Best Induction cookware Guide 2020
Whether you just installed an induction stove and you are looking for the best induction cookware or you’re simply planning to expand your existing cookware set collection, you need to learn the basis of induction cooking and the mandatory features of an induction pan to make the best purchasing decision.
If you want the very best induction cookware set, read through our induction cooking guide where we broke down everything there is to know about induction cooking but also about induction cookware.
Read through our guide and cookware set reviews to choose the best induction cookware that is perfect for you and your intended use.
Do I Already Have Induction Cookware?
This is an important first question to ask yourself because some of the pans and pots you own now might be compatible with induction. Fortunately, you just need a magnet to see if this is the case. Hold the magnet close to the pots or pans you want to check. When they stick, they are compatible with the induction cooktop.
Unfortunately, even if the magnet test is positive, it does not mean that the cookware will work well. You need to know that induction-ready cookware was designed to work perfectly with induction cooktops. It maximizes the induction cooktop’s properties and power so you can cook more, faster.
Induction-Ready Pots And Pans – The Best Material
Due to how induction technology works, one very important characteristic stands out for the cookware used on induction cooktops – the pan or pot has magnetic properties. People that go shopping for such cookware actually take a magnet with them to check. It is not a bad idea to do the same to see if you look at an induction cooker or not.
At the end of the day, everything is related to the use of steel. Pans and pots with steel inside them work. This does include:
Every single cookware with a steel or stainless steel component inside the base works with induction cooktops.
Using Induction Cookware With An Induction Cooktop
When you use the induction stove, two things have to be considered:
- Using magnetic cookware sets – The cookware’s base should contain iron. This can be in various forms, like cast iron, stainless steel, and steel. Make sure you test the material with the use of a magnet and only use the induction pans that have the magnet sticking to the base. If the magnet sticks to the bottom of the pan, the base surely includes iron, steel or stainless steel so the cookware is induction-safe.
- Using quality cookware sets – Induction is never forgiving when compared to a regular heat source, like gas. The quality of the cookware you use needs to be much higher in order to get really good results.
Some materials used in cookware like copper, aluminum, and glass do not work as pans for induction hobs. In fact, they need to be avoided at all costs as they are not induction compatible.
You have to know that some cookware brands still include copper or aluminum but they have a steel layer put inside the base. The process used is called cladding and it means adding a metal layer into another metal to gain properties from both metals.
This article will not cover all the possible details. You can learn more about metals and what you have to know about the technical side of induction cookware at these links:
Induction Technology Advantages
Whenever you use the best induction cookware, induction cooking offers interesting advantages. Here are just a few of them:
- Temperature control is precise, which is especially important for confections and sauces.
- Highly responsive cooking, much more than with electric or gas cooktops.
- Increased safety, especially because cooktops are cool when touched.
- The temperature inside the kitchen is lower because cooktops heat cooking vessels, not air.
In addition, induction cooking can be easily added to your repertoire. The switch does not have to be complete. You can easily find reasonably priced single induction burners intended for occasional use.
The best cookware we recommend below are suitable for different uses, ranging from top of the line cooktops to single induction burners. Choose what you need.
Induction Technology Disadvantages
Induction cooking definitely has many interesting positives but you should be aware of the potential disadvantages as well. The most obvious disadvantage is that you are forced to use only induction compatible cookware. All fully aluminum, copper, and glass pans have to be avoided. Ferromagnetic cookware is mandatory, including steel cookware, stainless steel cookware, and cast iron cookware.
Another disadvantage is that it is possible to hear humming or buzzing at high settings for some cooktop ranges. This is actually why completely flat-bottomed pans are nowadays the standard for induction technology. The flat bottom reduces vibration. Also, when you use the best induction cookware, the noise is reduced and is not an issue anymore.
For most cooks, induction cooking has clear advantages that outweigh the small potential disadvantages that can appear.
How Does An Induction Cooktop Work?
