Electric stoves are a trend up in the country mostly. The heat and warmth of the heating element make the kitchen all cozy in cold winters.
It is also quite safe when compared to gas cooktops with open flames. There is less risk of burning and you don’t need a fire extinguisher at home.
Using the right cookware on an electric stove means reducing cooking time, using less energy worrying about cooking it right, and whipping up the perfect dish each and every time.
When it comes to induction cookware, it is usually made of a ferromagnetic material like magnetic grade stainless steel or iron.
Back to your query, if you are stuck with a combination of induction cookware and electric hob or want to change your hob from induction to electric, let me try my best to smoothen it all out for you.
Yeah sure, you can use induction cookware on an electric stove. Electric stoves work by heating the surface of the cooktop which then transfers the heat to the cookware. This means any type of cookware that can work on gas can work on an electric stove (including most that work on induction hobs).
There are some catches though.
Let me explain.
Using Cookware on Electric Stove – the catch
Most of the stainless steel induction friendly cookware is made up of thin stainless steel and can have a hot spot where the electric coil meets it. To roughly translate it- the heat will not be as evenly distributed over the entire surface.
Another catch is that sometimes it so happens that the induction cookware gets wrapped on an electric stove. In such cases, it won’t work again on an induction cooktop
Here are my suggestions for the Induction cookware that can be used on a radiant cooktop.
Please note that when I mention electric I mean all varieties, whether electric plate, radiant or ceramic.
Induction Cookware to use on the electric cooktop
A sandwiched clad stainless steel works really well as it combines the durability and stability of stainless steel with the heat conduction and distribution of copper or aluminum.
Pure and bare cast iron can be used on an electric cooktop but it is not recommended. That is because, one, if the cookware has a burr or a rough spot, it will scratch the glass surface.
Secondly, cast iron is also quite slow in absorbing heat. But once this cookware gets heated up, especially on high heat, it holds an intense amount of heat which is transferred to the cooktop.
This can cause the element to shut down as a response to the temperature limiters which indicate the surface temperature is too high for the cooktop components to handle.
Enamelled or porcelain cast iron gives good performance only if they have a thick, flat bottom and the cast iron is completely covered by the enameled surface. These pots and pans should not be boiled dry as porcelain can melt and fuse to the surface.
Let us also have a look into non-induction cookware which can be used on an electric stove
Non-induction friendly cookware which can be used on an electric stove
Heavyweight aluminum cookware is recommended. It conducts heat faster than other metals and cooks food evenly. Aluminum residue sometimes appears as scratches on the cooktop, but these can be removed if cleaned immediately.
Copper bottom pans are also good. But they can also leave residues on the surface that appear as scratches. These too can be removed if cleaned immediately, but do not let a copper pan boil dry.
An overheated copper pot will leave a residue that will permanently stain the cooktop.
Carbon steel cookware can be used as long as the bottom is smooth and flat.
Titanium cookware tested well on the radiant cooktop. Ceramic titanium is a non-stick finish applied to a base metal. The base metal is usually aluminum.
Cookwares that are not recommended on an electric stove
Glass or ceramic cookware is not recommended. These pans may scratch the surface and give poor performance.
Glass is a poor conductor of heat so cooking time will be longer and they may require constant attention while cooking.
Stoneware is not recommended. It may scratch the cooking surface and gives poor performance.
Tips to using cookware on an electric stove
Have a look at the base of the cookware. Much older/used and/or thinner cookware will show signs of no longer being flat.
Non-flat pans will crack the radiant cooktop. They can cause the cooktop surface temperature to be higher since the pan is not absorbing the optimum amount of heat.
Also, as the heat gets transferred from the cooktop, the cookware will need to have full contact with the electric hob.
For best cooking results on electric stoves, particularly a smooth radiant top, cookware with a flat bottom surface is highly recommended.
Follow the two tests to determine if your cookware is flat.
- Turn the pan upside down and place a ruler or any other straight edge across the bottom of the pan.
- The straight edge or ruler should touch the pan evenly across the entire surface. However, if the pan has a very slight concave towards the center, it is acceptable.
Boiling water test
- Place the pan on the heating surface with one inch of water in it and turn control to high.
- When the water begins to boil, observe the patterns of bubbles. If the pan is not flat, bubbles will be clustered to one side or bunched in the middle rather than an even distribution.
There is a misconception around glass-ceramic electric hobs that if you put too much weight on top of the hob it will crack the ceramic glass. Don’t get worried that your cookware is too heavy. The cooktop is made up of a special form of glass that will not shatter or crack easily.
But do ensure that your pans are not too heavy to lift and that you can cook safely with them. Do not slide or thump them with force. Glass is still after all still glass and not metal 😉
Do not put very hot or cold pans on an extremely hot or cold surface of the cooktop. Like from the fridge or freezer onto a preheated hob. Or taking cookware that just finished cooking on the electric hob and placing in a sink or dishwasher full of cold water. A sudden change of temperature can cause the pan to “wrap”.
Make sure your cookware has cooled down, then wash with warm soapy water. If you have tough stains on your cookware, leave them to soak in soapy water for some time.
Another handy tip is to never cook acidic food on copper or aluminum on the cooktop. Your food may taste like metal due to leaching. Avoid tomato, wine, lemon sauces, etc.
Dishwasher tablets ruin copper and discolor it, so keep it out of the dishwasher. Always handwash copper cookware.
Summing up, I have told you about which induction cookware works or electric hob. They are very much compatible and can be used on an electric stove barring few catches. I have also discussed briefly on non-induction friendly cookware you can use on the electric hob.
Next, I have told you about cookware that should not be used on the electric stove. And finally given you some tips about how to use cookware on an electric stove.
I hope I have been able to resolve your query. And you have got a good understanding of the type of cookware suitable on an electric stove. Let me not keep you from getting ready to use induction cookware and get cooking on an electric stove!
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