Last updated: August 10, 2021

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For many people, the induction hob still seems to be an invention from the future. Cooking without a hot hob? How is that supposed to work? We answer this question, of course, and present three particularly good sets in our induction cookware test 2022, with which you can become a master of the induction hob. Because for the modern hobs you need to use special utensils that should meet certain requirements. We explain exactly what these are and how you can easily recognise a good induction cookware set. We also explain how to clean the induction cookware in the dishwasher and what happens if you forget your pot on the hob.

Contents




Summary

  • Induction cookers work slightly differently from normal cookers. With normal cookers, the hobs themselves are heated, whereas with these modern cookers, the cooking pots themselves are heated instead.
  • This works through a coil in the hob that produces an electromagnetic field and transmits it to the pots, thereby heating them.
  • Due to the special construction of induction cookers, special pots, so-called induction pots, are needed for this. In the following, we will introduce you to some induction pot sets.

The Best Induction Saucepan Set: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an induction cookware set

Since induction cookers work differently from normal cookers, there are a few points to consider before buying suitable pots.

Can I use normal pots?

No, induction cookers require special cookware because of the way they work. These can be recognised by the induction symbol in the form of a symbolic coil. It is also important that the saucepan can be heated up quickly; for example, water is heated up 50% faster than with normal cookers.

Spiegelei in Pfanne

What happens if I use normal pots on induction hobs?

In short, nothing happens. Since conventional pots do not have a magnetised core, the induction cooker does not recognise these dishes and therefore nothing can be heated.

What material are induction pots made of?

They are usually made of stainless steel with a special base. If you still have old cookware, you don't always have to give it away. If they are made of cast iron or steel enamel, for example, they can be reused without any problems because these materials are also magnetic.

How big does an induction pot have to be?

Basically, with modern induction cookers it does not matter how big the pots are, because only the area that is recognised by the induction coil is heated ('pot recognition'). However, corresponding markings are often made on the hob for orientation purposes.

The larger the hob itself, the better the space on it can be divided and the more can be cooked on the induction hobs at the same time.

What to do if you forget the pot on the hob?

Basically, not much happens, as induction hobs have various built-in heat sensors that detect excessive heat generation and switch off as a result. However, you should not rely too much on this, as the food can still burn.

Can I clean induction pots in the dishwasher?

In principle, this combination is not a problem. However, cleaning by hand is more gentle on the material. If you want to be on the safe side, read the manufacturer's instructions.

What is the power consumption of induction cookware?

Compared to normal cookers, induction cookers are much more economical when it comes to electricity consumption.
Did you know why an induction cooker saves electricity? With an induction cooker, the heat is generated by alternating electromagnetic fields. This has the advantage that cooking is much faster than with other cookers and therefore less electricity is consumed.

The fast heat-up and further efficient operation reduces electricity consumption.

Brand-name or no-name manufacturer: Which induction cookware set should I buy?

In this context, we recommend trusting brand-name manufacturers, as they are usually more reliable when it comes to service, guarantee or warranty issues. However, we are aware that well-known manufacturers have their price. However, we are of the opinion that reliable and durable electrical appliances should not be dispensed with, especially in the kitchen.

Induktionskochfeld mit Pfanne

Induction cookers do not have to be switched on and off. They react to the cookware when you place it on the surface and then switch on. (Photo: luisak / pixabay.com)

Induction cookware: Other things to consider

Since it has not yet been possible to clarify all the potential side effects of operating an induction cooker, pregnant women or people with pacemakers, for example, should avoid buying an induction cooker. Likewise, pots with uneven bottoms should not be used, as a reduction of the magnetic field radiation cannot be given here. When cooking, we recommend the use of non-conductive wooden or plastic cutlery, as electricity cannot flow off here. Of course, you have to get used to cooking differently, as it is much faster with induction cookers, comparable to gas cookers, for example.

How can I recognise good pots?

Good induction pots can be recognised by the fact that the bottom of the pot is flat and not curved outwards. If the opposite is the case, energy consumption increases.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an induction cooker?

Induction cookers do not only have advantages, of course. Below you will find a clear overview of the advantages and disadvantages.
Disadvantages
  • Magnetic fields, possibly dangerous for pregnant women and pacemaker wearers
  • Significantly higher purchase price
  • More expensive cookware
  • Higher noise level
  • Not all pots are suitable
Advantages
  • Safety - Automatic detection of suitable pots
  • Cleaning - Burning in the pot much more difficult
  • Comfort - Fast heating and heat extraction
  • Power consumption - Saves energy costs
  • Many possible extras

Decision: What types of induction surfaces are there for your pots and which is right for you?

