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What Cookware Should You Buy for an Induction Cooktop

Induction cooktops are gaining popularity across the globe; however, there are still many doubts in our minds regarding the kind of cookware that is compatible with this specialized kitchen appliance. Let's find out what cookware to buy for an induction cooktop.
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Cookware for induction top
Increased Efficiency!
Induction cooktops are much more energy efficient as compared to gas or electric stove tops, mainly because energy is not lost in heating the air around the flame or the cooktop itself. It focuses on heating the pot and the food inside it.

Induction cooktops are well-known for their energy efficiency and quick-cooking capability. They are believed to be the revolutionary answer to our ever-growing energy-saving problem. Unlike other forms of cooking surfaces, like the gas or electric stove top, this cooktop works on heating the food inside the pot, rather than the pot itself.

An induction cooktop entails a high frequency electromagnet that produces a magnetic field, when the appliance is turned on. It heats up the cookware that is placed on it, and in turn cooks the food in it. However, can you place just about any cookware on this cooktop, or are there specific requirements for this appliance to work? Let's take a look.

Specifications for Induction Cooktop Cookware

High Iron Content

Induction cooking works on the principle of electromagnetism, thus, calling for cookware that can induce a magnetic field. Magnetic cookware like cast iron pots and pans, or magnetic stainless steel work on such a cooktop. However, amongst your regular cookware, some of the stainless steel ones are sure to have enough iron content to work the magnetic field of this kitchen equipment. 18/0 stainless steel has enough nickel content to make it magnetic and compatible for this kind of cooking. Some manufacturers employ something called 'sandwich construction', which makes stainless steel fit for induction cooktops.

Ferromagnetic Tip
The simplest and most common way to make sure your cookware is induction-cooktop-friendly, is by placing a regular fridge magnet on the bottom of your cookware. If the magnet holds, it's compatible.

Flat Bottom

When a pot or pan is placed on the surface of an induction cooktop, its base comes in direct contact with the surface of the cooktop. When the appliance is turned on, the electromagnetic field from the induction coil induces a magnetic field with the pot placed on the cooktop and generates heat. All this is done with maximum efficiency. However, if the pot or pan lacks a flat bottom, the surface area coming in contact with the cooktop will be lesser, and the efficiency of cooking will reduce.

Handy Tip
If you want to use a round-bottomed wok to prepare a dish, purchase an induction wok adapter, which will allow you to do so.

Why Non-magnetic Cookware Don't Work?

Cookware made from materials like glass, ceramic, copper, aluminum, etc., aren't made for this kind of cooking. This is because they lack the iron content necessary for generating the magnetic field that eventually leads to cooking of food. These pots and pans are heavy, more difficult to handle, and quite expensive; however, they do last for a long time. Having said this, it doesn't mean you have to stay away from this revolutionary technology, just because you have a well-set kitchen. Today, cookware manufacturers are readily adding the minimum iron requirement in the layer form to their utensils to make them induction-cooktop-friendly. They're adding a layer of iron to the bottom of aluminum, glass, copper, etc., to make it compatible for such kind of cooking. However, over a period of time, the layer separates from the base metal(s) and creates an annoying buzzing sound.

What about a Mauviel Induction Disc?

A mauviel induction disc is a stainless steel, magnetic disc which when placed on the induction cooktop, transfers heat to the non-magnetic pot or pan placed on top of it. Those who have a large variety of non-magnetic cookware and wish to make more use of them can invest in such a disc, to make them compatible to induction cooking.

If you're still doubtful about whether you want to invest in this appliance or not, go to a store and take a look at a live demonstration. Get a feel of the cookware used and the cooktop. Moreover, if you're still confused, purchase the portable version and try cooking on it for a while before investing in the larger one.
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Published: December 31, 2013
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