In a hurry? In my opinion, the Duxtop SSIB-17 17-piece set is the best pick for induction cookware.
Looking for the best induction cookware on the market but have no idea where to start? I’m here to iron out that confusion and give you all the answers you need.
Join me as we go through the induction cookware journey — I'll make sure you don’t get burnt!
You may be a little confused by the term ‘induction’ in cookware. Let's start by talking a bit about induction cooking.
The word ‘induction’ in the term refers to magnetic induction. In layman's terms, there's a coiled copper wire located beneath the cooking surface. This copper wire generates a magnetic current that passes into the pan, skillet, or other piece of cooking implement above it, heating the pan itself (and whatever food is inside).
Gas and electric cookers, on the other hand, use thermal conduction. A gas or electric stovetop generates the heat itself, while an induction one uses a current to force the pan to heat up. For this reason, an induction stovetop doesn’t stay hot when turned off, and it also doesn’t heat the air around the energy source (other than residual heat from the cookware).
Why can’t I just stick any type of cookware onto my lovely new induction cooker? That’s what I hear you thinking right now.
Induction cookware is made from magnetic materials. This is what allows the induction mentioned above to pass from the copper coil into the cookware. Many standard pieces of cookware will work on an induction stove, but it depends on what material comprises the pot or pan.
Cast iron is generally compatible with induction, as is stainless steel — stainless steel can be a mixture of a variety of materials, however, so don’t take this as a 100 percent certainty. Cookware with a high nickel content is unlikely to be compatible, as nickel won't work with the magnetic field.
A rule of thumb: if the metal or material on the base of the item isn’t magnetic, it’s not going to work on an induction stove.
If you do have an induction stove or are planning on purchasing one, you’re better off looking for induction cookware rather than gambling on the standard version. Even some materials that seem compatible may end up not working at all.
You’ll get arguments from all sides on the topic of induction vs. gas vs. electric. (And it will get even noisier if you ask a professional chef to weigh in.)
Let’s ponder over the differentiators:
Induction stoves are currently still the most expensive of the three.
However, as the concept of induction cooking moves into the mainstream, prices are dropping. In terms of the cost of use, gas is usually the most expensive — especially if you need a constant flow — followed by induction and then electric.
Induction cooking is easily the safest option of the three. Owing to how induction generates eat, only the central area of the cookware becomes hot. There’s no heat emanating around the whole area, as there would be with gas or electric burners.
Gas sends heat everywhere, and electric stoves stay hot for a long time after being shut off. This is a particularly significant consideration for parents, as small children love to stick their hands where they shouldn’t. Electric cooktops, in this aspect, are certainly a burn risk.
When you turn your induction cooker off, the heat is gone – just like that.
This a big one — gas has efficiency issues. It needs a lot of energy to heat up, and a lot of that energy will simply vanish into the air, unused.
Induction cooking is far better in this regard. One (albeit limited) study found induction cooking to be 74 percent efficient in converting energy, using much less energy to boil a quart of water than a gas stove.
OK, this is where a professional chef may want to weigh in on preferences.
Gas cooking is still considered the most precise method of the three. This is because of the visible control a cook has over the flame. However, bear in mind that just because a lot of chefs prefer gas, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t commercial kitchens using induction equipment at this point.
Also: are you cooking a five-course, five-star meal for a dining room of 50?
If not, it may not make that much of a difference, anyway. You may even enjoy not having to continually fiddle the flame up and down to get the exact temperature right.
Both induction and electric cooktops are easier to clean than gas – that’s just a matter of design. Grease will cling onto gas burners like nobody’s business. Although there are plenty of neat tricks to do a deep clean of a gas stove, wouldn’t you rather just not have the hassle in the first place?
Electric also has an issue here — it stays hot for a long time after you’ve stopped using it. Want to wipe something away immediately after taking the pan off the heat? Too bad, you’ve got to wait.
In this aspect, induction is superior. Greasy spill on the surface? Turn it off and wipe it away; simple!
For one thing, induction cookers often have bigger cooking zones.
What do I mean? Well, with a regular gas/electric stovetop, you usually have four burners (or hobs, as I believe our British friends put it). That is, you have four separate cooking surfaces for four different pans, pots, etc.
Ah, but not with the freedom of induction cooking!
Some induction burners come with flexible zones, which means that if you have a large pot or long pan – or simply just feel like it – you can join several small heating zones together to make one big one. Cool, eh? No waste here!
If you have a pacemaker, you may want to avoid induction cookers. Although, in theory, you can use an induction hob at a distance of 2 feet, induction hobs generate electromagnetic fields, which can interfere with pacemakers.
You probably consider a different type of cooker, in this case. The risks of coming too close while a burner is in operation could be extreme.
All you need is an induction cooktop!
Oh, and electricity. Although they’re different from standard electric stoves, induction stoves still require power to function. I assume this won’t be too much of an issue at first since you’re presumably using an electrical source to read this article. But, if your power goes out you can often still start your gas range.
Yes, you could, although it’s not exactly designed for that.
Generally, the only difference between regular cookware and induction cookware is that the former requires a magnetic material at the base and said base also has to be flat — to allow an even distribution of heat. This type of cookware, though, can't retain heat as conventional cookware on conventional burners.
