Thinking of buying an induction cooktop (or maybe you have one) and you want to know what is the best cookware for an induction cooktop? You should know that not all cookware can be used on these types of cooktops. In this article, I cover what you need to know about cookware for induction cookers.
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What should I look for in choosing the best induction cookware?
When choosing induction cookware, look for induction-compatible bases, a respected brand, and a design that offers comfort, safety, and minimal hum. You’ll find induction cookware hum or buzz when in use.
People prefer induction cooking because it offers efficiency, safety, and energy savings. It’s a style that fits well in both modern and classic kitchens and especially in compact spaces.
Just having a portable induction cooktop, a one or two-burner unit for the indoor or outdoor bench, provides a versatile cooking option. I cover a selection in my article on what to look for in a portable induction cooktop.
How does induction heating work
Induction heating uses electromagnetism for the current needed to create heat for your cooking purposes. What makes induction heating in cooking different from all the others is that the heat is generated inside the cooking pan rather than externally via a burner or hot plate.
In contrast, a traditional cooktop uses radiant heating.
How do induction and electric cooktops differ?
So, induction cookers use an electromagnetic field for heat generation whereas electric cooktops (and gas types) rely on radiant heat.
But let’s look at other differences…
Induction cooktop vs an electric cooktop vs gas
For one, the controls and settings differ. Compared to most standard stovetops, induction cookers can have temperature settings numbered 100 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (some up 550+° F). This means finer adjustment of the heating, especially compared to gas cooktops.
Savings on energy costs is one main benefit. Induction heating can produce high temperatures efficiently. Only the pans in contact with the surface are heated.
As I explain in my article on how to use an induction cooktop, induction cooktops are considered safe because the area around the cooktop remains cool to touch. Only the area in contact with the pans gets heated. This lowers the risk of prying little fingers getting burned.
A gas or electric range (radiant heat) will remain hot enough to cause burns for a considerable time after it is turned off.
Induction cookware buying guide
Induction cooking has a number of advantages. While I write about the pros below (skip to section), the thing is, if you have an induction cooktop (or intend getting one) you will need induction compatible cookware.
What this means is a special type of ‘induction-ready’ cookware for the cooktop to function properly.
These special induction pots and pans have a magnetic base.
If you can’t tell if your pans are induction safe…”An easy test is to take a refrigerator magnet and hold it up to your pots and pans. If it sticks, your pan should work on an induction cooking surface.” 2
How to find the best cookware for an induction cooktop
Here are the main features to look for.
Base of pan
Check whether the pan has the right base for induction heating. You can check for labeling or descriptions such as ‘induction safe’, ‘induction suitable’ or ‘induction-ready’. (Or, try the trick I mentioned above with the magnet).
Quality – respected brand
Is it a quality set? For example, the manufacturer is a respected company.
Does it come with a warranty to give you the confidence you need to depend on these products to last?
Ease of cleaning
Is it dishwasher-safe for your personal convenience? I always recommend hand washing to increase the longevity of your cookware, but some people prefer the convenience of dishwashing.
Comfort & safety in design
Look for induction cooktop pans that are easy and comfortable to use. Do they come equipped with comfortable silicone handles or similar to ensure that you have a safe and firm grip no matter how long the pans have been on the stove?
Why weight matters
Consider the weight of the induction cooktop pans from a noise perspective. Heavier cookware, such as cast iron types, produce less of the humming noise that is generated with induction cooking.
If you don’t mind the hum, you may prefer the lightweight cookware for it ease of handling.
While you might not have everything you need in your kitchen right away, choosing an exceptional construction in cookware straight up will ensure your kitchen is off to a good start.
Here are a few of the best options on the market if you are looking to buy induction-ready cookware.
Induction ready cookware sets
Let’s look at induction-ready cookware sets.
I cover what to love or not about stainless steel cookware in my article about which cookware material is the healthiest.
The following induction-ready pots and pans set is a popular choice in this range…
Cuisinart induction cookware sets in stainless steel
If you’re looking for the security that a widely respected name brand can give you, then this high-quality set from Cuisinart will be just the thing to give you the best induction cookware.
You can choose from 7 to 12 piece sets in polished stainless steel.
The 12-piece set has everything you could need, from stock and soup pots to large saute pans, all of which come with an aluminum center that guarantees lightweight and ease of use.
