If you have an induction hob, then chances are that you will be interested in investing in the best cookware to use from-day to-day. Given that induction hobs only work with specific types of pots and pans, it can be easy to feel as though our choices are limited.
There’s a wide array of different frying pans available for induction hobs on the modern market – with some of the biggest brands getting on board to produce superb, magnetic cookware solutions that will weather years of careful use.
In this guide, we’ll take you through what to look for in the best frying pans for induction hobs.
What to look for in a frying pan for an induction hob
Check your pans are induction-ready
This may sound obvious, but you should always ensure that the frying pan you intend to buy will actually work on your induction hob. The fact is, only those pans made from cast iron or stainless steel are likely to work properly on these cooktops. That, as you may already know, is because they are magnetic.
Induction cooking works on the proviso of magnetism. Therefore, you’ll need to swap your old frying pan in for a magnetic model if you want to cook at all on your hob. You can either check the base of your frying pan with a magnet to see if it’s compatible, or you can check for the induction symbol – normally easy enough to find on the base of frying pans.
Consider temperature compatibility
Not all frying pans for induction hobs will be able to withstand high temperatures – at least, not as high as you may need them to. Check what both the manufacturer and users say about the frying pan you intend to buy – what’s the max heat potential? How long can the pan persist or keep cooking at a high temperature?
This will tell you whether or not your frying pan is likely to last the years to come if you want to cook hot dishes on a regular basis.
Ease of cleaning
It’s not always easy to tell whether or not your frying pan is going to be easy to clean on the face of things. Again, you are at the mercy of user reviews and, to some extent, what the manufacturer has to say. Ease of cleaning is often as simple as dishwasher compatibility. Can you pop your frying pan in for a wash, or do you have to scrub down hard to get it clean?
If the frying pan you aim to buy is especially easy to clean, it’s likely that your manufacturer will turn it into a selling point.
Size and shape
The type of induction hob you are using may dictate which frying pans you can buy in terms of size and shape. While some hobs may need you to invest in particular diameters and shapes, others will let you merge cooking zones together so that you can cook with larger pots and pans. This is sometimes referred to as a bridge feature.
Therefore, be willing to look carefully at frying pans that will fit most induction hob rings and zones. It may be more cost-effective, for example, to invest in a ‘nest’ or package of pots and pans – with two separate sizes in frying pan – if you are unsure.
The vast majority of simple frying pans available for sale, including those you can use on induction hobs, will be easy enough to clean and use. However, some may require special seasonings or preparation before you use them. To some people, this can be quite awkward – meaning it is well worth looking out for before you invest.
Again, this is not something that is always so easy to tell from looking at pans alone. However, a well-known brand is, of course, likely to provide cookware that’s of fantastic quality. Therefore, be sure to balance brand appeal with user reviews. Even some of the biggest names in cookware can sometimes drop the ball!
By quality build in induction frying pans, we refer to the stability and position of the magnet in the base of your cookware. In some cases, brands are known to quickly and cheaply install magnets in the bottom of their pans, rather than build magnetised frying pans from scratch. The difference here is that cooking may be a little spotty, and that you may notice clicking noises during cooking.
What are some of the best brands for induction frying pans?
Some of the best manufacturers in induction frying pans are those you may already recognise. For example, leading names include Tefal and De Buyer. In fact, Tefal pretty much have this market cornered if you look mainly towards the high street. However, you will also find pots and pans under overseas brands as well as Amazon’s own label.
Branding isn’t everything, but it can be a good indicator that you are investing in a frying pan that will stand the test of time. For our money, Tefal is certainly a name you can be comfortable placing money behind.
As you can see, the criteria for looking for the best frying pan for your induction hob does not differ too much from that of looking for one for any other kind of hob! You should always prioritise your needs and your tastes. Of course, you have to ensure that the frying pan will work on your induction hob, but from there, it is entirely up to you.
Be ready to compare between what users have to say online, and don’t always buy into the marketing – read up on your prospective saucepans as best you can, and where possible, get a recommendation!