In for a penny, In for a pound. Congratulations on your endeavor to find the right cookware for your induction cooktop. Sorting the right cookware can be tough, confusing and there are emotions that do not allow favorite cookware to be disregarded.
Here I will discuss with you an easy way to find out whether the particular cookware will work on induction. I will also tell you the right cookware for induction cooktops.
But first, yes all clad cookware does work on induction cooktop IF the cookware is clad is with magnetic stainless steel or cast iron.
Some of the famous fully clad cookware brands such as all clad, ‘Crystel’, ‘Demeyere’, ‘Le Creuset’ and “Zwilling” work on the induction cooktop because they are magnetic.
Let us know a little about the working of induction cooktop briefly before proceeding to the conditions required for cookware to be compatible with it
How does an induction cooktop work?
There is a copper coil present beneath the heating zone of the induction cooktop. When alternating current is passed over it, it results in the generation of a magnetic field.
The magnetic field passes inside the ferromagnetic cookware present above the heating element. It results in the generation of resistant electrical energy in the form of eddy swirling currents. These are responsible for the generation of heat.
An interesting fact to know is that the heat is generated only inside the cookware. No cookware, no heat!
This way the rest of the cooktop remains cool to touch. Only the cookware and the area beneath is heated up due to conduction.
One of the advantages of using an induction cooktop includes speedier cooking.
This is especially essential in the modern-day lifestyles where less time and attention is essential for cooking. This way more constructive and multipurpose work can be done alongside cooking.
Precise heat control makes it possible to cook a variety of cuisines whether it be steaming, simmering, fast boil, deep fry, stir fry, shallow fry, etc.
Induction cooking stays safe as there is no open flame or an exposed heating element as in the case of gas and electric cooktop.
Induction cooking also saves energy. It is known to consume 90% of the energy generated. This is way superior when we look at gas which uses 55% of the energy generated and traditional electric ranges which use 65% energy generated.
Now for the cookware to work on the induction there are some criteria. Let us see what it is all about.
Also read: How to Use an Induction Cooktop
Criteria required by cookware to work on induction
The foremost criterion is that the cookware must be ferromagnetic. It should allow the magnetic energy generated by the cooktop to pass through the base of the cookware.
The circuit of induction will only get completed if this is done.
No inducement >no current> no heat generation> no cooking.
Magnetic grade stainless steel, cast iron, enameled cast iron are examples of ferromagnetic cookware. Aluminum, copper, and glass are not ferromagnetic and therefore will not work with the induction cooktop.
The cookware also needs to be flat for maximum induction benefits to occur. The flat surface ensures good contact with the heating element leading to good absorption of the magnetic field and thus a strong generation of heat.
The size of the heating element on the induction should correspond with the size of the cookware. It can be about an inch or two larger but not more neither less. A size fitting the circumference of the heating element is ideal for induction to take place effectively.
All-clad cookware Works on an Induction Cooktop
Cooking pots and pans are not created equal. I don’t mean that they come in different sizes and shapes. Although that is true. I mean the kind of material they are made up of will greatly affect their performance.
The cookware of common choice is metals namely copper, aluminum, iron, and stainless steel.
Copper and aluminum are excellent heat conductors and distributors of heat. But copper is heavy, quite expensive and both of them do not have any iron content in them and hence are not ferromagnetic.
Aluminum is a soft metal and cookware made from it can be easily damaged. Aluminum also tends to react chemically with many foods including those with high acidic content.
Stainless steel, on the other hand, does not conduct the heat well or evenly. When used at high temperatures, it can cause hot spots and areas of low temperatures.
While cast iron is ferromagnetic, it is heavy and retains heat for a long time. It is not ideal for delicate cooking.
All-clad cookware is a combination of aluminum and or copper along with stainless steel to take advantage of all the metals.
They are usually made of a thick layer of aluminum, sandwiched between two thin layers of stainless steel. They are bonded together using high pressure.
All-clad cookware gives you the advantages of aluminum, together with the non-reactivity, durability and corrosion resistance of stainless steel.
The sandwiched layer can be a tri-ply clad construction, a 5 ply or even a 7 ply clad construction.
The five-ply clad construction can be a magnetic stainless steel exterior, aluminum layer, copper core, aluminum layer, and stainless steel interior cooking surface from outside in.
Another example of five-ply construction can be a stainless steel layer, aluminum layer, stainless steel core, aluminum layer and stainless steel interior cooking surface from outside in.
It depends on the manufacturer with respect to how many layers he wants to use and which layer he makes as a core.
No matter what the design is, one thing remains consistent and that is a magnetic layer of stainless steel both inside and outside of all clad cookware.
The outside layer and the innermost layer are termed as bread and the layers in between are usually termed as meat.
The magnet test- to identify cookware compatibility
Most of the cookware nowadays come with an induction-compatible mark on them. If that isn’t visible, you can easily check whether cookware is induction compatible using the magnet test.
Take an ordinary fridge magnet and place it near the base of the cookware. Any cookware you wish to use. If the magnet sticks very well on the base of the cookware, it is compatible with the induction cooktop.
Keep in mind that it does not matter how good the materials are if they are too thin. Thinner gauges of metals result in poor performance.
Although all clad can be a bit expensive, they will last a lifetime and are worth it.
If budget is your consideration, consider adding one piece at a time instead of getting the whole set. Building the set over time will add to your accomplishments. The lifetime collection will make you cherish it.
Meanwhile, use cast iron cookware, it is a good inexpensive choice to cook tasty dishes on induction.
Quality matters more than quantity. All-clad is a material you can proudly pass on to your family and friends. It works superbly well not only on induction but also on other cooktops.
Just make sure the stainless steel encompassing all clad cookware is made up of a magnetic grade of stainless steel. You can also check for the induction compatible mark or use the magnet test.
Signing off here’s wishing you some amazing cuisines in all-clad cookware on your induction cooktop.
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