Complete Guide to Induction Cookware
Top 5 Induction Cookware Picks For You:
- 10" Frying Pan & Skillet - Oberon Series
- 12" Frying Pan & Skillet - Avalon Series
- 12" Frying Pan Wok - Oberon Series
- 3 Quart Stock Pot - Oberon Series
- 12-Piece Cookware Set - Avalon Series
- What is Induction Cookware?
- Benefits of Using Induction Cookware
- Things to Consider When Buying Induction Cookware
- Induction Cookware VS Regular Cookware
- Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware
- Top 5 Induction Cookware Picks For You
- Frequently Asked Questions
Almost anyone who has ever worked in a kitchen, at home, or professionally will be familiar with conventional cookware that is normally used for cooking. However, another type of cookware gaining popularity in more kitchens these days is induction cookware.
If you are new to induction cooktops and are in the market looking for induction cookware to complement a brand-new cooktop, you’ve come to the right place! Before we get to the details of induction cookware, I would like you to remember one thing - just because a package or product listing describes that a cookware set is induction safe, does not mean it will also cook well on an induction top.
In a lot of cases, you might notice that the pot heats up quickly but it won’t cook evenly or quickly. And that, in my opinion, is not a great cookware investment. If you want the cookware to work at all on an induction cooktop, you must ensure that the pots and pans set be made of magnetic steel.
Induction is a way of generating heat using magnetism, Simply put, it means that your pots and pans set are heated by a magnetic field instead of the more traditional gas flame or electric element. What makes this form of cooking so amazing is that this magnetic field does not generate heat directly so even if you put your hand on top of the cooktop, you won’t feel a thing.
The only time that the magnetic field produced by the cooktop penetrates the metal of the pan is when you place a suitable pot or pan on top of an induction cooktop. The metal pan then gets hot and heats the food inside it.
This is basically how Induction cooktops work. With that being said, let me get straight to telling you everything I know about induction cookware.
1. What is Induction Cookware?
If you plan on using an induction cooktop, you will have to invest in compatible cookware. You can skip this step and use your regular pots and pans on induction cookware but they won’t heat up and you will end up wasting your time and money.
For cookware to be compatible with your induction stovetop, it needs to be magnetic.
The cookware needs to be ferrous, which means it needs to be made of materials with strong magnetic properties. Therefore when cooking with induction, cast iron, and stainless steel are going to be the metals you want to use.
Cast Iron has strong magnetic qualities so in most cases, you can count on your cast iron cookware to be induction ready. When it comes to stainless steel, it is important not to assume that all stainless steel is induction ready, because not all stainless steel alloys are made with the same concentration of elements. Keep in mind, the composition of stainless steel is iron mixed with at least 10.5% chromium.
Aluminum is non-ferrous and if you try to use aluminum cookware on an induction cooktop, it will not heat up. However, there is an exception to this. Aluminum that is clad with stainless steel can be induction capable, as long as the steel itself is ferrous.
There are two ways in which you can tell if a particular piece of cookware is induction-ready or not. First, look for the words ‘induction ready’ on the label or packaging of the cookware. If you are still unsure, the second way to determine this is by using a magnet. If a magnet sticks to the cookware, you can be sure it is induction ready.
The performance of your induction cookware can also be affected by some other factors. Induction cooktops feature flat surfaces and work best with cookware that is flat-bottomed as well.
When looking for induction cookware, you must keep in mind that the magnetic field on an induction cooktop is generated just above the cooktop surface. This is why when you use flat-bottomed cookware, it optimizes the contact with the magnetic field.
A very common feature of induction-ready cookware is the addition of a heavy, highly ferrous flat bottom which is impact-bonded to the bottom of the pan to ensure even distribution of heat all across the pan or pot.
2. Things to Consider When Buying Induction Cookware
For induction cooktops, you need to invest in cookware that will work well on it. The cookware you choose must contain ferromagnetic materials. Simply put, it must have magnetic properties to work with the magnets on the stove. You can follow one of the 2 methods I mentioned above to determine whether the cookware you picked is induction ready or not.
The material that you pick for your induction cookware makes a lot of difference. Here are some materials that go well with this method of cooking:
Cast Iron and Carbon Steel
Cookware made from these materials is fantastic because they are extremely durable and can hold heat very well. These types of pans are made of an alloy that contains irons that make them work well.
Other than these, these are some other requirements that need to be met to ensure that the cookware is induction safe. First, they must have a flat surface to ensure complete contact with the stove’s element. Second, they must have a smooth surface and lastly, they need to attract magnets.
Although uncoated cast iron is compatible with induction, it is not recommended because its rough surface might scratch the cooktop.
This type of cookware is crafted from an alloy that contains 10.5% or more chromium. This makes the material sturdy and non-reactive and resistant to rust and corrosion.
Typically, high-quality, multi-clad stainless steel cookware includes a copper or aluminum core that is sandwiched between steel layers to help the pot or pan with heat conduction. Remember that if the nickel content in the stainless steel is too high, it will prevent the steel from having a magnetic reaction and cannot be used with an induction stove.
