Induction Cooktop FAQ

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Are you thinking about buying an induction cooktop but are not sure how it works or what cookware can be used?  We answered these queries as well some of the more commonly asked questions.

How does an induction cooktop work?  

Induction cooktops have an electromagnetic coil under the ceramic plate. When the unit is turned on and an induction compatible pan (cast iron, magnetic stainless steel, carbon steel) is on the cooktop surface, an alternating electric current passes through the coil. A magnetic field is then generated around the coil and above it. This fluctuating magnetic field goes through the pan and moves around inside the bottom and sides of the pan. producing an electric current that flows through the pan. These currents swirl around the pan and dissipates energy. The metal pan gets hot and the food inside the pan heats up.

How to clean an induction stovetop?

Unplug the cooktop and let it cool. Wipe it with a damp sponge or cloth to remove crumbs or spills and buff dry.

Some people clean the surface with a glass ceramic cooktop cleaner.  Shake the bottle of the cleaner and pour a small amount onto the cooktop. Gently, rub the cooktop with a cloth or paper towel.  Remove the residue with a soft moist cloth.

Related Content: How to clean an induction cooktop.

What kind of cookware can be used on an induction cooktop?

The base of the pot or pan must contain iron or have a layer that is made of a magnetic material. Enamel cast iron, cast iron, enameled cast iron, carbon steel, and stainless steel pots and pans with a magnetized base (18/0) are induction ready.

Are all stainless steel pots and pan induction compatible?

No. The bottom has to be magnetic stainless steel (18/0).

How can I find out if my pots and pans will work on induction?

If a magnet (kitchen magnets are fine to use) sticks securely to the base of the pan and the base is smooth and flat, it will work on an induction cooking surface.

Can I use a griddle on an induction cooktop?

Yes, as long as it is induction compatible.

Will a cast iron skillet scratch the cooktop surface?

Yes, if you are not careful. Place the skillet gently on the cooktop and lift it to remove (don’t drag it across the cooktop surface). Make sure the bottom of the skillet is smooth.  

How does an induction cooktop measure temperature?

A temperature probe underneath the ceramic measures the temperature. However, it is important to remember there is a lag time between when the bottom of the pan is at a given temperature and when the ceramic senses it.  

How can I measure the temperature of my food while cooking?

It is best to use an analog thermometer. Sometimes, the induction cooktop magnetic field interferes with digital thermometers. If you want to use a digital thermometer, either turn off the cooktop while reading the temperature or remove the pan from the cooktop to take a quick reading.

If I have a pacemaker, should I use an induction cooktop?

Discuss this with your cardiologist.

Can a pressure cooker be used on an induction stove?

Yes, as long as the base is induction compatible. Read the pressure cooker manual to see how to operate the cooker on induction. This article discusses using a pressure cooker on an induction cooktop.

What noises do induction cooktops make?  

The cooling fan makes noise and runs for a short time after the unit has been turned off to cool the cooktop down. While cooking on induction, you may also hear buzzing, humming, or clicking sounds. These sounds may vary according to the cooktop model and the pots and pans used on the cooking surface.