Can Normal Pans Work On An Induction Hob? (Induction Tricks!)

Induction cooking works on magnetic conduction. Therefore, only some pans will work with them while others will not.

When you turn on an induction hob, a magnetic field underneath the surface is activated.

When you place a pan on the hob, the circuit is completed and the base of the pan gets heated.

This is why induction cooking is so fast and efficient.

Induction cooking is a new form of cooking that works very differently from electrical and gas cooking.

By the end of the article, you will be armed with new information on the suitability of pans for induction cooking and how you can get the best out of the induction technology.

What Kind Of Pans Can You Use On An Induction Cooktop?

As noted above, induction cooking involves magnetic conduction.

Hence the most suitable pans are flat bases made of ferrous metals (containing iron, e.g., cast iron, stainless steel). 

Pans made of copper, glass and aluminium will not work unless designed with a ferrous bottom.

On the other hand, stainless steel only works if it has a magnetic-grade steel base.

Cast iron and enamelled cast iron pans are excellent choices for induction cooking.

How to tell whether your current pan will work on an induction hob.

To test your pan for suitability, you have to perform the magnet test.

Using a magnet, try to see whether it sticks on the base of your pan. It will not work on an induction hob if it has a weak pull or fails to stick.

Another major feature of pans that work well on induction hobs they have a flat bottom.

The curved ones will not work well with the induction hob.

The induction suitable pans are generally labelled “Suitable for use on Glass Ceramic induction Hobs” and have a coil symbol on the base.

What Happens When You Use A Normal Pan On An Induction Hob?

When you place a normal pan on an induction pan, the induction hob will not turn on.

Nothing happens because most normal pans do not have a magnetic base which is required for a magnetic field and electric field to be created to generate heat for cooking.

How Can We Make Normal Pans Work On Induction Hobs?

To work around the fact that you might find most of your pans do not have magnetic bases, you can use an induction converter disc.

This is basically a flat magnetic steel that you place on an induction burner to allow your non-induction pan to heat by acting as a burner to your non-induction pan.

 Steps to using an induction diffuser or convertor disc:

  1. Place the induction converter on the induction cooktop, ensuring it covers most of its surface area. A buzzing sound is usually heard.
  2. Place your normal pan on top of the disc. It will take longer since heat is being transferred first to the disc and then to your cookware.
  3. Cook, as usual, employing all tricks to conserve heat energy and increase the time taken for your food to cook substantially.
  4. If your induction converter disc comes with a heat-proof handle, remove the pan. If not, wait for it to cool down to remove it.
Pans need to be suitable for use on induction hobs.

What Is An Inductor Cooking Hot Plate 

This is a hot plate that heats through induction rather than electrical or gas.

Furthermore, they require to be used with pans that have magnetic bases in order to work on the induction hot plates.

Some come with induction-ready pans in order to support those pans that are not induction ready.

Can You Damage An Induction Hob?

Induction hobs are prone to getting damaged (cracking)in several ways. Below are some of the major ways that cause the induction hob to crack:

  • Using the incorrect type of pans that have very rough edges that are not suitable for the surface of the induction hobs and therefore subject them to cracking easily. Use the right induction-ready pans should be used to prevent cracks from forming.
  • Dropping heavy cookware on your induction hob is probably the major cause of damages through cracking. No matter the impact caused, the brittle nature of induction hobs require you to be very careful when using cookware around, especially when you are not necessarily cooking.
  • Sudden temperature change is another way. When you place a hot pan that you had been using elsewhere and place it on the induction without it being heated up, this may cause thermal shock that can crack the induction hob. 
  • In addition, you should ensure that you choose a heat ring of the same size as the pan you are using. If it is smaller than that of the pan, it can crack its surface due to overheating.

Simple Ways To Maintain Your Induction Hob

  • Ensure you place paper towels or newspapers to prevent the surface from being scratched, especially when cooking using old aluminium pans
  • Lift cookware from the induction surface instead of dragging them on the surface to reduce chances of scratching
  • Do not store heavy cookware on induction hobs since there are high chances you might drop them on its surface.
  • Avoid placing hot pans on induction hobs before heating them first prevents thermal shock.
  • Keep items that melt away from induction hobs to ensure they do not leave permanent marks on their surface.
  • Do not use the induction surface as a chopping board.  Wait for the induction hob to cool off before cleaning it with cold water to prevent cracking due to thermal shock.
  • Avoid leaving pans on the induction hob after cooking.
  • Avoid storing the induction hob in a cluttered area. It is advisable to store it away after using it to prevent accidents that often happen.

In conclusion, using induction converter discs to help our normal pans work around their limitation of not being induction-ready consumes more energy and time than using induction-ready pans.

However, they are cheaper to use, especially if you don’t want to be frugal instead of spending money to purchase induction-ready cookware.

However, to get the maximum efficiency of your induction hobs, the solution lies with buying induction compatible pans.


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