The Best Cookware for Induction Cooktops, Picked By A Chef

Sear, flip, and sauté in our favorite, the Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad 12-Piece Cookware Set.

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The Best Cookware for Induction Cooktops, Picked By A Chef
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

These days, induction cooktops are increasingly common. Many cooks favor them for their sleek profile, easy-to-clean surface, and even heating, and the flat glass surface looks smooth and modern in almost any home. Professional chefs are also riding the induction wave when it comes to portable cooktops for catering or even pastry.

As you've probably heard, induction cooktops need special cookware. And while it can sound daunting to think you might need to ditch your favorite cookware set or buy a new one, we've got you covered. No matter your cookware preferences, we have an induction-ready pick for you. Maybe you're all about nonstick — no problem. If you love stainless steel, look no further.

Grace Vallo of Tastefully Grace, a recipe blog, emphasizes the importance of shopping for the right cookware, saying, "When I'm shopping for induction cookware, it's important to look for the words "induction safe" or you might end up buying something that really isn't." We compared all the best cookware on the market to see how they measure up on things like price, heat capacity, the number of pieces, ease of cleaning, and more. We landed on the Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro 12-Piece Cookware Set as our favorite, but there are many other great options to choose from, too.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro

The Best Cookware for Induction Cooktops, Picked By A Chef
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Walmart.

Pros: This comprehensive and durable set is oven safe.

Cons: The handles get quite hot — and stay hot.

Cuisinart is one of the biggest names in kitchenware, known for its dependable and durable products, and this stainless steel set is no exception. Cuisinart makes its cookware out of multiple layers of durable steel with an aluminum core. You don't have to worry about bending, warping, or dents while also benefiting from the aluminum's superior heating capabilities. For induction cooktops, a smooth bottom is one of the most vital features of a pan. These pans are perfect for induction because the smooth stainless steel means the whole surface is in contact with the heating element. The aluminum-clad design gives these pans exceptionally even heating, and the stainless steel leads to long-time heat retention. Though these pans conduct heat extremely well, unfortunately, that also extends to the handles. As a result, they heat up quickly and stay hot for a long time.

This set contains two skillets, a saute pan, three pots, a stainer, and several lids. This expansive selection means you don't need any other cookware and could replace any set that isn't induction safe. They're also oven safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, so the pans can go right from the induction surface in the oven.

  • Material: Stainless steel with aluminum core
  • Included in the set: 12 pieces
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Temperature range: Up to 550° F

Best Value: Tramontina 8-Piece Cookware Set

The Best Cookware for Induction Cooktops, Picked By A Chef
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Home Depot and Target.

Pros: This affordable set offers even heating and is sturdy.

Cons: It does not come with any lids for the pans.

The Tramontina 8-Piece Cookware Set is one of the best deals for the basics needed for an induction cooktop. For less than $200, you get all the necessities without compromising quality. This is the perfect set for anyone who just started building a kitchen or anyone who likes to save a few bucks and forgo any flashy bells and whistles. The best feature of these pans is their even heat retention. They have a high heat capacity, making them the perfect pans for getting perfectly crispy chicken skin or a hard sear on a steak that rivals cast iron. At a low price, these pans feel surprisingly sturdy. The pans feel heavier than expected and highly balanced. The many layers of steel with aluminum sandwiched in the bottom make the pans thick and heavy, giving them superior heat distribution and retention.

This set comes with two pans and three pots, but unfortunately, only the pots have lids. This can be a bummer if you need to simmer a skillet of chicken and rice or pasta sauce. The skillets also don't have helper handles, so lifting them from the range to the oven can be more difficult if the pan is heavy.

  • Material: Stainless steel with aluminum core
  • Included in the set: 8 pieces
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Temperature range: Up to 500° F

Best Splurge: All-Clad Brushed D5 Stainless Cookware Set

The Best Cookware for Induction Cooktops, Picked By A Chef
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at All-Clad, Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, and Bloomingdales.

Pros: This set comes with a lifetime warranty, has two layers of aluminum, and has a high heat capacity.

Cons: It's an expensive set with fewer pieces than others.

