The best induction pans for quick and easy cooking

Thoroughly tested, our guide to the best induction pans reveals the most durable pans and sets for the enthusiastic cook

A collage image of some of w&h's selection of the best induction pans
This list of the best indication pans has been curated by experts who have tested the products for quality, durability, value for money and more
(Image credit: Future)

We've tested the best induction pans on the market, to discover which ones offer the best results for keen chefs. Because for any cooking enthusiast, having a good quality set of the best pans for induction hobs stashed away in your kitchen is essential. 

Induction hobs use specialist technology, which generally offers a better user experience when compared to gas or electric. Nina Matsunaga, chef patron at the Black Bull in Sedbergh, Cumbria, told w&h, "Increasingly induction pans are making an appearance in the home, especially as induction systems are superior to gas or electric when it comes to overall cooking. And in addition, they are faster, cleaner, waste infinitely less heat, which will, of course, become more and more important in years to come." Plus, most induction-compatible pans can also be used on other hob types (unlike gas or electric pans, which don’t have transferable use).

There is a huge range of pans out there, so we’ve whittled the selection available down to the very best induction pans you can buy. We tested each pan included over the course of a few days, cooking a variety of different dishes in it to assess its capabilities—so you can rest assured that our recommendations are solid. Our selection includes the incredibly popular but pricey Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel 24cm frying pan, which we loved for its quality feel, even cooking, and quality feel, and the ProCook Professional Granite Cookware Set, one of our favorite induction pan sets due to its tough non-stick coating and very reasonable price point. 

What should I consider before buying induction pans?

Before buying your new induction cookware, it’s important to clarify three things—your budget, the main purpose for buying the equipment, and your storage: 

  • Budget and type—the best induction pans vary vastly in price—often, this is because you can buy induction pans as sets or as individual pans. Consider which type you need. For example, if you’re moving into a new home, you may need a pan set to cover the basics if you want value-for-money. If not, you may just need a single frying pan, as an upgrade to your current one. Generally, spending more on your induction pans will likely increase the guarantee. Pricier pans tend to be higher quality (not always, but generally speaking). 
  • What you'll be cooking—non-stick frying and griddle pans are good for when you want to minimize the need for additional fat. However, according to several chefs we spoke with, when cooking sauces, pots without non-stick technology are preferable as you get a better de-glaze and caramelization. Richard Bramble, a chef who runs a fine dining private catering, Bramble Dining, also told us that induction pans are worth buying if you cook in big batches. He said, "If you’re cooking in a higher volume like a big pasta dish, induction in general is better because it gets back up to temperature so quickly that it helps retain the heat."
  • Your storage—we've listed the best individual induction pans and sets below, but the one you choose to buy will depend on how much space you have for them. If you're clearing out your existing pans to make way for a new load induction pans, one of the sets may be best for you. But, some might only have space for a new induction wok. Bear this in mind when browsing.

And while you're upgrading your kitchen kit, you may want to take a look at our guides to the best blenders and best food processors

The best induction pans as tested by our experts

Below you’ll find the best induction pans split into pan types, from saucepans to woks, sets, frying pans, and more. We've then narrowed these down to the best products available within each of these categories. And, if you’re not sure which induction pans you need, or indeed the nuances between the different pans, scroll down to the bottom where food expert and our tester Jessica Ransom explains the differences.

The best induction pan sets

Tefal Ingenio Jamie Collection—one of w&h's pick for the best induction pans available to buy

(Image credit: Amazon)

Best overall induction pan set

Specifications
Materials: Stainless steel exteriors (Teflon internal coating on frying and sauté pans)
Oven safe: Yes (excluding lids and handles—up to 260°C
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Guarantee: 10 years—but there are multiple exclusions
PFOA-free?: Yes
Included in the set: 2 Saucepans: 16cm, 20 cm. Saute pan: 24cm. Frying Pan: 28cm. 2x removable handles. 2 x glass lids (16cm and 28cm). 23cm preservation lid
Reasons to buy
+Compact and stackable—great for smaller kitchens+Clip-on-and-off handle is very handy+Great range of pieces
Reasons to avoid
-Handles stiffen and scratch over time-No lids for frying pans

For anyone looking to tidy up their pots and pans cupboard, the Ingenio range from Tefal is a real life-saver. It’s compact, stackable and provides over 50% space-saving. Although it’s a 9-piece set, that doesn’t mean you get 9 pans. Instead you’ll find four pans with two handles, two glass lids and a preservation lid. The signature red spot in the centre of the pan turns a solid red when it’s at the optimum temperature. 