When you want to buy induction-based cooktops, the investment is usually large. Due to the method used to cook food, some things have to change inside your kitchen. This will help you to get the most out of the purchase you made.
The two main areas you always need to analyze as you buy cooktops that use induction technology are:
- The cooktop – Look at this guide for the best induction cooktops.
- The induction pots and pans you cook with – A guide for induction cookware is available here.
Based on what your kitchen has, it is possible that the biggest expense is actually buying new pots and pans. However, some of the pots and pans you already have might already be ready for induction. Test them out with a magnet before looking for new cookware sets.
The big fundamental difference between induction and other methods is that the cooktop will not heat-up the pan or pot. The heat comes from the cookware. This is possible through magnetic induction. With traditional cooking methods like electricity and gas, thermal conduction is used to cook.
Other things you have to consider as you buy the cooktop for induction:
This is, usually, the first consideration. Small cooktops start at the width of 11 inches and feature 2 cooking zones or less. The largest sizes reach 35 inches. Cooktops drastically vary in size but the common option is 24 inches. This typically accommodates 4 cooking zones.
When replacing your old cooktop, check measurements to be sure that you choose an induction cooktop that will perfectly fit the area. Cooktop sizes keep changing as new models and technologies appear.
- Cooking Zones
The 24 inches cooktop offers 3 or 4 induction zones. This offers the space most people need to cook all basic meals. The wider cooktops offer more cooking zones and are meant for those that cook large quantities at the same time. Also, a wider cooktop gives you extra space to efficiently and safely accommodate larger pots and pans.
- Touch Controls
Control knobs do not exist with induction cooktops as they are replaced by touch controls. You can change temperatures by touching the surface. This is something you want to have integrated into the surface of the cooktop to allow the surface to seamlessly merge into the benchtop. It also makes the surface easy to clean.
- Pan Size Recognition
This is done by default with induction. The cooktops will detect cookware shape and size and make cooking more energy-efficient. However, the feature is not always available.
- Child Lock
If you have children around you as you cook, it is best to have an induction cooktop with a child lock.
- Automatic Timer
Advanced induction cooking tops include a timer function. It allows you to program the cooking so the cooktop automatically switches off at the desired time. This is advantageous as you can focus on other tasks while the food is cooking.
- Automatic Shut-Off
It is never recommended to leave the cooking area, no matter what stovetop you use. Buying a cooktop with automatic shut-off means the power is switched off when the pot boils over. There are even some cooktops that can detect if pots boil dry. If this happens, the heating coil is turned off.
Cleaning Up After Cooking
Using an induction cooktop is usually great since it has a ceramic or glass surface that’s easy to clean. It is very easy to wipe down food residue since the cooktop will not heat up to “bake” spilled food. Simply wiping the surface is usually enough but you cannot just rely on this.
Although induction cooktop cleaning is straightforward and simple, we need to talk a little about it as there are some things you have to keep in mind for long-term care. Always remember the following about cleaning up after you cook:
- Never drop heavy items on the cooktop. While the surface is tougher than you initially expect, it can still crack.
- The cookware set you use needs to be flat-bottomed and smooth. Sliding cookware is not needed with induction but using pans or pots with uneven surfaces creates scratches.
- The cooktop should never be used as a kitchen chopping block. You can use it as an extra kitchen workspace but you have to take into account what the surface is made out of.
- Magnetic items should never be put on the surface of the cooktop. This does include cutlery, kitchen foils, mobile phones and credit cards that have magnetic strips.
- Spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Food is not going to bake as fast as with other cooktops when using induction. However, because of residual heat, this still happens.
- Make sure you avoid abrasive cleaning materials because they scratch the surface.
2 Things To Consider Before Buying Induction Cookware
Always consider this when you analyze a cookware set as it is the most important factor to take into account. When you buy something of a lower quality, it is not going to last. Induction cooking, as opposed to normal electric and gas cooktops, requires high precision levels. There is zero heat transfer happening from the stove so, in order to take full advantage of the induction cooktop, the cookware set has to include all the appropriate features.
