Does Stainless-Steel Cookware Work on Induction Hobs?

Does stainless-steel cookware work on induction hobs? Let’s cover what you need to know before you turn that hob on for the first time!

The excitement is building because you’re about to be cooking with a beautiful, shiny induction hob in your kitchen for the first time.

However, you might have some questions about how your current cookware will integrate with your new hob.

In fact, several people have probably already warned you that induction hobs are picky when it comes to which pots and pans can be used.

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Does Stainless-Steel Cookware Work on Induction Hobs?

stainless steel pan on induction

Be warned that there’s no clear-cut answer to this question. However, there are some basics to know that will help you get a better understanding of the relationship between induction hobs and stainless-steel cookware.

The big thing to know is that you’re not really looking at the “style” or “category” of cookware when determining if it’s compatible with induction cooking. You’re actually just focusing on one very specific detail.

Induction hobs only work with something called ferrous metal. Ferrous metal is metal that contains iron in its oxidation state. However, you don’t have to be a metallurgist to be able to tell which pots and pans contain ferrous metal. You can just use a magnet!

induction magnet test

Yes, a simple magnet test will tell you if your cookware will work with your induction hob. If the magnet sticks to the bottom of your pan, you’re good. If the magnet doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pan, it’s not an induction-compatible pan.

You can also simply look for the “coiled wire” induction hob symbol that indicates compatibility with induction cooking.

This brings us back to the question about stainless steel. The reason why there isn’t a concrete answer is because cookware brands use different grades of metal when creating their stainless-steel products.

Some “cheaper” brands use non-ferrous grades that won’t work for induction cooking.

Will I Have to Buy New Cookware If My Stainless-Steel Cookware Doesn’t Work With My Induction Hob?

Upgrading your cookware is the easiest way to solve the problem of having stainless-steel pots and pans that don’t work with induction cooking.

However, you can also consider buying induction converters that go on the bottoms of pans. Most chefs don’t really like this option because it’s clunky.

induction hob convertor plate

What Happens If I Put the Wrong Stainless-Steel Cookware on an Induction Hob?

Nothing! While your cookware may not be compatible with your new induction hob, it won’t actually harm your hob. Your hob needs ferrous metal to create a magnetic field that generates heat.

Pans need a magnetic base to work on induction hob

When you place any other kind of cookware on the surface, you won’t get any reaction. That means you’re free to test all of your pots and pans to see if they work with your new hob without any fear of creating a spark.

Related: What happens if you use a normal pan on an induction hob?

How to Choose the Best Stainless Steel Pans for an Induction Hob

Stainless steel pans are categorised as 18/0, 18/8 and 18/10. The first number indicates the amount of chrome.

This durable metal gives stainless steel its lustrous, hygienic qualities. The second number tells you how much nickel the pan contains.

Nickel is a magnetic, hard metal that withstands high temperatures and gives the steel its anti-corrosive reliability.

18/0 gauge has no nickel, so it’s the least reliable. 18/10 gauge is the very best stainless steel, providing excellent performance for pans.

Final Thoughts on Finding Stainless-Steel Cookware That Works with an Induction Hob

Does stainless-steel cookware work on induction hobs? As covered above, the answer is a mixed bag. Most high-quality cookware sets made of stainless steel should work just fine with induction hobs.

However, it’s important to verify compatibility before buying a new cookware set because you could get metaphorically burned by the fact that your pots and pans won’t produce any heat!