What Happens If You Use a Normal Pan on an Induction Hob?

What happens if you use a normal pan on an induction hob? It’s actually a very common question for people new to induction hobs.

It’s simple, if you don’t follow one specific step, your hob may not work properly. That’s because the magnetic cooking process powering the induction method is not compatible with all pans!

Let’s find out if the normal pans in your cupboard will work on an induction hob and how you can test your current pans for compatibility.

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What Cookware Works with an Induction Hob?

induction hob pan

Your new induction hob will only work if you use cookware with a base containing ferrous metal.

How can you know if your pots and pans will work with induction cooking? Here’s a checklist of the metals that usually work with induction hob:

  • Cast iron.
  • Enamelled cast iron.
  • Most stainless steel.
  • Any other cookware containing a magnetic layer at the base.

Just keep in mind that it’s not always a done deal with stainless steel. The reason why is that manufacturers use a wide variety of metals when creating stainless steel cookware.

As a result, something that’s labelled as stainless steel may not have the magnetic properties needed to work with an induction hob.

If you have plain aluminium, copper or glass cookware that does not feature magnetic materials at the base, these pots and pans simply aren’t going to work with your new induction hob.

What Happens If You Use a Normal Pan on an Induction Hob?

Pans need a magnetic base to work on induction hob

While you probably already know that induction hobs don’t work with every type of pan, you may be curious to know exactly what happens when you use the wrong pan on an induction hob. The answer is that it’s all pretty uneventful.

There’s no worry about damaging your hob by testing different pots and pans because you’re not creating any sort of negative reaction or dangerous charge when you place incompatible pots and pans on inductions hobs.

Unlike gas and electric hobs that generate cooking heat through thermal induction, induction hobs use electrical induction to generate heat.

As a result, all that will happen is that your hob won’t turn on. That’s because an induction hob actually can’t “recognize” a pan that doesn’t contain ferrous metal. As a result, the hob just won’t work.

How Do You Know If a Pan Will Work with an Induction Hob?

If you’re shopping for new cookware, rule out any cookware sets containing materials that don’t work with induction. However, you can’t take sets made of stainless steel and other compatible materials at face value.

Check that a brand labels its cookware as being compatible with induction cooking in the product description. You should also look for the induction-compatible symbol that looks like a metal coil on all individual pots and pans.

induction hob symbol on pan

If you already own cookware that you’re hoping to keep, you can simply test each piece for magnetic power! You don’t actually need to have your hob set up to do this.

You can actually just use a standard kitchen magnet that you pull from your refrigerator to test your pots and pans for induction compatibility. Simply hold the magnetic up to the base of each pan.

Does it stick? If so, your cookware will almost certainly work with your new induction hob. Does it slide right off? Unfortunately, that means that you may be in the market for some new cookware sooner than you planned.

There is another option other than replacing your cookware. If you own very expensive, high-end cookware that isn’t going to work with your new induction hob, you may be able to retrofit it to be compatible.

Several companies sell induction converter discs that you place at the bottoms of your pans to make them induction compatible.

induction hob convertor plate

Converter discs don’t “actually” attach to your pots and pans. They are flat, disc-shaped objects with long, heatproof handles that you place under your pots and pans when cooking.

Converter discs for hobs are made of materials like iron and stainless steel that are highly magnetic. You can purchase discs in a variety of sizes for all of your different pots and pans.

Final Thoughts on What Happens If You Use a Normal Pan on an Induction Hob

What happens if you use a normal pan on an induction hob? It turns out that the results are pretty underwhelming.

In fact, nothing happens at all. You simply won’t be able to get your induction hob to turn on to begin cooking your food.