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.
Induction cooktops have become popular due to their style, efficiency, and safety and the $$ savings they make on energy use. They fit well with both modern and classic kitchens.
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.
What This Covers
- How Induction Heating Differs
- What To Look For in Induction Cookware
- Using Cast Iron Cookware with Induction Heating
- Stainless Steel Induction Ready Cookware
- Nonstick Induction Ready Cookware
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Induction Cooking
How Does Induction Heating Work
The induction heating of the cooktop differs from the traditional.
Induction Cooktop vs An Electric Cooktop
How do induction and electric cooktops differ? Induction cookers use an electromagnetic field to generate heat for cooking, whereas electric cooktops (and gas types) rely on radiant heat.
I explain more about how induction cookers differ from electric cooktops (and gas types) in my article on how to use an induction cooktop.
Induction Heating Has Advantages
Efficient heating (saving energy costs) and safety are the main benefits. Only the pans in contact with the surface are heated.
While induction heating produces high temperatures, this electromagnetic system of cooking means the cooktop and the surrounding area remains cool to touch, saving you from unexpected burns, while protecting the fingers of curious youngsters.
Compared to most standard stovetops, induction cookers have temperature settings numbered 100 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (some up 550+° F). 1
Induction cooktops come with a number of advantages. While I write about these below (skip to section), the thing is that if you have one of these (or intend getting one) you will need to have induction suitable cookware.
This special type of cookware needs to be ‘induction-ready’ for enough heating to cook food or, in other words, for the cooktop to function properly.
So, what are these special induction pots and pans like?
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
What’s The Best Induction Cookware?
What should I look for in induction cookware? There are a few factors to consider.
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).
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?
Consider the weight of the induction cooktop pans. From a noise perspective, heavier cookware, such as cast iron types, usually produce less of the humming noise that is oft generated by induction cooking. Lightweight cookware is easier to handle.
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.
My article on the healthiest cookware material mentions the advantages of stainless steel.
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
You’ll also find induction-ready cookware in the ceramic nonstick range listed in my buying guide to ceramic nonstick cookware.
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”.
Many brands 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.