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Induction Cooker Warning

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Recently, we have been answering many questions concerning induction cooktops. Induction cooktops are becoming increasingly popular and more serious home cooks looking to renovate their kitchens are rightly considering having them installed. While an induction cooker is very efficient and reliable, not all metal products will work with them.


As I discussed in my article on heat sources, magnetic contact with iron or magnetic steel cookware is needed. This applies to any stovetop cooking implement, including teakettles and even Bialetti espresso makers.

Please don’t assume your current stainless steel cookware will automatically work with an induction cooker. It isn’t common knowledge, but not all stainless steel is magnetic. If 18/10 stainless steel is approved for use on induction cookers, the manufacturer will clearly say so in writing and will put a symbol on the box or pan.

induction cooker symbol

induction cooker symbol


Additionally, neither copper nor aluminum is magnetic.

However there is one thought to consider with aluminum. Aluminum core cookware, also known as tri-ply, may still be usable if the exterior layer is magnetic.

For owners of copper cookware (or any non-magnetic metal for that matter), there is an option available that doesn’t require purchasing all new cookware. Two companies, Mauviel and Max Burton, have created induction disks which sit on top of the induction cooker hob and beneath the non-magnetic pan. The energy is transferred through the disk to the pan. The induction cooker will not work with maximum effectiveness and adjustments may be necessary, but you won’t have to buy new cookware.

Mauviel Induction Disk

One final word of warning on induction cookers. If you have a digital temperature probe, you may experience problems with the probe if you clamp the thermometer to the side of a pan. I detailed this phenomenon in my article Induction Infarction.

For many people, buying an induction cooker means buying new cookware and replacing other kitchen products, which is a cost they didn’t consider when purchasing the cooker.

****Spring 2011 Update****
Due to the negative connotations associated with being incompatible with induction cooker technology, many cookware manufacturers are addressing the issue. The easiest solution for most is to place a magnetic disk on the bottom of aluminum (or other non-magnetic) pans. In addition to that quick fix, others have taken advantage of this concept to create next generation cookware. Revol, the French porcelain manufacturer, has placed an induction capable disk on the bottom of its ceramic cookware.

The warning remains, confirm compatibility before buying cookware for your induction cooker.

Also, read down the page, in the comments area, for a little more information on stainless steel.
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29 Responses to “Induction Cooker Warning”

  1. kitchenboy

    You need the interface disk because aluminum is a non-ferrous metal and won’t work with induction cookware on its own.

    Ferrous metals include alloy steel, carbon steel, cast iron and wrought iron.

    Non-ferrous metals include aluminum, copper, brass, nickel, tin, and lead, as well as gold and silver.

    The only way a moka pot will work on induction is if there is a ferrous metal plate on the bottom to allow the magnetic contact with the cooker.

    Hope this helps and thanks for reading

  2. ozcan

    what if we use a induction cookware as interface disk to heat an Alu moka pot? Why do we need interface disk while we have induction cookware?

  3. Tessa

    RE: Induction cookware: Don’t spend $40+ on an interface disk, use instead an iron tortilla pan from Walmart for $9. It’s magnetic, large and almost flat as a disk

  4. Pangilinan

    This is precisely the info I needed. Man, wait till I show this to my wife.

  5. Tonatore

    Many thanks for taking the time to write this article. It is been extremely valuable. It couldn’t have come at a far better time for me!

  6. Vedo

    Nice post. I study something more difficult on different blogs everyday. I’d like to use some of the content material on my weblog whether or not you don’t mind. Naturally I’ll offer you a link to your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Sunil Manheri

    I bought one TCL induction cooker yesterday, evaluating it!

  8. KitchenBoy

    @Inna – Thanks for giving us your personal experience. There is much confusion about stainless steel and its relation to induction cooktop technology. I am no metallurgist, but from what I can determine cookware manufacturers can play lots of games with their stainless steel composition to achieve desired results.

    There are over 150 stainless steel grades produced with about fifteen most commonly seen. Alloy elements, notably nickel and molybdenum are added to the basic stainless composition to produce both variety and improvement in the finished properties. For the purposes of our discussion, I will limit the discussion to Austenitic class of stainless steel, of which surgical steel is one.

