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Choosing Cookware for Your Induction Cooktop

5 June 2009 58,718 views 4 Comments
Choosing Induction Cookware

Before choosing cookware for your induction cooktop it is important to understand how induction cooktops work. Induction cooktops do not have a traditional thermal heating element, instead they have a copper coil. An electromagnetic field of energy is created by sending a current through the coil. Cookware that is used on an induction cooktop should be ferrous, which means it supports a magnetic field. The electromagnetic energy passes through the ceramic cooktop to the cookware, causing the molecules within the cookware to vibrate up to 50,000 times a second. The heat is created by the friction between these molecules so the heat is created within the cookware not on the cooktop.

Since creating the heat requires a reaction to electromagnetic energy, induction cookware is made of iron or some other metal that supports a magnetic field. Cookware made from aluminum, copper or glass will not work properly with an induction stove. You can buy cookware that is made speciffically for induction cooking, this cookware has a layer of ferrous material in the bottom to make them work with this type of cooktop. Cast iron cookware is a great fit for this type of cooking since iron is a highly ferrous material. If you are not fond of the cast iron look you might opt for enameled cast iron. Enameled cast iron will work fine and offers an updated style that allows you to choose between different colors. Some stainless steel cookware can be used on an induction cooktop however, not all stainless steel cookware will work. If you are unsure if a piece of cookware will work properly, stick a magnet on the bottom of the cookware. If the magnet sticks the cookware will work on an induction cooktop.

Remember that induction cooktops usually have glass or ceramic surfaces so make sure that the cookware you choose has a smooth bottom. You don’t want to scratch your cooktop.

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  • mr.pete said:

    Thanks for this article. The thought of having to buy new cookware to match the induction tops may not be as appealing to most. Also do we know if real cooks will make the switch from gas to using induction cooktops?

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  • Stacey said:

    Just wanted to post that while I thought I was going to end up having to spend a small fortune to buy new pots and pans for my induction cooktop, I was thrilled and quite surprised to find a lovely set at Costco last week. It’s very sturdy stainless, has a copper core, and the entire set (over a dozen pieces) only cost $169. I still feel like there must be a catch, but so far I am very pleased. The only thing it lacks is a nonstick pan for eggs and the like.

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