The insides of the saucepans also have measuring marks, which is very helpful, though not unique. Although we enjoyed the clip-on-and-off handle, it does stiffen over time and gradually marks the edges of your pans. But overall, a great luxury set. The best pans for induction hobs don't need to be expensive, but we reckon it's worth paying a bit extra for this set if you can. 

See our full Tefal Jamie Oliver Ingenio collection review

Blackmoor Non-Stick 3 Piece Saucepan Set—one of w&h's picks for the best induction pans sets

(Image credit: Blackmoor)

2. Blackmoor Non-Stick 3 Piece Saucepan Set

Best value induction pan set

Specifications
Materials: Forged aluminium base with hybrid stone internal coating
Oven safe?: No
Dishwasher safe?: No
Guarantee: 1 year
PFOA-free?: N/A
Included in the set: Saucepan: 18cm. Pot: 24cm. Casserole Dish Frying Pan: 24cm. Accessories: 18cm, 24cm lid
Reasons to buy
+Very reasonable price +Excellent non-stick+Easy to cook with+Simple to cook with—hassle-free
Reasons to avoid
-Pans lack premium feel-Hand-wash only 

This is a great starter kit at a reasonable price point, and perfect for varied cooking, which is why they are one of our best induction pans picks. The non-stick is excellent, but overall the pans lack a luxury feel or finish—so if this is what you're after, you might be better buying another set. 

The handles are only attached at a single joint which means they could loosen or break with prolonged use, which is very unlikely in several of the other pans we have tested. The pans do not have a long guarantee and are hand-wash only, which is why we deducted an additional half a star. However, overall these offer a great user experience, are easy to cook with, and offer fantastic value-for-money. And if you want to see more non-stick pans, see our selection of the best non-stick pans available to buy on the market at the moment. 

Crane S Series pans, one of our best induction pans sets

(Image credit: Crane)

3. Crane S Series 4 Stainless Steel Pan Set

Best luxury induction pan set

Specifications
Materials: Stainless steel
Oven safe?: Yes
Dishwasher safe?: Yes
Guarantee: Lifetime guarantee
PFOA-free?: N/A
Included in the set: 1 x 17cm Tri Ply Saucepan, 1 x 20cm Tri Ply Casserole, 1 x 26cm Tri Ply Saute pan, 1 x 29cm Tri Ply Frying Pan
Reasons to buy
+Sleek design+Heat conduction is great+Durable+Good range of sizes
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Set doesn't stack

If you want to display your pans rather than storing them away, this pan set is a great option. Crafted from brushed stainless steel, with modern, curved handles the S Series set from Crane is undeniably good-looking. And they all work very well too. The base of each pan is slimline enough to come up to heat fast and well, while the stainless steel conducts efficiently for an even cooking temperature. 

We liked that these felt super premium to use, with a good weight and great cooking results. Because of the stainless steel surface, we found cooking everyday family food and batch recipes in the Crane pans preferable to making things like burgers (which did tend to stick a bit in the frying pan). Durability was another plus point for us. When anything did stick, a good scrub was all that was needed to remove the debris, and it didn’t feel like it was damaging the interior. In fact, Crane cookware comes with a lifetime guarantee. We threw ours in the dishwasher a few times for good measure too and saw no warping, streaking, or scratching. For an attractive, induction hob luxury pick, we thought these were hard to beat, which is why they've also made our list of the best cookware

The best induction saucepan sets

ProCook Professional Granite Saucepan Set 6-Piece—one of w&h's best induction pan choices

(Image credit: Procook)

The best induction saucepan set

Specifications
Price: £174.99
Materials: Aluminium, granite-effect surface with ceramic-reinforced coating
Oven safe?: Yes—up to 260°C
Dishwasher safe?: Yes
Guarantee : 25 years
PFOA-free?: Yes
Included in the set: 4 saucepans: 14,16, 18 and 20cm.
Reasons to buy
+Surprisingly reasonable price +Excellent heat distribution +Handy stacking sizes
Reasons to avoid
-Glass lids can become cloudy with regular dishwasher use-No straining feature on lids

The design, durability and quality of this saucepan set really is very impressive given the price point. Forged from a single piece of aluminum, they have excellent heat distribution and no unwanted rattles—something which is prevalent, and rather annoying, with some other 'layered metal' induction pans. 

