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Do I need Special Pots for Induction Cooking? Which Type of Pan Can Work with an Induction Cooker?

Do all pans work with induction cooktops? Or, are all types of pans induction compatible? Or, Do I need any special pot/pan for induction cooking? The answer to these queries is that an induction cooktop can’t work with all types of pans. But why? The answer lies in the exclusive mechanism of induction heating method.

The Induction heating technology doesn’t include hot coils. And it doesn’t create any flame or fire for creating heat. Unlike the gas and electric burners, the induction cookers create magnetic fields to generate heat. In other words, induction mechanism applies the electromagnetic technology to heat-up the pans.

What would happen, when you plug-in an induction burner to the power port? The cooking surface would remain cool to touch. The induction cooking mechanism would heat up only the cooking pan lying over the induction cooktop leaving the cooktop cool. It gives us a sign that the cookware needs to be capable of working with the magnetic field. That is why not all pans are induction compatible. The regular aluminum, glass or ceramic pans can’t work with the induction cooking mechanism. 

Which type of pans can work with an induction range? When a pan contains ferromagnetic material, it becomes induction-ready. You can also call it an induction-safe pan or induction-compatible pan.  

Usually, the cast iron pans and magnetic stainless steel pans work great with the induction range cookers. However, the non-magnetic stainless steel, copper, hardened aluminum-built pans can also work with induction burners, if a ferromagnetic layer is attached to the pan bottom. If you place a ferromagnetic disk under a glass, aluminum or non-magnetized steel pan, it would serve as a conventional hotplate and make the pan work with induction heating mechanism.

Another issue is the induction cooktops come with the smooth and flat surface. It is quite incompatible with round-bottomed pots or pans. Certainly, it is risky. The round based pans may fall or slip from the flat surface. On the other hand, the flat-bottomed pans can work effectively with the leveled glass-top cooktops, like induction cooktops, smooth-top electric cooktops as well as ceramic cooktops.