As an example, induction cookware sets need:
- A flat base – it should not easily warp
- High-quality steel – so that magnetic current can properly pass through it
- Metals with high heat conduction features
It needs to be added that when handles are not properly connected to pots and pans, they end up vibrating as high heat is used for induction cooking. Thus, quality workmanship is really important.
The Metals Used Inside The Base
Different clad bases cause a very high-pitch noise when metal layers start to vibrate. Always conduct good research so you know the metals included in the base.
You can look on YouTube to see videos of the problems that can appear. A pan can be cut in half because of improper metals used in the cookware sets added to the induction cooktop. Basically, when metals are not right, a part of the pan ends up hot enough to cook but the rest remains cold. Uneven heat distribution is highly problematic for induction cooking.
Which Material Is Best?
Generally speaking, if an iron base is included, stainless steel, some enameled steel, steel, and cast iron pans are all suitable for induction cooking. On the other hand, copper, aluminum and glass pans are not. Whenever in doubt, the induction compatible logo and the magnet test help you know for sure if your pans are induction pans or not. You can also read buyer reviews as you shop online or ask a shop assistant.
Stainless Steel Pots And Pans
Stainless steel is by far the most popular material used in induction cookware sets. This is because it is non-corrosive, hard and strong. The problem is that it does not properly conduct heat. Due to this, you often see stainless steel combined with aluminum and other metals to create a multi-layered base that ensures even heat distribution. The combination guarantees that as the base is heated, the same happens to the rest of the cookware. For instance, a sauté pan made out of stainless steel is only suitable for induction cooking when it also includes metals that are better at heat distribution.
Cast Iron Pans And Pots
The first thing that stands out about a cast iron cookware set is the price. Inductions pots and pans with cast iron are pricey but they are durable when properly being taken care of. A big advantage is that you get even heat transfer even at low settings. However, due to its really heavy and thick base, it will take longer to properly cool-down and heat-up. There are cast iron pans that include an enameled cast iron base. This is useful as it prevents the appearance of rust. But, when you do not handle the cookware set properly, it can easily become very brittle and chip.
Aluminum Pans And Pots
Aluminum is very popular because it retains and conducts heat well. The metal is affordable, does not rust and is lightweight. However, aluminum alone is not compatible with induction cooking. This is overcome by manufacturers through the use of an extra stainless steel plate inside the base. The rest of the pot or pan for induction can be made out of an aluminum core but without the extra plate, it is not compatible with induction. The plate solves the problem by generating heat from the cooktop and then passing it to the rest of the pot or pan.
Cooking Style Differences
The way in which you cook with induction cookware does make a difference. You need to use really heavy-based pans when you want steady and slow cooking. Such frying pans and sauté pans react slowly and normally take a longer time to properly heat-up. You still get consistent and even heating. The pans are ideal for cooking the more delicate foods and the meals that require a very long cooking period. Usually, the bases are thicker and include an aluminum core (combined with a steel base) or cast iron.
When you want to cook fast, the stainless steel bases are considered to be the best. This is because they quickly heat-up and will react very fast if temperature settings are modified. The pans have a thin base though and can end up burning if you are not attentive. They are prone to sticking, overcooking and burning. Usually, such pans are considered the best cookware for steaming and boiling.
Heat Transfer Efficiency And Induction Cookware
Aluminum and copper transfer heat fast, in an even manner, all through the cookware base. Materials like cast iron and stainless steel are not so effective when referring to heat transfer. However, these are materials that are needed for induction cooking to actually work. Copper and aluminum are useless in induction.
Manufacturers figured out they can use cladding in order to solve the heat transfer efficiency problem. When cladding is used, cookware sets gain the properties of all metals mentioned. You simply end up with copper or aluminum cookware that is fully induction ready. At the same time, the induction-ready cookware is much more efficient as heat is evenly spread all around the vessel.
