If you've transitioned from a gas or electric range to an induction cooktop and didn't know that not all cookware is induction compatible, well, that was probably surprising. To be induction-friendly, cookware must have a ferromagnetic base, which works with an induction burner's electromagnetic coil that sits below the cooktop's surface and, when on, generates a magnetic field. But that, in itself, doesn't make anything hot. Only when a ferromagnetic piece of cookware is placed on an induction burner does this field cause an electrical current to flow through the cookware (don't worry—it's not the kind that could shock you!), generating heat. A non-induction-friendly piece of cookware simply won't heat up...at all.
We went through the site to find the induction-friendly cookware we've already tested and loved, making it seamless for us to recommend what you should buy for your own home kitchen. Now, you have one handy "What cookware should I buy for my induction cooktop?" guide that we'll continually update as we test new products.
A note: If you're curious about whether or not a piece of cookware you already own is induction compatible, grab a magnet. If the magnet sticks to the bottom of the cookware, it's compatible. And if it doesn't? Well, you're not out of options: Induction interference disks exist. Place one of these between your induction cooktop and non-compatible cookware, et voila: Your non-induction skillet or saucepan works once again.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
Any cookware made from cast iron (including enameled cast iron), is induction compatible, which is great considering how versatile a great cast iron skillet is. After testing 15 cast iron skillets, this one from Lodge came out on top. It performed well in all our tests and has an unbeatable price. For a lightweight cast iron skillet, we recommend this model, also from Lodge.
Le Creuset Dutch Oven
A large, enameled cast iron is essential no matter what kind of cooktop you have: For braising, stovetop cooking, boiling, deep-frying, bread baking, and more. After extensive testing, we named this model from Le Creuset our winner. We also recommended this Dutch oven from Staub. For a budget-friendly option, we like this one from Cuisinart.
Cuisinart Nonstick Skillet
A good nonstick skillet is mighty helpful to have around when cooking anything delicate or that might otherwise majorly stick—like omelettes, scrambled eggs, or fish piccata. This skillet from Cuisinart is one of our favorites. It's not too expensive (which, in our opinion, is a very great thing in a nonstick skillet, as it'll need to be replaced every few years) and is, of course, induction-friendly.
All-Clad Stainless Steel Saute Pan
For searing, wilting tons of greens, shallow-frying, and braising, we recommend having a sauté pan with tall sides and a tight-fitting lid around. This one from All-Clad is top-notch (and obviously induction-friendly), but we also recommend this budget-friendly model from Tramontina.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Stockpot
Another top pick of ours from Cuisinart is this stockpot. After testing 14 stockpots, we landed on this model as our top 12-quart pick. It's solidly built, has wide, comfortable handles, and it excelled in all of our cooking tests. Our favorite 16-quart stockpot from Tramontina is also induction compatible, should you want a slightly bigger size for making stock, boiling lobsters, or what have you.
Made In Stainless Steel Skillet
We love both the 10- and 12-inch Made In Stainless Steel Skillets and think it's worth having both sizes around. (Fact: Their more reasonable price points gave them the edge over All-Clad and Le Creuset during our stainless steel skillet testing.) For a budget-friendly stainless steel skillet, we recommend this one from Tramontina, which is about $50.
De Buyer Carbon Steel Pan
If you love cast iron, then you should also know about carbon steel. We've called them "skillet siblings" before and it's true: They share a lot of the same features. They both are induction compatible and have excellent heat retention, which make them great for searing and browning. However, a well-seasoned carbon steel skillet can be more non-stick than a cast iron one. And because of its sloped sides, a carbon steel skillet is better for sautéing (cast iron still takes the cake shallow-frying, cornbread, and pan pizza). So, you should absolutely have both! We like this model from De Buyer.
Made In Saucier
We're team saucier over saucepan. Why? Well, a saucier does everything a saucepan can do, but has rounded edges, which make stirring and whisking in it a cinch. We recommend a 3-quart size, which is versatile without being too large. This model from Made In is our favorite.