There are many advantages to having an induction cooker, but one unfortunate drawback is that you can only use certain cookware with the cooker. Although it may seem annoying at first, if you know what is ideal and what to avoid in terms of pots and pans then you won’t have a problem.
We’ve put together this short guide on all you need to know about induction cookware, from the best pieces that will allow your induction cooker to shine, to the worse pieces you should definitely avoid. If you’ve done your research and you know what to look for and what to stay away from, then shopping for some induction cookware bits shouldn’t be as hard as it sounds.
How Does Induction Technology Work?
Despite being very complex, induction technology isn’t that hard to understand. Induction cookers essential rely on magnetic energy that is transferred by an electric current, the magnetic energy will connect to your pan when it is placed on the induction cooker and turn the pan into a heat source.
Since the pan fulfills the magnetic energy circuit many people find themselves asking whether you need a specific type of pan in order for the induction cooker to work. In short, yes you do but that doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy yourself a whole new set of pots and pans.
Since the rise in popularity of induction cookers, many manufacturers and brands actually offer induction cookware without even realizing it. While you may have pans and pots sitting in your kitchen, you will be surprised the number that are actually compatible with your induction cooker.
What Pans Work Best on an Induction Cooker?
The best type of cookware that works with an induction cooker are those made from ferrous metals such as cast iron or stainless steel. You also must ensure that any pan you use on your induction cooker has a flat bottom as those which are uneven can make a lot of noise through vibrations and cause any glass lids to crack or even break sometimes.
It is also essential that the handles on your pots and pans are securely on as they can also vibrate when the induction cooker is on high heat; ensuring your cookware has sturdy handles will be the best option in terms of having a safe cooking process.
Just be aware though that you may have to pay more money for pans that will work and last you as long as you want. There are pans out there available that will initially work but after a while, they will start to fall apart. We would recommend sticking to a good brand you know will last and be worth the money you pay. Shopping for induction cookware online is easy and many people prefer this over actually going to a store.
You can simply put a filter on your search to look for pans or pots that are induction cooker ready. However, if you prefer seeing the cookware instore, then you can do so without even speaking to anyone. Take a magnet of some kind and any pan or pot that sticks to the magnet will have a magnetic force and therefore be compatible with your induction cooker. This is a great hack if you love shopping instore and would rather see the pans in real life before buying them.
What Pans Should Be Avoided?
Any other type of cookware doesn’t usually work with induction technology; this can be any metal from copper to glass and even ceramic. It might look pretty and feel great but if you have an induction cooker it isn’t ever going to work as the circuit in your cooker won’t be complete. However, you may be able to find copper or another metal pot or pan with a stainless steel magnetic base; if this is the case then it will work.
You must be aware though that not all stainless steel pots and pans will work. There are some cookware pieces that have several layers of metal on the base which can stop the circuit from being complete. You can check if your pan is compatible by either using a magnet or trying to stick the pot or pan to the fridge.
If it sticks, then it is magnetic enough to work on your induction cooker. You must also think about the handle style if the pan has a metal handle be extremely careful whenever you’re handling it after heating up.
A lot of the time, the pan will have a plastic or rubber cover over the metal handle which will stop you from getting burned, but sometimes there are models which don’t take this into consideration. Since the induction cooker works by heating up the pan through electric magnetic currents, the whole pan gets extremely hot. Just be wary and try to avoid buying pots or pans that have a metal handle as it can end in serious accidents, especially if you have young children around.
How to Check If Your Pans are Compatible
We have already covered an easy and efficient way in which you can check if your pan or pot is compatible with your induction cooker and that’s taking a magnet to the bottom of the pan. However, there are a few other efficient ways you can see too. One of them is to check the instruction manual, when you buy your pan set it will state whether it is induction safe and then you can know for certain if it is compatible.
Similarly, you may want to ask someone if you’re shopping instore, if you’ve gone unprepared then ask someone who works in the store whether it is compatible with an induction cooker and they will be able to check for you.
If you’ve just bought an induction cooker but you want to check if your old pans work then you can fill them up with a little bit of water, place each one on the cooker one at a time, if they heat up the water then it’s compatible, if not then you might have to go out shopping and find some pans that work with your new cooker.