It is important to fully understand the manufacturer’s used processes during the creation of classing as you buy. Some options are simply better than others. Quality can easily be analyzed by reading the cookware set manual. Also, take a look at what voids warranty and the official temperature range listed.
Besides all these things, you also need to think about some health aspects. Buying a stainless steel cookware set of very high-quality guarantees that you protect your entire family. Healthy cookware is the best cookware. Fortunately, all cookware sets that feature the induction logo on them are checked and are certified to be healthy for the entire family.
What To Consider When Buying Induction Cookware
Keep in mind that this is not a full guide that includes everything that you have to consider as you buy induction cookware. However, the pointers highlighted below allow you to quickly assess the quality of the cookware set you’re looking at:
- The base of the cookware set has to be induction-ready. There is usually a logo that resembles a coil on most modern pots and pans that are induction ready. The logo guarantees that the cookware set can be safely used on induction cooktops. However, the logo is not always present.
- When in the shop as you purchase, use something magnetic in order to check the base of the cooktop. Older stainless steel cookware does not usually have the mentioned logo so you can use the magnet test to be sure. Alternatively, ask a shop assistant before you buy the cookware set.
- One of the most important things to remember before buying an induction cookware set is that pans that buckle and warp are not heat-efficient as you cook with the use of induction. This is not a problem with gas or electricity because heat rises up and compensates for the problem. The cookware set you buy needs to have a really sturdy bottom.
- Always opt for a thicker base since buckling is less likely. The very best induction cookware set you can afford should be your target. When you buy cheap cookware, it is a certainty that it breaks down much faster than it should.
- There are differences between magnetic bases. Usually, this relates to how much iron is used. This does affect heating efficiency. With a thicker base, more iron is included. The cookware heats faster and the actual heating is more efficient. This is the best and most efficient option.
- One of the popular safety features you see in high-quality cooktops (portable and inset) is the addition of a cutoff switch. It is usually placed on the plate. The cutoff switch guarantees that problems do not appear when areas are not covered by the induction plate during cooking. This avoids problematic situations associated with improper cooktop plate sizes for the induction cookware set.
- Uneven heating appears when the pot has a base that is larger than the plate. When the pot has a base that is smaller, it is possible that the plate simply does not switch on. Basically, when you buy multi plate-sized cooktops that utilize induction, always use pots and pans of appropriate sizes. This is intended and not a problem with the cooktop. The system is designed like this so that heat distribution is as even as possible.
Top Induction Cookware Sets Reviewed For 2020
Duxtop’s Professional Stainless Steel 17 Piece Set
This Duxtop chart-topper induction cookware set is designed to be used in induction cooking. It includes 17 high-quality, versatile cookware pieces so you can always use something that is appropriate, based on what you want to cook. The pots and pans feature premium handles and they are oven safe, at temperatures of up to 500 degrees F.
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Size: 17 pieces
- Oven Safe: Up to 550 degrees F
- Many different sizes
- Even heating guaranteed with aluminum core
- 100% Broiler safe
- Can discolor if exposed to a higher heat source
Duxtop Whole-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Induction Ready Premium Cookware 10-Pc Set
This is a really popular induction cookware set that gained popularity because of a very good reason. It practically includes all the essential vessels you need for everyday cooking. At the same time, it is manufactured with induction technology in mind. The triclad steel construction guarantees even heating. Then, the handles used are aesthetically pleasing and durable. In addition, every single piece is 100% oven safe for temperatures up to 550 degrees F.
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Size: 10 pieces
- Oven Safe: Up to 550 degrees F
- No fuss, really simple design
- All needed basic pieces available
- Fair price
- Quality handles that stay cool when the cookware is on the stovetop
- Can discolor over time
Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
This 12 piece cookware set by Cuisiniart consists of 1-1/2- and 3-quart saucepans, 8-inch and 10-inch skillets, 3-1/2-quart sauté pan, 8-quart stockpot, and a steamer insert. The saucepans, sauté pan, stockpot, and steamer insert come with lids. This set is induction compatible and they feature tight-fitting lids to seal in moisture and flavor. All pieces are oven safe and dishwasher safe.
