Is There an Induction Cooker for all Metal Cookware?


If you are planning to upgrade to induction cooking, you may have heard that induction cooktops don’t work with metal. But is that really true? With all the progress we have made in tech, there must be an induction cooker that can work with all types of metal cookware out there in the market, right?

Well, it’s true. Induction cooktops are designed to work only with induction cookware, hence there’s no version that can work with all types of metal cookware. However, you can use converter plates to make non-induction cookware work with your induction cooktop.

But first, let’s explain how induction cooktops work, shall we?

How Do Induction Cookers Work?

At the risk of oversimplifying induction cookers, as the name suggests, these cookers use induction to generate heat.

Here’s how things play out: inside the induction hob is a coil of metal (most cookers come with a copper coil). When the power is turned on, the metal coil creates a magnetic field. When cookware is placed in this magnetic field, it causes the iron atoms in your cookware to get excited and this causes the cookware to heat up.

This means that iron atoms need to be present in your cookware for it to work with your induction cooktop. Got it? Now let’s jump to our list of cookware that works with induction cooktops, which ones don’t work, and how you can tell the difference.

Cookware That Works With Induction Cooktops

Since induction cookers use induction (electromagnetism) to heat pots and pans, it means the cookware you use must have magnetic properties. Here’s a list of types of cookware that work with induction cooktops.

1. Stainless Steel Cookware (Can Steel Be Used On Induction?)

Cookware made from stainless steel is the best kind of cookware for induction cooktop. They are good heat conductors and contain materials such as carbon and nickel that make them super strong and durable.

Here are a Few Things to Consider About Stainless Steel Cookware:

Stainless steel pots and pans are not created equal. Some are more superior to others. We have tested some of the high-rated stainless-steel cookware on induction cooktops and here’s what we found out.

  1. Copper and aluminum clad stainless-steel cookware are better conductors and more energy-efficient than cookware made of stainless steel alone.
  2. Tri-ply cookware is more efficient than all types of stainless-steel cookware you can find in the market today. Tri-ply pots and pans have a layer of stainless steel and aluminum on the bottom.

Caution: Low-quality Tri-ply and copper and aluminum-clad stainless-steel cookware have started cropping up in the market, and therefore you have to be careful. Make sure you purchase high-end and superior-quality cookware.

The best stainless-steel cookware can be a bit pricey, but that should not be an issue because the superior performances that they offer, and their energy efficiency will save you lots of money in the long run.

2. Cast Iron Cookware

If you have a constrained budget, cast iron cookware can be an excellent choice for you. These are affordable and contain large amounts of iron, and thus they will work perfectly with any induction cooktop. But there are some downsides.

For starters, cast iron pots and pans are usually heavy, and this can make cooking stressful, especially if you are preparing food that requires a lot of lifting and stirring. Cast iron is also slow to heat and cool, which means cookware made of cast iron are not ideal for preparing dishes that require fast temperature changes. Cast iron pots and pans can also easily scratch the glass surface on your induction cooktop.

3. Carbon Steel Cookware

If you are looking for a pan or pot that has all the properties found in cast iron cookware but is lighter than cast iron cookware, carbon steel cookware is what you should pick. Aside from being light and comfortable to use, carbon steel cookware also heats up faster. This, in turn, translates to low energy costs. What’s more, carbon steel pots and pans are responsive to temperature changes, making them ideal for preparing dishes that require fast temperature changes.

4. Enameled Porcelain Cast Iron Cookware

Enameled porcelain cast iron cookware is also induction compatible. It heats up fast, as long as the coating is evenly applied, and has a non-stick surface. The pans also are light, meaning they won’t give you a hard time when lifting them or when stirring your food. They are also strong and highly durable. There are lots of substandard enameled porcelain cast iron pots and pans in the market. Therefore, watch out and invest in premium-quality cookware.

Cookware That Won’t Work With Induction Cooktops

Pots and pans made using any of the following metals won’t work with your induction cooktop unless they have a bottom with magnetic properties.

1. Aluminum, Copper, or Ceramic Cookware

Most aluminum, copper, or ceramic pots and pans don’t work with induction cookers. This is because these materials have no magnetic properties. With that said, there are some aluminum, copper, or ceramic cookware that contain an iron coating, which makes them induction compatible.

2. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel cookware? Well, this is not a typo. It is true, not all stainless-steel pots and pans are induction compatible. All-Clad’s MC2 pots and pans can’t work on an induction cooktop. If you are in the market for stainless steel cookware that is induction compatible, you need to be careful to ensure the cookware you purchase is indeed induction compatible.

There are tricks that you can use to check if a stainless-steel pan or pot will work with your cooktop. We’ll share some of them at the end of this article, so continue reading.

How Do You Know If a Pan Is Induction Ready?

You can tell if cookware is induction compatible by checking if it has a “Work with Induction’ symbol. If it has an induction symbol, then it means it’ll work on your cooktop. If there’s no induction symbol, use the magnet trick.

How the magnet trick works: Hold a magnet to the bottom of the cookware you want to buy; if the magnet clings to the cookware, the cookware is induction compatible. If it clings softly, it may not work with your cooktop. 

How to Make Non-induction Cookware Work With an Induction Cooktop?

If your cookware is made of non-induction metal(s), you may be wondering: Does that mean you’ll have to spend more money on all new induction-compatible cookware? No! You can easily turn your non-induction cookware into induction cookware. Here’s how.

There’s one proven way that you can use to turn non-induction: Invest in an induction disk. An induction disk is a metal plate that you’ll place between your cooktop and your cookware. It’ll heat up, transferring heat to your non-induction/non-magnetic cookware.

Can Nonstick Pans Be Used on an Induction Cooktop?

Yes, they can, as long as they are made using materials that have magnetic properties. The pans should also have a flat bottom.

What Happens If You Use Non-induction Pan on an Induction Hob?

Nothing will happen. No heat will be generated.

Induction cookers can’t work with any metal. They are designed to work with only pans and pots that have magnetic properties. The good news is a lot of cookware available on the market today can work with induction cookers.

If your cookware isn’t compatible with your cooktop, you’ll need to invest in an induction disk or buy all-new induction cookware. We hope this piece was informative and answered most of the questions that you had.

Related Content