Induction Pros

Induction Pros

Induction Cookware – Pots & Pans To Use With Induction Stoves

stainless steel pots on built-in induction cooktop

What makes induction cookware so special that it deserves its own category? – It’s simple. The materials used are compatible with induction stovetops. This means ferrous metals, layered properly, that can offer sufficient resistance to the electric current generated by the magnetic field of an induction copper coil.

If it sounds confusing, know that it’s not. These days induction cookware is marked so that everyone knows if a pot or pan will work with an induction stove or not. And, the majority of cookware used today is actually induction viable. Check out the following reviews of individual pots and pans to get a better understanding of induction cookware. 

Induction Cookware Reviews

Lodge 12” Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge cookware has been around since 1896. It’s not only one of the oldest and still operating manufacturers but also among the most reputable in the industry. This is especially true when it comes to cast iron cookware. Their seasoned cast iron pans and skillets are among the best.

Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder.

Product Highlights

If you’ve ever used cast iron cookware before then you should know just how rugged it can be. Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet isn’t just big enough for all types of cooking but it’s built to last a lifetime.

Using the skillet right out of the box is very easy. It comes pre-seasoned and with a convenient silicone handle cover. This also makes the skillet very safe and easy to handle. After all, at 7.8lbs, it’s not the lightest skillet on the market.

The heat retention this skillet has is off the charts. The bottom of the skillet is perfectly flat. This will help with heat retention, reducing hot spots, and improving the heat transfer from the induction stovetop. What also helps is that the bottom of the pan is quite smooth so the entire bottom has direct contact with the induction plate.

Here are some things that are very easy to do with the Lodge 12” Cast Iron Skillet: sear, fry, grill, sauté, braise, and broil. Yes, you can even broil. Seeing as it is a cast iron skillet, it’s oven safe. It should handle temperatures of up to 450 or 500 degrees Fahrenheit with ease.

Moreover, the silicone handle holder can protect you from heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. So, there’s no need to have towels and mitts on standby when pulling the skillet out of the oven. It is worth pointing out that just because this is a piece of cast iron cookware, you shouldn’t use it with just any fire source.

You should be careful if you plan on using it with your induction stove. Using the skillet on an open fire or campfire will work, but if you damage the bottom of the skillet, you risk making it less conductive. Any dents in the skillet will not be in direct contact with the induction plate. This means that the magnetic field created through induction loses intensity and less heat is generated in the pan.

The Good

A good mix of durability and size are what gives this skillet an edge over many other similar models. Servicing the skillet is also easy, as long as you remember to wash it only with water, dry it well, and season it after every use.

The Bad

Even though the silicone handle holder prevents burns and gives you a firm grip, the skillet is still on the heavy side. It’s definitely not ideal for tossing ingredients or flipping pancakes. That is, unless you have the strength and skill to do it!

pros

cons

  • High rim
  • Durable
  • Silicone handle holder
  • Good value for the money
  • Short handle
  • Heavy

All-Clad 4112 Stainless Steel 12” Frying Pan

All-Clad is a huge name in the cookware industry. The manufacturer offers a wide range of products in the medium to high-end ranges for both residential and commercial use. As the brand is synonymous with performance and durability, it’s understandable why this frying pan is one of the more popular pieces of induction cookware on the market.

All-Clad 4112 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Fry Pan / Cookware, 12-Inch, Silver

Product Highlights

This All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply 12" Fry Pan may not be very cheap but it has a very good build quality. It features a three-ply construction with a magnetic stainless steel layer on the exterior, a pure aluminum layer in the middle and a stainless steel cooking surface.

All-Clad 4112 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Fry Pan / Cookware, 12-Inch, Silver

It’s quite a high-end product, considering the superior heat retention. 18/10 stainless steel makes for a great cooking surface whether you’re using an induction stove or a gas burner.

Clearly not as non-stick as in pure non-stick coated pans, though the cooking surface still offers some good resistance. The better you are as a chef the more you’ll be able to control the cooking process. With enough experience you should be able to cook any piece of meat without having to worry about stuck and burnt pieces.

This also means that the pan is relatively easy to clean. It’s also dishwasher safe. Handling such a large pan may be difficult for some people. However, All-Clad uses contoured and slightly angled handles which should give you a better grip.