When chefs sleep at night, this All-Clad Brushed D5 Stainless Cookware Set is what we dream of. All-Clad is the name in professional-level cookware, and this set lives up to the name. Like all other aluminum-clad pans, these have aluminum sandwiched between layers of stainless steel. Unlike other aluminum-clad pans, these have multiple layers of aluminum between stainless steel that goes all the way up the sides, a technique that All-Clad invented. This layering effect is what gives All-Clad pans their signature impossibly even heating. They're also great for the oven. Their multi-layer design increases their heat capacity, making them oven safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, so going from stovetop to baking and broiling is a breeze.

At a hefty price tag, this set, unfortunately, doesn't have as many pieces as some other sets with three pots, three pans, and four lids. However, the value and durability go a long way when considering each piece's lifetime warranty.

  • Material: Stainless steel with aluminum core
  • Included in the set: 10 pieces
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Temperature range: up to 600° F

Best Nonstick: GreenPan Valencia Pro Ceramic Nonstick 16-Piece Cookware Set

The Best Cookware for Induction Cooktops, Picked By A Chef
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at GreenPan.

Pros: The diamond-infused ceramic coating offers a sturdy guard against metal utensils.

Cons: The nonstick coating is not as durable and will likely wear off over time.

The usual pitfalls of nonstick cookware are that they scratch easily, and you can't sear or build up a fond for deglazing with them. The diamond-infused ceramic coating of this GreenPan set is unlike traditional nonstick coatings. You can use metal utensils without fear of scratching or wearing down the surface of your pans, and neither will the lids. We also love the coated handle rivets as well as the glass lids that are helpful to see what's going on in the pan and oven.

The proprietary ceramic coating is also safe at higher temperatures, so it won't degrade or release harmful fumes if the pan becomes overheated. And, perhaps most importantly, you can sear with ease on these pans.

Like all pans coated with a nonstick surface, the coating will eventually wear off, regardless of the coating's durability. Unfortunately, these pans don't have the longevity that pans made from other materials have.

This set has 16 pieces, which is expansive, and unlike other comprehensive sets, this one also includes a grill pan. This is a great addition to your setup when you want that outdoor grill flavor but don't want to deal with the pesky grill setup.

  • Material: Anodized aluminum with ceramic coating
  • Included in the set: 16 pieces
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Temperature range: up to 600° F, lids up to 425° F

Related: We Cooked 68 Omelets to Test the Best Nonstick Pans — These Are Our Favorites

Best Cast Iron: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 5-Piece Set

The Best Cookware for Induction Cooktops, Picked By A Chef
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Walmart and Lodge.

Pros: Cast iron has unsurpassed heat retention and durability, and this set includes a Dutch oven and griddle pan.

Cons: Cast iron cookware is notoriously heavy and not dishwasher safe.

Many people believe the myth that cast iron cookware can't be used on induction burners, but this is untrue! Induction cooktops work using magnetism, and since iron is exceptionally magnetic, cast irons are perfect for induction cooktops. The only catch is that some pans marketed as "cast iron" are composite pans containing other non-magnetic materials mixed with the iron. These types of pans will most likely not be recognized by the cooktop. For this reason, it's worth getting 100% authentic cast iron pans for use with induction cooktops and for their durability.

Cast iron pans are so ubiquitous in American cooking for a reason — they can be passed down for generations due to their incomparable durability. This Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 5-Piece Set is one of the best cast irons out there. They come pre-seasoned, so you can use them right out of the box, and since they're virtually indestructible, you can use them for anything and everything for years to come. The trade-off is that all of the pieces in this set are easily three or more times heavier than other induction-ready pans. Their weight can make them difficult to maneuver.

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Included in the set: 5 pieces
  • Dishwasher safe: No
  • Temperature range: up to 500° F

Related: The Best Cast Iron Pans Guaranteed to Last a Lifetime

Best with Copper: Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware Set

The Best Cookware for Induction Cooktops, Picked By A Chef
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Macy's and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Pros: The pieces have a large capacity as well as precision heating due to their copper build.

Cons: Their multiple metal layers can leave them feeling unbalanced and heavy.

Like aluminum, copper is lauded for its excellent heat conductivity and retention. Unfortunately, fully copper pans can be challenging to clean and maintain, not to mention they're not magnetic, so they aren't induction compatible. Thankfully, sets like this Anolon Nouvelle Stainless Steel Cookware blend the heat capabilities of copper with the durability and induction compatibility of stainless steel. One of the major benefits of copper cookware is its superior heat control. Copper is very sensitive to heat fluctuations, so you have more control than other materials, and this set is no exception.