    From Wikipedia:

    Stainless steels are classified by their crystalline structure . Stainless steel is a generic name commonly used for that entire group of iron-based metal containing at least 10% chromium as an alloy metal. The name ‘stainless’ was derived from the fact that the material does not ‘stain’, rust or corrode easily. It is also known as inox steel or inox from French “inoxydable”, is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass. Stainless steel does not stain, corrode, or rust as easily as ordinary steel, but it is not stain-proof.

    Austenitic, or 300 series, stainless steels make up over 70% of total stainless steel production. They contain a maximum of 0.15% carbon, a minimum of 16% chromium and sufficient nickel and/or manganese to retain an austenitic structure at all temperatures from the cryogenic region to the melting point of the alloy. A typical composition of 18% chromium and 10% nickel, commonly known as 18/10 stainless, is often used in flatware. 18/0 and 18/8 are also available. Superaustenitic stainless steels, such as alloy AL-6XN and 254SMO, exhibit great resistance to chloride pitting and crevice corrosion due to high molybdenum content (>6%) and nitrogen additions, and the higher nickel content ensures better resistance to stress-corrosion cracking versus the 300 series. The higher alloy content of superaustenitic steels makes them more expensive. Other steels can offer similar performance at lower cost and are preferred in certain applications.

    It is my understanding from reading various metallurgic technical forums that you can also make non-magnetic stainless steel by tempering it certain ways.

    Without requesting a detailed component composition or construction process from the manufacturer it is difficult to determine why the steel was not responding to the cooktop.

    In your case, it could also be possible that layered alloys on the pan exterior – intended to achieve some desired affect – were not executed properly which led to a faulty interface with the induction cooktop.

  9. Inna

    We have a little problem with our induction range/induction disk. We had surgical steel cookware but it won’t work on the induction range even though it’s magnetized. I believe the magnet is simply not strong enough to work. So we bought the induction disk but every time we use it the range gets little bubbles over where the disk was, which don’t go away. We need to return the disk and buy new cookware now, we’ll probably buy cast iron.

    Just sharing my experience. Thanks for reading.


  10. david deangelo

    The excellent post! Bookmarked your site, very great topics everywhere that I read here! I really like the information, thanks.

  11. Armando Codina

    Thank you so much for writing this good content! I am looking forward to seeintg more blogs.

  12. KitchenBoy

    @T Boyer, I assume you mean the Max Burton Induction Cooktop. It is a good model.

    I was talking about the induction disk which would help buyers of this product to use non-magnetic pans with their induction cooktops.

    Thanks for your input.


  13. T Boyer

    This cooktop was just recommended by Cooks’ Illustrated as the best unit under $500, and now the price has been cut close to 50%. That’s a screaming deal. At this price everyone should own one and learn about induction. Some of the negative reviews are from people not familiar with induction cooking.

  14. Sammy

    Thanks so much for sharing this information! Looking forward to reading more posts!

  15. Kathy

    Helpful write up, saved the blog in hopes to read more!

  16. Dianna

    The article helped me very much! Saved your blog, I like the information, thank you.

  17. Tracy

    Great write up, bookmarked the website in hopes to see more!

  18. Maria

    Thanks so much for posting all of the great content! Looking forward to seeintg more!

  19. Kathryn

    Thank you so much for sharing a lot of this good info! Looking forward to checking out more.

  20. Armando Codina

    I have searched all over google for info on this topic, I finally found a good post, looking forward to coming back!

  21. pharmacy technician

    My cousin recommended this post and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

  22. kitchenboy

    @Nespresso Lover – Without knowing the specifics of when this blockage happens it is hard to answer your question. I have not heard of this happening. Is the loader jamming? Is the water not flowing through the pod? If you give me some details, I can speak with the Nespresso rep’ I work with and get an answer for you. Or you could try to contact Nespresso yourself and have them help you.

  23. Nespresso Lover

    I have a Le Cube nespresso coffee machine and it occasionally gets blocked so much so that they water doesnt come out. Does anybody know the best way to clean these machines as i cant seem to find anything about it on the internet.

  24. GasketBoy

    Thanks for this info, I didn’t know about the magnetic issues of some of these products.

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