More and more homes are equipped with stoves that feature induction heating elements. Induction is an efficient, responsive way to produce heat, but it does come with some particular requirements.
Most important of these is that the induction process only works with certain materials. As a result, some popular kinds of cookware are simply not compatible with induction heating elements. Fortunately, there are now quite a few kinds of induction cookware to choose from.
More Induction-Compatible Choices Than Ever
When induction heating first started to become popular, many home chefs were surprised to discover their favorite pots and pans simply did not work with the technology. In just about every case, the problem was a lack of ferrous metal within cookware that had been produced before induction heating became a widespread option.
Since then, cookware manufacturers have become a lot more accommodating of this fast-growing approach to cooking. As a result, many pots and pans now available on store shelves are specifically described as being compatible with induction heating.
In practice, though, not every such claim can be relied on as confidently as others. Much of the appeal of induction lies in how it allows virtually instantaneous adjustment of heat levels under the right conditions. In fact, induction can easily outperform every alternative in this respect.
Some Pieces of Induction Cookware Work Better Than Others
Achieving that level of performance, though, requires cookware that is particularly well suited to the technology. Pots and pans that are made mostly or entirely from ferrous metals like cast iron and steel will always respond most quickly when used with induction heating.
Other materials, like aluminum and copper, can still be used to make induction-compatible cookware. In such cases, though, a ferrous disc or another additional element will need to be included to enable the induction of current and the resulting heating.
Unfortunately, that necessarily means sacrificing at least a bit of responsiveness. With the ferrous portion of the cookware being the only part actually involved in induction, the heat generated within it will need to transfer via processes like conduction to the rest of the pot or pan. This can still be an acceptable tradeoff, but it is one that buyers should be aware of.