A few years ago, it was difficult to find quality induction-ready non-stick cookware. If you wanted to use an induction range, you would have to search far and wide for a selection of pots and pans that offered the features you wanted.
Nowadays, it’s not too hard. Cookware manufacturers have realized that making cookware induction-compatible is pretty cheap and simple. It doesn’t impact the cookware’s performance on gas or electric coil ranges, either. All they have to do is add a thin disk of magnetic steel to the bottom of each pot or pan.
This is because of how induction ranges work. An induction range uses magnetic fields to jiggle anything magnetic that’s placed above it. According to the rules of physics, things get hot when you jiggle them. The result is incredibly rapid and precise heat transfer. Because you can control the rate of the jiggling with a knob, you can literally dial in the temperature that you want your pots or pans to be heated to.
What Makes A Pot or Pan Induction Compatible?
As stated above, induction ranges work with magnetic materials. Cookware manufacturers can either add a thin disk of magnetic steel (or another magnetic metal) or simply coat the entire outside of each pot and pan with a magnetic stainless steel alloy (18/10 and 18/8 aren’t particularly magnetic, but lower nickel steel often is and is pretty comparable in most relevant ways).
If you physically have access to the cookware you want to use on your range, try placing a magnet on the bottom of your pot or pan. If it sticks, it’s induction compatible.
What Brands Make The Best Induction Compatible Cookware?
Induction ranges are pretty common these days, so most cookware brands make at least one induction-compatible line. This includes brands like All-Clad, Cuisinart, Calphalon, Tramontina, and NuWave. In many cases, you can get a non-stick version of this line. If you want a specific kind of non-stick (ceramic or PTFE), your options will narrow somewhat. You can still probably find the features you want within the first two brands you check.
While you might see certain brands advertised on TV (like Gotham Steel), these brands don’t necessarily have any advantages over any other cookware sets you might find. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a cookware set you’ve seen on the television, but you might be able to find a higher-quality cookware set for a lot less money.
Best Cookware for Induction:
This T-fal set is a great way to get an induction-ready non-stick seton a budget. It’s got a surprising set of features given how affordable it is, including well-fitting glass lids with steam vents, measuring marks on the inside of the pots, and an attractive stainless steel exterior that goes well with any sort of kitchen decor.
The biggest downside to this set is that it’s not actually all non-stick. None of the pots have any sort of non-stick on the inside. For most households, this isn’t a big deal — in fact, it might be a mild plus. This is because even the best non-stick coating will eventually degrade with use and force you to replace your cookware. In this case, since the pots all have a stainless steel interior, you can look forward to using them for an extremely long time. It will mean that you’ll have to use a bit of care to prevent some soups and stews from sticking, however.
The non-stick on the pans is excellent, however. It’s a PTFE and PFOA-free ceramic that’s not unlike Thermolon. While it’s totally safe to up to nearly 600 F, it’s probably still a good idea to cook on low heat with a little bit of fat. This will help extend the life of your non-stick and make it easy for you to slide eggs around for as long as possible. The surface is somewhat scratch resistant, too, and you don’t have to worry about it flaking off like you do with PTFE. Instead, it’ll simply become less effective after a couple of years of use.
Overall, my favorite feature has still got to be the handy measuring marks inside of the pots. I really love being able to precisely know how much liquid is in the pot or how much I’m adding without needing to use a separate measuirng container. This feature alone makes me prefer this non-stick set over many of the alternatives.
All-Clad is very much a luxury brand when it comes to cookware. This set might be a bit pricey for some kitchens, but it’s got some pretty high-quality pots and pans that will serve as a great excuse for you to cook.
Unlike the set above, this aluminum cookware set uses the magnetic disk method to achieve compatibility with induction ranges. The aluminum bodies give it exemplary heat distribution, meaning your cooking surface will heat up to an even temperature in no time at all.
While the sturdy anodized aluminum bodies, vented glass lids, and stainless steel handles on this set are covered by a lifetime warranty, the PFOA-free non-stick is not. It’s a PTFE-based variety, meaning that it’ll work great until it starts to flake or scratch off. This usually doesn’t happen for two or three years after you’ve purchased your cookware, but it’s basically inevitable. Don’t expect to have this cookware set in a decade.
In the kitchen, this set is pretty nice to use.
The handles stay reasonably cool unless you’re simmering things for quite a while, the lids make it easy to view your food without letting out heat, and small steam vents trap most of the steam inside while keeping the lids from rattling around. This set is oven safe to a full 500 F, which is pretty excellent considering the PTFE-nonstick. Most PTFE coatings stop being oven safe at around 400 F.
The non-stick performs as you’d expect: it’s basically a modern, oven-safe, toxic-chemical-free version of Teflon.
It’s incredibly easy to literally slide sticky foods around while you cook with them. The cookware also handles incredibly well on an induction cooktop. In fact, if you’re not used to induction cooking already, you might be surprised at how incredibly quickly the cooking surface on these pots and pans comes up to temperature.
It’s got excellent temperature response, a durable and effective non-stick coating, and one of the best warranties you’ll find. With proper care, you’ll get many, many uses out of this All-Clad cookware set.
This basic set from NuWave is designed specifically with induction in mind. It uses a colored ceramic non-stick to keep your food from sticking and features traditional burnished steel exteriors. With vented glass lids and stainless handles that stay cool during most cooking jobs, it’s pretty comparable to most high-end cookware sets.
