What Does ‘Induction Ready’ Mean?
You’ve probably heard the term ‘induction ready’ and wondered what it means. Even if you knew that it had something to do with cookware, it might have made you wonder if your cookware was induction ready or not.
It might be a relief to know that the most common types of cookware are induction ready. There are some exceptions, of course.
In this article, we’re going to go over all the cookware you can use on the induction cooktop, and decide which one is the most compatible. We’re also going to learn a bit about induction cooking itself.
Induction Cooking: The Basics
Induction cooking and induction-ready cookware go hand-in-hand. Without cookware, induction cookware is just a glass surface. As the heat is only generated when a pot or a pan is placed on the cooktop surface.
An electric current goes through a coiled copper wire underneath the induction cooktop, thus generating the heat. The water boiling time with induction cooktops is reduced by nearly 50%, and the surface remains relatively cool. This means splatters, spills, and boil-overs are easier to clean up because they don’t burn on the cooktop.
Another great thing about induction cooking is that you get to control the temperature more precisely, unlike gas and electric cooktops. There’s less risk of over-cooking and under-cooking your food; consistency in heat delivery makes cooking easier.
Some people are apprehensive about induction cooktops because they sound complicated to use. And, at first glance, that may appear true. There will most likely be some trial and error when first starting with your induction cooktop, but overall it’s not a complicated thing.
Induction Ready Cookware
What makes your cookware induction ready is the material it was made from, namely ferromagnetic materials – which means that it should have a layer with magnetic properties. In this range you most commonly find stainless steel, enamel cast iron, and cast iron cookware.
These are all induction ready, especially if recently manufactured. The expansion of induction cooktops has prompted some manufacturers to label their cookware as induction ready to avoid confusion.
But, there are always some exceptions. Stainless steel, for example, can be mixed with nickel or other kinds of materials that block the magnetic field. The cookware with most induction-ready features is cast iron. It’s not only the choice for many who like the rustic appeal of cooking in a cast iron skillet or pot, but it’s the perfect choice for induction cooktops.
Cookware That Isn’t Induction Ready
You might be trying to figure out whether the cookware you own is induction ready, or trying to decide what kind of cookware you should get for the induction cooktop you have. There are a lot of choices, but there are a few items that aren’t considered induction ready and won’t work on your induction cooktop.
This group consists of aluminum, all-copper, and glass cookware. However, even these can be turned into induction ready cookware if you add a layer of magnetic properties to the bottom. Some people are quite passionate about cooking in all-copper cookware. It looks really nice and copper is a great heat conductor. Sadly, you can’t use it on your induction cooktop.
How to Instantly Know if Cookware is Induction Ready
In case you’re still scratching your head, wondering if your cookware at home is induction ready, there’s an easy way to find out which will take you no more than a few seconds.
Turn to your fridge and grab one of the magnets that are holding your to-do list to the door. Hold the magnet to the bottom of the pot or a pan you’re trying to assess. If it attaches quickly and firmly, this means your cookware is induction ready.
However, if it doesn't attach firmly, kind of hangs on and wobbles, it means it won't work very well on the induction cooktop. Similarly, if it doesn't attach at all, it means that it has zero magnetic properties and it won't be able to generate heat when it comes in contact with the induction cooktop.
Induction-Ready Cookware is in Your Cupboard
Unless your entire cookware collection is made out of copper, glass, or aluminum pots and pans, you have something you can use. As discussed above, what induction ready means is that your cookware has magnetic properties. You can choose what suits you best. Cast iron skillets or fancy-looking stainless steel sets, all are induction ready.
However, you do need to be wary of nickel content in stainless steel and whether the cast iron skillet is too rough for the induction cooktop. But overall, both have an even heat distribution quality and durability that matches the style of induction cooking. And don’t forget, just one little magnet can tell you if your cookware is induction cooktop compatible.