The handle is also stainless steel and secured with multiple rivets. It has a very sturdy construction overall which should last you for many years to come. The fact that it’s also backed by a limited lifetime warranty should also tell you something about the manufacturer’s confidence in the product.

Because of the magnetic stainless steel and wide, flat base, the All-Clad 12" Frying Pan fully compatible with induction stoves. Of course, you can also use it in the oven if you want to broil your steaks to perfection as it can be used on all conventional stoves.

The pan will perform admirably in temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a tall order for many other similar pans.

The Good

The low-profile shape and the excellent heat retention and distribution make this All-Clad 4112 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Fry Pan / Cookware, 12-Inch, Silver stand out from the rest. It has great responsiveness in the hands of experienced chefs but it’s also quite forgiving to beginners.

The Bad

When comparing anything All-Clad to the competition, it’s hard not to notice the pricing differences. That being said, for someone who wants high-end full-clad stainless steel induction cookware, the price may not be a deterrent.

pros

cons

  • Low-profile design
  • Can be used in the oven
  • Resistant at up to 600ºF 
  • Even heat distribution
  • Expensive
  • No cool to touch handle

De Buyer Mineral B 12.5” Frying Pan

When properly seasoned, the De Buyer Mineral B 12.5” Frying Pan can be a chef’s dream on the stove. It works on any type of heat source, including induction. It is also great at searing meat, roasting veggies, and pretty much anything else that requires high heat and speed.

Product Highlights

This frying pan is one of the most durable frying pans for induction stoves that aren’t made of cast iron. Made from carbon steel, it has superior durability while also being quite light and easy to handle.

The pan’s flat bottom ensures full contact with your induction plate which means that there’s no loss in heat generation. Furthermore, the evenness at the bottom and on the cooking surface facilitates a very fast heat distribution.

This frying pan like other carbon steel pans, is capable of very fast cooking speeds. And, unlike stainless steel frying pans or skillets compatible with induction stoves, it’s also fully non-stick after you season it properly.

In order to get it primed for cooking you can simply add some flaxseed oil to the pan and heat it up for a couple of minutes. Let it cool, drain the oil, and repeat the process. If you do it two or three times, you’ll be able to use the pan with little to no oil. And, even if you were to sear steaks in it, they wouldn’t stick or burn, even on high heat.

The reason you should do this on the stove and not in the oven is simply because of the epoxy coated handle. It’s not oven safe. On the other hand, the epoxy coating will allow you to handle the frying pan at all times without the need for oven mitts or towels. This means that you can have a firm grip and have total control over the cooking process.

It’s also worth pointing out that carbon steel will react with certain foods. Any acidic ingredients such as tomatoes, lemons, wine, and others could react with the cooking surface and damage it in the long run. It’s best to use this frying pan for omelets, steaks, roasting veggies, and other similar dishes.

The Good

If you want to cook fast then you would be hard-pressed to find a more suitable cooking surface than carbon steel. The De Buyer Mineral B 12.5” Frying Pan boasts an immaculately flat bottom, superb cooking speeds, and has a cool handle. If seasoned properly, it is also fully non-stick.

The Bad

Due to how quickly it warms up, how hot it gets, and how quickly it distributes the heat, this frying pan comes with a somewhat steep learning curve. There’s a reason why more professional chefs than home cooks  opt for this type of a pan. The De Buyer pan may also be less exciting for people that use a lot of wine or other acidic ingredients in their recipes.

pros

cons

  • Cooks very fast
  • Comes with two handles
  • Carbon steel cooking surface
  • Very durable
  • Perfectly flat bottom
  • Requires proper seasoning
  • Not oven safe

Cuisinart 89336-30H Professional Stainless Steel Sauté Pan

Cuisinart is among the top manufacturers of cookware and kitchen appliances. The brand caters to residential and commercial clients, always offering great variety in both the budget-friendly and high-end categories. This stainless steel sauté pan is one of their more reliable pieces of induction cookware made for use at home.

Cuisinart 89336-30H Professional Stainless Saute with Cover, 6-Quart

Product Highlights

In the right hands this Cuisinart Saute Pan can completely change how dinner is made at home. This 6-quart pan is big enough to cook a dish for the entire family. And, although it is designed for quick frying, it’s also oven and broiler safe, so you can definitely do more than cook sliced veggies and tender meat.

This sauté pan can be used at up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven, with or without the lid on. This will definitely help you get that perfect crust on a Spanish omelet and a delicious medium rare steak any day of the week.

Because the outer bottom layer is made of magnetic stainless steel, it can be used on induction stoves too. The heat distribution is good, although there is a risk of burning your food with excessive heat. The pan isn’t as thick as others so it heats up fast. It’s also not non-stick, requiring you to be more careful with how you cook.

This Cuisinart pan has a high impact bonded base which helps facilitate fast heating. Since it’s also pretty flat it is efficient to use on an induction stovetop. The pan weighs around 7 lbs which makes it slightly heavy.

However, the handle is long, angled downwards, and secured properly with stainless steel rivets for additional safety. Handling the pan should be relatively easy. There’s no coating on the handle which is why it’s safe to use it to bake or broil something. Just make sure to use oven mitts to take it out because the handle will be very hot.

The lid is a tempered glass FlavorLock lid. A design used often by Cuisinart due to its impressive performance. It offers a very good seal which helps maintain moisture in the pan and prevents the food from losing nutrients and flavor.

If you really want to get the most out of this sauté pan, ditch the oil and use fat instead. Not only will it give your food extra flavor but it will also make things easier for you, especially if you’re not used to cooking at high heat.

The Good

There are many good things about this Cuisinart Saute Pan. Though its build quality is superior, stellar heat distribution takes the top prize. With or without the lid on, there are no hot spots to deal with.

The Bad

Although quite durable and made out of quality materials, this sauté pan has limited non-stick properties. It also requires a bit more maintenance than an average pan.

pros

cons

  • Affordable
  • Even heat distribution
  • Oven safe
  • Excellent for broiling
  • Quality lid
  • Food may stick to the bottom
  • Somewhat high maintenance

Cuisinart MCP193-18N Multi Clad 3-Quart Sauce Pan

This piece of induction cookware is something everyone needs in their kitchen. There’s only so much you can do with just sauté pans and skillets. A sauce pan, even a small one, can really help you create more elaborate dishes. If you’re after a quality sauce pan, give the Cuisinart MCP193-18N Multi Clad 3-Quart Sauce Pana chance.

Cuisinart MCP193-18N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 3-Quart Saucepan with Cover

Product Highlights

This multi-clad, three-ply sauce pan has very good heat distribution because of superior material layering. The pure aluminum core is comparable with some low-end to medium-range copper cores and it is sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel that reach all the way from the bottom of the pan to the rim.

Speaking of the rim, it’s a tapered one that allows you to pour anything easily without spilling or worrying about drips. With this 3-quart sauce pan you can do just about anything. Whether you just want to melt some butter, make roux, or prepare a spicy chili dish for two, it’s easy to control thanks to the even heat distribution.

Believe it or not, the Cool Grip handle won’t get too hot. It will get warmer on a burner stove than on an induction plate but will remain safe to touch without mitts. The same can’t be said if you stick it in the oven. Both the saucepan and the lid are oven safe, however.

One thing to note here is that the cover is opaque so you won’t be able to check in on your dish without losing some steam and moisture. It’s best to use it when you’re sure about the recipe. The saucepan can also be used for broiling as it is safe to use at up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are many stainless steel saucepans and skillets out there that are compatible with induction stoves. The majority of them also have aluminum cores as it’s the most cost-efficient material to use and retain competitive quality. That being said, Cuisinart managed to hit it out of the park with this saucepan in the warm-up speed department.

The Good

If you know what you’re doing, you can even make a very good steak in a quality sauce pan such as this one. This particular model is a highly versatile piece of induction cookware, ideal in any kitchen. It offers excellent heat transfer, a tapered rim, an oven-safe Cool Grip handle, and high heat resistance. Of course, the budget-friendly price tag doesn’t hurt either.

The Bad

As good as it is, at the end of the day this is just a 3-quart saucepan. It doesn’t have a particularly high capacity, meaning that at best, you’ll be able to make one or two decent portions per use. If you need something to cook in for the entire family this might not be the perfect pan for you.

pros

cons

  • Affordable
  • Tapered rim
  • Three-ply construction
  • Cool to touch handle
  • Versatile
  • Small volume
  • Opaque cover

Staub 1102606 Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Cocotte

So, you like cooking in a Dutch oven but your induction stovetop isn’t big enough to properly heat one? – No problem. The next best thing would be a cocotte. Check out the Staub 1102606 Cast Iron Round Cocotte, 5.5-quart if you want to add a quality cocotte to your arsenal.

Staub 1102606 Cast Iron Round Cocotte, 5.5-quart, Cherry

Product Highlights

This Staub cast iron cocotte has a 5.5-quart capacity. It’s heavy, durable, and has a surprisingly flat bottom given the choice of materials. This ensures that the electric current generated in the pan gets enough resistance to generate heat evenly and fast.

The cast iron takes care of the heat retention aspect. The enamel coating is very popular due to its superior anti-adherent properties. There’s little to no chance of getting the food stuck to the sides or the bottom of the cocotte, no matter how high the temperature gets.

You should know by now that cast iron cookware is super versatile. It’s not just induction compatible and electric and gas burner ready, it can also be used in ovens, on campfires, and under the broiler. If you want to push it to the limits, know that this Staub 5.5-quart Cocotte can be used at temperatures up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit as long as the lid is off.

The lid’s upper limit is around 500ºFahrenheit. That’s not to say that it’s not a good lid. It offers a very good seal which helps maintain moisture, nutrients, and heat inside the cocotte.

One the interior, Staub opted for a matte texture which should help with browning and searing any piece of meat. Therefore, you can easily use this as a Dutch oven replacement and make it your go-to piece of cookware for one-pot dishes.

The 5.5-quart capacity is nothing to scoff at either. Sure, it’s not enough for a large family but it’s more than enough for singles and couples. And, it saves you the trouble of using a large Dutch oven for two or cooking on two induction plates simultaneously just so you can serve dinner in two cocottes.

In terms of maintenance, nothing’s as easy to service and keep in pristine condition as cast iron cookware. This cocotte is dishwasher safe too, although it will hardly need that level of attention. Washing it with a soft cloth, warm water, and seasoning it after each use is more than enough.

The Good

The capacity, design, and choice of materials make this a very versatile piece for both cooking and serving at the table. The cherry finish also adds a dash of style as it’s much more appealing than the traditional black finish on most cast iron cookware. The lid is the same color as the cocotte.

The Bad

Although it’s an awesome pot to have in your kitchen, this is not something that everyone can afford. That being said, the only potential downside to this pan is that it’s somewhat heavy.

pros

cons

  • Highly durable
  • Non-stick coating
  • Matte textured cooking surface
  • Even heat distribution
  • Can be used for serving
  • Heavy

Cuisinart MCP66-24N Multi-Clad 8-Quart Stockpot

Who didn’t need a proper stockpot at least one point in their cooking career, professional or amateur? Cuisinart offers this 8-quart stockpot as an optimal solution for those that prefer induction cooking but that also like using ovens or gas burners on occasion.

Cuisinart MCP66-24N MultiClad Pro Stainless 8-Quart Stockpot with Cover

Product Highlights

The MCP66-24N is a multi-clad or full-clad stockpot, built to be used with any heat source. It’s a durable high-quality pot, made of stainless steel layers and a pure aluminum core.

Similar to other induction-friendly Cuisinart models, the MCP66 has a sturdy three-ply construction. However, it is not exactly the top of the line model when it comes to full-clad cookware. That being said, for stockpots, you hardly need to invest in luxury options.

Stockpots are not designed to be used in lengthy high-heat cooking cycles. They’re made for cooking things low and slow, giving all flavors enough time to combine, and maintaining a rich amount of nutrients in food.

The brushed stainless steel exterior is all but impervious to damage. The flat bottom does a good job in the induction heating process as it provides a 100% contact with the induction plate. Therefore, the electric current generated in the pan is met with a lot more resistance. This translates into faster heating times and even heat distribution.

Because this is such a large and somewhat heavy item, especially when filled, the Cool Grip handle is a very nice touch. It allows you to take your time when working the pot. Keep in mind that when used inside the oven, the handle will get hot.

The rim features a drip-free design. You may not ever want a stockpot that doesn’t offer this feature. It helps pour large quantities out of the pot while also keeping your kitchen counter clean.

Cuisinart also offers a lid for the MCP66-24N stockpot. It’s an opaque lid, which may not appeal to everyone, but it’s well-designed, nonetheless. It seals in all the moisture and heat which is its primary task.

In terms of non-stick properties, there’s nothing too special to talk about. 18/10 stainless steel cooking surfaces might cause your food to stick from time to time. The good news is that unless you’re keen on browning meat in this stockpot, there’s not a lot to worry about.

It’s also worth mentioning that the price to quality ratio this stockpot offers is hard to beat. Not only is it big and rugged enough to take on the most demanding cooking tasks, it’s also very forgiving of amateur chefs, as long as appropriate recipes are handled.

The Good

The main highlight of this Cuisinart 8-Quart Stockpot is the fact that it’s extremely well-built.  It is also a very versatile and useful piece of induction cookware. It’s relatively large and offers good value for the money given that it could last you for years to come, if treated properly. This stockpot also has a drip-free rim, good heat distribution, and a cool handle.

The Bad

Perhaps the only minor drawback with the MCP66-24N is its one and only accessory: the lid. The lid is opaque which means that you will have to remove it from time to time to check on your food. This will let some heat and moisture escape, which may not appeal to more demanding home cooks. It makes investing in a clear lid almost a necessity if you plan on using the stockpot in the oven too.

pros

cons

  • Affordable
  • High-quality three-ply build
  • Drip-free rim
  • Cool handle
  • 8-Quart capacity
  • Opaque lid
  • Slightly heavy

Lodge LPGI3 Pro-Grid 20” x 10” Grill Pan

Because induction stovetops are still not a staple in every household, many people underestimate their usefulness. If you were ever worried about how you could grill meat and veggies with an induction stove, then you obviously haven’t considered cast iron grills. What better way to start than by looking at one of the best, the Lodge LPGI3 Grill/Griddle Pan.

Lodge LPGI3 Pro-Grid Cast Iron Reversible 20

Product Highlights

This is a grill and griddle, reversible cast iron cookware. Due to the choice of materials, heat retention will never be an issue. Neither will the heat distribution. That being said, when you use this on an induction stove, there may be some minor issues.

The textured grill will help you get those classic sear marks into any cut of meat so that the end result is stunning in taste, aspect, and texture. The cooking surface is not non-stick but if the grill is properly seasoned you won’t have trouble turning the meat to create those crisscross lines.

Even though Lodge sells all its cast iron cookware already seasoned, you shouldn’t avoid seasoning the grill again after each use.

The design also features two handles. They offer a firm grip but they’re not cool to touch, so exercise caution when handling the grill.

The grill can be used for any kind of meat or flat cut veggies on which you want a nice sear and char lines. The griddle is ideal for cooking burgers, eggs, bacon, veggies, and even steak if you don’t like grilled meat in general.

Due to the sheer size of the grill, the warm-up time may suffer slightly. That’s because this is a large 20” x 10” grill & griddle that needs two burners or two induction plates in order to get heated evenly and avoid cold spots. Once it reaches the desired temperature, the heat distribution is no longer a problem.

One more important thing to note is that this package also includes a small weight. You can use it to push down thick steaks to speed up the cooking process or to simply give them a nicer shape. It’s also very useful if you like thinner burgers or if you want to cook a savory sandwich.

Lodge LPGI3 Pro-Grid Cast Iron Reversible 20

The Good

This entire package of grill, griddle, and weight, will surely come in handy if you can’t fire up the grill outside because of rain or snow. It does create some smoke but the end result of anything you grill on it will be definitely worth it.

The Bad

Although compatible with induction stovetops, because it’s longer than most frying pans and pots, it needs two induction plates in order to fire it up properly. This means that it takes a bit longer and it won’t be ideal if you’re in a hurry or if you only have one induction plate.

pros

cons

  • Grill, griddle, and weight included
  • Can produce amazing char lines
  • Affordable
  • Superior Lodge durability
  • Pre-seasoned and ready to use out of the box
  • Needs two induction plates
  • Small handles

Final Verdict

When buying induction cookware, there’s a lot to  take into consideration. That being said, by now you’ve probably already picked a favorite from this list. If you can only purchase one item, our recommendation would be the Lodge 12” Cast Iron Skillet, as it is the most versatile piece on the list.

It can grill, sear, brown, broil, stew, boil, and even flip pancakes if you have the upper body strength to do so. It’s a pan that will last you a lifetime and it can be used on any heat source, including induction stovetops.

If you are wondering whether you should buy a cookware set or individual pots and pans, we details here to help you decide.

Induction Cookware Buyer's Guide

Once you’ve purchased an induction cooktop, it’s only logical that you seek out cookware to get the most out of your purchase. There are plenty of options on the market that could make your decision a difficult one.  You can use this guide that we put together to help you go forward with your purchase. Keep in mind that induction cookware can also be used on conventional stoves.  

The Only Pots and Pans You’ll Need

In an ideal world, you would want at least one of everything to use in the kitchen. That’s the best way to ensure that every recipe gets done the right way.

With that in mind, there are two cookware items which are indispensable and extra versatile: skillets and stockpots. No matter what type of a diet you’re on, what cooking experience you have, with these two, there’s little you can’t do in the kitchen. All the more so, if they’re oven compatible too.

If you are looking to purchase a new frying pan, we have a guide and checklist to help you with your decision.

Skillet, Saucepan, Dutch Oven, Stockpot

What’s the difference between these items? – The main difference would be how much you can fit inside them.

The skillet is obviously the smallest of the lot. It’s used for omelets, searing, making pancakes, and even sauces from time to time. But, if you want to make rue, drown a steak in sauce, or broil something in the oven more efficiently, then a saucepan would be your best bet.

It’s not that skillets can’t have taller rims, but a saucepan is easier to use given that it doesn’t have angled walls. 

The Dutch oven is a very interesting piece of cookware. Depending on the materials used, it can be used with almost any heat source. It’s usually big, heavy, and hard to use but it is ideal if slow cooking is your favorite kitchen or campfire activity.

The stockpot is one of those indispensable kitchen tools. You can use it to make delicious broths and it’s a lot easier to carry than a Dutch oven. Stockpots are also rarely made of cast iron which means that there’s also less chance to damage the induction plate by scratching it.

Skillet vs Sauté Pan

Some cooks prefer to use a sauté pan instead of a skillet. The main difference between the two is shape (I know I am restating the obvious!).  So which one should you buy? We compared the skillet and sauté pan so you can decide which one is best for your cooking needs.

Cookware Sets vs. Individual Pieces

Cookware sets come at the cost of a greater initial investment. However, this may be the right way to go in certain situations. Say that you want to replace your old cookware set. If that’s the case, then you need more than one or two pieces anyway.

Getting everything at the same time will save you money. Besides, when you buy a cookware set, the pans and pots are often packed with belonging lids. This may not always be an option with individual pieces. On top of that, you can make sure that all your cookware is made from the same material or by the same manufacturer, one that you trust.

Buying individual pieces has its advantages too. If you only need a pan or two, there’s no need to buy an entire cookware set that has six, eight, or ten pieces. If you’re not replacing everything but instead you’re supplementing your existing cookware set, getting individual pieces is less time-consuming and cheaper.

Are there other downsides? – Sure. If you’ve only used one pan for the past decade or so, you might not be able to replace it with the same model. Eventually, most cookware items go out of production. You could also risk that your new pan or pot may not aesthetically fit with your existing cookware collection.

Of course, this won’t bother your dinner guests, but for cooks some it could be a deal breaker. You should also consider that some manufacturers may not offer certain pieces outside the sets they belong to.

It all comes down to both personal preference and necessity. There’s no right or wrong answer here that would satisfy every buyer.

What Is Fully Clad Stainless Steel Cookware?

Fully clad is considered the best class of stainless steel cookware. It has the best conductivity, it provides even cooking, and can last a lifetime if made from the right materials and treated with care.

What separates this type of cookware from others has a lot to do with how it’s made. It’s important to understand that it’s not all stainless steel.

The middle layer is most of the times made of aluminum. The trick is to have all the layers clad together and reaching from the bottom of the pan or pot to the rim.

Fully clad pots and pans are evenly thick all the way around. Whether there’s a rounded lip or not, it makes no difference.

Mashing together stainless steel and aluminum in this way solves many problems, such as heat conductivity, hot spots, and a flimsy build. It doesn’t matter if the cookware is made from three or seven layers. It will be called fully clad if all layers reach all the way to the top and the aluminum (or copper) is layered in between the layers of stainless steel.

