cook on an induction cooktop you’ll need induction-compatible cookware.
Only certain types of cookware materials will work on induction cooktops. Iron or magnetic stainless steel needs to be in the core of your cookware in order for it to be induction compatible. This includes Carbon Steel, most types of Stainless Steel (including Made In’s), and certain Non Stick options as well.
Induction compatibility varies across cladding, price, and construction quality of your Cookware. This is why it’s important to do your research before purchasing cookware for an induction cooktop—even the highest-price set of cookware may not be induction compatible.
How to Test Cookware for Induction Compatibility
To test your cookware for induction compatibility, all you need is a standard refrigerator magnet. Flip your pot or pan over and place a magnet on the bottom. If your cookware is induction compatible, then the magnetism will either repel or attract the magnet—either way, you’ll feel a reaction.
If your pan isn’t induction compatible, you won’t feel any interaction between the magnet and your cookware. Test this with a Stainless Steel Frying Pan and then a Dutch Oven to see the difference.
That said, there are other types of cookware materials that won’t work with induction cooktops. Copper cookware and those with aluminum or non-magnetic stainless steel cores can’t interact with the electric field of an induction burner, as they are not ferromagnetic and cannot produce a concentrated magnetic current.
Just like choosing a favorite for cooking on electric or gas stoves, the answer for the best cookware for induction stoves depends on a few factors. Here are our favorites depending on your preference and what you may be looking for.Best Stainless Option: Made In Stainless Clad Cookware
Generally, Stainless Steel is going to be a safe bet for induction compatibility. Made In Stainless Clad is made of 5-ply, induction-compatible 18/10 stainless steel, which is a much better and longer-lasting option than cheaper aluminum pans that aren't induction-compatible.Best Heavy-Duty Option: Made In Carbon Steel and Cast Iron Cookware
Although Cast Iron is induction compatible, we recommend Carbon Steel over a Cast Iron skillet. Due to its heavy construction, Cast Iron can easily scratch the glass surface of your induction cooktop, while Carbon Steel Frying Pans won't.
Some Non Stick pans are induction compatible, while others aren't. We recommend Made In for an induction-compatible Non Stick option—unlike other ceramic pans, these hold up on induction stoves and in and out of the oven.
All of these options are induction-compatible and versatile enough to craft a large variety of recipes, plus come in enough varieties to assemble an entire kitchen’s worth of cookware.