With its excellent heat conductivity and enough pieces to really get you cooking, the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set (view at Amazon) is a surefire bet for an induction cooktop. The Circulon Symmetry 11-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set (view at Amazon) is perfect for those needing induction-safe nonstick cookware.
What to Look for in Cookware for an Induction Cooktop
When using an induction cooktop, you’ll have to be careful about the kinds of pots and pans you use. Certain materials are induction-ready while others aren’t. Magnetic materials like stainless steel over aluminum, cast iron, and enamel on metal are all safe to use on an induction cooktop. However, avoid glass, ceramic, aluminum on its own, and copper.
Of the materials used for induction-ready cookware, stainless steel over aluminum is the most common. “Stainless is bar none to most durable and versatile cookware material,” Martin says. “You can scratch it, drop it, burn it, and it’ll always come clean (sometimes with a little extra elbow grease) and be ready for your next culinary adventure! It is virtually indestructible and endlessly refurbishable.”
“The tradeoff here is that you’ll need to do some homework to learn how to properly cook with your new set because stainless steel is not inherently nonstick,” he says. “You’ll need to find information on the appropriate fat and heat combinations to save yourself from spoiling tonight’s dinner.”
Purchasing a cookware set is more cost-effective than purchasing pieces individually. The more variety, the better. Look for a set that includes frying pans and saucepans that come in multiple sizes, since that will give you more versatility for cooking. Some may even include a stockpot, saucepot, casserole dish, measuring spoons, steamer insert, or utensils. Determine what’s important to you and choose a cookware set that contains your must-have items.
Most stainless steel cookware sets are dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze. Clean your stainless steel cookware gently with mild soap and a non-abrasive sponge to avoid scratches and a damaged finish.
All pots and pans are prone to some wear and tear, and induction-friendly sets are no exception. Stainless steel cookware may show water spots, get dinged or warped, or get food stuck on it since the surface isn’t nonstick. With the proper care, these imperfections can be avoided or at least kept to a minimum.
To best maintain your stainless steel cookware, follow these tips:
- To prevent water spots, dry your cookware immediately. This stops them from forming in the first place.
- When boiling water, salt your water after it’s come to a boil to prevent pitting corrosion.
- Heat your pan before adding oil. Then, let the oil get hot before adding food to prevent the steel from becoming static.
- To prevent sticking, avoid putting frozen food directly onto the hot pan. Let frozen food sit out for a few minutes before cooking.
- Allow the pan to cool completely before washing or submerging in cold water as this could lead to warping.
- Use vinegar or baking soda to remove discoloration stains.
Can you use induction cookware on other cooktops?
Induction-friendly cookware is not exclusive to induction cooktops. Stainless steel pots and pans can also be used on gas and electric stoves.
Is there an easy way to know if cookware is induction-ready?
Cookware must have a magnetic bottom to be induction-ready. An easy way to tell is by holding a magnet to the bottom of the pot or pan. If it clings to the bottom of the cookware, it’s induction friendly.
Can cookware damage an induction cooktop?
You should take extra care of your induction cooktop since they are usually made of fragile glass or ceramic. Daily use will likely not damage an induction cooktop, but it may become scratched or cracked if handled incorrectly. Your cookware is unlikely to damage your induction cooktop.
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Food writer and avid home cook Layla Khoury-Hanold is the person friends and family turn to for recipe ideas and product recommendations (she once made 16 cheesecakes to find the best springform pan). An intrepid researcher, she mines her own experience along with internet guides and consumer reviews to do the legwork so home cooks can find the product that best suits their needs.
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