The full-surface induction hobs

With these cooktops, it is possible to place the cookware on the entire cooktop, no matter where. The technology behind them automatically detects the position and size of the cookware.

TFT - The induction hob of the future

Admittedly, this function does not sound uninteresting, as it displays important information directly on the hob, such as the current status of each hob, as well as other additional information such as temperature, cooking time and others. Furthermore, you can control the induction hob extremely precisely and activate other special functions via touch control surfaces.

Self-sufficient induction hobs

If you don't want to buy an expensive induction hob but don't want to do without this technology, there are so-called induction hobs that work independently of other appliances. All you have to do is connect them to the power supply and you have your own induction hob and no longer have to do without this type of cooking.

Buying criteria: You can use these criteria to evaluate and compare induction cookware sets

Would you like to buy an induction cookware set? In the following, we show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate induction cookware sets. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain product is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Budget
  • Energy efficiency
  • Size
  • Brand or NoName
  • Design
  • Lid
  • Pouring rim
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Features
  • Handles
  • Bottom of pot

In the following paragraphs you can find out what the individual purchase criteria are and how you can classify them.

Budget

As is often the case, there are both very inexpensive sets and comparatively expensive sets. For good sets, you can usually expect to pay around €50, while high-quality induction cookware sets are considerably more expensive and can be found in the 3-digit range. What you want to spend on your product in the end is up to you. However, don't just look at the price when buying. https://www.instagram.com/p/BpIAEAfBLOs/?tagged=induktion

Energy efficiency

For many of us, it is extremely important to use as little energy as possible, no matter which appliance is in use. That's why you should make sure that kitchenware has very good energy efficiency. Stiftung Warentest is definitely a first port of call here. We recommend using the smallest possible pot for the purpose in question in order to use the energy as efficiently as possible. The pot and stovetop should also be flush with each other to make the best possible use of energy.

Size

Although it is relatively unimportant where the pots are placed on many induction cookers, the size of the pots should not be ignored. The main purpose of use and the size of the cooker tops should also enter into these considerations.

Brand or NoName

Does it have to be a top product for 500€? No, definitely not. Many people don't care whether the dishes are from WMF or some no-name manufacturer. But humans cannot survive without good food, so we would always go for brand manufacturers. These are usually a little more expensive, but often such induction pots offer interesting and valuable additional gadgets. Silit from Germany, for example, offers pan duos for just under €160 each, with one induction pot set made of uncoated ceramic for hot frying and the other duo of coated non-stick pans for gentle frying.

Wok auf autarker Induktionskochplatte

As with conventional hobs, there are also small, self-sufficient induction hobs that you can take along camping, for example. (Photo: Fxq19910504 / pixabay.com)

Design

Design has become a very important topic, because everyone likes to surround themselves with pretty things. However, one should not forget that the design must not be at the expense of the function of the products. Furthermore, pots and pans are essentially objects of daily use. Therefore, pay more attention to the functionality of your desired product.

Lid

A lid keeps the heat from escaping from the pot. Glass lids are particularly recommended, as they allow you to observe the contents of the pot at all times. Some have a small hole - for example, to allow steam to escape. This function is not absolutely necessary, but it is okay.

Pouring rim

Do you know this? You have just cooked soup and want to pour it into the soup plate without a ladle. Often some of the liquid gets spilled. This should not be a problem with pots with a pouring rim. Just make sure that the rim is slightly curved outwards.

Dishwasher-safe

Basically, all stainless steel pots are dishwasher-safe. However, water can form in some lids. Just read the reviews for more information.

Features

Many pot sets not only consist of pots, as you might think, but also offer you other important kitchen utensils. Most sets therefore contain:

  • One small pot (for pudding, sauces, etc.)
  • One medium saucepan (for browning meat, for example)
  • A large pot (pasta, soups and more)
  • A frying pan
  • A roaster

Especially for small kitchens, the new pots should be stackable.

Handles

You don't always have a cloth or gloves to hand in time. To avoid burning your fingers, make sure that the handles do not get hot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tOQmfmrB_s

Bottom of the pot

Good induction pots have what is called a sandwich base. This is relatively thick and very smooth. This supports constant heat distribution. Induction pots are also suitable for normal cookers, as their induction capability is basically only an additional function.

Facts worth knowing about induction cookware and induction

How did induction cookers come into being?

