The evolution of the kitchen is fascinating and our venture to be more eco-friendly has led us to a more environmentally-friendly kitchen with the use of an induction stove. Induction ranges are making its way into most modern homes with the promise of cutting fuel costs by up to 40%. The only downside to that is that induction stoves are very fickle. They only work with specific types of cookware.
What is induction cooking?
An induction stove uses electromagnetic energy to heat a pan. It creates a magnetic field with the nearest magnetic conductor and turns the cookware into its own heating material. It is an innovative way of cooking without the need for a heat source making it a more preferred cooking top for modern homes mostly for the multiple benefits it offers. But mainly because it allows the cookware to rapidly heat up through induction heating as compared to direct heating through radiation or over thermal heat like an electric coil or fire.
What is induction cookware?
Induction cookware or induction-ready cookware are pots or pans that are compatible with an induction stove. These types of cookware are made with a magnetized base or metals that attract magnets.
Can I use normal cookware on induction cooktops?
Normal cookware aren’t always made for induction stoves. For a pot or pan to be compatible with an induction stove it needs to be magnetic and it also needs to have a flat bottom. Since induction ranges are relatively new, not every cookware is made for this type of stove. The most common materials used in making cookware like aluminum and ceramics are not compatible and won’t heat up on an induction cooktop.
What cookware can be used on induction cooktops?
Since induction stoves require cookware to be magnetic, you need a pot or a pan with a metal base or body that can attract magnets. Stainless steel and cast iron are the types of cookware that are most compatible with an induction stove. Unlike on open fire, they heat faster on an induction cooktop and are more likely to perform better as compared to direct heating.
However, many cookware manufacturers are crafting ways to turn their pots and pans induction-ready by adding a magnetic base usually using a stainless steel metal plate. However, an induction stove works better with cookware that has a flat bottom. This allows better induction heating and also prevents the cookware from deforming due to the rapid increase in temperature.
What cookware doesn’t work on induction stoves?
Any cookware made with minerals is not induction-ready because they block electromagnetic fields. These materials include:
These materials block the electromagnetic field created through the induction process. Hence it doesn’t heat up on an induction stove unless they are crafted with a magnetized base.
Can you damage an induction hob by using wrong pans?
Normal pans that aren’t equipped with an induction-ready base won’t even heat up on an induction stove. However, using thin stainless steel cookware on an induction stove may be prone to warping. Thinner cookware may warp due to the fast heating brought by induction heating. The sudden change in temperature and the rapid rise in temperature can damage a cookware especially if it is made with a thin sheet of material.
The best cookware for induction stoves is multi-clad cookware or one made with a thick slab of metal. This helps retain the integrity of the cookware while coping with the fast change in temperature.
How to use non-induction cookware on induction cooktops?
Replacing your existing normal cookware for induction-ready cookware is just not cost-efficient. If you still have cookware in pristine condition, there are ways to still use your pots and pans on an induction stove.
DIY base installation
Some crafty cooks have their cookware installed with a thin metal plate on their pots and pans. This is a quicker and more affordable solution in turning your ordinary cookware into an induction-compatible pot or pan.
Use an induction interface disc
The easiest way to make all your pots and pans compatible with your induction stove is by using a heat diffuser or an induction interface disc. These discs are made of magnetic metals like stainless steel or cast iron and serve as an induction heater for your cookware.
Benefits of using induction interface discs
The great thing about these discs is that they turn all of your cookware induction ready.
- Affordable. You don’t need to buy new and more expensive induction cookware.
- Gentle on your cooktop. These discs won’t easily scratch your glass cooktop.
- It won’t damage your cookware. The interface disc also diffuses the high heat and equally distributes it throughout your cookware.
- It is always the perfect size for your induction zone.
- It also works as a heat shield for grills and open flame cooking
Max Burton Induction Interface Disk
This 8-inch induction interface diffuser comes with a heatproof handle. It is made with solid stainless steel creating a base for all types of cookware to cook on an induction stove. This durable base efficiently transfers heat directly to your cookware acting as a heat source for your pot or pan.
Ilsa Heat Diffuser
Made with pure cast iron molded into a beautiful flower design, this interface disc provides a decorative but highly effective induction interface disc creating a strong base for your cookware. On top of being an induction base, it also serves as a durable heat shield for your cookware when grilling or broiling.
Do induction hobs get hot?
Contrary to belief, induction hobs do get hot mostly because it is in direct contact with the hot pan or pot. Induction heating will not heat the glass cooktop because it only allows induction heating to pass through and go straight to the cookware. However, the temperature on your induction hob is not as hot as your pot or pan. It easily cools down creating a safer cooking zone for you and your family.
Your induction cooktop is picky when it comes to the cookware that will work on it. Any cookware made with magnetic metal or has an induction-friendly base will easily work with any induction range. You can still cook with your normal cookware on an induction stove with the use of an induction diffuser for a simpler and more affordable option than replacing it with an expensive brand new cooking set.