So many people, when they get a new induction stove, want to know if they can use their stainless steel cookware or, if they buy stainless steel cookware, will it work on an induction range. The short answer is normally yes but not always. Let me explain what I mean.
There is not a single type of stainless steel. There are dozens if not more different kinds of stainless steel. Most stainless steel we think of is not magnetic or nonferrous. It is designed to be corrosion resistant and is used in areas where corrosion is common.
Other stainless steel is less corrosion resistant but has magnetic qualities and is ferrous. Most of the tri-ply stainless steel cookware you will be buying is made of two different types of stainless steel one stainless steel is the normal nonferrous or not magnetic stainless steel but the underside is made of a version stainless steel that is magnetic. But before you go to Amazon and just buy the next set of stainless steel cookware, just hold one.
But what about Stainless Steel Cookware?
Some new cookware set I have seen are not using any ferrous materials. I have especially seen this in the new five ply cookware sets. Many are using copper as well as other stainless steels. What this means is, if you are not careful, you can have two cookware sets from the exact same manufacturer, one will work on your induction stove, the other will not work on it. So it is important to do your research first.
Of course there are always two sure fire ways to tell if your cookware will work on an induction stove. The first one involves holding a magnet to the bottom of the pot or pan. if the magnetic sticks you know it will work on your range. Here you can see me testing a cheap magnet on several pans in my kitchen.
The other way is to check your packaging or the manufacturers instructions. All new cookware will tell you in one way or there other if it is induction compatible. All you have to do is look for the induction symbol on either the bottom of the pan or on the packaging or box. Below this I have shown you what it might look like from my very own KitchenAid cookware box.
Sometimes you will find a box where it says it is compatible with all types of cookware. What this normally means is it will work on everything including induction ranges but I would never trust a non-name brand product without them specifically telling you its induction compatible.
Budget for Cookware
The advice I always get is if you’re spending this much money on a new range or cooktop for your kitchen is to budget in a little extra money to get the proper cookware. This is what I did when I bought a new induction range, I budgeted $500 to buy all new pieces. This was not a big deal to me since my other stuff was all old anyway.
Luckily I was also provided with a free cookware set from KitchenAid for buying their slide in range so I have that going for me. All I needed to do then was actually buy some non stick cookware for things like eggs and other sautés. I also purchased a new wok since the last one I had was a cheap aluminum one that was long in the tooth anyway. You can see my post on woks for induction ranges at the link below.
To make it easier, I have put a list of induction compatible cookware on my recommended products page in a variety of different price points. You can find it at the link below. You can buy all of them at Amazon and if you are a prime member, have them in your kitchen in two days.
Have you experienced stainless steel cookware that does not work with an induction range go ahead and tweet it at me so others can know to avoid it.