The history of induction is very interesting. The first developments were patented in Great Britain as early as 1900, but were not brought to market maturity. In 1956, selected visitors were able to examine the first induction appliances from General Motors. To give them a practical demonstration, some paper was placed between the pot and the cooker. As one would not normally assume, however, the paper did not start to burn. The first devices were not produced until the mid-1970s, but they were far too expensive to become successful. Converted, they cost about $8000 at the time. Probably because of this high price, this technology did not catch on at the time. In the 1970s and 1980s, most induction cookers were produced for canteens and large kitchens. Today, induction cookers have a market share of about 40% in Western Europe.

How do I clean my induction cookware?

This type of cookware requires no less attention to cleaning than conventional cookware. Regular care of the cookware increases its lifespan.

Care tips

  • Use gentle means
  • Avoid aggressive materials
  • Clean immediately after use
  • Do not store food in the pots

What to do against stubborn residues?

The best thing to do is to mix water and salt and bring to the boil, then leave to soak for a few minutes to remove stubborn residues. Baking soda or baking powder are also said to have similar effects.

Electromagnetic induction

Michael Faraday discovered this in 1831 while trying to reverse the functions of an electromagnet, i.e. from 'current generates magnetic field' to 'magnetic field generates current'.

Did you know why induction cookers are not harmful to humans despite electromagnetic radiation? Electromagnetic radiation can cause skin cancer and damage genetic material. However, the rays from an induction cooker are so small that they cannot damage the cells in our body.

Hans Christian Ørsted had figured it out at the same time, but Faraday published his results first. Other applications of induction can be found, for example, in:

  • Pickups for stringed instruments
  • RFID
  • Pick-ups for magnetic tapes
  • Dynamic microphones
  • Dynamic pick-up systems for record players

Kochtopf mit Dampf

There are many myths and rumours surrounding cooking with induction. We dispel them. (Photo: Republica / pixabay.com)

Misconceptions about induction

Dangerous radiation

Many people. Believe in the harmfulness of induction hobs. Although these produce magnetic radiation, it is far too small to harm the human body's cells.

Nevertheless, pregnant women and pacemaker patients in particular should exercise caution when using induction cookers.

Enormous costs

This is no longer quite correct. Of course, in the beginning such devices were still relatively expensive, but the technology has developed further in the meantime. Since it has been on the market for several decades, induction cookers have become affordable compared to conventional cookers.

Buying new cookware

A completely new purchase is actually relatively rare these days. Many pots are now induction-compatible. You can find that out very easily:

  • You look for the symbol of the triple curved coil or
  • You hold a magnet to the bottom of the pot from the outside. If the magnet holds on to the base, the pot is suitable for induction.

Cooking with gas is better than with induction

For a long time, cooking with gas was thought to be the most efficient method: If the hob is not operated, no energy is consumed. Wrong! Induction works much more efficiently because with this technology heat is only generated where the cooking pot rests. The boiling time is just as fast.

2 litres of water become 90 degrees hot within 5 minutes - gas would take about twice as long.

Complicated installation

The installation of an induction hob is essentially the same as the installation of a conventional hob. So it's much easier than many would think.

Can I charge my smartphone using an induction hob?

In the meantime, some current smartphones can also be charged wirelessly using induction technology. But if you think that you can also charge your smartphone on the hob using induction, you are (unfortunately) mistaken. The mobile phone is recognised, but the battery is not charged. The reason for this is quite simple: a wireless charging station for your smartphone works with a maximum of 120 watts of power, whereas an induction cooker can be operated with up to 2000 watts. Therefore, your iPhone would be destroyed rather than charged.

How do you actually switch on an induction cooker?

Yes, you should actually ask yourself this very question if you own an induction cooker. Yet it is incredibly easy to cook with such a cooker. It's hard to believe, but as soon as you put a suitable pot on the hob, you've already switched it on. Once the pot is placed on the hob, the bottom of the pot heats up immediately.

What gadgets are there for induction cookers?

Extra What used for
Locking function Prevents unintentional adjustment of the power levels while cooking
Start-up lock Prevents accidental or unauthorised activation - perfect as a child safety lock
Overheating protection and error monitoring The cooking zone is automatically deactivated in the event of an overload. If, for example, liquid gets on the surface, the hob is also switched off
Extensions Bluetooth extension sets for induction pots: With these, the temperature is measured directly on the dishes, which can be read conveniently on the smartphone. In this way, the optimal cooking temperature can be determined conveniently and practically
Induction water boiler With conventional water boilers, much more water is usually heated than is actually needed. With this gadget, only the really required amount can be heated in a special cup on a hob
Induction-suitable teppanyaki plates This is the best way to try out this Japanese cooking method at home
Using induction for barbecuing There are now even a number of accessories for barbecuing at home
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