What Are Induction Pans? How Do You Know You Have One?

what are induction pans

What Are Induction Pans?

Induction cooktops come with a myriad of benefits including being super easy to clean, significantly more efficient when compared to gas or electric cooktops, and provide added safety while cooking thanks to the unique style of the magnetic heating coil. If you are new to cooking on an induction cooktop, you may not know that only specific types of pots and pans are induction compatible.

So, what are induction pans? What happens if you use a regular pan on an induction hob? And, how can you tell if your pots and pans are suitable for cooking on induction hobs? All of these questions and more will be answered in this helpful and informative article.

What are Induction Hobs and How Do They Work?

Before we jump into the specifics of induction cookware, we think it’s best if you have a basic understanding of how induction cooking works.

An induction cooktop uses a magnetic field to create heat through the movement and transfer of electrons. Instead of a traditional heating coil that uses direct contact and thermal conduction, like with electrical or gas hobs, indication cooktops have a magnetic coil beneath a smooth surface that creates energy for cooking. Instead of generating heat, the coil produces an oscillating magnetic field to initiate and complete the cooking process.

Interestingly, the cooking surface stays relatively cool to the touch, even on a high temperature setting thanks to the induction cooking process using almost all of the energy it produces, without wasting it by emitting it into the air around the pan. This makes induction cooking faster and more efficient, but only if you have the right, compatible cookware.

Induction Pans Explained

Alright, now that we have a basic understanding of induction cooking, let’s discuss what makes pots and pans eligible or ineligible for use on induction cooktops.

What Types of Pots and Pans Are Induction Compatible?

Due to the unique method used for cooking, not all pans work on an induction cooktop. Pans for induction hobs, or induction cookware, must be made with a material that is magnetic. Or at the very least, have magnetic material on the base of the pan.

Pan Materials That Work on an Induction Hob

  • Cast-iron
  • Stainless steel (some lower quality stainless steel pans only have a thin coating of steel and may not work well)
  • Enamelled pots with a magnetic core (often iron)
  • Possibly copper (only if they have a magnetic base)
  • Possibly non-stick (only if they have a magnetic base)

As you can see, it is not always that straight forward when it comes to induction pans unless they are cast iron and made of the same, solid metal.

How Do You Know if a Pan is Induction Hob Compatible?

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a pot or pan is induction compatible by simply looking at it, especially if they have a nonstick or ceramic coating covering the base material or are made from a typical looking metal.

Luckily, there is a super simple and easy way to test any piece of cookware you come across to find out if it is suited for use on an induction cooktop. All you have to do is test whether or not the base of the pan is magnetic.

Simply grab a kitchen magnet off of your fridge and hold it to the bottom of the pot or pan in question. If it sticks, it can be used for induction cooking. If not, the cookware is only suitable for gas and electric cooking.

What Types of Pots and Pans Are Not Induction Stove Compatible?

If you try the magnet method above and it does not work, chances are the cookware you tested is made form one of the following non-magnetic materials.

Pan Materials That Will Not Work On An Induction Hob

  • Aluminium
  • Glass
  • Solid copper without a magnetic base
  • Non-stick pans without a magnetic core or base
  • Thinly plated stainless steel pans with an aluminium core or base

When in doubt about a specific pot or pan, simply refer back to and try the kitchen magnet method discussed above.

What Happens if You Use a Normal Pan On an Induction Hob?

If you use a normal pot or pan on an induction cooktop, in other words, one that is not magnetic, heat will not be produced or transfer from the induction coil to the pan. This means that simply put, it won’t work. Your water will not heat up or ever boil and your food will not cook. Therefore, the pans and pots you choose to use will make all the difference.

Be Sure You Have the Right Cookware

Induction cooktops use a magnetic field to create heat making them more efficient, safe, and easy to clean. However, they are also dependent upon pots and pans being made from specific materials when it comes to being able to utilize the induction method. What are induction pans? Stainless steel, cast-iron, or any type of pot or pan with a magnetic bottom will work on induction cooktops. Even a copper or enamelled pot will work as long as it has a magnetic bottom. But don’t be fooled, sometimes pots will have a magnetic core that is disguised so always used to magnet trick to be sure!

What do you think? Will you need new cookware for your kitchen to cook on an induction surface? Or will the cookware you already have work?

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