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What Is An Induction Saucepan?

Although induction cooking is not a new concept anymore, many home cooks hesitate to buy an induction cooktop. This is because they are not very sure about how it works and whether their existing pots and pans will be compatible with the induction stove. In this article, we’ll explain what is an induction saucepan, what is not and how they are different from traditional ones.

Regular vs Induction Cooktops

A regular stove top has a flame or electrical heating element that generates heat. The heat is transferred via the contact from the stovetop burner to the base of the pan through thermal conduction. On the other hand, induction stoves feature a coiled wire under their ceramic surface.

The induction cooktop doesn’t generate heat. Instead, when the induction stove is turned on, the alternating current flows through the copper coil. This produces an oscillating magnetic field that causes electrons in a magnetic material to move, generating an electric current.

This, in turn, produces heat in the pan which is used to cook the food. This process is known as resistance heating or Joule heating and occurs only when the pan with a ferrous base is in contact with the heating element of the induction stove.


What Type Of Saucepans Work Best With An Induction Cooktop?

As discussed earlier, induction stoves work via magnetic induction and so they need induction compatible cookware, which allows for quick heating and greater control.

An induction saucepan is essentially a regular saucepan but features a base designed to work with an induction stove. The base of the saucepan is made of ferrous metal and when the saucepan is placed on the induction cooktop, it will complete the circuit and produce heat for cooking.

cookware on a kitchen benchtop

Typically, saucepans made with magnetic materials such as steel, cast iron, magnetic stainless steel (stainless steel containing some iron) and enamel and ceramic-clad pans with an iron pan inside work best with induction hobs.

Glass, aluminum, and copper saucepans will not work on an induction cooktop unless they contain a coating of magnetic material on the bottom.


How To Determine If Your Saucepan Will Work With An Induction Stove

The best saucepan that will work on an induction stove is one that has a flat, magnetic base. If you’re not sure if your saucepan will work with your induction cooktop or not, here is an easy way to find out. Hold a magnet close to the bottom surface of your saucepan.

A "remember" note attached to a wall with a smiley face magnet

If the magnet sticks to the base of the saucepan when you let go of it, it means that your saucepan is magnetic and is compatible with your induction stove and will work with it. Typically, a saucepan that will work with an induction cooktop will have a coil displayed on the box, which indicates if the pan is suitable for use with an induction stove.


What Happens If You Use A Regular Saucepan On An Induction Stove?

To work on an induction stove, a saucepan must have a ferrous base. And, if you place a regular saucepan without a ferrous base on an induction cooktop, nothing will happen because the circuit will not be completed and so the pan will not heat up. But it is possible to use your regular saucepans on an induction stove.

There are induction converter rings or discs available in the market, which you can purchase. These rings are quite inexpensive and are available in various sizes for the different rings of the induction stove.

So, if you already have a set of saucepans that you don’t want to replace with a set of expensive induction cookware, you can invest in a set of induction converter discs or rings that will let you use any saucepan on your induction stove.


Factors To Consider When Buying An Induction Saucepan

Here are some of the important things that you must consider when purchasing an induction stove-compatible saucepan.

What Is An Induction Saucepan?
  • Induction Compatibility: The saucepan you purchase must contain some iron so that it works with the induction stove.
  • Material: Look for a saucepan made of any of the following materials, which are considered the best for use with an induction stove.
    • Cast Iron or Carbon Steel: Saucepans made of cast iron or carbon steel are considered to be the best because not only do they retain heat very well, but they are extremely durable too. Because these are made of an alloy containing iron, they work perfectly with induction cooktops.
    • Hard-Anodized Aluminum: Cookware made from hard-anodized aluminum is more durable compared to stainless steel and the oxidized top layer makes them scratch resistant.
    • Stainless Steel: Saucepans made of stainless steel, containing around 10% or more chromium and some nickel are sturdy, durable, rust- and corrosion-resistant and non-reactive.
  • Heating Capacity: Most induction cooktops have a heat range between 100 and 500 degrees; however, some models may have a higher heat range of over 550 degrees. Choose an induction saucepan that can withstand these high temperatures.
  • Cost: Typically, induction compatible cookware is more expensive compared to regular cookware. You may be able to find cheaper induction saucepans; however, at a lower price point, the construction and material of the saucepan may also be inferior and it may not be durable and long lasting.
  • Warranty: Look for a manufacturer warranty or limited lifetime guarantee on the induction saucepan, which guarantees against any manufacturing and material defects.

What Is An Induction Saucepan? Summing Up

In recent years, induction cooking has become very popular and a preferred method of cooking by many. And, if you’re shopping for an induction saucepan for your home, we hope that our guide will give you all the information you need to go out and purchase the right saucepan, perfect for your induction cooking needs.

Chef Matty
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