What Makes Cookware Induction Compatible?

Written by on May 2010

Viking Induction CooktopI am sure by now most of us have seen the Elektrolux commercial on TV that features an induction cook top. During the entire commercial the intro music from Bewitched is playing so prominently that you cannot ignore it. While they feature other appliances I am certain that it is the induction cook top that led to the choice of the Bewitched music because induction cook tops give a magical element to cooking. It is so efficient you can boil water in 90 seconds! Here are a few other magical things to ponder regarding induction cooking:

  1. Induction cook tops do not get hot.
  2. There is no worry about a pot holder or a flammable item catching fire while the cook top is in use.
  3. If something boils over onto the cook top it is easier to clean because nothing burns to the surface because it is not hot.
  4. It does not warm up the kitchen like gas and electric burners do.
  5. They are 90% energy efficient. This compares to 50% energy efficient for gas and 60% for electric cook tops, making induction the “greenest” choice.
  6. Because of its high energy efficiency it can cook things much more quickly.
  7. You can adjust temperatures much more quickly than either gas or electric cook tops, making it a great choice for items that require extreme temperature control.
  8. High efficiency means less money spent on cooking.
  9. Once your pan is removed from the cooking source, it is impossible to leave the “burner on” making it safer than gas or electric.

How does induction cook top cook food if it does not get hot?

This is the exciting part. Common cook tops supply heat that is applied to the cookware heating up the cookware thus heating the food. Induction cook tops create a magnetic field that only works on cookware that is made of a magnetic material. The magnetic field reacts with the cookware creating heat in the cookware itself, in other words the cookware becomes the burner. With induction cook tops your pan becomes the burner so your food is sitting directly on the burner making induction much more efficient! That is the magic of induction.

Viking Portable Induction Cooktop BurnerFor those people who really want to experience cooking with induction, without replacing their stove, MetroKitchen offers the Viking portable induction burner. It is basically a single burner portable induction cooktop you can use anywhere in your home or any location with a power source. It is powerful as one would expect coming from Viking. It will allow you to use this new technology without replacing your stove.

How do you know if your cookware is compatible with induction cook tops?
The best way to be certain is to see if a magnet will stick to the cookware. If a magnet sticks to the cookware it is induction compatible. For any cookware to be induction compatible it must have a magnetic material built into it. Cast iron is a magnetic material, so it is good cookware for an induction cook top. Stainless steel cookware is popular cookware as it dishwasher friendly, looks beautiful over time and is much lighter than cast iron. Unfortunately stainless steel causes confusion when it comes to induction cook tops. The problem stems from the fact that all stainless steel is not magnetic. In order for stainless steel cookware to be induction friendly it has to have 18/0 stainless steel or another magnetic material built into it. Manufacturers that want their cookware to be induction compatible typically add 18/0 stainless steel to their cookware to make it induction capable. The design of your stainless cookware really will not matter. It can be disc bottom or clad in design, as long as it has 18/0 stainless steel or another magnetic material it will work with induction cook tops.

I’ve determined some or all of my cookware is not induction compatible, but I would like use an induction cook top.  What are my options?

If your current cookware is not induction compatible there are options open to you. Some induction cook tops are hybrids meaning that 2 burners are induction and 2 burners are conventional electric burners so all forms of cookware can be used with it. Lets say you simply want to use a favorite piece of cookware on an induction cook top and it is not induction friendly what can you do? Metrokitchen has an answer for you! We sell the Mauviel Induction Disc which is a flat magnetic steel disc you sit on your induction burner that will certainly heat up and allow your non-induction friendly cookware to heat as well. This will not have the quick performance experienced from induction cooking. What it does is make a burner of the induction disc which in turn heats your cookware for cooking.

MetroKitchen carries a large selection of induction cookware available for purchase.  The following lines are induction compatible:

  • Marilyn Burks

    Will an Emile Henry tagine work on an induction cooktop? Will it work with a Mauviel Induction Disc?

    • george

      Hello, Marilyn. An Emile Henry tagine will not work if you place it directly on an induction cook top because Emile Henry Flame cookware does not contain any magnetic stainless steel. However, it will work just fine if you use a Mauviel Induction Disc! The cooking performance will be similar to using the tagine on an electric stove top. Thanks for asking!

      -George

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