Answered: Do You Need Special Pans For An Induction Hob?

These past few years, there was a new entry into the cooking world! Induction hobs! They look like ceramic hobs; however, they have many differences in how they cook and in the pans they work with. Induction hobs need special pans to work. Did you know that? Not everyone does so don’t feel overwhelmed with this information! Let’s take it from the top!

Black induction hob on a white countertop

A short answer to the question “Do I need special pans for an induction hob?” is: YES, you do! Induction-ready cookware is the most suitable for this type of hob. But why do you need induction pans in the first place? Keep reading, and all your questions will be addressed.

Benefits of induction cooking

Someone might wonder: “Why should I use induction hobs for cooking?”.  This type of hobs, due to their special functionality, have many benefits in our daily life.

  1. Induction cooking is 90% energy efficient compared to gas hobs which are 55% efficient, and electric hobs, which are 65%.
  2. It’s safe to use. The cooking surface stays cool after use, and there aren’t any flames or exposed elements. Thus, there is almost no chance of burning yourself. The hob will be hot for a while only due to the residual heat if you’re using non-stick cookware. Otherwise, non-magnetic pans will remain cool.
  3. Cleaning the induction hob is much easier than cleaning electric cooktops or ceramic hobs. If you spill anything onto the surface, it won’t get burnt as it isn’t hot. Just a damp cloth can do the job. If you want to clean your ceramic hob, things are more complicated.
  4. Induction cookers are up to 50% faster than all other types of hob.
  5. You don’t need to turn the heat up or down as you do with conventional hobs. That means that what you’re cooking will be cooked evenly and in less hour.
  6. They can reach higher temperatures than traditional hobs. Ensure, though, you’re using induction compatible cookware. If you’re using non-stick pans, you may damage the surface.
  7. While cooking with such hobs, your kitchen won’t heat up, as it happens with other hob types. Instead, only the cooking zone will heat up.
  8. Induction cooktops might be much more expensive than electric and gas hobs. However, due to their efficiency and speed of cooking, they save you money on utility bills.

A man cooking with a special pot on an induction hob

The induction magnet test – How do I check if my pans are suitable for induction hobs?

To be sure if your cookware is suitable for your induction hob, you can do the induction magnet test. How? Induction cookers generate heat from the electric current through the copper coils. Induction pans have a magnetic and flat bottom to make the induction cooktop work.

Therefore, you only need a magnet to check your pots and pans. First, hold a magnet to the base. If it sticks on the surface, it means that you have induction friendly cookware. If it doesn’t stick, then, unfortunately, you need to get a new induction cookware set.

Best pans for induction hobs

Not all pans are suitable to work with induction cooktops due to the way induction cooking works. You need specific cookware sets. The best cookware has flat bases made of ferrous metals, like stainless steel and cast iron and enamelled cast iron, or magnetic metal, which are suitable for ceramic glass induction cooktops. All other cookware types, such as aluminium, copper, glass, anodised or ceramic, aren’t suitable for induction hobs unless they have an induction plate attached to their base.

Luckily, most cookware sets have a base that consists of both an aluminium core, making them energy efficient, and a ferrous plate to work with an induction cooktop. But, you don’t need to buy new pans. Instead, you can just buy an induction disc. Place it over the induction ring, and the heat will be transferred to the pan through it.

What’s more, the suitable induction hob pans have the “induction” word, and a coiled spring symbol stamped at their base. Thus, if you see these two symbols on a pot, pan or wok, it means that they are to be used for induction cooktop. But, if these two symbols are missing from a stainless steel pot means that it isn’t suitable for an induction cooktop.

Cookware set on a black induction hob

When choosing cookware for your hob keep these tips in mind to be sure that they’re suitable:

  • Opt for pots and pans (stainless steel or not) with a wide, flat bottom to ensure the fastest heat distribution.
  • While cooking, you might notice some vibration. Don’t worry, though. It’s absolutely normal. To avoid these vibrations, choose heavy, sturdy lids, which are quieter and stay in place better than the lighter ones.

What makes induction cookware work?

To understand the necessity of having induction-ready pans, pots and woks, you need to know what makes induction cookware work.

If you could see underneath the hob, you would notice induction coils that are made from copper wire. These wired create a magnetic field once electricity passes through them. By placing a pan with a  magnetised base on top of the hob, the magnetic field causes the rise in temperature and heats your cookware piece. The cool thing that we already mentioned, is that the hob remains cool during that process.

Woman cleaning induction hobs

Induction hobs are probably the best investment to make in your kitchen. Along with the induction pans you need to buy, cooking will easier than ever. Cooking time and utility bills will be reduced. So, don’t hesitate! Get an induction hob and don’t forget to change your cookware with induction-ready ones to get the most out of the hob.

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