They responded well to changes in temperature on the hob, and the ergonomic handles are Cooltouch so they don’t heat up. The lightly textured granite effect surface would look smart in any kitchen and is subtle enough not to cheapen the look of the pans, unlike others we tested. The non-stick is fantastic and the set comes complete with self-basting glass lids for each of the pans.

See our full ProCook Professional Granite Cookware Set review

Scoville Neverstick 3 Piece Saucepan Set—one of w&h's picks for best induction pans

(Image credit: Scoville)

2. Scoville Neverstick 3 Piece Saucepan Set

The best value induction saucepan set

Specifications
RRP: £38
Materials: Aluminium, glass lids
Oven safe?: No
Dishwasher safe?: Yes
Guarantee : Lifetime
PFOA safe?: Yes
Included in the set: 3 saucepans: 16, 18, 20cm.
Reasons to buy
+Handy non-stick technology +Great for induction pan beginners+Relatively quiet when cooking
Reasons to avoid
-Handles don't feel robust

While these pans lack the finesse of others we tested, there’s no denying that they would make an excellent starter kit for anyone in a hurry to start cooking on their induction hob. The three saucepans have a non-stick technology that boasts to be five times stronger than others. It fared well in our testing and also means you can cook with little, if any, butter and oil. 

The handles don’t feel as robust as others but the soft touch is comfortable and for occasional home cooking, it’s very unlikely you’d run into any problems. The pans had a good response to heat changes and were relatively quiet when they had the lid on with minimal rattle.

Robert Welch Campden Cookware Saucepan Set, 3 Piece—one of w&h's picks for the best induction pans

(Image credit: Robert Welch)

3. Robert Welch Campden Cookware Saucepan Set, 3 Piece

The best luxury induction saucepan set

Specifications
Materials: 18/10 stainless steel
Oven safe?: Yes—up to 220°C
Dishwasher safe?: Yes
Guarantee : 25 years
PFOA safe?: N/A
Included in the set: 3 saucepans: 14, 16, 18cm.
Reasons to buy
+Attractive appearance +Pans aren't too heavy +Good heat distribution
Reasons to avoid
-Higher price point 

Undeniably the most attractive set of saucepans we tested. These Robert Welch saucepans are stylish, sleek and a pleasure to use. The smooth, concave-finish handle is comfortable to hold and works far better as a pan handle vs a frying pan handle.

The pans don’t feel too heavy but were certainly weightier than others, which adds to the premium feel. There was minimal rattle when using the lid, though due to the stainless steel the handle did get hot from condensation, though less hot than others that were tested. They have a good heat distribution and the stainless steel means they are a good pan choice for cooking caramel. They were also easy to clean—a big plus in our books. Overall, worthy of an investment and a place on our list of the best induction pans.

The best individual induction saucepans

Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Saucepan with Lid—one of our picks for the best induction pans

(Image credit: Le Creuset)

1. Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Saucepan with Lid

The best luxury induction saucepan

Specifications
Materials: 3-ply stainless steel
Oven safe?: Yes
Dishwasher safe?: Yes
Guarantee: Lifetime
PFOA safe? : N/A
Reasons to buy
+Helpful internal measuring guide +Great size for all cooking+Speedy to come to the boil
Reasons to avoid
-Higher price point -Handles can get warm when cooking

The speediest of all the saucepans we tested to come to the boil and responded excellently to changes in temperature on the induction hob, so it's definitely a contender on our best induction pans round-up. It has a clean, attractive finish with a helper handle at the top of the saucepan, which is useful for added support. 

