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. This article covers what you need to know about cookware for induction cookers.
What This Covers
- How Induction Cooktops Differ To Others
- What To Look For in Induction Cookware
- Using Cast Iron Cookware with Induction Heating
- Induction Ready Cookware
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Induction Cooking
How Induction Cooktops Differ To Others
Induction cooktops have become popular due to their style, their efficiency, and their safety. Home cooks are loving just how well they fit with modern and classic kitchens alike and the savings they make on energy costs.
Having a portable induction cooktop with one or two burners that can be used on the tabletop or bench indoors or outdoors provides a versatile cooking option.
Looking for a portable induction cooktop? – check out my article covering what to look for and some popular buys.
This style of cooking, however, differs to the traditional approach.
Compared to most standard stove tops, induction cookers have temperature settings numbered 100 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (some up 550+° F). 1
While it can heat to high temperatures, this electromagnetic system of cooking means the cooktop and the surrounding area remains cool to touch, saving you from unexpected burns. It is only the pans that heat up for the cooking process.
Induction cooktops come with a number of advantages, which I write about below. The thing is that if you have one of these, or intend getting one, you will need to have induction suitable cookware.
The reason is that unlike standard gas or electric stoves, induction cooktops rely on electromagnetic energy to heat the cookware. I explain more on this in my article on how to use induction cookers.
So, you need special induction pots and pans for this system. 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.
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 Choose The Best Induction Ready Cookware
What should I look for in induction cookware? There are a few factors to consider.
- First…Check whether the bottom of the pan has the right base for induction heating. You can check for labelling or descriptions such as ‘induction safe’, ‘induction suitable’ or ‘induction-ready’. (Or, try the trick I mentioned above with the magnet).
- Then…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.
- 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.
- 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 however 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.
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 Ready Cookware Sets
For people looking to completely replace their old cooking sets or are looking for a new set and wanting induction ready pots and pans…
Cuisinart Induction Cookware Set: MCP-12N Stainless Steel 12-Piece
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.
This induction cookware set comes with everything you could need, from stock and soup pots to large saute pans, all of which come with an aluminum center that guarantees light weight and ease of use.
Of course, to work perfectly with induction stovetops, this collection comes with triple-ply construction, which means that it comes with three different levels of metals all bonded together to create efficient and durable cookware.
This is the perfect set for a home cook 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.
Manufacturer claims the set is dishwasher safe, is safe to 500° F, and comes with a lifetime warranty. 3
Induction Non Stick Cookware
You’ll also find induction ready cookware in the nonstick range. Check out the sets I list in my buying guide to ceramic nonstick cookware.
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.
I already covered that you need a certain type of pots and pans – ones that are induction ready or safe for this system.
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.
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 emission of EMFs a downside of this technology. However, the amount emitted during normal use is considered safe according to the rationalkitchen.com, who reference a long list of resources.
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 medial 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.