Cooking by induction involves heating using magnetic induction. The result? Burners don't become scorching hot and heat is quickly adjustable. The downside is that cooking this way requires specialty cookware.
Anything a magnet sticks to should work with induction cooking technology. Cookware made of materials such as cast iron and stainless steel — like the high-end Duxtop pots we've selected as our Best of the Best pick — are suitable for this type of cooking. To simplify your decision-making process, we've created a quick guide to help you select the appropriate pots and pans for your stovetop.
Considerations when choosing induction pan sets
Your cooking needs
Different sets include an assortment of pots, pans, and other stovetop accessories. The set you choose depends mainly on your cooking habits. A passionate home chef may prefer a large set that includes special pieces like a wok or steamer in addition to the standard pots and pans. For the occasional home cook, a compact set with a frying pan and a few pots should do the trick.
Think about the kind of cooking you do to evaluate your specific needs. If you usually cook for one or two, you don't require a set with several roomy pans. If you often cook for a crowd, verify that the set you choose includes large pans and stock pots.
Once you decide on your must-haves in a pan set, consider what type of material you want for your new pots and pans. Most metal vessels are suitable for induction cooking, but always double check the fine print to confirm that a set will work for this type of cooktop. Induction-ready options include stainless steel, copper, cast iron, and hard-anodized aluminum. Cast iron is the most durable option, but if unseasoned, requires a bit of attention to maintain a nonstick surface. Stainless steel and hard-anodized aluminum are both long-lasting choices. Copper is another durable pick that absorbs heat rapidly, but it's more likely to get bent out of shape than other materials.
Some standard cookware pieces you may find included in an induction pan set:
Frying pan (10 or 12 inches in diameter) Stock pots of varying sizes Saucepan Deep sauté pan Multiple lids
Miscellaneous pieces included in some cookware sets:
Wok Paella pan Brazier (for braising foods) Roasting pan Steamer
Oven-safe cookware is also ideal for two-step cooking situations where it's necessary to broil or heat items after starting them on the cooktop. Pick options with cool-touch handles and lid grips for added protection against burns.
High-end induction pan sets cost well over $100, depending on the number of pieces included and the brand in question. Basic, entry-level induction pan sets start at $30 but increase in price depending on the size of the set.
Q. Will my existing cookware work with my new induction stovetop?
A. If you can get a magnet to stick to your pans, they'll work on your induction cooktop. You'll know pretty quickly if your pots are incompatible. Thankfully, there are plenty of fantastic induction pan sets to choose from.
Q. Do I need to adjust my cooking methods when using induction-ready cookware?
A. Not really. Using an induction stovetop is much like using a regular cooktop. One advantage is that the burners won't get as hot to the touch as they would on a standard stovetop. Temperature adjustments via induction are incredibly quick and precise, so you may want to be a bit more conservative when turning up the heat on your stove to prevent burning or scorching food. Doing so may damage your cookware.
Induction pan sets we recommend
Best of the best: Duxtop Impact-Bonded Technology Cookware Set
Our take: A sturdy cookware set with a vast array of pieces, including handy cooking utensils. A high-quality option for outfitting a new kitchen.
What we like: Stainless steel pots and pans are incredibly durable and feature convenient measurement markers.
What we dislike: Not ideal for making pancakes, omelets.
Best bang for your buck: Vremi Ceramic Set for Induction Stovetop
Our take: Attractive enough to be left out on the stove when not in use. Great for the cook on a budget who has an eye for style.
What we like: Pieces heat evenly and have a nonstick ceramic coating. Pots and pans are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
What we dislike: Handles are not heat-proof.
Choice 3: Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel Set
Our take: An induction pan set that will last a lifetime, perfect for the avid home cook.
What we like: True stainless steel that won't warp or discolor over time. Safe for use in the oven and dishwasher. Heat-safe handles help prevent accidents.
What we dislike: It's an expensive set.
Steph Coelho is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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