induction compatible cookware

Induction Compatible Cookware – Pots & Pans Safe to Use with Induction Cooktops

With the evolution of induction cooktops, it’s now easier and more affordable to install in your kitchen. However, most people don’t realize that induction cooktops require special induction compatible cookware for the induction to work.

Because induction cooktops are different than electric or gas cooktops, you have to be more considerate when you go shopping for cookware. So, how do you know if you’re grabbing induction compatible cookware?

There are a couple of ways that you can tell if you’re buying induction compatible cookware and if your current cookware will work. There’s also a way that you can make non-compatible cookware work with your induction cooktop.

  • The Science Behind Induction Cooking

Induction cooking creates a magnetic field between the magnetic coils and the bottom of the pot beneath the cooktop. The energy that’s created in the electromagnetic field is what is used to heat the contents of your pan. There are several benefits to using induction cooktops instead of gas or electric:

  • More energy efficient
  • Quickly heats food
  • Cooktop stays cool
  • The cooktop is responsive to changes in temperature
  • Because an induction cooktop uses electromagnetic energy, there’s no need to worry about burning gas, which can affect your health.

Induction compatible cookware must have ferromagnetic materials: it either has a magnetic layer, or it contains iron.

There are also a few cons with having an induction cooktop:

  • Certain cookware won’t work with an induction cooktop
  • The heat that is produced gets trapped and has to be dissipated with a fan
  • No charring effect on your food
T-fal E938SA Professional Total Nonstick Oven Safe Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator 10-Piece Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, Black
  • Induction Compatible Cookware

The materials that make the most induction compatible cookware includes many types of stainless steel, enameled cast iron, and cast iron. There are a few exceptions, however. If you find cookware that is made from aluminum and stainless steel, it’s not going to be induction compatible. Because of exceptions like this, stainless steel is the most confusing material to try to figure out if it’s induction compatible cookware. This is because it can be made with quite a few different other metals; having a high nickel content can block the creation of the magnetic field.

Glass, all-copper, and aluminum cookware won’t work unless they are designed with a magnetic layer. Many manufacturers have started to add a magnetic layer to the bottoms of pots and pans, but older cookware won’t have this. Copper and aluminum require a much higher frequency to generate enough heat to cook your food.

  • Compatibility Test

If you want to tell if your current cookware is induction compatible cookware, there is an easy test that you can perform. Simply hold a magnet up to the bottom of the pan, if the magnet:

  • Clings to the bottom, you have induction compatible cookware
  • Softly grabs onto the pan, you may not have induction compatible cookware
  • Doesn’t stick; you don’t have induction compatible cookware

Note: There are quite a few manufacturers that have begun to put an “induction compatible” symbol on the bottom of their pots and pans or will note the induction compatibility on the box. The symbol often looks like a coil or a horizontal zigzag.

  • Adapting Your Pans

Do you have an induction cooktop, but your favorite piece of cookware isn’t compatible? If so, you might still be able to use it. There are products, such as a stainless-steel induction hob heat diffuser, that can be placed on the cooktop underneath the pan that will create a heat reaction which will heat the contents in your pan.

  • Tips for Buying Induction Compatible Cookware

Before you purchase any induction compatible cookware pieces, there are a few strategies that you should follow to help save you some time and money.

  1. Know that not all cookware is induction compatible and those that often have an indication of such on the packaging. Induction compatible cookware has become increasingly popular over the past decade, so reading the packaging of the cookware will help save you some time when looking for induction compatible cookware.
  2. Make sure that the cookware set you purchase has a flat bottom. Bottoms that aren’t flat can vibrate and make noise when placed on the glass surface.
  3. Notice the weight of the lid on the pans and pots. At high power, light lids can vibrate and fall off the pan or pot while the contents are bubbling inside.
  4. Make sure your induction compatible cookware has sturdy handles. Handles that aren’t sturdy can vibrate at high power.
  5. Not every stainless-steel cookware that you find will be induction compatible cookware. Some of the best cookware made from stainless-steel consists of several layers of metal on the bottom. To test to see if the stainless-steel cookware is induction compatible is to take a magnet to the bottom of the pan and see if it sticks.
  6. Shopping for induction compatible cookware online can be incredibly easy because you can search for “induction compatible cookware.”
  7. Shopping in stores can also be easy if you bring along a magnet to see if it will stick to the bottom of the pan.

Induction cooktops have become increasingly popular over the years but finding induction compatible cookware can be a challenge if you don’t know what to look for. There are a few different ways that you can tell if a certain cookware set is induction compatible, including using a magnet and reading the label. Always use the magnet test when you’re unsure because then you’ll know if an electromagnetic field will be created with your induction cooktop.

Stay away from certain metals (e.g., aluminum) or stainless-steel that is mixed with other metals. The chances of these types of pots and pans working with your induction cooktop are very slim and not worth wasting your hard-earned money. Remember to follow the strategies listed above to help you save time when going shopping for induction compatible cookware.

Leave a Comment: