Induction ready cookware is available in a range of materials

Though the technology of induction cooking has been around for a while, the trend is sweeping the world due to the many benefits induction cooking it offers.

Induction cooktops differ from gas rangetops in a number of ways, but perhaps one of the most surprising is the fact that induction cooking requires specific cookware.

So, what is induction ready cookware anyway?

Today, we’re taking a closer look so you understand what you will need in order to start your journey into induction cooking.

What is Induction Ready Cookware?

Induction cooking has been around for years in Europe. In fact, it was first displayed in the 1930s. However, it was until more recent years that it made its way over to the United States. Now, induction cooktops are becoming more and more popular in well-designed, highly functional kitchens everywhere.

Induction Cooktop vs Electric

Underneath the surface, there is a metal coil. This coil does not heat up as, say, an electric cooktop would. Instead, it reacts with the pot or pan that is placed on it. Through electromagnetism, the metal coil and the metal in the pan begin developing a current. It is this current that makes its way into the pan to heat the food.

There is one catch, though. The surface of the cooktop never gets hot. There is no exchange of heat. Instead, the magnetic field created heats the food in the pan. That’s it. You can lift your pan and put your hand on the cooktop and you will not get burned. This is one of the primary benefits of induction cooking. Although it is the primary reason for requiring special cookware – the metals have to work together or it will not heat.

How to Tell if Your Cookware Will Work

There is an easy way to determine whether or not your current pots and pans will work on your new induction cooktop. Sure, you could turn it on and try to cook something. But, then you would be required to wash all those non-magnetic pans and no one really wants to have to do that, right?

All you have to do is take a magnet and see if it sticks. Turn your cookware over and place the magnet on the bottom. When you lift the pan, does that magnet fall? If so, then you won’t be able to utilize that particular piece of cookware for induction cooking. Remember, induction cooktops work off of a magnetic field. So, if you put the magnet on the bottom of your pots and pans and it sticks when you pick them up, then congratulations – you are in luck. And, you can continue to use the pans you have.

Buying New Induction Cookware

If your current cookware won’t suffice for your induction cooktop. Or, if you decided you would just like to treat yourself to some new pots and pans for your new cooktop, then you are going to want to focus on induction ready cookware.

The Material

You have your choice of metals when it comes to cookware. And, while you would think that all metals would work with magnets, they won’t. So, as you begin your journey, keep an eye out for these types of magnetic metals:

  • Cast iron
  • Steel
  • Some types of stainless steel (it must contain some iron)

And you will want to avoid these metals unless they are designed with a small layer of a magnetic metal on the bottom:

  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Glass
  • Ceramic

Your New Induction Cooktop

Induction cooktops often fall on the top of the line when it comes to cost. And, while it is for good reason – they are wonderful cooktops with many advantages over other options – you may just find yourself cringing at the idea of having to also purchase new cookware, too.

5 burner induction cooktop
Thor Kitchen TEC3601I-C1 5 Burner Induction Cooktop

You will get many years and many great meals from your induction cooktop. Don’t let the necessity of purchasing new cookware get you down – or cause you to miss out on a great appliance.

Make a list of all the cookware you typically use, being careful to avoid the items you have held on to in the back of your cupboard but have never even touched. Just because you see them, doesn’t mean you need them. Then, one by one, pull out your pots and pans and begin testing them for their magnetic ability. You may actually be surprised at how many you have that will work with an induction cooktop.

Make two piles: those that will work and those that won’t. Donate your pans that won’t work and begin marking the ones that will off of your typically-used cookware list. What is remaining? That is all you need to purchase.

Of course, you can always go out and purchase yourself a new set of induction ready cookware because everyone deserves a new set every now and then.

Either way, you are going to enjoy that induction cooktop. And the old or new cookware won’t change all the benefits your new cooktop will bring you.

Photo by Adam Dachis