Buying Checklist

What Pots and Pans Do I Really Need?

Take inventory and determine what pots and pans need to be replaced or what is missing from your culinary collection 

Cookware Materials

Once you decide what pot or pan to buy, then select the right material for your cooking needs.

  • Stainless steel/aluminum
  • Cast iron
  • Carbon steel
  • Hard anodized aluminum
  • Non-stick

Ply

There are multiple types of ply cookware available for purchase, though the majority of them are either 3-ply, 5-ply, and 7-ply. The “ply” element refers to the layers of metals that are used in the build of the pots and pans.

Each of the metal layers, or “ply,” has its own purpose, and the more ply, the thicker and more versatile that the pots and pans are. Using different types of metal in one pot or pan allows for more features and benefits to be introduced into a single piece of cookware.

  • Stainless steel - durability
  • Aluminum core - even heating
  • Magnetic stainless steel- induction compatible and can be used with conventional stoves
  • Hard anodized aluminum - durability and heat conduction
  • Copper - excellent heat conductor; heats quickly and evenly and maintains heat

One advantage of 5-ply cookware is that over time it will warp less than 3-ply. The added materials are using stainless steel or aluminum and is more expensive than 3-ply.  

Pans with 7 layers are the most expensive. As with 5-ply cookware, the extra materials are either stainless steel or aluminum.  

Size

When choosing the size of your induction cookware, it’s best that you know the type of cooktop that you’re going to use, the burner size, and the cooking techniques you will be using. Also keep in mind if you will be cooking for one or two people or a family.

Handles

Pans with stainless steel handles won't conduct heat as much as those with aluminum handles and will stay cooler than the pan. Many consumers prefer a pan with a vented handle as it reduces the amount of heat in the handle. 

Pots and pans that have silicone sleeves or silicone handles are comfortable to hold. Silicone handles can usually withstand temperatures up to 450ºF. Be sure to use oven mitts or a pot holder to take the pan out of the oven.

Pans with stainless steel handles are preferable as these will not conduct heat as well as aluminum handles, and will remain cooler than the pan. 

Weight

While there are some induction compatible cookware sets and individual pieces that are lightweight, the majority of them do have extra weight to them due to their construction.

Induction cookware is typically designed to withstand high temperatures without warping, and many sets include multiple ply (or layers) of metal that add weight to the pot or pan; the more layers, the heavier it is.

If you are in a situation where you require lightweight induction cookware, consulting with a sales associate at a homeware and kitchenware store could help you find what you need. Once you find the brand and size, then you can see if you can save money by buying it online.

Alternatively, you can take a look at the weight specifications in the online product descriptions and reviews to determine if it is the weight you want.

Stick vs. Nonstick

Choosing between stick and non-stick induction cookware is a personal preference. Many consumers prefer non-stick pots and pans because they are easy to clean both before and after cooking. Less oil needs to be used because the cookware has been designed to prepare an array of foods without it sticking.

However, many people enjoy untreated cookware because it provides the desired sear and browning effect when cooking food. They’re also usually more durable and oven safe. The downfall is that they do take some extra time to clean.

FAQs

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.

Induction Cookware Buyer’s Guide 2

How to Use an Induction Cooker?

Using an induction cooker is pretty straightforward.  The majority of induction burners are designed to shut off if the pan is not induction compatible. 

Once you’ve made sure that both the burner and the bottom of your cookware is clean and dry, simply put the pot or pan on the element and ensure that it’s aligned so the center of the cookware matches with the center of the burner.

From there, adjust your temperature settings to pre-heat your cookware or begin boiling your water. You can find step-by-step instructions with the user’s manual that come with your induction cooktop.

What Pans Work Best on an Induction Cooker?

Materials

The type of cookware that works with an induction cooker is made from ferrous metals. Magnetic stainless steel, cast iron, iron, steel and black metal pots and pans are typically induction compatible.

However, if you question whether or not your current set of cookware can work with induction cooktops, just test the bottom of your pots and pans with a magnet. If it sticks securely, then it is induction-ready.

Design

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.

​​What is the Symbol for Induction on Cookware?

The symbol the represents induction cookware is a series of swirls inside of a square.

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