The Best Induction Cooking Equipment
If you’ve ever seen a “hands and pans” cooking video on Instagram, chances are they’re using an induction burner. Induction elements directly heat the cookware itself using an electromagnetic current, allowing more control and faster cooking. Boiling water takes less than half the time of a traditional gas or electric cooktops. The glass cooktop surface makes it easy to clean (no grates to worry about like with gas ranges).
Induction cooking is great for super precise applications, like making candy or deep-frying, because you can reliably control and read the temperature throughout the process. They also work beautifully with slow cooking recipes and stews, because they’re incredibly energy efficient and maintain a consistent temperature. Yes, you’re also saving on electricity and gas in the process.
In our test kitchen at Food & Wine, we’ve got a few favorite tools when it comes to induction burners. If you don't have an induction range in your home, these countertop versions will do the trick. Read on for the best induction cooking methods and tools to use.
The Best Induction Burners
Hestan Cue Burner Smart Cooking System
We’ve really enjoyed cooking with the Hestan Cue Skillet + Burner Smart Cooking System in the test kitchen. It’s an integrated skillet, induction cooktop, and app with a database of recipes. The app provides step by step videos to walk you through each recipe. It’s a good way for a beginner to gain confidence, or for anyone to learn a new advanced technique. The burner itself will also work with other pans (though not with the integrated app).
Breville Polyscience Induction Cooking System
Our favorite induction cooker (and the one we use regularly in the test kitchen and in our videos): Breville|PolyScience the Control Freak Temperature Controlled Commercial Induction Cooking System. This high-end version is the world's first induction cooker that can set and hold any temperature from 86 degrees to 482 degree Farenheit for any length of time. It also has a function to store frequently used temperature profiles for simple one-touch recall. The temperature regulation is automatic and hyper-precise. Its commercial grade stainless steel and a heat-resistant display is prepared for a commercial kitchen, and can handle any cooking task you throw its way.
- Breville Polyscience Induction Cooking System; $1,500 at amazon.com
The Best Pans for Induction Cooking
While any cookware containing iron will work on an induction stove, we prefer fully clad cookware because it will heat more evenly and quickly on an induction cooktop. Copper and aluminum pans will not work. We love All-Clad skillets and sauciers. Le Creuset and Smithey Cast Iron (enameled and not) will work well on induction, though be careful not to scratch the glass with unenameled pans.
Tips for Induction Cooktops
- To test if a pan will work on an induction cooktop, simply see if it is magnetic via the magnetic field on the cooking surface; if the magnet sticks, it will work.
- Keep it clean! Use warm water and a cloth to wipe down the (unplugged) machine, never harsh cleaners. If you’ve got some stubborn spills, use mild soap and steer clear of the electrical components. One benefit of induction is that the cooktop itself doesn’t heat up (it only directly heats the pan itself) so your spills won’t harden on the surface like gas cooktops, making them much easier to wipe off. We like using these sponge cloths and warm water.
Note: If you have a pacemaker, check with your doctor before using induction cooktops.