When you’re looking for the best cookware for your new induction hob, the induction hob symbol makes your task easier. It features a row of four, upward-pointing loops of wire.
This symbol is commonly visible on the base of pans that are suitable for use with an induction hob.
These pans may also bear the words ‘induction ready’ or ‘induction hob cookware’. But why do the pans have to be labelled this way?
Why Induction Hobs need Magnetised Cookware
Your induction hob supplies heat for cooking through electromagnetics. It’s a sophisticated concept that creates a magnetic field whenever the ferrous metal of your cookware draws energy from the internal wiring.
The resulting magnetic attraction causes the molecules within the pan to oscillate. This in turn produces the heat required to cook your food. But the pans need to be magnetised to activate this chain of events. They behave magnetically if they contain iron.
Testing Your Existing Cookware
When you invest in an induction hob, you might not need to purchase a new set of pans straight away.
If you’re not sure what metal your current pans are manufactured from, there’s a very easy test to find out. Simply hold a magnet beneath the pan. If it’s attracted to the base, the metal is ferrous or magnetic.
The stronger the pull, the more iron the pan contains.
If the magnet fails to stick, the metal isn’t magnetic and won’t be suitable for an induction hob. Examples of non-ferrous metals include copper and aluminium.
What is Magnetic Cookware?
Carbon steel and stainless steel are examples of magnetised metal. Carbon steel looks dull and dark, whereas stainless steel has a silvery shine which is produced by nickel.
However, if the nickel content of the stainless steel is too low, the pan won’t be a successful match with an induction hob. You’ll see a stainless steel pan carries a number such as 18/8 or 18/10. The second number indicates the percentage of nickel.
A pan with an 18/10 gauge is more magnetic than 18/8. If a stainless steel pan has the induction symbol, it’s suitable for an induction hob.
Why the Pan’s Base should be Heavy
Some pans have layers of different metals in the base. These include copper which heats up remarkably fast. Aluminium is used for its excellent heat distribution.
However, in some pans, the electromagnetic system causes the different metals to react together and produce a constant buzz as they cook. A layered base isn’t always as heavy as one made from a solid, single metal.
A heavy, thick base provides the ideal flat surface to connect with the electromagnetic circuit. If you see a pan with the induction hob symbol of looped wire, you can be sure it has a base that’s an ideal weight and composition to provide an ideal match with your induction hob.
Carbon Steel versus Cast Iron
Enamelled cast iron is an ideal material that usually displays the induction symbol. This form of cookware is some of the most expensive you can buy. When seasoned it has excellent non-stick qualities.
However, cast iron is also incredibly heavy, particularly when full of food. It usually takes longer than other metals to reach the desired heat setting.
Enamelled carbon steel pans are usually less expensive and much lighter in weight. They also heat up very quickly. If either materials are marked with the induction symbol, you can be sure of a reliable performance on an induction hob.
Benefits of Cookware with the Induction Symbol
Pans that are suitable for an induction hob should carry the induction symbol of looped wire. It indicates the pan is made of one or more metals that are a perfect match for the electromagnetic system. It can also be displayed on suitable non-stick cookware.
The induction symbol means the pan has a solid base that should easily connect with the electromagnetic circuitry. The pan shouldn’t slip or make a buzzing noise.
The looped wire induction hob symbol takes all the guesswork out of shopping for pans for an induction hob. It’s an instant indication that the pans are made of magnetic metals that should provide years of good service.
The induction symbol helps you invest in high-quality cookware that’s suitable for an induction hob.