There is an internal measuring guide which is helpful when pouring in liquids and judging how much water has gone from the pan or how much our sauce has reduced. The pan was quite noisy when fitted with the lid and the handle did get warm, making it essential to use a tea towel or oven glove when picking it up. Despite this, the Le Creuset pan is a great size and weight and an ideal investment if you’re only looking for one pan that’s multi-functional and durable.

Zyliss Cook Ultimate Saucepan 16cm—one of our choices for the best induction pans

(Image credit: Zyliss Cook)

2. Zyliss Cook Ultimate Saucepan 16cm

The best starter induction saucepan

Specifications
Material: Forged aluminium
Oven safe?: Yes—up to 180°C
Dishwasher safe?: Yes
Guarantee : 10 year non stick
PFOA free? : Yes
Reasons to buy
+Reasonable price +One of the quietest we tested +Easy to clean 
Reasons to avoid
-Not a very premium finish

This was one of the quietest pans we tested when used, which is why it's made our list of the best induction pans—and with the lid on there was a good reaction to changes in temperature on the induction hob. The glass lid is fitted with a rubber handle making it easy to remove, as it doesn’t heat up. 

The design and finish is less premium than other pans we tested but, for the very affordable price, it’s an excellent choice and can also be purchased as part of wider pan sets. The non-stick held up very well during testing too and they were very easy to clean. Overall an option that will slot easily into your kitchen, providing a great cooking experience with minimal fuss.

The best induction frying pans

Our Place—The Always Pan

(Image credit: Our Place)

1. Our Place Always Pan

The best induction frying pan overall

Specifications
Materials: Aluminum body with stainless-steel steamer
Oven-safe: No
Dishwasher-safe: No—hand wash only
Guarantee: 30 day trial
PFOA-free?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Non-stick surface works incredibly well+Multiple uses+Comes to heat very quickly+Stylish
Reasons to avoid
-You can't use metal utensils with it-It's pricey

As you unwrap the Our Place Always Pan, you can tell that this is a special piece of cooking equipment. And it seems the rest of the world agrees—this pan has sold out 10 times and has accrued a wait-list of over 50,000, meaning it's become a cult favorite piece of cookware, and almost a must have for keen chefs. And the pan certainly lives up to the hype. Available in a range of eight different colors (as opposed to your typical silver or black), it's undeniably chic and stylish, and would look great displayed in any kitchen. When it comes to usability, the pan performed brilliantly in testing too. It came up to heat in around 30 seconds, and because of it's non-stick properties it needs little to no oil—we tested it with aubergines and the cook was even and did not stick without oil. After use the pan cooled down within a minute, too. Aside from being a fantastic induction frying pan, it has multiple other uses too—such as steaming, straining, boiling and serving, meaning you can enjoy eight uses in one pan. It's undeniably expensive and metal tools are a no-no, big we reckon it's well worth the investment and compromise (especially as it also comes with its own wooden spatula). 

Smeg frying pan—one of w&h's picks for best induction pans

(Image credit: Smeg)

2. Smeg Frying Pan

The best stylish induction frying pan

Specifications
Materials: Cold-forged aluminum and stainless steel
Oven-safe: Yes
Dishwasher-safe: Yes
Guarantee: N/A
PFOA-free?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Very stylish+Good weight distribution+Sturdy—doesn't wobble
Reasons to avoid
-None!

For the stylish among us, this retro 50's style Smeg pan—which is induction compatible—is a fabulous pick. It has a stylish, rounded Italian style handle which makes for quite a unique design, and creates an expensive, sophisticated feel to the pan. So it looks good—but what about its performance practically? Well, that's just as impressive. The handle is long which is practical for staying safe when at high temperatures, and even though it’s heavy pan, it’s not difficult to hold as the handle supports the base well. The non-stick coating isn’t shiny nor cheap-look, makes for good oil distribution when cooking (not that you need). This Smeg pan also has patterned, rigged base, which means it’s very sturdy on the hob and doesn’t wobble at all. The large surface area and elevated sides of the height also mean that, despite looking on the smaller side, we could cook large quantities of bigger dishes like risotto with ease. We felt there were no obvious down-sides, apart from the fact that it's no doubt an expensive pan.

