Cookware for Induction Cooktops: Discover What Works And How To Choose The Right Ones
Walk into most modern homes and you’ll spot a dark, sleek glass surface with up to four carefully shaped circles on it in place of a traditional gas cooktop. Welcome to the world of induction cooktops, where flames are nowhere to be seen, but the heat remains.
Induction cooktops are the top choice for most modern homeowners because it is safe, efficient, and easy to use. But only the right cookware can be used on induction cooktops because these cooktops do not operate like the traditional cooktops we’re used to.
What is an induction cooktop and how does it differ from gas or electric cooktops?
With traditional gas cooktops, you can clearly see the flame and how it only works when gas is available. And for electric cooktops, you’ll see how the surface or coil turns red and radiates heat (don’t touch it!) when activated.
But induction cooktops work differently. The cooking surface remains cool to the touch even while the heat is turned on. An induction cooktop is a different type of stove that utilizes an electromagnetic field to directly and only heat up your cookware.
You won’t see an open flame like with traditional gas stoves and no heated coil like on most electric cooktops. Instead, what you’ll see is a sleek, flat surface with a series of magnetic coils underneath that surface.
This makes induction cooking safer, faster, and incredibly precise because you can easily control the temperature and heat distribution. Safety is often touted as the #1 reason why families with little ones at home prefer cooking on induction over traditional cooktops.
So how do induction cooktops work?
Remember how we mentioned that it uses an electromagnetic field to directly heat up your cookware? When the cooktop is on, the magnetic field induces an electric current within the right cookware, generating heat. The cookware itself becomes the heating element and heat is only produced when the cookware comes into contact with your induction cooktop’s surface.
But because it bypasses the need for a traditional heating element, only certain types of cookware that are made with magnetic materials will work.
Choosing the right cookware for induction stoves
There are a few things to consider when choosing your next induction-suitable cookware. You’ll want to look at:
1. Whether the cookware has a magnetic base
This is by far the most important factor to consider when you’re shopping for induction cookware. As mentioned earlier, induction cooking involves using a magnetic field to heat up your cookware. This means that the cookware must have a magnetic base or contains iron at its base to generate the electric current that’s needed to produce heat.
You can easily check whether your cookware is induction suitable by doing the magnet test. Simply hold a magnet to its base and check if it clings firmly. If the magnet sticks then congratulations, you have an induction cookware on hand!
2. Is the cookware flat-bottomed?
You’ll want to make sure the cookware you’ve got your eye on has a flat bottom to ensure optimal contact with the cooktop’s surface. Else this could result in uneven heating and in turn, uneven cooking results.
Avoid cookware with built in stands as this will keep the cookware’s base away from direct contact, effectively preventing it from working.
3. The induction cookware’s overall size
Notice how induction stovetops have different-sized cooking zones, often in the shape of rings? Because of that, it’s important to choose cookware that is appropriately sized for the cooking zones you have.
Cookware that is too small will not heat properly, while cookware that is too large may have uneven hotspots.
Suitable types of cookware for induction cooktops
Induction cookware typically has these characteristics:
1. It has a certain level of iron within its construction.
2. It has a magnetic base.
3. Manufacturers and retailers now often include a little symbol to highlight that it is induction-compatible.
Here are a list of cookware types that are almost guaranteed to work on induction:
1. Stainless steel cookware
By far one of the most popular materials for induction cookware. It’s durable, non-corrosive, and it often provides excellent heat distribution. While not the best conductor of heat, some stainless steel cookware are made with multiple layers of aluminium at its base to effectively combat this issue.
That said, not all stainless steel cookware will cook well on the induction cooktop. You can check by looking at the number that defines it, such as “18/10 stainless steel” for example. This means 18% chromium and 10% nickel can be found in that particular stainless steel cookware, while the remaining percentage is iron.
As a general rule of thumb, 18/0, 18/18, and 18/10 stainless steel cookware are the most common types of stainless steel used to make stainless steel induction cookware.
2. Cast iron cookware
Cast iron cookware is an excellent choice for induction cookware thanks to its naturally magnetic construction and fantastic heat retention. It’s also highly durable and often made to last generations with proper care.
The only downside is the commonly high price tag associated with it, especially on high quality cast iron cookware and enamelled cast iron cookware.
3. Carbon steel cookware
You won’t often find carbon steel cookware in homes as it’s more often used in professional kitchens. Carbon steel cookware contains enough iron and typically low carbon content so its naturally magnetic properties are not negatively affected.
4. Ceramic Cookware (Ceramic-coated cookware in particular)
A quick search online and you may be confused as some say ceramic cookware are not induction-compatible, while some say they are. Well let’s set the confusion aside once and for all!
Ceramic cookware is typically made with either an aluminium or stainless steel core. The ones made with a stainless steel core within will naturally be suitable for induction cooking. However the ones made with aluminium may or may not be suitable for induction cooking as aluminium is generally not magnetic.
Even so, most ceramic cookware manufacturers now develop their ceramic cookware with a magnetic base that can be used with induction cooktops. A prime example would be our colourful assortment of beautifully crafted ceramic cookware at Cosmic Cookware.
Our induction cookware sets and individual cookware pieces are made super sturdy to provide even heat distribution as you cook. Do check them out if you’re interested in adding a functional pop of colour into your kitchen!
Congratulations, you're now better equipped to shop for new induction cookware!
Shopping for induction cookware is no longer as confusing as it seems right? It ultimately all boils down to a few things:
Knowing what materials are suitable for induction (stainless steel, cast iron, carbon steel),
Checking whether the cookware is magnetic,
Lastly, checking the manufacturer’s label on whether it’s induction compatible or not.
Once you’ve got these points down, you won’t go wrong in getting yourself the most suitable set of quality induction cookware for your beautiful kitchen at home.
If you’re on the hunt for induction cookware that looks good and cooks good for your kitchen, do check out our range of induction-compatible ceramic cookware at Cosmic Cookware. With an assortment of vibrant and beautiful colours, you’ll certainly have a statement piece to cook and serve with at your next dinner gathering or intimate home soiree.