For example, the magnetic metal at the bottom of an induction saucepan may be thinner than its conventional counterpart. Thus, if it gets too heated, it may warp. If the metal becomes warped, you won’t be able to use it with an induction cooker anymore. Of course, this isn’t an issue if you’re not switching between the two.
You’ll also find that induction cookware is typically more expensive than the conventional kind. So, it probably isn't worth the investment if you’re using a gas or electric stove – unless you know you're switching soon.
So, now you’ve got your induction cooktop and want to find the best pots and pans to start cooking – what next?
Think about these three things first:
If you’re going to be cooking for five people twice a day, throw out that $60 budget, unless you want to be changing pans every year.
When you have an idea of what you want, you can start shopping around.
You may also want to decide upfront about factors such as material (and color, if you’re the type of person who wants everything to match).
It’s worth remembering that having a better idea of the exact product you want before you start shopping will help make the whole process easier. There are so many options out there and so many brands saying they’re the best, that you’ll want to be able to narrow your search down as soon as you can.
Even better, I’ve made the whole process easier for you by gathering together seven fantastic induction cookware sets. Read below to find out more information and find the perfect set for you.
I kick off the list with the most extensive collection on the list — 17 whole pieces! The Duxtop SSIB-17 set includes:
This set is made from commercial-grade stainless steel and uses heavy-gauge aluminum on the bottom. Stainless steel is durable; however, it’s not a great conductor of heat. Aluminum is — hence the bottom.
This is one of the higher-priced sets on the list; however, it not only has more pieces on offer but is made from durable and long-lasting materials. This set may well stick with you your whole lifetime.
The price may be off-putting for beginners or those who are being particularly frugal. But, it’s worth considering that cheaper sets are more likely to suffer wear and tear and need to be replaced early. Thus, this could be regarded as an investment.
If you’re a more experienced cook and have the budget for this set, this is a fantastic option.
This value price-range T-fal C515SC collection includes:
This aluminum set has a non-stick coating, is free of toxins, and uses a titanium-reinforced interior. This robust interior allows for long-term and heavy use.
T-fal is a trusted brand and is well-known for its thermo-spot indicator. This is a red dot at the bottom of the induction cookware that has a ring around it. This ring turns solid red when the pan is perfectly preheated.
This is a reliable option for beginners, due to the lower price range and non-stick coating.
The Farberware Millennium Cookware selection includes:
This cookware is made from stainless steel, and the lids are glass. The core is aluminum. The stainless steel allows the cookware to be durable, the aluminum core allows for excellent heat conduction, and the glass lids allow retention of moisture and visibility.
Although designed for induction cooking, these pots and pans are also compatible with electric and gas stovetops.
Dishwasher-safe and durable, this collection of cookware is in the lower range in terms of price and is perfect for someone who’s starting their induction cooking journey.
This heavy-gauge aluminum KitchenAid KC2AS10OB set is comprised of ten pieces:
It can stand up to heavy dishwasher use and is oven safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The set also uses a three-layer non-stick coating, so don’t worry about having to scrape at sticky food melded to the bottom of your saucepan.
It’s compatible with gas cooktops, too, if you haven't yet made the switch or if you just happen to want to use induction-style on a classic stove.
This stylish selection of induction cookware is an excellent purchase for anyone who’s already given induction cooking a go.
This Viking 40051-9910 Cookware set includes:
This cookware selection is made from heavy-gauge anodized aluminum with a stainless steel base, and the lids are made of glass. This combination is ideal for heat conduction and trapping in flavor.
All items in the set are coated in triple-layer non-stick coating, so don’t worry if you’re cooking sticky food or have a tendency to leave food in the pan a bit too long.
This set comes in stylish black and features the Viking brand prominently, so any knowledgeable guests who visit will see you’ve bought quality.
This Circulon Premier collection of anodized aluminum cookware includes:
Aside from being predominantly aluminum, the handles are made from stainless steel (rubberized), and the lids are made from glass with steel locks. The aluminum body means fantastic conduction of heat, while the opposite is so with the stainless steel handles.
This cookware set also contains raised circles, which Circulon states allow for a superior cooking release.
This set is relatively low priced for a set of 13 items and comes in a nifty bronze color.
The All-Clad E785SC64 is a ten-piece cookware set of anodized aluminum. It includes:
This set is predominantly aluminum with a stainless steel base that’s anti-warp. It’s also dishwasher-safe; however, the manufacturer recommends hand-washing.
All-Clad uses a PFOA-free — perfluorooctanoic acid — non-stick coating. As well as allowing food to be easily removed, this also means clean-up is easier and faster.
This set is on the costly side. It is better suited for someone more experienced with induction cooking that can get more out of frequent usage.
In my opinion, the Duxtop SSIB-17 17-piece set is the best pick for induction cookware.
This set is a slightly more expensive option. However, it’s not only miles ahead of the lower-priced competition, it even dominates many of its more expensive rivals.
The stainless steel kitchenware is incredibly durable, so it won’t need to be replaced due to denting or warping. It also gives you a broader selection. Both of these points make it worth the investment, in my opinion.