Induction stovetops were first introduced at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1933, but didn’t really take off until the 1970s, and then again in the mid-2000s. While induction cooktops are still less popular than electric or gas ranges, they’ve slowly but surely gained popularity among home cooks. Unlike electric cooktops, induction cooktops contain copper coils below the stovetop surface, which creates a magnetic current that heats the pan directly. An electric stovetop works by heating the cooking surface and thus heating the pan. That makes them particularly attractive for cooks with children, since the range cools instantly, reducing the chance of burns on little diners.
Since induction cooking works off a magnetic current, your cookware base must be magnetic, too. This doesn’t mean that you need to buy induction-ready cookware; Most likely, most of the pots and pans that you already own can be used for induction cooking. An easy way to tell if what you have will work is to stick a magnet, any magnet, to the bottom of a pot or pan; if it sticks, that’s a sign that your cookware is induction friendly! As a rule of thumb, stainless-steel, cast-iron, and non-stick have magnetic bases and can be used on induction stoves; copper and aluminum cookware without a magnetic base are not suitable for induction cooking.
If you’re in the market for induction-friendly cookware, here are our 6 favorite sets.
1. All-Clad d5 Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set
All-Clad is the best of the best. This essential cookware set will last a lifetime and includes two 8″ and 10″ fry pans, two 1.5-quart and 3-quart saucepans (with lids!), a 3-quart sauté pan with lid, and an 8-quart stockpot with a lid. You can use this cookware set on an induction stovetop, as well as regular electric or gas, which means that even when you inevitably have to replace your range one day, you won’t have to replace your cookware too.
2. Greenpan Venice Pro Ceramic Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
Greenpan’s expansive collection of ceramic nonstick cookware includes this bestselling set, which is a favorite among its consumers. Each pan is made with multiple layers of stainless steel and finished with a ceramic nonstick coating. Unlike most nonstick cookware, this set can be used in the oven (and yes, on induction stovetops, too)!
3. Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron 8-Piece Cookware Set
Whether you’ve been collecting Le Creuset pieces for generations or are just building your collection, this rainbow-hued cookware is versatile, ridiculously durable, and so, so pretty. When I make beef bourguignon in my Dutch oven, I feel like I should be cooking in the Tuscan or French countryside (either sounds lovely, I’m not picky). And it just so happens to be compatible with induction stovetops, too.
4. Williams Sonoma Thermo-Clad Induction Nonstick 15-Piece Cookware Set
If you’re looking for a cookware set that was specifically designed for induction cooking, this is it. This large collection of nonstick pots and pans is a steal for how many pieces it includes. Each piece is made with dent-resistant, hard-anodized aluminum and PFOA-free nonstick coating inside, so you don’t have to worry about any nasty chemicals getting mixed into your morning scramble. Avoid using metal utensils with nonstick cookware so that you don’t accidentally scratch the surface of the pan.
5. Greenpan Reserve Ceramic Nonstick Frypan Set
This is the most beautiful set of frying pans ever. Buy it for the eggplant exterior and gold-tone handles, stay for its functionality. The brand notes that these fry pans work on every stovetop thanks to their “Magneto induction bases”, so you’ll never have to worry about performance.
6. Five Two Essential Saucepan
Our signature saucepan is induction-friendly and home cook-friendly: it was intentionally designed with spouted sides so that you can easily drizzle, say, melted butter over a lobster roll. And it features capacity markers on the inside of the pot so you can do rough measurements quickly.
Have you ever tried cooking on induction stoves? Do you like it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!