Hard Anodized Aluminum
This type of cookware is made from electrochemically hardened aluminum and has an oxidized top layer that protects the pan or pot from scratches and scrapes. Typically, hard anodized aluminum is not induction-ready but if it has a built-in iron or magnetic steel disc then you know that it has been designed to be used with your induction cooktop.
One thing to keep in mind with all cookware is that the maximum heat capacity depends on the material and manufacturer of the cookware. Normally, uncoated pans will have a higher heat threshold than those that have ceramic or non-stick coatings.
The heating range of more inductions stoves goes from 100 to 500 degrees with a few higher-end models that will go beyond the 550-degree mark. When you are looking for induction-friendly cookware to invest in, be sure to find pieces that will be able to stand up to the temperatures you are most likely to use.
With induction cookware, it is very important to make sure that the size of the pan you pick will fit the element. If it is too big or too small, it won’t activate the element.
Maintaining induction cookware is not all that different from caring for non-induction pans. It depends on the material that your cookware is made of. I prefer stainless induction cookware as it can stand up to rigorous use, can be hand-washed, and placed in the dishwasher.
For induction-friendly pieces, you will also want to monitor the magnetic properties of the bottom of the pan and check to see if there is any separation of the induction disc if it is externally bonded. If the pan shows signs of weak magnetic attraction, the disc’s bond has been compromised, it may be a sign that it’s time to replace the cookware.
Now that you have already invested in an induction range, it would be silly to not invest in compatible cookware. Bear in mind that premium quality induction cookware does come at a premium price. For this reason, you must be in the mindset to spend a few hundred dollars on a complete set.Yes, you can also find less expensive induction-friendly cookware, but remember that at a lower price, the material and construction of the pan may be less durable in the long haul.
3. Induction Cookware VS Nonstick Cookware
|Attributes||Induction Cookware||Nonstick Cookware|
|Base of the Cookware||Induction Cookware comes with a strong magnetic base that helps with heating the food evenly.||
Most induction cooktops will not heat regular pots and pans because they have no magnetic base.
Due to this, the magnetic field of the cooktop cannot produce a concentrated current.
Induction cookware needs to be made with materials that can work well on an induction cooktop.
Nonstick cookware sets are not compatible with induction cooktops.
|Energy Usage||This type of cookware optimizes the energy produced by the induction cooktop and uses 90% of the energy that is produced.||Traditional gas burners use 55% and electric ranges use 65% of the energy produced, which means a lot of energy this is produced by the stovetops goes to waste.|
|Cooking Time||Optimized energy consumption also results cooks food faster. It results in an extremely fast boil (almost 50% fast than its traditional counterparts).||While induction cookware heats up instantly, regular nonstick pots and pans set can take anywhere between 5-8 minutes to heat up.|
|Price||Induction cooktops and cookware are traditionally more expensive than electric or gas ranges. However, this is an investment that will pay off in the long run.||In the market, you can find regular nonstick pots and pans at a wide range of prices depending on the usage and the quality you are going for.|
4. Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware
Anyone who has cooked has experienced some stubborn food particles sticking to the bottom of their stainless steel pots and pans. Here are a few methods you can use to clean stainless steel pans with stuck-on food:
Removing Burnt Food with Boiling Water
This is one of the simplest solutions to remove burnt food from stainless steel. The heat from the water helps loosen the leftover food from the pot, making it easier to remove.
|Scrub:||Start by scrubbing away as much food as possible with a non-abrasive scrubber. This is important otherwise you might land up damaging the cookware.|
|Add Soap:||Fill the pot or pan with water and a little bit of dish soap.|
|Submerge:||To ensure that this method is successful, you need to see to it that all the stuck-on food is submerged in water.|
|Bring to a Boil:||Put this pan on the cooktop and bring the water to a boil.|
|Remove the food:||Once the water gets to a boil, use a spatula to scrape away the excess food with ease.|
5. Top 5 Induction Cookware Picks For You
Picking the right cookware for your induction cooktop is very important because it directly impacts the kind of food you put on the table. Getting the wrong induction cookware can mean serving unevenly cooked food, burned food, or in some cases no food at all because regular pots and pans would not work.
I have made my fair share of mistakes when looking to purchase induction cookware, and trust me, the key to this is investing in quality cookware that sits well on your induction cooktop.
Here’s a list of some pieces that I thought would be a great addition to your kitchen arsenal:
1. 10" Frying Pan & Skillet - Oberon Series
This beautiful 3-ply Aluminum core cookware with stainless steel cladding is a great tool to help you cook magic in the kitchen. This cladding is additional thick gauge layers of nonreactive 18/10 stainless steel that excels at browning and braising foods.
The eye-catching design of this pan is built to add luxury and performance to your kitchen.
- This is a high-performing, medium-weight piece of cookware that is built to last.
