How to Tell if Cookware is Induction Ready

How to Tell if Cookware is Induction Ready

Do you find it difficult to find cookware for your induction stovetop? Because induction cooktops work in a different way to gas and electric cooktops, they require a special type of cookware. If you are lucky, you could find that your existing cookware is induction ready, although this may not be the case.

When searching for new cookware, it is important to check to make sure that it is induction ready. The last thing you want is to purchase new cookware only to find that it is not suitable for induction stovetops. 

So, let’s find out exactly How to Tell if Cookware is Induction Ready…

The Science behind Induction Cooking

Induction stovetops create a magnetic field between the cookware and the magnetic coils set beneath the cooking surface. The energy that is created in the magnetic field is concentrated on the contents of the cookware. As a result, induction cooktops are especially energy efficient and will not heat the surrounding air.

The Benefits of Induction Cooking​​​​

How to Tell if Cookware is Induction Ready

Many home cooks prefer induction cooktops because they heat food more quickly compared to gas and electric stoves. The cooking surface remains cool to the touch at all times for enhanced safety. Induction cooktops are also significantly more responsive to changes in temperature control.

If you have young children at home, you are sure to appreciate the added safety that induction stovetops provide. After you remove the cookware, the stovetop will be cool to the touch. Unlike traditional gas and electric ranges, induction stovetops tend to be rather tricky for children to turn on.

Induction Compatible Cookware

In order for cookware to perform well on induction cooktops, it has to contain ferromagnetic materials. The cookware either needs to boast an iron construction or feature a layer with magnetic properties. Cast iron, enameled cast iron, and some types of stainless steel are induction compatible.

When it comes to answering the question of How to Tell if Cookware is Induction Ready, you should know that glass, all-copper, and aluminum cookware is not induction compatible by themselves. Some of this cookware features a magnetic disc or layer on the base. It should be noted that copper and aluminum need higher frequencies in order to generate the necessary heat to cook food.

Induction Ready Stainless Steel

Two main types of stainless steel are used for cookware: ferritic and austenitic. Ferritic steels are naturally magnetic when they are subjected to a magnetic field. They are basically free from nickel and are composed of iron and chromium.

However, austenitic steels are composed of iron, chromium, nickel, and other alloying elements. Unfortunately, the atomic arrangement in austenitic steels means that they are not naturally magnetic.

Non-Stick Cookware for Induction Cooktops

Most non-stick cookware is constructed entirely from alumni, meaning that they are not induction compatible. However, many modern non-stick pans come with a built-in iron plate, which makes them induction compatible.

Testing for Induction Compatibility

Testing for Induction Compatibility

The easiest way to test if your cookware is induction compatible is by holding a magnet to the base. If the magnet firmly attaches to the base, the cookware is induction compatible. And if the magnet forms weak contact, the cookware may offer diminished performance. If the magnet does not attach to the base in any way, the cookware does not contain the correct materials. 

As a result, it will not generate heat and cannot be used with your induction stovetop. These days, cookware that is suitable for use with an induction stovetop has a special symbol on the base. You are also likely to notice that this symbol is prominently placed on the packaging. The symbol is created in the form of a coil or a horizontal zigzag.

How Induction Cookware is Constructed

Cookware that is created specifically for induction stovetops tends to feature a unique construction. Let’s take a closer look.

Materials

Induction cookware often comes with a copper or aluminum core. This is a special disc in the base of the pan that is sandwiched between layers of steel. This disc helps to boost the thermal conduction properties of materials like aluminum so that this cookware is induction compatible.

Layers

Induction cookware is usually constructed from several layers of materials, which are referred to as ply. Each layer has a different purpose; for example, magnetized stainless steel makes the cookware induction compatible. Three-ply induction cookware would feature an exterior layer of magnetized stainless steel, aluminum core, and an interior stainless steel layer.

Cladding

Cladding is a process where a thermally conductive material like copper or aluminum is covered with a non-reactive material like stainless steel. The copper or aluminum covers the sides and base of the cookware. This helps to ensure that heat is more evenly distributed.

Multi-Clad Induction Cookware

Multi-clad induction cookware contains three, five, or seven layers of different metals. These layers are set on the base of the cookware and extend up the sides. Some five-play cookware features alternating layers of stainless steel and aluminum to reduce warping while ensuring even heating.

Disc-Bottom Induction Cookware

Disc-Bottom Induction Cookware

This type of cookware boasts a thin magnetized stainless steel base with a conductive material like copper or aluminum bonded to it. When choosing this type of cookware, it is important to check that the layers touch the edges. Otherwise, the edges will be cooler than the center, leading to uneven cooking results.

Some cookware comes with the description bottom encapsulated with impact-bonded aluminum. This type of cookware uses pressure and friction rather than adhesive to bond between the base of the cookware with the disc.

What is the Best Induction Cookware?

To find out, check out our reviews of the Best Induction Cookware Sets

We think you may also like our reviews of the Best Ceramic Cookware Sets and our comparison guide of Circulon vs Calphalon cookware. But don’t stop there! We know you also won’t want to miss our Abbio Cookware Review, our Starfrit The Rock Cookware Set Review, and our Cuisinart French Classic Cookware Review for 2022.

And for the most comprehensive product reviews available, be sure to check out our Ninja C39900 Foodi NeverStick Premium Hard-Anodized 16-Piece Cookware Set Review, our Calphalon Classic Cookware Review, our T-fal Ceramic Cookware Reviews, and our All-Clad Copper Core Cookware Review.

How to Tell if Cookware is Induction Ready – Final Thoughts

Now you know the best ways to tell if Cookware is Induction Ready. If you find that your favorite cookware is not induction ready, do not despair. It may be possible to adapt your existing cookware so that it can be used with your induction cooktop. These products are fairly cheap and easy to come by once you know what you are looking for.

 

For more information, check out our feature on How to Use a Non-Induction Cookware on an Induction Cooktop.

It is possible to place a stainless steel induction hob heat diffuser on the induction cooktop under your pan. This will utilize the heating reaction so that it heats the contents of your pan. Many new induction stovetops also come complete with a pan so that you can start cooking straight away.

Happy cooking!

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