Induction cooktops are a faster, more energy-efficient way of cooking than gas and electric. If you’ve made the switch, it’s time to choose the right induction cookware.
You’ve made the decision to switch to induction. Excellent. What took you so long?
Now it’s time to get the right cookware that will complete your triumphant transition.
Overselling it a bit? Come back again after a few weeks cooking with induction and answer that question. Trust us on this.
What’s the Difference?
While the old ways of cooking have their merit, cooking with induction is nothing like traditional means such as gas flames or electric heat elements.
“Heat” being the key word here.
Unlike conventional cooking methods that create wasteful amounts of heat, induction cooktops produce a nearly-heatless magnetic field just above that glass surface that then heats only the cookware that is placed on it.
From there it is transferred directly to the food – with the cooktop itself barely seeming as if it was turned on.
While this sounds awesome (it is), it’s important to have the right induction cookware that will conduct the heat evenly and efficiently across your pots or pans – something best accomplished with the proper metal composition of your cookware.
Can I use the Pan I Have now?
Most people’s first question is “Do I have to buy new cookware?”
There is an easy test to answer that question – simply take an ordinary magnet you have around and see if it sticks to the bottom of your cookware.
If it does – woo hoo!
If not, then you’re going to have to buy some new pots and pans that interact with magnetic induction fields, such as cast iron or stainless steel.
As for popular metals used in traditional cooking such as aluminium or copper, they will only work if the base is bonded with a magnetic metal.
Quality Makes a Difference
One thing to keep in mind is that the manufacturing and composition quality of the pan can make a big difference on how well you’re able to cook. So, if you can, invest in some longer-lasting higher quality cookware for the best induction cooking experience.
Which dish you cook dictates which cookware you choose.
Recipes that call for slow and steady cooking, are best prepared with heavy-based pans. Pans with a thick composition allows them to react more slowly to the cooking zone. Imaging melting a bar of chocolate to perfection with slow, precise heat that induction allows.
Oftentimes the base of these pots or pans will be thicker and made of aluminium with a steel cap attached to the base or cast iron.
For dishes that call on faster preparation, stainless steel-layered bases are a good choice since they heat up and react quickly to changes in temperature settings.
Until you get the hang of the precise settings, keep an eye on that dish with the thinner base pot to be sure you don’t overcook it.
While these are all useful tips to be mindful of when choosing your induction cookware, the most important of them all is the magnet. If it sticks, the pan will cook. And regardless of what pot or pan you choose, the induction cooking experience will be sure to exceed your experience cooking with conventional methods.
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