- The pan is easy to care for, making it low maintenance.
- The 35 micrometers nonstick Eterna coating will not only last longer than traditional nonstick coatings but will also keep the nonstick properties intact for a long time.
- The cookware boasts impeccable conductivity to quickly heat food and evenly cook anything from thick proteins to delicate omelets.
- If you are looking to buy a pan to cook for a big family or if you are someone who hosts a lot of gatherings, you can go for the 12” Frying Pan & Skillet instead.
For someone looking to set up a whole new range of induction cookware, I would suggest you go for a cookware set instead. Not only will you get a matching set for your kitchen, but will also save you some bucks as compared to buying individual pieces.
Dalstrong’s 5-ply Avalon Series is the epitome of functional cookware combined with stunning design and high performance. The copper forged foundation layer with additional thick gauge layers of nonreactive 18/10 stainless steel and premium aluminum is built to provide ultimate conductivity and enhanced heat retention.
- This professional cookware allows for precise searing, browning, sautéing, deep-frying, quick boiling, sauce, jams, and even baking.
- This skillet is both, oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees F. It is also freezer, dishwasher, and refrigerator safe.
- This pan heats 5X better than iron and 20X better than stainless steel.
- These pans also have excellent responsiveness to temperature changes, making it easier to control the required temperature to preserve the nutritional qualities, taste, and color of food.
- This equipment is priced on the higher side. If you are new to induction cooking and are buying something to get started, you can also take a look at the smaller, 10” pan and skillet.
- If you are looking to buy more than 1 piece of cookware for your kitchen, I suggest you go for a 6 piece or 12 piece set, that will take care of all your cooking needs
Versatile, functional, and stylish, this wok has the whole package. This wok comes with a 3-ply aluminum core that is fused with additional thick layers of nonreactive stainless steel, making it a great investment if you’re setting up your induction compatible cookware range.
- The brushed finish of the induction bottom is provided for enhanced grip that is required for smooth top electric ranges, induction cooktops, and gas stoves.
- The stainless steel used to make this pan dramatically prolongs the life of the pan, making it extremely durable.
- The layers of satin and nylon polish also make this wok scratch-resistant.
- If you are new to induction cooking, I recommend you first pick an induction pot and pan for your kitchen and then invest in a wok if you feel like you still require one.
- This induction wok is slightly more expensive than the other you might find in the market. Instead, you can go for a frying pan and skillet.
Love stirring up a nice stew, or soup, or just looking for a taller pot to help you boil potatoes and pasta? This is what you need. This medium-weight, functional cookware is the perfect addition to your kitchen.
- The cookware is built for incredible conductivity and helps quickly heat up and evenly cook anything you put in it.
- This heavy gauge cookware with 2.5mm thickness will never dent or warp under prolonged heat, producing consistent cooking results.
- The nonstick properties of the coating last 26X longer than other leading competitors and 10X longer than other premium nonstick brands.
- Some cooks or chefs would want to go for a stockpot with a silicon handle as the steel handle of this pot can get too hot if exposed to heat for a long time.
- Instead of buying individual stock pots, I suggest you take a look at the Dalstrong cookware range where you can find a set to fit your kitchen.
5. 12-Piece Induction Cookware Set - Avalon Series
A work of beauty, this set will be the head-turner of your kitchen. With a best-in-class 5-ply copper forged foundation layer this set will enhance your culinary experience. This set of induction cookware is compatible with all stovetops and optimized for induction.
- This 12 piece induction ready cookware set has some pots, pans, and lids, saving you the time and energy of going around and picking individual pieces.
- The premium steel quality and craftsmanship make this functional set of cookware very durable.
- The pieces that come in this set are designed for enhanced heat retention and are made to preserve the freshness of foods.
- Comes with stainless steel handles on several of the pots and pans.
- If you think this set is too much for you, price-wise and size-wise, you can go for the 6 piece induction cookware set.
- If you are new to induction cooking, I suggest you first buy a single 10” or 12” pan and get used to it before investing such a big sum of money in a 12 piece set.
6. Frequently Asked Questions
What type of cookware is best for induction cooking?
Induction cookware must be made of a magnetic-based material, such as cast iron or magnetic stainless steel.
How do I know if my pans are induction?
This is easy. You can tell whether the post and pans you're currently using are magnetic by simply holding a magnet to the bottom of the pan to see if it sticks. You can also check the underside of your cookware for the induction logo or symbol.
What is the difference between induction cookware and regular cookware?
Induction cookware is made of a magnetic-based material that can support excellent heat conductivity, whereas regular pots and pans are made of materials like aluminum or copper.
Can I use stainless steel on induction?
Stainless steel pots and pans are durable and easy to clean and are also a great choice for induction cooking. To ensure that the food gets cooked evenly, check that the pots and pans you are using are induction friendly.
Written by Himani Vaid
Toronto-based food nerd turned food storyteller, Himani is a connoisseur of all things delish. Currently, busy thinking about what to eat next.