One of the best induction pans, the Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Non-Stick Frying Pan

(Image credit: Le Creuset)

The best luxury induction frying pan

Specifications
Materials : Stainless steel
Oven safe? : Yes—up to 260°C
Dishwasher safe? : Yes
Guarantee: Lifetime
PFOA-free?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Perfect for everyday use +Weight with a heavy base+Looks great
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Handle can get hot

The wide base offers even cooking and from our tests the non-stick performed very well. It’s compatible with all hob types and suitable for oven and grill cooking too. Although it has a comfortable, strong-feeling handle it is noticeably heavier than some of the pans we tried, a characteristic most Le Creuset loyalists prefer. 

This is no doubt a pricier option, but the quality and the lifetime guarantee means you should never have to buy another induction frying pan again. It’s perfect for everyday cooking, and looks great in your kitchen too—so if you are able to make the investment, we reckon it is well worth it. One of the best induction pans we tried.

See our full Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel 24cm Non-stick Frying Pan review

Tower Trustone Induction Frying Pan—one of w&h's picks for the best induction pans

(Image credit: Tower Trustone)

4. Tower Trustone Induction Frying Pan

The best budget induction frying pan

Specifications
Material: 5-layer stone non-stick infused titanium interior, 3.5-4mm forged aluminium body, 2 layer ultra touch exterior, bonded steel base, cast steel-look handle
Oven safe? : Yes—up to 280°C
Dishwasher safe? : Yes—but hand wash recommended
Guarantee: 10 years—1 year standard plus nine more for free if you register online
PFOA safe?: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Premium finish in comparison with price point+Comfortable to hold+Good heat distribution
Reasons to avoid
-Some discoloration after time 

The best induction pans can be pricey, but this one had a more premium finish and feel than you’d expect from the price point. It was comfortable to hold and had a longer handle than other frying pans we tested, which would be good when cooking foods that are likely to spit. It’s available in two other sizes, 20cm and 28cm, which may fit your cooking needs better. We found the non-stick held up very well during testing and there was a good even distribution of heat. 

The Trustone interior is designed for ultimate scratch resistance, though it’s always recommended you avoid using metal utensils. After multiple uses at high heat, there was some deterioration in colour to the inside of the pan, and because it was a lighter design this was more noticeable than others. This pan was one of the quietest in terms of the interaction with our induction hob, but this could vary. It has a bonded steel base and is compatible with all hob types.

Robert Welch Campden Cookware Non-Stick Frying Pan—one of w&h's best induction pans

(Image credit: Robert Welch)

5. Robert Welch Campden Cookware Non-Stick Frying Pan

The best non-stick induction frying pan

Specifications
Material : 18/10 stainless steel
Oven safe?: No
Dishwasher safe? : Yes
Guarantee : 25 years
PFOA safe?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful and sleek design+Great non-stick finish
Reasons to avoid
-It's exceptionally heavy so might not work for some

If you can call a frying pan beautiful, that’s the title we’d give this one—which is why we've included it in our round-up of the best induction pans. The design is sleek, stylish and will undoubtedly impress anyone lucky enough to receive it as a gift. It’s exceptionally heavy, and therefore didn’t fare very well in our pancake testing, though it’s very well suited to cooking steak or frying onions and feels as premium as it looks. 

The pan has an Excalibur non-stick coating, which is considered to be “the toughest most durable non-stick coating in the world”—our tests were no match for this.

Zyliss Cook Ultimate Non-Stick Frying Pan—one of w&h's picks for best induction pans to buy

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Zyliss Cook Ultimate Non-Stick Frying Pan

The best starter frying pan

Specifications
Material: Forged aluminium
Oven safe? : Yes up to 180°C
Dishwasher safe? : Yes
Guarantee: 10 years
PFOA free?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Affordable yet reliable—good value for money+Great non-stick Swiss technology 
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't have a premium look or feel 

This is a really excellent choice of induction frying pan if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. It proudly boasts that no oil or butter is needed when frying as it has Rock Pearl Plus non-stick Swiss technology, and this performed well in our tests. It’s an ideal size and weight for cooking pancakes or omelets, as it’s easy to toss too. 

It doesn’t have a premium look or feel but given the price point this should be expected—and it's still one of our best induction pans. The mottled marble color effect will be desirable to some and it is likely to age better than its stainless steel equivalents. It has an ergonomic soft-touch handle and is suitable for all other hob types too—including the best portable induction hobs.

