When you purchase an induction cooktop, you might realize that your old non-stick pans are not working on it. And you turn your eye towards hard anodized cookware which is a beautiful non-stick and wonder if it will work.
Most of the Hard anodized cookware is not compatible with induction cooktops. This is because the induction stove requires a ferromagnetic material at the bottom. Hard anodized is cookware is usually chemically treated aluminum. However, there are some hard anodized cookware sets that are specifically designed to work on induction.
However, Newer aluminum-based sets (such as Circulon symmetry) have built-in iron plates/ magnetic stainless steel plates that allow the pan to react really well with the induction cooktop.
Conditions for hard-anodized cookware to work on an induction cooktop
The base of the hard anodized cookware should have an inbuilt or bonded iron or magnetic steel base for it to work effectively on induction
This is because hard anodized on its own does not contain iron or steel to make it ferromagnetic. A ferromagnetic layer is required at the base of the cookware for the heat to be induced via the induction process.
There is an option of interface disk. It is a metallic disk that is placed between the non-induction friendly cookware and the induction cooktop. This gets heated up due to the induction process and then heats the cookware on top of it via conduction.
How to check if anodized cookware works on an induction stove?
There are quite a few hard anodized cookware sets that are available in the market and are compatible with induction.
Look for a flat base and an induction friendly sign either on the box or at the base. If you cant find the induction friendly sign, take an ordinary fridge magnet and bring it near the base of the hard-anodized cookware. If it sticks, it has a ferromagnetic base and will work on the induction cooktop.
What exactly is hard anodized cookware?
Hard, anodizing was first developed by Russian scientists to produce a metal surface tough enough for space travel.
The term hard-anodized means, the material, mostly aluminum, has been subjected to an electrolytic process at sub-zero temperature, using a high-intensity electric current.
This involves immersing the aluminum in a chemical bath and applying an electrical current to it, causing oxide to be produced from the resulting rust on the aluminum. This layer of oxide hardens the aluminum and makes it resistant to corrosion.
As the surface of aluminum combines with oxygen to become aluminum oxide, this reaction is also known as oxidation, a process that occurs spontaneously in nature. A 60-micron thick layer of aluminum oxide is formed molecule by molecule as an integral part of the metal.
Hard anodization is actually controlled and accelerated oxidation. The process keeps the metal from reacting with acidic foods and provides a hard smooth surface that is very much durable.
What is so great about hard anodized cookware?
Here are some great things that make anodized cookware a great choice for your cookware.
Durable, non-toxic and lightweight
Hard anodized cookware is lightweight in nature despite being twice as hard as stainless steel.
Anodization makes the soft aluminum harder, slicker, stronger, non-staining and non-toxic. Anodization produces a surface harder than steel with wonderful properties for cooking.
Smooth surface and heat resistant
Anodized materials have an extremely long life.
They do not chip or peel. Anodized surfaces are heat resistant to the melting point of aluminum (1,221 F). metal ladles can be used and it stays looking new for years.
Non-porous layer- excellent nonstick
The most amazing benefit is that hard anodizing makes cookware surfaces so ultra-smooth that they become virtually non-porous.
Pores in metal cookware are one of the leading reasons why foods stick while cooking. The non-stick layer produced as a result of anodization is non-toxic.
The non-porous coat prevents leaching when cooking acidic foods like tomatoes, lemon juices, etc.
Good cooking performance and easy to clean
It gives a high performance while cooking by conducting heat smoothly and evenly. It gets hot very quickly making it ideal for recipes that require high heat.
They can be used in an oven as long as the handle is made up of metal. This is due to the ability of the anodized cookware to withstand high temperatures.
It is also easy to clean. Experts suggest hand wash the cookware for long life. For burnt spots, keep the pan cool in hot soapy water for 10 minutes and then wash regularly.
Let us now look into how an induction cooktop works
How an induction cooktop works
The induction cooktop basically works on the principle of electromagnetism. When an alternating current is passed into the copper coil present inside the cooktop, it results in the generation of a magnetic field.
These magnetic ions pass through the ferromagnetic base of the cookware and induce swirly eddy currents as a result of resistance. These are responsible for heating up the cookware and the cooking of food.
Also read: How to Use an Induction
Benefits of induction cooking
More and more people are switching to this latest technology in the cooktop. The reason is the advanced intelligent sensors embedded in it which make the cooking process a smooth ride.
It whips up good food in half the time as compared to other conventional cooktops. The reason is the quick and precise temperature controls.
The induction cooktop consumes up to 90% of the energy it generates, unlike other conventional cooktops.
The best thing about induction cooking is that heat remains confined to the cookware and the surface beneath the cookware. The rest of the cooktop surface remains cool to touch. This prevents untoward accidents.
Cast iron, enameled cast iron, and stainless steel work quite well on an induction cooktop. Glass, aluminum, and copper do not have any iron and do not work on an induction cooktop.
Also read: Pros and Cons of Induction Cooking
Wrapping up, hard anodized cookware only works if it has a steel base at the bottom of the cookware. Otherwise, it is incompatible with the induction cooktop.
Another important thing to remember is if the metallic base is only 3 or 4 inches wide, it may not be detected by the induction due to small size.
If there is no inbuilt metallic base, you can always use an interface metallic disk although it will slow down the cooking and may not cook evenly.
When checking for induction compatibility make sure the magnet sticks strongly onto the base. If the cling is not weak, the hard anodized cookware may or may not work on an induction cooktop.
With all the benefits of hard anodized cookware, the only downside is the cost but health-wise and the superior cooking performance make all worth it. Just make sure to check whether it has a bonded or inbuilt ferromagnetic base for an awesome cooking experience!
You may also like the following articles about induction cookware:
- Will Gotham Steel Pan work on an Induction cooktop?
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- Will a WOK work on an Induction Cooktop?
- Will a Dutch Oven Work on an Induction Cooktop?
- Does stainless steel work on Induction Cooktops?
- Does Cast Iron work on Induction Cooktops?
- Do Aluminum Pans Work on Induction Cooktops?