Induction Friendly Cookware

Yes, you need specific pans (or cookware) but they don't need to be particularly special.


AGA Stainless Steel Cookware

What type to use?

Those made of magnetic material.


Ferrous to be specific - iron or steel, check with a magnet: if it sticks to the base it should work.


The energy is transferred by electromagnetism and the magnetic base forms second part of an induction loop, a bit like an electric transformer which is why it needs the magnetic material.


Anything Else?

Yes, in addition to being magnetic your cookware needs to be good quality which will have the right amount of ferrous material.


Low quality cookware use less ferrous material (to make it cheaper) and even though a magnet may stick to the base, if there's not much iron the hob will work much harder to do the same job (wearing it out quicker, or possibly even breaking it) and things will take longer to heat.


My pan might break the hob?

Yes, if the hob tries hard but doesn't get the power through it'll think something's wrong and shut down to protect itself, then it'll let you know by showing a fault code (often E6). You'll need to pay for an engineer visit to fix it. (This isn't a warranty issue - it's not the hob's fault; it's the pan.)


How to avoid the problem

Simple - use high quality cookware!


It may cost a little more to begin with but will work better, cooking more evenly and quicker, will use less energy, last longer and preserve your hob too (avoiding potiential costly engineer visits and replacement parts) so will be cheaper in the long run.


So, how do you check?

A quick look is the first thing to do

Cookware with dimpled bases is to be avoided, as are most that have a steel insert in their base.


AGA and Everhot differ slightly in their recommendations:


AGA's Recommendations

Minimum diameter of 100mm.

Construction: a flat, solid base, free from indentations, spots, or steel inserts.

(Although they stress that their own range of induction friendly cast aluminium pans have a substantial steel insert and are perfectly good to use [and from our experience at home this is true].)


Image - pan not suitable for induction hob


Everhot's Recommendations

Minimum diameter of 128mm.

Construction: a thick, flat, magnetic base. Avoid using any misshapen pans or any pan which is unstable when placed on a flat surface.


Good induction cookware is made of magnetic stainless steel or cast iron throughout. Do not use aluminium pans with magnetic inserts as these can cause damage to the induction hob even when they show an induction suitable symbol.


Checking the sidewall of the pan is a good way to confirm whether the pan may be aluminium (aluminium pans will not have a magnetic side wall).


Everhot good or bad pan bases image

An alternative test

Time to boil.

AGA also recommends another method for checking how good a pan is - timing how long it takes to boil 500ml (0.5 litres, 0.88 pints) of water.


Method:


Put 500ml of water (room temperature, about 20 degrees celsius) in a pan (minimum 100mm diameter and no bigger than the outer markings of the cooking zone).


Use a 1.85kW zone, power setting 9.



It should come to a boil within 3 minutes 30 seconds (quicker is fine).


If it takes longer then it's likely to be poor quality and shouldn't be used.


Image - pan that is suitable for induction hob

Less than 3m 30s = ok to use.


Image - pan not suitable for induction hob

Longer than 3m 30s = don't use.