If you love to cook, then you probably understand the importance of top notch cookware. While it is quite simple to pick out cookware for your gas or electric stovetop, you might not know where to start when it comes to induction cookware. And with the rising use of induction stovetops, you need to know how to pick the most suitable cookware.
Induction cookware uses a magnetic process to heat your pots and pans, and you can always determine whether a cookware piece is induction-ready by sticking a magnet to it- if it sticks it is induction-ready, if it falls off it cannot be used on an induction stovetop. But what’s next after this?
That is where I come in, showing you everything you need to know about induction cookware. The buying guide below will make it easier for you to pick out the right induction cookware based on your cooking style, so that you can have a great cooking performance each and every time.
How To Choose The Best Induction Cookware
When selecting induction cookware, you will be faced with a myriad of types, designs, and construction options. Below is a buying guide that will help you navigate all of the available options.
When it comes to the material of your induction cookware, you need to go with a ferromagnetic material or one which contains iron. Your top choices will be stainless steel (with an iron base or core), cast iron, aluminum (with an iron base or core), and enameled steel. You will not find induction cookware that uses copper, glass or plain aluminum.
Each of the materials has its own benefits. Firstly, we have stainless steel, which has become a popular induction cookware choice because of its strength, rigidity, and non-corrosive properties. However, it is not an efficient heat conductor, and it is therefore layered with aluminum for great cooking performance.
You also have the option of cast iron induction cookware, which is extremely durable for long lasting cooking performance. This cookware also allows for even heat distribution at low temperatures, however, it will take long to heat up and cool down because of its heavy base. Some cast iron cookware will also come with an enameled cast iron base for rust prevention. You should also know that cast iron tends to be the most expensive option.
Lastly, we have aluminum induction cookware. Aluminum is known for its excellent conduction abilities, and its great heat retention. Aluminum is also lightweight, inexpensive, and resistant to rust, however, it is not compatible with induction stovetops.
That is why aluminum cookware is supplemented with a stainless steel base plate, so that you can use it as an induction cookware piece.
The next thing you need to consider before choosing your induction cookware is what their purpose will be. If you are looking to cook delicate meals and slow cook meals, you need to find pots and pans with heavy bases such as cast iron or aluminum cookware. This will give you the even heating that you are looking for.
On the other hand if you are a fast cook looking to boil or steam food, then you will need a thin stainless steel layered base. This is because stainless steel heats up quickly and adjusts to temperature changes swiftly.
Induction cookware costs anywhere between $30 and $300, though you will still find cookware pieces which fall below or above this range. You should therefore consider your budget before you make your shopping decisions. You can also look at buying a cookware set, as this allows you to get all the necessary pieces at one time. A good induction cookware set usually costs $250+.
Another thing that you need to consider before choosing your induction cookware is what capacity you need. If you have a small family, then small capacity cookware pieces are good for you. However, if you like to cook for many, then large capacity cookware is good for you.
Your skillets should be 8-12 inches, your saute pan should be 8-10 inches, your sauce pan should be 2-4 quartz, your Dutch oven should be 7 quartz, and your stock pot should be 8-12 quartz. Always ensure that you have a wide variety of pieces so that you can cook a wide variety of meals.
Lids and Handles
The lids and handles of your induction cookware are also very important. When choosing a lid go with a glass lid, so that you can monitor your cooking without letting steam escape. Also go with shatter resistant construction, which increases the safety properties of the lid.
Additionally, go with a handle that has been solidly welded into place, so that you can safely move the cookware from one place to another. Most handles are made with cast stainless steel, tubular stainless steel, silicone, or heat-resistant plastic. My favorite option is a riveted silicone handle, as it is strong, cool to touch, dishwasher safe, and oven safe.
Ease of Use
The induction cookware that you use should be very simple to operate, as no one wants to be frustrated as they try to cook. Look for a simple design and structure, which is easy, efficient, and safe to use. Also make sure that your cookware is simple to clean, so that you are not left scrubbing the cookware after you are done cooking.
Last but not least, you should always ensure that the cookware you choose has been constructed to the highest quality possible. There are a few brands that you can always rely on to manufacture quality induction cookware, and these include Cuisinart, Circulon, Anolon, Chasseur, Baccarat, Jamie, Essteele, KitchenAid, Oliver, Raco, Silit, Scanpan, and Tefal.
Try and purchase cookware from these aforementioned brands.
If you are on the hunt for induction cookware, then this guide above will lead you in the right direction. Use the information provided to help you decide which cookware is best for you cooking needs. Good luck to you!
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