Ready to buy an induction cookware set for your induction cooktop? There are so numerous factors to consider before you do. Discover what is induction cooking, pros and cons of using induction, tips before buying the best cookware material for your induction stovetop.
Using an induction cooktop for cooking is the preferred technology for serious chefs. This new technology has been adopted around the world and has become available in home kitchens and restaurants.
With the evolution of induction stovetops, it is now more affordable and easy to install in your home. However, most consumers don’t realize that they require special induction cookware in order for the induction to work. This is true regardless whether you have high end stainless steel pots and pans, best stone frying pans or even the cheapest cookware on the market.
Before we dive into induction cookware buying tips, there are many pros and cons when it comes to induction that you should consider. If you have not purchased an induction stovetop, we urge you to review these pros and cons before you buy:
What is Induction Cooking?
Without understanding why you buy induction cookware for your induction stovetop, it’s hard to know which induction cookware set to purchase. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be referring to “electromagnetic induction” as “induction”.
Starting with an element, the electronic power of is transferred through a coil to produce a magnetic frequency. This frequency heats up the induction cookware and sets up an electric current through the cookware and heats up. The heat generated is transferred to the food that is in the cookware and is cooked accordingly.
Simply put, induction cooktops produce a magnet which transfers heat to the induction cookware because the cookware is magnetic.
As you might have noticed, when the induction cookware is moved away, the heat generation is halted. That is because the magnetic field is no longer affected.
Pros of Induction Cooking
Induction cooking has been around of years but only recently gained the reputation for temperature accuracy and power in the kitchen. There are many benefits that can be had including:
Quick Temperature Adjustment -This is the single most reason why chefs love induction. The cooking heat increases and decreases extremely fast and with great accuracy. No longer do you have to wait long for water to boil. In fact it cuts down your cooking time immensely!
Zero Heat Loss – Since induction transfers heat directly through it’s electromagnetic field, your induction pans will absorb all the energy directly. Any surface that is not in contact with the induction stovetop will not be transferred.
Safety – Your induction stovetop remains cool so you can’t be burned when you touch it. This is especially important for young children and for you in the kitchen.
Health – Since the induction stovetops only use electro magnetic energy, they do not burn gas that could harm your health.
Cons of Induction Cooking
Induction technology is quite safe overall however, there are some cons you should consider:
Induction Ready Cookware – Since induction only works through electromagnetic fields, pots and pans that are not induction ready will not work on the induction cooktop. For example, cookware that will not work are aluminum cookware, copper cookware, glass and pyrex cookware. Not to worry, we will discuss this in further depth later on.
Noise – Although induction is a noise free process, the electromagnetic coils produce heat. This heat gets trapped and needs to be dissipated through the use of a fan which generates some noise. Alternatively, sometimes a feint “ticking” noise can be heard from the coil power cycling.
No Charring Effect – Some serious chefs require a nice char when cooking food such as steaks. Due to the lack of an open flame, induction cooktops will not be able to char.
Tips for Buying Induction Cookware
Before buying induction pans or induction cookware set, make sure you follow these strategies to save yourself time and money.
1. “Induction ready cookware” – Realize that not all cookware is induction ready and those that are, are indicated on the packaging. Induction ready cookware has only been popular in the past decade and reading the package label will inform you.
2. Make sure your induction cookware set has a flat bottom. Bottoms that are uneven can vibrate and make a lot of noise on the glass surface.
3. Take note of the weight of the lid for pots and pans. At high power, lighter lids can vibrate intensely and fall off the pot or pan when the contents inside are bubbling.
4. Pan and pot handles that are poorly attached will often vibrate at high power. Make sure your cookware has sturdy handles.
5. Beware of clad cookware that has a sandwich of metal layers. Typically this would be stainless steel on the outsides that covers the aluminum or copper in the inside. This type of induction cookware allows for more even cooking, however, there is a buzzing sound that is created due to the inside metal vibrating at a different speed than the outside layer. Some people have found this high pitch sound annoying while others find that the noise is typically very soft. Higher quality and high end clad cookware should not be a problem.
6. Not all “stainless steel” cookware will work on induction stovetops. Some of the best stainless steel cookware consist of several layers of metal on the base. One sure test is to take a fridge magnet to the base of the stainless steel cookware and see if it sticks to the bottom.
7. Shopping for induction cookware online can be easy if you look for “induction ready cookware” or “induction cooktop cookware” in the product descriptions. These days, most of the induction pans and induction cookware sets readily provide this information on the product website as well.
8. Shopping for induction cookware in store can also be easy if you bring along a magnet. Simply hold the magnet to the bottom of the induction cookware to see if attracts, then it will tell you whether or not the cookware is induction ready.
These pots and pans are covered in hard-anodized stainless steel and are induction ready cookware. Loved by chefs and professional cooks, this set heats up quickly on fire but even faster on induction. Best of all you will love the comfortable grip that is covered in silicon and the amazingly strong handles. No wonder this is our best overall recommendation!
Will a full layer of copper sandwiched between two layers of aluminum, this cookware set is induction capable and is safe with metal utensils. We recommend the 11-piece set because it comes with with a non-stick coating that is oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll love the excellent heat spreading properties on your induction cooker!
This induction ready cookware set made with multiple layers including saphire, non-stick, aluminum and an induction base. The upgraded lids contain knobs that control the temperature and are heavy enough that they sit on the pot or pan without vibrating. The handles covered with dual silicon and this induction cookware even comes with its own recipe book!
Top Induction Pans We Recommend
#1 WINNER – Best Overall
Ozeri Stone Earth Frying Pan
This PFOA free non stick frying pan is manufactured with a solid base that is magnetized for quick heat transfer. The induction pan is made of aluminum and is covered in a stone coating and the handle is solidly melded onto the pan for sturdy induction cooking. This stone frying pan is sturdy and will not shake while cooking!
#2 FIRST RUNNER-UP – Best Performance
Heavy Duty Regis Stone Pans by JML
Regis Stone Pans by JML are non stick frying pans have an amazing die cast base for easy induction cooking. Similar to the Ozeri Stone Frying Pan, the handles are fixed directly onto the pan and won’t bend lose. These induction pans have excellent durability and easy to clean.
#3 SECOND RUNNER-UP – Best Budget
Empress Stoneline Non Stick Frying Pan
These induction pans work on all surfaces and even come with a 12 year warranty! The handles are solid and use Bakelite which ensures that the handles stay cool when you cook. The aluminum base is 4.5mm thick which reduces cooking time and distributes heat evenly. The lid is heavy and won’t fly off when you cook on your induction cooktops.
Circulon Premier Professional 11-piece Hard-anodized Cookware Set Bronze Exterior Stainless Steel Base