Induction hobs are rapidly growing in popularity due to their advanced energy efficiency, rapid cook times, and overall improved level of safety. Not all cookware is compatible with induction hobs, though.
So, what pans can you use on an induction hob? How do induction hobs work, and how can you determine whether your current cookware will function on one? Keep reading to find out.
What Is an Induction Hob and How Does it Work?
Induction cooktops feature a smooth, easy-to-clean surface, often made from a combination of glass and ceramic. This equipment comes with an induction ring beneath each burner.
Unlike gas or electric cooktops, induction hobs use a magnetic field of energy produced by an electrical current to create heat and cook. When the magnetic energy connects with induction cookware, it creates a circuit that turns your pots and pans into a heat source. Whereas with conventional hobs, the heat source is on the hob’s surface. This means that an induction hob’s cooking surface stays cool while using it.
The only catch is that an induction stove requires you to use induction-compatible cookware on the glass surface.
Do All Pots and Pans Work on an Induction Hob?
What does induction-compatible cookware mean? Do all pots and pans work on an induction cooktop? Unfortunately, no. Aluminium, copper, ceramic, and glass pans are not compatible with induction cooktops unless they have a special induction plate built into the base.
Don’t worry, though. Induction cooktop cookware is easy to find. It is likely that you already have some in your existing cookware collection.
So, what is the right cookware for induction cookers? Let’s find out.
What Pots and Pans Work on an Induction Hob?
Any pot or cooking pan with magnetic properties and a flat base can be used on an induction stovetop. Many induction hob saucepans are made with ferrous metals like cast iron and stainless steel.
Induction pans can also be made with an aluminium core to save on cost. Aluminium pans are okay as long as they have a magnetic base to allow for induction cooking.
The best cookware will also ensure maximum contact on the hob surface to conduct heat better. Heavier cast iron and stainless steel pans are widely used for induction cooking. On that same note, a traditional wok may not work as well on an induction hob, even if it is made with a compatible material due to the more rounded base.
Can You Check Your Cookware for Induction Hob Compatibility?
Today, many aluminium pans, non-stick pans, and copper pans have been designed with an induction plate to increase their versatility and make them usable on induction hobs. With this in mind, we recommend you check your existing pans to see if they are compatible before buying a whole new set of cookware.
One way to check is to look for the induction symbol, which looks like a coil spring stamped on the base of your pan.
If you do not see the induction-compatible symbol, you can also do a kitchen magnet test to get the answers you need. Simply hold a fridge magnet up to the base of the pan in question, and if it sticks, you can use it on an induction hob. If the magnet does not really stick very well, it could be because the pan is made from a blended material, as is often the case with stainless steel pans.
If the magnet does not stick well, you will need to use a different pan on your induction hob. Or, you can purchase an induction disc that sticks to the pan and creates the required magnetic current to enable cooking.
What Happens if You Use Regular Pans on an Induction Hob?
What happens if you use unsuitable pans on your induction hob? Simply put, if you try to use cookware that doesn’t contain a magnetic material on induction hobs, it will not work. The pan will not heat up and, therefore, will be unable to cook your food. So please don’t waste your time and take our word for it. Otherwise, you could be waiting around for quite some time for your next meal.
What Are the Benefits of Cooking With an Induction Hob?
The induction method of cooking is famous for its energy efficiency, enhanced safety, and rapid cooking speeds. Hence, most people don’t mind if it requires specialised pots and pans.
Induction cooking works faster than using a gas or electric hob and reduces the cooking time. They also heat up to higher temperatures. These features make induction hobs more energy efficient when compared to electric hobs or gas hobs.
Induction hobs are also safer because the glass-ceramic surface remains cool while cooking. So there’s no need to worry about touching the hot stovetop and burning yourself.
Investing in Induction Compatible Cookware
When you understand how induction hobs work, it becomes apparent why you can’t just use any pot or pan you like on their cooktop surfaces. Instead of the surface of an induction hob heating up, magnetic energy produced by an electric current is transferred to the pan turning the pan into a heating element to cook your food. This means that only cookware with magnetic properties will be compatible.
Keep in mind that cast iron and top-quality stainless steel pans are often the best for use on induction hobs. This is due to their strong magnetic properties and generally heavier weight, creating a better connection with the induction ring on the hob’s surface. Make sure to check for the induction symbol when buying cookware for your induction hob.
Now that you know the answer to “What pans can you use on an induction hob?” and know more about induction cooking, do you think this cooking method is suitable for your home? Let us know what you think in the comments below. And if you need more kitchen tips, check out our other articles and how-to guides.