You cannot use regular pots and pans on an induction cooktop. Because induction technology uses the magic of magnetism, the cookware must also be magnetic. It also must have a flat bottom. It needs to be magnetic so that it can conduct heat the way it needs to on an induction cooktop. It needs to be flat bottomed so that it doesn’t make an incredible amount of noise when you cook. All of this will be explained in detail later.
Some of the most popular materials used for pots and pans simply will not work on an induction cooktop. This includes:
What Kinds of Cookware is Safe to Use on an Induction Cooktop?
You really need to use materials such as cast iron or stainless steel. One trick you can use is the “magnet trick.” Take a kitchen magnet. If it sticks to the cookware, it is safe to use on an induction cooktop.
We listed the materials that are not safe to use on an induction cooktop already. Let’s take a look at the materials that are perfect for cooking on an induction cooktop:
- Cast iron
- Stainless steel
- Enamel pots with an iron layer inside
All of these carry the magnetic field so it is ideal to use them on an induction cooktop. The reason for this is that induction cooking doesn’t use an open flame or electric heat. It actually uses magnetic heat from a copper coil. It doesn’t heat the burner, it directly heats the pot or pan. This is why induction cooktops heat food up so much faster and to a higher temperature than electric or gas cooktops.
Some of the brands that specialize in induction cooktop are:
- All-Clad Stainless
- Mauviel M’cooks
- La Creuset Signature Cast Iron
You can buy these online or at any store that sells household goods.
Tips for Buying Induction Cookware
Before you buy a big, expensive set of induction cookware, you want to read these tips first. These are just some considerations to keep in mind when shopping for your induction cookware.
- Marked – Cookware that is safe to use for an induction cooktop should have a label or marking telling you that they are induction compatible. Since induction cooktops just became popular over the last few years, not all manufacturers make induction compatible cookware. However, those that do are sure to put labels on their products.
- Flat Bottom – make sure your cookware has a flat bottom. Not only does it offer even and thorough cooking, but it will help reduce noise. One of the drawbacks to induction cooking is that it can be noisy. While on, your cooktop will make a humming or buzzing noise. If you use flat bottom cookware, the noise won’t be so loud. If you use curved or rounded bottom pots and pans, the noise will be even louder. It will start to get on your nerves after a while.
- Lid – You don’t want to get a pot and pan set where the lids are too heavy. If you use an induction cooktop on high power, it may cause the pan to shake or vibrate. If the lid weighs too much, it could fall off or make a ton of noise. So, try to get lighter lids so that they stay securely on top of your cookware.
- Handles – Just like with the lids, you don’t want handles that are too loose. They will vibrate while you’re cooking. You also don’t want them falling off while you’re trying to pick up the pot or pan. It will be hot and heavy and the last thing you need is for the handle to fall off!
- Not all stainless-steel works – Yes, generally, stainless steel will work well on an induction cooktop. However, not all sets work. You want to find a set of induction cookware that has several layers of stainless steel on the bottom. If it just has one or two layers, they can wear off and then your cookware won’t be any good.
- Clad cookware – You want to be careful buying clad cookware that has a layer of stainless steel around an internal copper material. Not only will it possibly wear off, but because it has so many layers, it can be very loud while you cook. People have actually complained that it is so loud, they’d rather not use the induction cooktop at all. Just make sure you buy quality cookware and this shouldn’t be a problem.
- Magnet Test – We talked about the magnet test earlier. When you go shopping for your induction cookware, take a kitchen magnet with you. Just put it in your pocket or handbag. When you look at induction cookware, do the magnet test. If the magnet sticks to the outside of a pot or pan, it is good for an induction cooktop. If it doesn’t, out it back on the shelf.
What good is an article on induction cookware if we don’t give you a better idea of what brands are ideal? Here are some that have been recommended for induction cooktops. You can find these online or in the store.
Let’s first look at induction cookware sets. These have both pans and pots included. It is a bit more expensive than other sets, but it is cheaper than buying each pan and pot individually.
- Circulon Premier Professional 11-piece Hard-anodized Induction Cookware Set Bronze Exterior Stainless Steel Base
- Anolon Nouvelle Copper Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Induction Cookware Set
- Flavorstone 11” Blue Sapphire Essential Induction Cookware Set
If you just need a few odds and ends, you won’t need an entire set of induction cookware. Here are some of those that we have seen recommended for individual purchase:
- Ozeri Stone Earth Frying Pan
- Heavy Duty Regis Stone Pans by JML
- Empress Stoneline Induction Non-Stick Frying Pan
You can find these and other induction cookware online at such as amazon.co.au.
So, if you didn’t already have induction cookware, now you do. Or, at least you know what to buy. Some people ask if they can use induction cookware on a regular gas or electric stove. The answer is yes, why not?
The reason these materials and products are ideal for induction cooking is because they are magnetic. They will hold the magnetic energy that is needed to heat up using induction heat. However, they are still fine to use on any type of range.
If you are going to use an induction cooktop, it is important that you have the right tools. You can still use your old spoons, utensils and accessories. The only difference is your food will be cooked faster, more evenly and more thoroughly.
Just remember the golden rule with induction cookware – the magnet test is your friend. Whether you have an old pot or pan you want to use, or you are looking to buy new induction cookware, the magnet doesn’t lie.
If your magnet sticks to your cookware, you are in good shape. You don’t have to rid your kitchen cabinets of all your old pots and pans. You want to be sure not to attempt to use throwaway pans on your induction cooktop. They are not made out of the right material. They also cannot stand up to the heat created on an induction cooktop.