Getting the right cookware is essential for induction stovetops. Here's what type to get.
If you have an induction stove, you’re likely used to double- and even triple-checking that your cookware is, in fact, induction compatible. Due to the specific nature of the induction cooking process, only certain types of cookware materials work on these stovetops—which makes ensuring 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 stove uses electromagnetism to transfer heat. Inside an induction burner, electricity runs through a copper coil and creates an electromagnetic field that creates heat—the same technology used to power 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. This means that anything placed on an induction burner (hands, utensils, or errant ingredients) that aren't ferromagnetic will not get hot.
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.
Induction compatibility varies across cladding, price, and construction quality of your cookware. This is why it’s important to do your research before purchasing pans for an induction cooktop—even the highest-price, most well-reviewed set of cookware may not be induction compatible.
To easily 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 magnet will either be repelled or attracted to your pan—either way, you’ll feel a strong 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 (induction compatible) vs. a plate (not induction compatible).
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.
Generally, stainless steel is going to be a safe bet for induction compatibility. Our 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.
For high-heat, heavy-duty cooking, our go-to is our Carbon Steel. Lightweight enough for maneuvering around the stovetop but durable enough for steak night, Carbon Steel is induction-compatible and ready to cook.
Using non stick on induction can get tricky, as certain types of non stick pans are compatible while others aren't—all depending on the materials used to construct the pans.
Luckily, our Non Stick is fully induction-compatible—unlike other ceramic pans or cheaply-produced non stick options, these hold up on induction stoves and in and out of the oven.
That said, there are other types of cookware materials that won’t work with induction cooktops. Copper cookware and pans 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.
If you've made the switch to induction, there's no reason to fret about your cookware not being compatible—nowadays, most types of cookware are engineered for induction (except for copper, that is).
If you do in fact need to get induction-compatible pans or are on the market for ones that perform exceptionally no matter the stovetop, our collections of induction-compatible Non Stick, Stainless Clad, Carbon Steel, and Enameled Cast Iron are ready to be put to work on your induction stovetop.
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