6 Common Types of Pans that Can Work with Induction

Pan that can go on induction

Induction cooktops are different from electric and gas stovetops. They work on the principle of electromagnetic induction and use copper wires to produce electromagnetic currents to heat and cook food.

Due to this operating principle, not all pans are suitable for induction cooking. It’s essential to use pans made from electromagnetic materials.

Let’s look at the different types of cookware that meet this requirement.

6 Types of Pans Can Work with Induction

There are many advantages to induction cooking—it’s fast, convenient, and doesn’t heat the utensils used for cooking.

However, all the pans that work on regular stovetops will not work on induction cooktops.

For a pan to work on an induction stove, it must be made of ferromagnetic materials like iron or steel.

It should also have a flat base for maximum contact with the stovetop surface.

Here are the different types of pans that are compatible with induction cooktops.

1. Cast Iron Pans

Cast iron is an alloy of iron and carbon with strong ferromagnetic properties.

Most cast iron pans come with a flat bottom, which makes them suitable for induction cooking.

These pans are made by pouring melted cast iron into a mold and allowing it to solidify.

They have a thick base which allows for slow and even cooking.

Another attractive property is that cast iron develops a natural layer of seasoning with continuous use.

This means that the oil used for cooking seals the gaps in the cast iron, making it naturally non-sticky.

Food easily glides off the surface, and you can heat these pans to high temperatures.

However, cast iron is very heavy and often difficult to handle.

Additionally, some of them have a rough and gritty surface that can scratch delicate induction cooktops.

To overcome this issue, you can either choose smooth-bottom cast iron pans or place a baking mat between the pan and the stove.

Another concern is that cast iron pans must be cleaned and stored carefully.

The metal rusts easily when exposed to moisture.

Additionally, these pans aren’t good for cooking acidic ingredients because the metal reacts with acids.

Leaving acidic food in cast iron pans for a long time can produce pits on the surface.

However, you can limit the damage by wiping the surface clean after washing and transferring the food from the pan immediately after cooking.

2. Enameled Cast Iron Pans

Enameled cast iron pans are suitable for induction cooking because they have a cast iron base.

Hence, they’re ferromagnetic.

However, these pans also have a layer of glazed enamel over the cast iron layer, which makes them naturally non-sticky.

Enameled cast iron is easier to clean and is more inert than regular cast iron. It doesn’t rust easily.

Unlike cast iron pans that may have a gritty or rough base, enameled cast iron pans usually have a smooth base that sits well on induction cooktops.

The heavy base makes it a good choice for slow cooking, and the food doesn’t end up with burnt patches.

3. Stainless Steel Pans

Stainless steel pan that can go on induction

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, carbon, and other metals like nickel.

The ratio of iron and carbon can vary, and this will affect the properties of the pan.

So, all stainless steel pans need not be induction-friendly.

If the pan contains a high amount of nickel, it may not be suitable for induction cooking because nickel blocks the magnetic field.

Similarly, annealed austenitic stainless steel is also non-magnetic.

Stainless steel that is made from iron and carbon, called ferritic stainless steel, is magnetic and hence induction-friendly.

Stainless steel pans with a copper or aluminum core are also good for induction cooking because the core is a good conductor of heat.

Such pans usually have 3-ply or 5-ply written on the label.

You can also check for magnetic activity by checking if a magnet sticks to the pan.

For stainless steel pans to work on an induction stove, they should have a flat base.

Stainless steel pans with a heavy 5-ply base will ensure that the heat spreads evenly and quickly.

Stainless steel pans are easy to clean, and they don’t rust easily.

They’re also lighter than cast iron or enameled cast iron and easy to handle.

However, stainless steel pans aren’t non-sticky, and they don’t develop a layer of seasoning like cast iron.

So, food will usually stick to the base and takes effort to dislodge.

4. Pans with Porcelain Enamel on Metal

Porcelain enamel pans will usually have a metallic base of copper, iron, or aluminum.

Depending on the base metal, these pans may or may not be induction-compatible.

If the base metal is iron or copper, you can use it for induction cooking.

However, aluminum base pans will lack magnetic properties.

You can use a simple magnet test to check if the pan is magnetic or not.

The main benefit of porcelain enamel on metal pans is that food glides off the surface easily.

These pans are non-stick and don’t need any seasoning.

They’re easy to clean, and the surface is inert.

So you can use it to cook any type of ingredient, including acid-based dishes.

5. Carbon Steel Pans

Carbon steel pans are primarily made of iron, like cast iron pans.

However, these pans are made of almost 99 percent carbon, and the remaining 1 percent is iron.

The presence of carbon in this alloy makes it less brittle than cast iron.

It’s also lightweight, easy to handle, and has a smooth flat base that sits well on the stovetop.

These pans are ferromagnetic due to the presence of iron in them.

Hence, you can use them for cooking on induction stovetops.

Carbon steel pans need to be seasoned with oil before use.

However, it will develop a layer of natural seasoning with continuous use, which allows the food to slide off the surface easily.

This layer of seasoning or patina has a beautiful black color that enhances the appeal of the pan.

It also prevents rusting of the surface.

These pans need special care during cleaning because rough scrubbing can dislodge the layer of seasoning.

It’s not dishwasher-friendly, and you will have to hand wash it to keep it in top condition.

Additionally, the iron in the pan can react with acidic ingredients.

Hence, it’s not recommended to cook or store acid-based dishes in carbon steel pans.

6. Non-Stick Pans with A Magnetic Base

You can use non-stick pans with a magnetic base for induction cooking.

Non-stick pans with a ferromagnetic base are well-suited for induction cooking.

However, a large number of non-stick pans have aluminum bases.

You can’t use these pans on the induction stovetop since they fail to generate electromagnetic currents required for heating ingredients.

Non-stick pans with stainless steel, carbon steel, or iron bases are ideally suited for induction cooking.

These pans will usually be heavier than aluminum pans.

You can check for their magnetic property with a simple magnet test.

Non-stick pans are usually easy to handle because they’re lighter than cast iron and carbon steel.

They always have a smooth base that ensures good contact with the induction cooktop surface.

These pans heat up quickly, and you can use them for cooking food without much oil.

However, you should be careful when using these pans because of their delicate non-stick coating.

Scratching the Teflon layer will cause harmful chemicals to seep into the food, making it unsafe for consumption.

Non-stick pans with an enameled non-stick layer or ceramic surface can tolerate more rough handling.

Some non-stick pans are dishwasher friendly.

However, considering the delicate nature of the surface coating, it’s always better to hand wash these pans.

They’re not too difficult to clean because food doesn’t stick to the surface.