One thing that's great about this set is the size of the individual cookware. Each piece is large and has a lot of surface area, so it's ideal for families or anyone who doesn't have time to waste searing off fish fillets in batches. However, the size has a trade-off: This set is very heavy. The bottom of each pot is clad with five layers of metal, and while the handles feel incredibly high quality, they also feel quite heavy. The weight distribution feels different than other stainless sets, with more weight on the handles than usual.

  • Material: Stainless steel with copper core
  • Included in the set: 10 pieces
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Temperature range: up to 500° F

Best Ceramic: Caraway Cookware Set

The Best Cookware for Induction Cooktops, Picked By A Chef
Courtesy of Caraway

Also available at Target and Crate and Barrel.

Pros: This extremely nonstick, easy-to-clean set comes with extra storage pieces.

Cons: It doesn't include as many pieces as other options on the market and is not dishwasher safe.

If you're not up on the recent developments in the fast-paced world of nonstick coatings, ceramic is the new 'it girl.' This Caraway Cookware Set is coated in a "sol-gel processed fine ceramic coating," a hybrid material that combines the best qualities of two types of nonstick. As a result, food effortlessly slides off these pans with minimal effort.

The good news: You can still get a great sear. Build up delicious browned bits and achieve a good crust on chicken skin. Then, wipe the pan clean. A spritz of water and a quick wipe with a paper towel are all you need most of the time.

Caraway includes a wire storage rack and a canvas lid rack in this set for storage. Both nestle into your cabinets seamlessly, making storage a breeze. However, you may never want to store them away; they look stunning sitting on your range. This set includes two pots, two pans, three lids, and two pieces of storage.

  • Material: Aluminum and stainless base with ceramic coating
  • Included in the set: 9 pieces
  • Dishwasher safe: No
  • Temperature range: up to 550° F

Our Favorite

For a jack-of-all-trades set that can suit almost anyone's needs, look no further than the Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro 12-Piece Cookware Set. If you're in the market for the top-of-the-line chef's choice in cookware, the All-Clad Brushed D5 Stainless Cookware Set is definitely for you.

Factors to Consider

Usage

Do you need both compatible cookware for induction and a regular stovetop, or are you simply using this for induction cooking? How often you use induction cooking and what you are cooking will be a factor that will dictate what cookware you need.

Number of Pieces Included

Not all sets are created equal. While many sets are equipped with up to 10 pieces, including items like Dutch ovens or grill pans, others include the bare minimum. If you are the type of home chef who likes to cook with many pieces at once, consider the number of components included so you don't have to purchase others separately.

Temperature

If broiling or other high-temperature cooking is something you do often, make sure the set you choose can handle that type of heat. While many sets can handle temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, others are only recommended to be used at 450 degrees or less.

Treatment/Clean Up

According to chef Bill Kim of Cornerstone Restaurant Group in Chicago, the way you treat your pan and how you clean it is super important with induction cooking. "If the bottom of the pan is dirty because you haven't been the best at cleaning it, the induction isn't going to cook evenly," he says.

Pro Panel Q+A

How do I know if my cookware is induction ready?

"Read the box and see if it's induction ready, or take it home and try it out," says Kim. "Usually, the higher quality pans are induction ready." Aside from checking the box or instructions, you can usually tell if cookware is induction ready by holding a magnet to the underside. If it clings, it's induction ready.

What pans cannot be used on induction cooktops?

Cast iron and most stainless-steel options are induction ready, and some nonstick, copper, glass, or aluminum are not. However, this isn't a steadfast rule. Nowadays, many manufacturers are adding that magnetic bottom layer, so pans are more versatile and ready for induction.

Our Expertise

Contributors Nick DeSimone and Samantha Lande wrote and compiled this list. Samantha has experience in product testing kitchen and reviewing kitchen tools and has developed content for leading food brands. Nick has been a professional cook for nearly a decade, so they know a thing or two about cookware. Nick has worked with induction cooktops extensively and knows the unique requirements of compatible cookware. They also have induction cooktops in their home kitchen, so they know what cookware works best in a home environment.

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