Are you doing a little research for a new cooktop for your kitchen? If you are, then you may have learned that induction ranges can only use certain types of cookware. This cookware will be labeled as induction compatible or induction ready. Induction stovetops utilize a copper coil which is found beneath each of the elements. Once an element has been switched on, alternating electric currents will flow through the coil, producing a magnetic field. This will push an electric current into the pan, creating what’s referred to as resistive heat, which is what cooks the food. For most consumers, the biggest selling point for an induction range is the fact that it can heat food instantly and with impressive precision. Another positive is the fact that there’s no heat wasted. With a traditional electric or gas range, everything on and around the range will receive thermal energy from the burner or element once it’s turned on. Because of this it can get pretty hot in a kitchen when preparing a large meal.
Buyer’s Guide for Induction Cookware: Styles to choose from and what you need to know before you buy
With an induction cooktop, the heat will only come from the current of electricity that’s flowing inside the induction compatible cookware. This means that the energy used is contained, which in turn will result in a cooler kitchen and a cooler cooking surface. Even when one of the elements has been turned on the user can put their hand on it and they’ll feel nothing because the heat comes from the reaction between the surface of the range, the copper coil and the magnetic material contained in the induction cookware. This is definitely a great safety feature for homes with small children.
Because this type of stovetop produces a magnetic field in order to cook food, the cookware used needs to be made from the same type of magnetic material. Now, since what produces the electric current is a magnetic field, the cookware you use for the induction stove needs to be made of a magnetic material, meaning iron or iron-based. Obvious options include carbon steel, stainless steel, and cast iron. Although there are some surprises when you consider what type of pots and pans will work well with this type of range. As an example, certain models of copper bottomed and nonstick aluminum will work nicely with this type of range.
When it comes to the professionals, they will almost always go with a stainless steel set and a few cast iron skillets for certain dishes. But when it comes to stainless steel models for home use, it can be too pricey, especially for the good quality stuff. However, it is possible to find a large stainless steel set for a reasonable price and we’ve taken a look at some of the top selling lower priced models that rated well with consumers.
If you’ve been cooking for many years then you’re aware that just because a set is made from stainless steel doesn’t mean it’s well made. Usually, lower priced cookware sets made from stainless steel often don’t come equipped with a core. The best sets will feature copper or aluminum cores that are sandwiched between steel on the interior and exterior. This allows the pots and pans to better conduct heat compared to stainless steel models with no core at all. Many companies create cookware with just a single layer of steel and aluminum on the bottom of the pan, but a higher quality brand will extend the layers up the sides, which results in even heat when cooking.
Not all products will feature steel that’s able to react magnetically because the nickel content is too high. This means the pots and pans won’t work well with the induction range.
Mid-range products will feature a couple of disks on the bottom. One of the disks is a thicker layer of aluminum and the other is magnetic steel. The aluminum is able to conduct heat well, but it doesn’t conduct heat quite as well as copper. This type of cookware technology is referred to as spun disk cookware.
Because the aluminum disk is found on the very bottom, heat distribution isn’t able to travel up the sides of the pan. Some brands that produce encapsulated cookware will add a layer of copper, claiming that the copper will work to spread the heat evenly. While it’s true that copper is a better conductor of heat, the layer used in cheaper sets is not thick enough to effectively heat the pots and pans. Some brands of cookware that feature the spun disk bottoms will have separation issue over a period of time. This means that the disks will begin to detach, which will make the pot or pan unusable. The lifespan of these poor quality pots and pans is about five to six years.
Higher-end models will feature a thick aluminum core that’s sandwiched between two layers of steel, forming a large structure along the bottom of each pot and pan and up the sides. This type of construction is usually referred to as clad or tri-ply cookware. This type of cookware set can offer you the ultimate quality in performance and longevity.
Most professional chefs prefer a basic tri-ply set. These sets are usually made in America and are constructed from top quality materials and usually come with a lifetime warranty that’s backed by the manufacturer. Tri-ply cookware can be commonly found in restaurant kitchens because it can withstand heavy use.
Sets that feature a copper and aluminum core throughout is the next most expensive option. These sets consist of thin copper cores that are then bonded with a thick layer of aluminum on every side. Next, stainless is bonded to the bottoms and the tops of the aluminum. This style of cookware is referred to as clad or five-ply. Adding the copper to the construction works to improve heat distribution significantly.
