Induction hobs are fantastic pieces of equipment that seem to have taken the kitchen world by storm! However, more than one cook has found themselves a bit confused when it comes to and questioning ‘what pans can I use on an induction hob.
Unlike gas or electric hobs, induction hobs need specific kinds of pots and pans to be able to operate properly. In fact, without the right equipment, your induction hob will not cook a thing – so let’s take a look at what you need to know.
Why Do You Need Special Pans For Induction Hobs?
It’s all in the science – specifically, it’s magnetism. In most cases, hobs operate by using the power source underneath that heats up the hob first, then the pan on top of it, and then the food. However, induction hobs do not work that way.
Induction hobs use a coil beneath the surface that creates a magnetic field with the pan on top of it. Thanks to the energy created by the magnetic field, the pan is therefore heated up. However, since the hob needs the pan to complete the magnetic field, the heat directly passes through the hob and the pan without having to heat up the hob first. Still with us?
That is why induction hobs are known for being so energy efficient. They are quicker to heat up and quicker to cool down.
That is also why induction hobs turn off when the pan is removed from the stove. Since the pan has been taken away, the magnetic field is therefore broken.
This does, in turn, make them generally safer to use than other hobs, as well as being more energy-efficient.
However, in order for this magnetic field to be complete, you cannot use just any old pots and pans. It’s time to stock up.
What Pans Can You Use On An Induction Hob?
Specifically, you need magnetic pans – designed for use on an induction hob. These are normally cast iron or stainless steel. Just because it’s metal, however, doesn’t mean it will definitely connect to your hob. Aluminium pans, for example, won’t complete a magnetic field – aluminium isn’t actually magnetic, for the most part. However, if you’re really unsure, there are a few things you can check.
For example, when looking for the perfect induction pans, you should be looking at the base of the pan. It should have a symbol on it indicating that it has been made for use with induction hobs. If you’re buying online, then you’ll probably be informed what to expect before you purchase.
However, there is another way to test whether or not a pan can be used on an induction hob.
In order for the magnetic field to complete, the pan needs to have a magnetic base. That is what makes induction pans different from the standard!
In order to determine whether or not a pan can be used on an induction hob, all you need to do is put a magnet towards the base. If the magnet sticks, then you’re good to use it for induction cooking.
What Pots Can You Use On An Induction Hob?
Since the hob needs a pan or pot with a magnetic base, you can use pots with either magnetic stainless steel bases or cast iron. It’s the same logic that applies to pans.
Many of us have big cast iron pots, some that have been passed down to us. Pots such as Le Creuset, Demeyere, Hammer Stahl, and more all work perfectly well on induction hobs. Again, try the magnet trick if you’re working with existing pots, or check with your supplier.
What Happens if You Don’t Use the Right Pots and Pans on an Induction Hob?
Not much – it’s likely your food just won’t cook.
The pans will not explode, and neither will the hob! In fact, the hob will do quite the opposite. If you do try to put a non-magnetic base pan on your induction hob, then nothing will happen.
No matter how many times you turn on the hob, and no matter how high you power it up, it will simply not turn on. It will be as though nothing is on the stove.
This is, in fact, one of the great things about induction hobs. If you happen to leave a plate or a dish on the hob, and it accidentally turns on, or you forget to turn it off, you do not have to worry about the plate of dish breaking. The hob will not heat up, as the magnetic field will not be complete (unlike a gas or electric hob). The induction hob will not turn on as long as your pots and pans do not have magnetic bases.
Of course, that can also be quite the pain, as if you have invested in a new induction hob and none of your pans work – it’s time to buy a whole new set! However, given the time and money that you will save on an induction hob in the long run, it will absolutely be worth it.
So, if you were wondering what sort of pans you would need for an induction hob, now you know! You will need magnetic bases to be able to cook induction style, and as mentioned, there are easy ways to check if your cookware will work as such.
If you’re buying anew, there are many pots and pans to choose from to suit induction hobs specifically, so you will easily be able to find the perfect ones to suit your cooking style and preferences.