Induction cooking has a lot of advantages over traditional cooking with a gas or electric cooktop. And this is the reason its popularity is soaring worldwide.
But unlike gas, where you can place any cookware and start cooking, you need induction-ready cookware to use with an induction cooktop.
And one of the most common questions people have is – “How to tell if cookware is induction ready?”
In this article, I will tell you some quick methods you can use to identify if your cookware is induction-compatible or not (and these only take a few seconds).
What Makes a Cookware Induction-Ready?
Wondering what induction-ready cookware means? It’s the cookware that can be used on an induction hob.
And what makes the cookware induction-ready? – The material of the cookware.
For your cookware to be induction ready, it needs to be made out of material that is magnetic (that is – it supports the magnetic field, which is the way an induction cooktop heats the cookware).
Thus, selecting the appropriate utensils for induction cooktop is crucial to ensure effective and efficient cooking. This means that any cookware that is not magnetic will not work with induction cooktops.
Materials that are magnetic include iron and cast iron, stainless steel, carbon steel.
Another important thing for your cookware to be induction compatible is to have a flat base.
So even if you have a pan that is magnetic, if it’s not flat, it won’t work with an induction cooktop.
This is because only a flat surface of the cookware can enable conduction of the magnetic field (which is how induction cooktops heat the cookware)
How to Check If Cookware is Induction Ready?
This is really easy.
If your cookware has a flat surface and it attracts a magnet, you can be fairly sure that your cookware is induction ready.
You can use any magnet (even a simple refrigerator magnet would work).
Note that it’s important to have a flat surface. For example, a wok won’t work with an induction cooktop even if it attracts a magnet.
In case you don’t have a magnet, here is another foolproof method to test the induction compatibility of your cookware.
Just add some water to any pan or cookware that you want to test, place it on the induction and switch on the induction (make sure the pan is within the induction markings).
If you see the induction heating the pan, it means that your cookware is induction ready.
Nowadays, a lot of manufacturers have started marking their cookware with a sign that indicates that it’s compatible with induction cooktops.
Also, remember that you can use your induction cookware on a gas stove as well as an electric stove.
Many of the new models of induction hobs will only work when they detect induction-compatible cookware. If you try and use non-induction compatible cookware, it will keep beeping (which is an indication that it still doesn’t have the right cookware on it).
Is Induction-Ready Cookware Worth the Cost?
Now if you’re buying a new Induction cooktop, you may resent the fact that you also have to buy new cookware, which is induction ready.
But keep in mind that induction is a lot more efficient way of cooking as compared with gas and electric hobs.
Almost 90% of the heat generated by induction cooktops is used for cooking as compared with 65-70% with gas/electric.
So even if you need to shed some money right now to get some induction-compatible cookware, you’re likely to more than recover the cost because of the energy efficiency.
Note: Many a time, when you buy cookware online, they say it’s induction-ready but it may not be. Happened to me once when I bought an egg pan. So make sure you check carefully and read through the comments/feedback (if buying online)
Induction cooking is becoming really popular but one of the downsides of it is that you need induction-friendly cookware only.
Below are the simple steps you can use to check if your cookware is induction friendly or not:
- The cookware needs to be iron or iron-based
- The base should be flat so it can conduct the magnetic field
- Fill the pan with water and place it on the induction cooktop (in the area marked for the cookware) and switch it on. If the heating starts, your cookware is induction friendly.
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- Induction Cooktop Buying Guide
- Induction Cooking – Pros & Cons
- Induction Cooktop Vs Electric Cooktop
- Induction Cooktop Vs Gas Cooktop
- How to Clean an Induction Cooktop
- Advantages of Cooking with Induction Cooktops
- How to Use a Non-Induction Cookware on an Induction Cooktop
- Can Induction Cookware be used on Gas Cooktops?
- Will a Dutch Oven Work on an Induction Cooktop?
- Will All Clad Cookware Work on an Induction Cooktop?
- Do Aluminum Pans Work on Induction Cooktops?