As we may all know by now, not all cookware are compatible with portable induction cooktop. A good test in order to determine compatibility is to stick a fridge magnet on the bottom end of the pan or pot, if it sticks, then the vessel is compatible to be used with induction cooktops. If not, then you probably have to shop for other compatible cookware.
Induction cookware work through copper wires located below the cooktop which when switched on, generate alternating electric currents which cause magnetic fields that produce electric currents which produce the heat used for cooking. These magnetic fields are the primary source of the electric currents that produce the heat and thus require magnetic cookware to function.
For this reason, the normal nonstick pans are not compatible with induction cooktops as they are made from aluminum that is not magnetically reactive. This is being remedied in newer aluminum models by including iron ores that are really good conductors of magnetic fields thus making them compatible with induction cooktops.
A common question posed by first time shoppers of portable induction cooktop and even regular users is the type of cookware that is compatible with induction cooktops. Most users assume that these type of cookware are very rare and thus difficult to find in the market. However, most are usually surprised to discover that a large array of cookware is compatible. This include Stainless Steel ,Nonstick Aluminum Cast Iron Carbon Steel Enameled Porcelain Cast Iron Copper and even Graniteware.
- Stainless Steel
stainless steel is the highest in term of quality when it comes to cookware and is always favored by professional chefs and high end kitchen users. Though some stainless steel products have no core whatsoever, most have aluminum and copper cores in between two layers of steel, which makes for a better heat conductor than the stainless steel. Most cookware has stainless steel only at the bottom end part which is in direct contact with the portable induction cooktop. The high end cookware, however, have stainless steel running up the sides to the very top. This allows for an evenly distributed heating leading to better precision for specialized tasks such as frying and simmering. An example of stainless still cookware is the spun-disk which although a good vessel, only has aluminum at the bottom end lowering heat distribution. Others like the tri-ply clad have all-round aluminum thus making heat distribution very even. This type is usually very expensive and are favored for their even cooking. A downside though is the fact that prolonged continuous use ultimately leads to separation problems whereby the disk separates from the bottom of the pan making it incompatible.
A more affordable alternative cookware to the stainless steel is the cast iron and carbon steel cookware. Its naturally nonstick and higher temperatures can be used during cooking without fear of damage. The cast iron is perfect for portable induction cooktops, especially so for people who might not be able to afford the stainless steel. Better still, cast iron cookware is easily available in the market and is considerably lighter than stainless steel thus making it the perfect match for portable induction cooktops.
- Carbon Steel
This is an even lighter alternative to cast iron for people who are highly mobile and would prefer light cookware to go with their portable induction cooktops. That is still adequately provide simmering and sautéing services as they are primarily available as pans
- Bare cast Iron
This is a durable cooking vessel made from a mixture of iron ore and cast iron. A popular example is Lodge, an American model known for its longevity and resilience. They are however heavy and may not evenly distribute heat due to the cast iron being available only in the bottom end part of the cookware.
Most household cookware are covered in the above categorize and most people usually find out that they do not have to replace most of their cookware. Its however prudent to always find out compatibility details first before making the decision on what cookware to buy since replacing them can sometimes be a very expensive affair. Remember, just test any cookware with a fridge magnet to find out if it is compatible with portable induction cooktop.