Price will be a major factor when it comes to the type and size of induction cookware set you choose. Some consumers opt to purchase one piece at a time, which allows them to spend more on an entire set over time. While others will choose to purchase a large set immediately in order to be prepared to cook large meals on a new induction range. If you’re on a tight budget you may need to save up for a quality stainless model, as opposed to choosing a poor quality set that will only last you six to twelve months. In the end, a quality stainless steel set will be totally worth it and should be considered an investment that will last you for many years to come.
Magma 10 Piece Stainless Steel Induction Cookware Set Review
This ten-piece cookware set by Magma is designed to make both cooking and cleanup much easier thanks to the triple clad bottom. The interior of each pot and pan feature a nonstick ceramic coating, which makes scrubbing pans a thing of the past. This set is also induction ready and works well with gas, ceramic, electric and other types of cooktops. The stainless steel design also works to make this set very durable and the tri-ply core will allow you to cook each dish evenly and quickly, at a low temperature. The detachable handles are a big selling point for this set because they allow you to add or remove a handle when taking a pan off the stove and putting it in the oven or taking it out of the oven. This set comes with two detachable handles, a lid that’s designed to fit all of the included saucepans, a nine-inch sauté pan, a five-quart stock pot, a three-quart saucepan, two-quart saucepan and a small ½-quart saucepan. The thick nonstick layer in each pot and pan works to make cleanup a breeze. The overwhelmingly positive feedback for this set makes it no surprise that it received a high consumer rating making it our second top-rated product.
Duxtop Whole-Clad Induction Ready Nine-Piece Cookware Set Review
The Duxtop whole-clad induction ready nine-piece cookware set features a stainless steel tri-ply construction. The stainless steel provides much-needed durability for cookware that can be used daily while the tri-ply design promotes faster cooking times by improving heat distribution. As an added bonus, this set is also dishwasher and oven safe, both of which are a huge selling point for this cookware. The innovative tri-ply design features an aluminum core placed between layers of durable stainless steel. The tri-ply design not only allows you to cook delicate dishes faster and on low heat, but it also works to prevent hot spots. Hot spots can occur in lower quality pots and pans and involves very hot areas sporadically located throughout the interior of a pan. These spots are much hotter than most of the surface area and will cause food to burn and stick to the pan’s surface. The handles found on each pot and pan are also made from stainless steel and have been riveted in place and feature a cooling technology that prevents the handles from becoming too hot when in use.
Swiss Inox SI7000 Eighteen-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set Review
The Swiss Inox SI7000 eighteen-piece stainless steel cookware set is designed to accommodate a large family or the consumer who enjoys hosting parties. The heat management thermometer knobs found on each component allows you to monitor and control each dish for better results. This set is compatible with a wide range of cooktops, including induction. The multi-layer construction allows for faster cook times set at a lower temperature. Basically, this set comes with everything you need to cook a multi-course meal. This set received a lot of positive consumer feedback based on the sheer quality and construction of the cookware. The large size of this set provides the user with more versatility in the kitchen while the multi-layer construction means a faster cook time. Overall, this is a set that’s not only designed for large families but for the cook or chef that enjoys trying new dishes and preparing multi-course meals.
Rachael Ray Cucina Twelve-Piece Cookware Set Review
The Rachel Ray Cucina twelve-piece cookware set is a consumer favorite, and not just because it’s part of the essential Rachel Ray cookware line. Best described as elegant, this Cucina cookware set is compatible with a wide range of stovetops, however, it’s not induction ready. This is a twelve piece set that comes with six pots and pans including a three-quart saucepan with lid, a one-quart saucepan, slotted spoon and turner, a three-quart covered sauté pan, an eight and ten-inch skillet set, and a six-quart covered stock pot. The inside of each pot and pan is equipped with a thick layer of nonstick coating that’s PFOA-free. You’ll also get a total of four glass lids that are shatter-resistant. These lids are also able to retain moisture and heat which will help to quickly cook each dish faster. Because of the nonstick coating this set isn’t dishwasher safe and must be washed by hand. Each pot and pan also come with steel handles that have been rubberized for safety and easy handling when cooking. The Cucina set also comes with a lifetime warranty, just like all other products in the Rachel Ray cookware line.
Nuwave Seven-Piece Induction Ready Cookware Set Review
The Nuwave seven-piece induction ready cookware set is PFOA and PTFE-free. Eco-friendly, this set is also equipped with stay-cool silicone handles that provide the ultimate in comfort. Each pot and pan are also lined with Duralon, which is an extra-thick layer of nonstick coating that instantly releases cooked food, which means no more scrubbing or soaking dirty pans.