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. If you’ve done your research and you know what to look for and what to stay away from, then shopping for induction cookware is easy.
How Does Induction Technology Work?
Induction cookers rely on magnetic energy that is transferred by an electric current. The magnetic energy connects to your induction compatible pan when it is placed on the induction cooker and turns the pan into a heat source.
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. You may be surprised at the number of pots and pans in your kitchen that are actually compatible with your induction cooker.
What Pans Work Best on an Induction Cooker?
The type of cookware that works with an induction cooker is made from ferrous metals such as cast iron or magnetized 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 do not work very well.
It is also essential that the handles on your pots and pans are securely fastened as they can also vibrate when the induction cooker is on high heat. Sturdy handles also ensure a safe cooking process.
Can I Use Cast Iron on Induction Cooktop?
Although cast iron can be a bit heavy, it is just fine for induction cooking. Some people are concerned that their cast iron skillet might scratch the surface of the cooktop. However, with careful handling and keeping the bottom of the skillet smooth you can keep the surface of your induction burner smooth and pristine.
Why Buy Quality Cookware?
While you may have to pay a bit more for quality induction cookware, it is worth it in the long run for two reasons.
First, almost all induction cookware can also be used on gas and electric stoves. Second, pots and pans that are well-constructed will last longer than ones that are poorly manufactured with cheap materials. We recommend sticking to a good brand you know will last and in the long run will be worth the investment.
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 pots or pans that are induction cooker ready.
However, if you prefer seeing the cookware in a brick and mortar store, you can check the products out in person and then go online to see if you can get the item at a lower price.
If you prefer to see and hold the pot or pan prior then just test the product with a magnet to make sure it is induction friendly. If the magnet sticks strongly to the bottom of the pan, then it can be used on an induction cooktop.
Some people shop for cookware at thrift stores or yard sales, especially vintage cast iron skillets. If this is the case, be sure to test the pot or pan with a magnet to make sure it is induction ready.
What Pans Should Be Avoided?
The base of the cookware has to be made with a layer of magnetic material. If you have glass, copper and aluminum pans, check the bottom with a magnet. If it doesn't securely stick, then the pan will not work on your induction cooker. Even some stainless steel pans don't have this magnetized base.
However, with the increased popularity of induction cooking, manufacturers are adding this layer to the pan base of many stainless steel, copper, and aluminum pots and pans. This increases the versatility of the cooking vessel, since it can be used on induction and conventional cooktops.
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 testing the pan with a magnet. However, there are a couple of other ways you can check your cookware. One of them is to read the instruction manual either online or in-store before buying your pan set. It will state whether it is induction compatible.
Another way to check your pans for induction compatibility is to fill them up with a little bit of water, place each one on the cooker one at a time, if the water heats then it’s compatible.