NuWave isn’t just a cookware brand. It’s also a maker of induction cooktops and hot plates. This cookware set takes advantage of this and comes with a fully featured induction hot plate that you can use in your kitchen. It’s a great way to bring all of the advantages of an induction range into your kitchen without spending a lot.
What advantages, you might ask?
Induction ranges heat up your pots and pans nearly instantly and hold them at an exact temperature. This can take a bit of time to get used to, but once you’ve gotten in some practice, it becomes incredibly easy to control the exact temperature of your pots and pans.
You don’t need to fiddle with the dial to bring your stock to a simmer, for example. Instead, you simply use the exact same heat setting every time.
Even if you’ve already got a gas range, you can use this NuWave cooktop for situations where precise control is needed. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you can use it to boil water instead!
It’ll be much faster than using your gas range.
You don’t have to use this NuWave cookware set on an induction range exclusively. It’ll perform very well on a gas or electric range, too. It’ll even have pretty good temperature response, too, and the ceramic non-stick is no slouch. It’s a great set to choose if you want a cookware set for your existing gas or electric coil range and you also want to take advantage of the included induction cooktop.
Like the other non-stick sets on this page (and non-stick sets in general), this cookware won’t last forever. After a few years of use, the non-stick cooking surface will become less non-stick and more sticky. This can be delayed with proper care, but you will have to replace this cookware set eventually.
If you want to dabble in induction but you don’t have a range yet or you need an extra cooktop for your busy kitchen, this NuWave set is an excellent choice. The high-performance induction cooktop will be a valuable addition to your cooking arsenal and the high-quality pots and pans will give you plenty of ways to use it.
If you’re looking for a cookware set with stainless steel exteriors and a more traditional PTFE-nonstick coating in every pot and pan, you’re in luck. Unlike the earlier T-fal set, this cookware set is non-stick through and through. This means that you can steam vegetables, simmer stews, and cook complicated soups without having to worry about anything sticking.
Circulon claims that these pots and pans feature unique design features that make the DuPont Autograph non-stick more effective than normal.
It’s difficult to prove these claims. The non-stick is still terrifically effective. You can effortlessly flip eggs at any stage in the cooking process over any heat. This is pretty standard for modern non-sticks, however. One advantage that Autograph has over some competitors is the capability to handle higher heat ranges.
It’s totally safe up to 500 F.
Again, this cookware set should last three to five years with proper care. The non-stick will eventually begin to scratch, chip, and flake no matter how careful you are. Circulon says this is a dishwasher-safe set, but you’re still probably better off hand-washing it with a mild detergent and warm water.
Like the other sets on this page, this Circulon set has glass lids and stainless steel handles that may get hot if you cook for long periods of time. Unlike the other sets, however, the lids aren’t vented. This helps keep heat in in some circumstances, of course, but it’s got the sharp downside of making a lot of noise if you simmer things with the lids on.
Aluminum bases make this set heat up very quickly an evenly on a traditional stovetop, while the magnetic stainless steel exterior gives it incredible performance on an induction cooktop. You’ll be boiling water in no time at all with this cookware set. The sides aren’t quite as mirror-polished as some cookware sets you might find, but it’s still an attractive set that will fit right in any kitchen.
If you’re looking for a fully non-stick set and you prefer good old DuPont non-sticks, this Circulon set is a great choice. It’s quite affordable and delivers incredible performance.
The Best Non-Stick Induction Cookware
While the 4 cookware sets above represent a great selection of non-stick induction-capable cookware sets on the market today, there are many other options!
Manufacturers come out with new lines all the time and online sales might bring a competing set to a lower price point, making it more worth it.
When selecting cookware from outside this list, be sure to look at these factors:
How Is It Induction Compatible?
No matter what it says on the box, your cookware needs to be fairly strongly magnetic to work well on an induction stovetop.
This means a stainless steel exterior that’s NOT 18/10 or 18/8 or a disk of magnetic material in the bottom of the cookware. If you can’t find evidence of one of these features, skip the cookware set.
What Kind Of Nonstick Is Used?
PTFE is still a great type of non-stick material, although there are some health concerns when it gets overheated. Ceramic non-sticks, on the other hand, are safe to higher temperatures, although they still get less effective if you overheat them.
The primary disadvantage of ceramic non-sticks is that they require you to use a little bit of oil when you cook. Both types of non-stick require careful handling and will wear out over time.
Can I Afford To Replace This Set In Three Years?
Because non-stick coatings wear out, any non-stick cookware set you buy has an expiration date. Make sure you’re not getting something that’s too expensive to replace at least a few pieces within two to five years of your purchase date.
When In Doubt, Choose One Of The Sets Above!
Like I said, I’m a firm believer that the four sets above give you plenty of options as far as high-quality non-stick induction ready cookware goes. If you’re having trouble finding a set on sale that meets your needs, just grab one of the four picks above.
The T-fal set is fantastically cheap and gives you pots that will last basically forever. The All-Clad set reps a high-end cookware brand while delivering incredible cooking performance. The NuWave set gives you an induction hot plate so you can experiment without buying a whole range, and the Circulon set gives you full non-stick without breaking the bank.
No matter which set you choose, you’ll open up lots of new avenues in the kitchen and have lots of fun using your new cookware.
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