Which induction pan set is best?
Induction cooktops might be superior in terms of the speed in which they heat and their energy efficiency, but they have one significant downside — not all cookware can be used on an induction cooktop. If you have an induction stove, you’ll need the best induction pan sets to make the most of it.
The Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set is durable, beautiful and safe for use on induction stoves.
What to know before you buy an induction pan set
Types of pans in the set
An induction pan set can Include anywhere from five to 12 or more pieces. These might be:
- Frying pans
- Saute pans
- Steamer inserts
- Grill pans
- Stock pots
- Dutch ovens
If you don’t cook regularly or widely, you might only need a saute pan and a saucepan or two, but committed home cooks who want to expand their skills should look for a larger set with a wider array of pots and pans.
As with pans for other types of stoves, induction pan sets can be made of a variety of materials.
- Stainless steel: This is durable and easy to clean. Professional cooks like stainless steel for its even heating, but you need to use enough oil to prevent sticking.
- Cast iron: Cast-iron pans are traditional in all types of cooking, but they’re heavy and require seasoning to maintain a nonstick surface. If you like the idea of cooking with cast iron, look for enameled cast iron, without the need for seasoning.
- Copper: Copper pans are beautiful but pricey. They also require quite a bit of maintenance and care to stay shiny. Still, some cooks prefer them for their precise temperature control.
- Hard-anodized aluminum: When aluminum is anodized it becomes tough and durable. These pans can take a beating, but some people avoid aluminum for potential health concerns.
Number of pans
The number of pans you need in your set depends how much cooking you plan to do, but it also depends on how much storage space you have. Keep in mind that larger sets of pans often save more money over smaller ones when it comes to buying each piece individually.
What to look for in a quality induction pan set
The lid of each pan should fit nicely into the base. This keeps moisture from escaping without locking the lid in place. Glass lids are a nice touch, as you can see what’s happening in the pan without lifting the lid.
Many cooks have burned their hands reaching for a pot on the stove. Look for stay-cool handles for the pot and lid.
Many recipes call for searing on the stove and finishing in the oven. The best induction pan sets are oven-safe to 500 degrees or more. Make sure your lids are oven-safe as well.
How much you can expect to spend on an induction pan set
A high-quality induction pan set meant to be handed down to younger family members can cost $900 or more. Most other sets with 10 or more pans cost $150-$500.
Induction pan set FAQ
Do you cook differently on an induction stove?
A. In many cases, an induction stove heats more quickly than other types of cooktops. This means that your food generally cooks faster. While this is a distinct advantage when throwing together a meal on a busy night, if you are not used to the speed of an induction cooktop, you may burn your first few attempts at dinner.
Why do induction stoves need different pans?
A. The heating mechanism transfers heat to pans through a magnetic coil, not through the surface of the stove. This means that only pans with iron metals, such as stainless steel and cast iron, can work.
Some makers of cookware use a core of iron metals wrapped in other materials, but the common denominator is the requirement of iron to heat the pot or pan.
What’s the best induction pan set to buy?
Top induction pan set
What you need to know: This is a high-performance set from a trusted cookware brand.
What you’ll love: The handles stay cool while water boils quickly and the pots and pans heat evenly. The 12 pieces include 1½- and 3-quart saucepans with lids, 8- and 10-inch skillets, a 3½-quart saute pan with a lid, an 8-quart stockpot with a lid and a steamer insert with lid.
What you should consider: Check your set carefully. Users occasionally receive defective items.
Top induction pan set for the money
What you need to know: This is a luxurious look on a budget.
What you’ll love: These oven- and dishwasher-safe pans have a solid aluminum core covered with granite stone, then finished in non-stick coating. They heat evenly, and the 15-piece set even includes a muffin pan, cookie sheets and cake tins.
What you should consider: Some people preferred heavier pots and pans.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: All-Clad cookware is the choice of professional chefs and a worthwhile investment for the serious home cook.
What you’ll love: Five-ply bonded stainless steel is oven-safe to 600 degrees. The 10 pieces of this set include kitchen workhorses such as 8- and 10-inch skillets, 1½- and 3-quart sauce pans with lids, a 3-quart saute pan and a 5½-quart Dutch oven with lid.
What you should consider: The price tag is daunting. But with proper care you’ll never need to buy cookware again, and these are safe on every type of cooking surface.
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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