- Material: Aluminum Core and Stainless Steel
- Size: 12 pieces
- Oven safe: up to 550 degrees F
- Even heating thanks to the aluminum core
- Tapered rims for drip-free pouring
- Heats evenly and quickly
- Can be loud
- Can stain and scratch easily
The Best Non-Stick Induction Cookware
Vremi 8 Piece Ceramic Nonstick Induction Compatible Cookware
This Vremi 8 Piece Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set is unique and very fun compared to most induction-friendly cookware. The set comes in 3color options – blue, green, and yellow with wood-like handles. The handles are actually plastic and coated with a wood-looking cover. You can also use the pieces from this set on an electric or gas stove, however, it is not safe to use them in the oven. The set is made out of aluminum and it has a ceramic non-stick marble coating. The 8 pieces included are 2 dutch oven pots with lids, 2 frying pans, and 1 casserole pot with a lid. This cookware set can go from the stovetop to the table as serveware.
- Material: Aluminum and Ceramic
- Size: 8 pieces
- Oven safe: no
- Colorful, modern design
- Dishwasher safe
- Non-toxic and BPA Free
- Not safe to use in the oven
- Short handles that get hot
All-Clad E785S264/E785S263 HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Induction ready Cookware
The 2 pans included in the All-Clad cookware set are non-stick, induction-friendly, and easy to clean. While it is safe to wash them in the dishwasher, handwashing is recommended because, depending on your dishwasher, the non-stick coating can come off. The aluminum and stainless steel combo allow the induction pans to heat up fast and evenly.
- Material: Hard-anodized aluminum with stainless-steel bonded Anti-Warp base
- Size: 2 pieces
- Oven safe: up to 500 degrees F
- Strong and durable
- PFOA-free Scratch Resistant nonstick coating
- Easy cleanup
- Uncomfortable handles
- Non-stick coating can chip if you wash the pans in the dishwasher; wash by hand instead
Cuisinart 722-911NS Chef’s Classic Stainless Nonstick 2-Piece 9-Inch and 11-Inch Skillet induction ready cookware
These classic silver and black pans included in the Cuisiniart cookware have a mirror finish exterior and provide precise temperature control due to the aluminum base. Also, they get hot fast but the handles stay cool. Another cool thing about the handles is that they have thumb rests for lifting and pouring control, however, they are very thin and you have to be careful while handling the pans. The non-stick surface is perfect for any type of food – sauces, crepes, veggies, and meats.
- Material: Stainless Steel with Aluminum base and Titanium non-stick coating
- Size: 2 pieces
- Oven safe: no
- Sturdy cookware set
- Heats well
- Non-stick is long-lasting
- Thin handle so you can spill food if not handled with caution
- They don’t come with lids but you can order them separately
What About Not Induction Ready Cookware?
If you own cookware that is not proper for induction cooking, there are different workarounds you may want to consider using. They will work but remember the fact that they are not efficient. Simply put, you need to use such workarounds only if you do not have another choice.
As an example, steel disks can be bought to put on the induction plate. They usually have a handle for easy use and you put the regular pan or pot right on it. This will do the trick. However, it is not an efficient long-term solution that you should rely on. It is only meant to help you when you are in a squeeze.
The most important thing that you have to remember about using induction cookware is that you need to buy the best pans and pots you can afford. Usually, this means that you have to put some money aside when you buy an induction cooktop so you have the money needed to buy the best induction cookware.
When you start using induction cookware, you open the door to a different cooking experience. Everything becomes more accurate, efficient, and faster. However, if you do not know if you have good cookware and you use something random, the experience will be much less enjoyable. Using bad cookware with induction cooktops is just like buying a very expensive vehicle and equipping it with the cheapest tires you can find.
We warmly recommend you take a look at everything that was covered in this article. Also, try to use healthier, better oils since this also makes a huge difference when you cook.