Of course, to work perfectly with induction stovetops, this collection involves triple-ply construction. It has three different levels of metals bonded together in a durable cookware design – stainless steel inner and outer and aluminum bonded between.
This is the perfect cookware set for someone who’s looking to replace an old set or a new homeowner who’s looking to fully stock his or her kitchen with induction pans.
The manufacturer claims the set is dishwasher safe, is oven safe to 550° F, and comes with a lifetime warranty. 3 Note: I do recommend you hand wash if you want your pots and pans to work best for longer.
- Aluminum core means they heat evenly and quickly
- Good selection of pieces
- Durable stainless steel, inner and outer
- Tapered rim for easy pouring
- Tight-fitting covers seal in goodness
- Not non-stick
- Rivets can attract buildup of grime
- Mirror finish shows marks
Duxtop induction cookware sets in stainless steel
This set, similar to the Cuisinart, in its triple-ply constructed and design with tapered rim and tight-fitting lids.
As well, the handle on the Duxtop set is stainless and designed to stay cool.
It is a 10 piece set, with a brushed stainless finish.
- Oven-safe to 550 ºF
- Freezer-safe for food storage
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Riveted areas can need extra care in cleaning
- Non stick
T-fal induction cookware in nonstick range
This set carries the T-fal’s ‘Thermo spot technology‘. The great thing about this is that you can tell when the pans are ready for you to add the ingredients because a ring around the Thermo spot turns solid red.
- Non stick makes it easy to clean and less fat in cooking
- Thermo spot technology
- Silicone handles are cool to touch
- Oven to 400 ºF (without lids)
- Rivets can attract buildup of grime
- Expect the nonstick coating to wear with use
- Avoid very high heating of the PTFE surface
Induction non stick ceramic cookware
For some best ceramic induction cookware that’s nonstick, see my article on why they might be the right option for you.
Can I use cast iron pans for induction cooking?
For those of you wondering does cast-iron work on induction cooktops, the short answer is yes. Iron-based material is the best cookware for induction cooking.
If you are looking for a cast-iron skillet, check out my article that covers a popular cast iron brand.
And… there’s also my guide on choosing the best cast-iron griddles.
Induction cooking advantages and disadvantages
Induction cooking has a number of benefits.
One main thing to love in using these cooktops is that the only part that gets hot is the equipment you’re using, rather than the stovetop and the surrounds. This feature helps with keeping you and your family safe from burns.
If you turn the cooktop on without the cookware, it won’t generate heat.
Another major benefit is that you should see a significant reduction in the energy costs of cooking your food because these stoves heat fast. This helps the budget and is in keeping with a more environmentally friendly home.
- They are attractive
- Less spills and mess likely
While there are a number of benefits to this particular cooking method, you might find some downsides.
Induction heating only works when an electrically conductive material is in contact with the cooktop. This means that you’ll need pans suited to induction cooking. I covered that certain type of pots and pans above.
You might find the cooktop makes a noise like a hum or a buzz while in operation.
And, as heating is faster, you’ll find you’ll need to do your prep before starting to cook rather than while your pan is heating.
Some consider the emission of EMFs a downside of this technology. However, the amount emitted during normal use is considered safe according to a long list of sources.4
In the benefit of safety, you should follow these recommendations when using induction cookware: 5
- Always use the correct pan size to cover the coil and center the pan so it completely covers the coil.
- Ensure the pans sit well and contact the cooktop. This means using only flat-bottomed pans.
- To avoid any likelihood of current flowing through your body, use only nonmetal spoons or utensils, e.g. made from bamboo or silicone.
Also, people with certain cardiac pacemakers may want to check with their medical advisor. A study published in Europace found “Patients are at risk if the implant is unipolar and left-sided, if they stand as close as possible to the induction cooktop, and if the pot is not concentric with the induction coil”.
Made In is one of the many brands that are now adopting the induction system and producing pots and pans that are suitable for induction stoves. Keep these product sets in mind so that you can get your kitchen ready to make some of the best meals on an induction cooker.
- Temperature Settings For Various Items In Induction Cooking
- AJMadison. The Advantages and Disadvantages of An Induction Cooktop.
- Cuisinart. Stainless Steel Pro Limited Lifetime Warranty
- The Rational Kitchen. Is Induction Cooking Safe? https://therationalkitchen.com/induction-cooking-safe/
- Federal Office Of Health. 2016. Fact Sheets-Induction Hobs. FOH Switzerland. Accessed Nov 4, 2019.
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