Induction hobs and copper pans are each the envy of many a chef and talented home cook. Both offer exceptional heat distribution and speedy cook times.
But do they go together? Can copper pans work on an induction hob?
The answer is typically no. Copper and induction heating doesn’t mix in most cases.
However, that’s not the end of the story.
If you want to use copper on your induction hob, read on. We’ll explain below exactly why copper and induction don’t usually work together and how you can get around their incompatibility.
Why Copper and Induction Hobs Usually Don’t Mesh?
Copper isn’t ferromagnetic, so it won’t work with an induction cooktop. To understand this, we have to get a little bit technical.
Let’s start by explaining how induction cooking works.
Induction hobs contain a magnetic array, or inductor, beneath a smooth, ceramic cooking surface. The magnetic array vibrates at a very high frequency.
As the array vibrates, it pulsates the atoms in your cookware, creating friction and causing the pot or pan to heat.
Induction causes the cookware to generate heat from within rather than using an intermediary heat source, like a flame or electric coil.
For induction to work, your cookware needs to be magnetized. If the metal on your pots and pans isn’t magnetic, the inductor can’t heat it.
Copper, though highly reactive, isn’t magnetic. So, an induction cooktop cannot heat a pure copper pan.
That means copper cookware usually isn’t compatible with induction hobs.
Benefits of Using Copper Pans
True copper pans can’t work on induction hobs, but that doesn’t mean they’re undesirable.
Copper offers massive benefits when it comes to cookware, and there are many good reasons chefs and cooks seek out copper.
As far as metals go, copper is one of the best heat conductors. That means it heats quickly and uniformly. So while other metals like stainless steel tend to have hot spots, copper pans do not.
Pans that heat quickly and uniformly offer cooks better control. You’re far less likely to have burnt or scorched food.
Plus, you won’t need a stove that gets excessively hot. Copper is so efficient at conducting heat that it only requires a moderate flame, even when you need to sear or fry.
Some claim copper is hard to maintain or even unsafe to cook on, but neither is true.
Copper doesn’t take more work than cast iron or other popular options. It’s relatively easy to clean. And minor wear, such as patinas or scrapes, is simple to handle with a little buffing.
Plus, natural wear doesn’t render the pan unusable. You can still cook food in a copper pot that has a patina or a few scratches. It just may not look as pretty on your stovetop.
The claim that it’s not safe comes from the fact that copper is a reactive metal. Copper cookware, though, almost universally has some sort of non-reactive lining.
So, any food you can cook in stainless or aluminum can also cook in copper.
Copper Options that Can Work on Induction Hobs
Altogether, it seems like copper is one of the best options for cookware, and induction is the best heating method for a stove.
Unfortunately, the two aren’t compatible–at least normally.
Fortunately, many high-end companies have spent years attempting to bring these two incompatible surfaces together.
While pure copper is not compatible with induction, if you mix copper with other induction-compatible metals such as stainless steel or aluminum, it would make the copper pan induction friendly.
Below, we give our top picks for cookware that combines the power of copper with induction compatibility.
If you want both in your kitchen, these are the pots and pans to consider.
The Mauviel1830 M6’S line combines copper with aluminum and induction-friendly stainless steel to create a metal alloy suitable for induction hobs.
After years of research, Mauviel found they could layer stainless steel with three layers of aluminum and one more layer of stainless steel.
Then, they cover all of that with a copper layer, creating magnetic cookware that has all the benefits of copper.
Unlike many other metal and copper options, the Mauviel M6’S line offers a gorgeous copper exterior. These are pots and pans you’ll want to display.
At the same time, they’re extremely effective. They heat remarkably fast, and offer even heat distribution, and Mauviel makes them last.
Mauviel is a French cookware company that creates pots and pans worthy of passing down to the next generation. They even offer re-tinning services should your pans show signs of wear.
With proper care, they promise their Mauviel1830 M6’S line will stand the test of time. So, although these pans are a significant investment upfront, they may be worth the cost.
All-Clad is a well-known American cookware brand famous for its lifetime guarantee.
Their copper-core cookware is an excellent option for an induction-friendly pan that harnesses the power of copper.
Copper core cookware doesn’t have the stunning, metallic aesthetic traditional copper pans offer, but it does provide all of copper’s other benefits.
With All-Clad’s line of copper-core cookware, your food will cook quickly and evenly. Plus, these pots are easy to clean and care for.
With their stainless exterior, you’ll have no need for buffing, polishing, or handwashing. Instead, you can stick All-Clad’s copper-core cookware straight into the dishwasher.
If you want copper’s benefits and could care less about its traditional look, this line of cookware is the best bet for an induction hob.
Heston copper cookware features a copper core alongside a copper coating around the outer edge of each pan.
The inside and bottom of every pan are stainless steel, making this line of cookware induction compatible.
We like these pans because they give a flash of copper on the outside, meaning they’ll look great on display in your kitchen.
They also provide all the copper benefits, like fast and even heat distribution.
However, due to the copper on the outside, they require a little more care than the All-Clad pans we discussed.
Closer to the Mauviel1830 M6’S line, Heston’s copper cookware occasionally needs polishing, and handwashing is a must.
However, Heston does provide a lifetime warranty, and we like its pan’s unique shape. It’s truly a universal pan, allowing you to make anything from rice pilaf to fried eggs.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re trying to find a copper pan to use on your induction hob, you may have a few other questions.
Below, we answer some of the most common questions regarding copper pans and induction cooktops.
How do you know if a pan is induction friendly?
Most induction-friendly cookware has a label indicating that it’s induction compatible. If you can’t find a label or you aren’t sure, you can always try a magnet test.
If a magnet sticks to the bottom of the cookware, it should work with an induction top. If the magnet doesn’t stick, then induction hobs won’t work.
In some cases, you’ll find the magnet holds, but barely. That often happens with stainless steel cookware that contains a high percentage of non-magnetic metals.
You can try one of these pots or pans on your induction cooktop, but you might find it doesn’t work very well. Ideally, you’ll find a strong magnetic pull with induction-friendly cookware.
What happens if you use the wrong cookware on an induction hob?
Induction cooktops heat magnetic cookware internally.
So, if you use non-induction-compatible cookware on an induction hob, it simply won’t heat up. You’ll get left with a cool pan or pot.
Why do people not like induction stovetops?
The main drawback to induction stovetops is their expense. They’re pricey to install, though they may save in long-term energy costs. In addition, they may require you to replace your cookware.
Induction hobs also have a learning curve. Cooks used to a gas or electric range may find that the induction cooktop works slightly differently.
On top of that, induction cooktops are prone to scratching. And, when turned to their highest setting, they may emit a high-pitched noise that some find jarring.
Are copper pans good for cooking?
Yes, copper pans are good for cooking because they heat quickly and uniformly.
Because they are excellent conductors of heat, many chefs perfect copper pans over anything else.
What should you not cook in copper?
In an unlined copper pot, you should never cook acidic foods. Copper is reactive, and acid will break it down, allowing the metal to leach into your food.
However, virtually all copper cookware has a non-reactive lining that makes this less of a risk. So, in most cases, there aren’t any foods you can’t cook in copper.
So, Can Copper Pans Work on Induction Hobs?
If you’re asking, “can copper pans work on an induction hob?” The answer is no. In most cases, a copper pot will not work with an induction hob.
Copper pots are not magnetic, and induction hobs only work with magnetized metals.
However, a few companies make pans that utilize copper alongside stainless steel. You can use their pans on an induction hob and retain all the benefits of copper pots.
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