A modern kitchen is a collection of many fancy and amazing things that not limited to superb performing gadgets, cookware sets etc. but also offers diverse choices of cooktops. Induction cooktop is the best and latest cooking technology available for kitchen lovers to make their cooking experience more hassle free and enjoyable. This modern cooking technology “induction cooktop” has many advantages over traditional gas stovetop flames or with electric cooktops.
But the amazing benefits of this heating technology it also demands for some requirements to make the cooking possible with modern technology. The main requirement your induction cooktop needs is that your cookware is fit for getting heat from this source. Your cookware is induction compatible if it is magnetically conductive and ferromagnetic which means that if you put a magnet on the base of the cooking pot/pan it will stick to it.
Induction Ready Cookware for Induction Cooktops
Why you need induction pro cookware for this heat source?
The answer is simple as the induction operates on the principle of creating heat through electromagnetism. The heat is produced when the alternate current is passed through the wire into the coil located under the cooktop surface.
In this way a magnetic field above and around the heating surface is created. When you place the induction compatible pot/pan that is ferromagnetic and magnetically conductive ensures penetration of this magnetic field.
This whole phenomenon makes possible strongly resistive electric current to flow in the cookware. The follow of this resistive electric current generates friction producing heat and thus cooks your food.
This is the reason that for induction cooktop your cookware should be smooth, magnetic and flat. Otherwise it will not work.
The simple and easy way to check the compatibility of your cookware is to put a magnetic in the base of it. If the magnetic sticks to the base of the cookware that means it is induction compatible. And you can use it for this heat source.
For best experience with induction cooktop you can use the cookware made of cast iron, stainless steel and enameled cast iron.
When you buy a new cookware set it is clearly mentioned in the user manual that set is induction compatible or not. You can save money as well as kitchen space by buying induction compatible cookware because they are also compatible with all types of heat source such gas or electric. Therefore it is not a waste of money if in future you change your kitchen heating source from induction to other such as gas or electric.
You can use the cookware made of the following material on your induction cooktops;
Glass, aluminum and copper made pots and pans don’t work on this heat source for simple reason the magnetic field will not be able to pass and thereby electric current in the cookware is not generated.
No heating is produced because of the failure of whole electromagnetic mechanism. The cookware also becomes the part of overall heating process. Therefore it is extremely vital that your cookware is made of material that allows the flow of electromagnetic current.
If your kitchen is already packed with non-inductive cookware then it is costly step to replace your entire range of pots and pans. Another problem that is also quite common that is the cookware you love comes with bottom which doesn’t fit the induction cooktop diameter.
Therefor the size of your cookware base is also important to work on induction cooktop. Your cookware must have the same size as the size of the induction cooktops cooking zone.
Therefore some tweaking is needed to make your current non-inductive cookware or weird size induction cookware compatible with this heat source.
Converter Disk For Non-Induction Pots and Pans
A converter disk is the only solution you can make the current cookware in your kitchen compatible with induction cooktop.
The converter disk is flat shape and made of iron or stainless steel. The disk comes with heatproof safe handle to hold it easily. It also makes even distribution of heat across the cookware.
The putting of it to work is simple, just place it over the cooktop and then place on it your non-induction cookware.
The converter disk is a plate made of either steel or iron that fits between the cookware base and induction stovetop. The plate is excellent for serving your need because it is very thin and heavy eliminating the chance of slipping or tripping.
For achieve optimum benefits from your converter disk it is important to thoroughly research about it before buying it because in market there are both good and poor quality products. Therefore a proper research is important. Read the customers’ reviews on trusted websites and forums such as Amazon, eBay…
You should select a disk that comes with strong magnet and handle that is heatproof.
Disadvantage of a Converter Disk for Induction Stovetop
Theoretically there is not a big difference between using induction cookware and absorbing of heat using disc for transferring heat to the non-inductive cookware. But practically there is material difference.
The main reason of this difference in heat absorption is that the cookware metal is not polished smoothly. This rough surface of non-inductive cookware bottom makes a big difference. Therefore placing non-inductive cookware on the converter disk, these defective metal surfaces allow substantial amount of microscopic pockets of air.
As we know air is not a good conductor. Therefore when the magnetic waves try to penetrate and start inducing current in the presence of the converter disc these air pockets slow down the heat transfer process.
The ultimate result of this poor heat conductivity is that the converter disk becomes hotter than bottom of the cookware because of the heat build-up. Because of this imperfect heat conductivity some the built-up heat is conducted downward into the cooking pot while the material amount is transferred into the surrounding air.
The difference in heat conductivity is proved in one study using a converter disk made of stainless steel. In this study water was boiled on an induction stovetop with induction cookware and using non-induction cookware with converter disk.
The following are the results of the above study;
- Using induction cookware: 8 cups of water boiled in just 8 minutes and 40 seconds
- Non-inductive cookware with converter disk: 19 minutes for boiling 8 cups of water
Another flaw of non-inductive cookware with converter disk is that after 10 minutes and 30 seconds the induction surface on which the converter disc was placed showed a material drop in watts from 1500watts to 1200watts. The reason for this drop is that when the converter disk was heated up for a long time that affected the ceramic as well as the insulation layer below plus affected the coil that is responsible for heating it up.
The use of converter disc is not recommended. It is best to buy a cookware set that is induction cooktop compatible instead of investing your money in poor performing converter discs. You can use these disks for making your favorite pots and pans induction cooktop compatible however, avoiding spending more money and crowding your kitchen with more pots and pans.