The best induction woks

Vogue Tri-wall Wok Flat Bottom—one of our best induction pans sets

(Image credit: Vogue)

1. Vogue Tri-wall Wok Flat Bottom

The best luxury induction frying pan

Specifications
Material : Aluminium thermocore sandwiched between stainless steel walls
Oven safe? : Yes
Dishwasher safe? : Yes
Guarantee : N/A
PFOA safe? : Yes
Reasons to buy
+Excellent heat distribution—the best of our testing+Handle remains cool +Weighty yet not too heavy
Reasons to avoid
-No non-stick-Difficult to wash

The Sous Chef Wok was a standout performer, which is why it has made our pick of the best induction pans. It had by far the best heat distribution, heating almost instantly and providing searing heat over the entire surface. The handle remained cool and the wok wasn’t too heavy to toss yet still weighty enough to feel durable. 

Being stainless steel it lacked non-stick capabilities—this resulted in more difficulties when washing (hence failing to score the perfect five). However, by not having a non-stick, the wok was better for searing and deglazing. Every part of the design felt like it had a purpose, from the sturdy two-point rivets, the long handle, the large domed surface (far larger than other woks we tested) to the small secondary handle. The wok also looks fantastic but handle it with some care as the polished stainless steel scratches and won't stay looking brand new for long.

Stellar Hard Anodised Stir Fry with Helper Handle—one of our best induction pan sets to buy

(Image credit: Tower Trustone)

2. Stellar Hard Anodised Stir Fry with Helper Handle

The best value-for-money induction frying pan

Specifications
Material: Stainless steel
Oven safe? : Yes—up to 210°C
Dishwasher safe? : Yes
Guarantee: Lifetime guarantee with a 10 year Teflon non-stick guarantee
PFOA safe? : Yes
Reasons to buy
+Non-stick useful for cleaning +Good value choice +Gave a good finish to food
Reasons to avoid
-Didn't sear food well

While the non-stick was beneficial for cleaning, it did mean the pan didn't sear the food as well as competitors and had to be used at maximum heat in order to prevent the food from stewing. 

The food was easy to toss in the pan and the non-stick helped this, though at times it did feel as though the pan wouldn't be able to contain all the ingredients. The handle felt solid as did the wok's finish, which didn't scratch as easily as the stainless steel competition. Overall it was a lovely wok to use and though it wasn't the best performer, it gave a good finish and so presents itself as a great value choice, which is why we've included it in our best induction pans round-up.


How we selected the best induction pans

To determine the best induction pans, cooking expert, and food writer and stylist for woman&home, Jessica Ransom, rated the different types of pans on several factors: 

  • Overall look and feel
  • Suitability for purpose and performance
  • Quality
  • Value-for-money
  • Guarantee

Jessica ran several experiments on the best pans for induction hobs, including making caramel to test staining and claims of non-stick, as well as comparing how fast the induction pans changed temperature. Many pancakes were eaten during the testing process, as cooking them enabled us to test for heat spots, and once again challenge claims of any non-stick induction pans. And finally, the best pans should be easy to clean, so Jessica also put the induction pans and pots through many dishwasher cycles to see how they would fare.

What is an induction hob and what does it do?

If you're still a little stumped about what an induction hob actually is—or does—never fear. To make it clear, an induction hob is when electricity is passed through copper coils in the hob. This creates a magnetic field. When a pan with a magnetic base is placed directly on top of the hob the magnetic field causes the pan to heat up. This is how induction hobs and the best induction pans work together. 

Richard Bramble explained that this method of heating causes much less energy loss. He said, "It creates kinetic energy which is where it takes its heat from. It’s really good for the environment because there is much less lost energy. It controls the energy to where it is needed, and it saves money."

induction hob and pan

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What pans work on inductions hobs and why?

If you're new to induction pans and hobs, you might be wondering, how do induction cookers work? For the best induction pans to work on an induction hob, it must have a flat magnetic base. Pans that are appropriate will have a coil shown on the box and a magnet will stick to the base of the pan (if the magnet does not stick strongly to the bottom of the pan it will be less effective when heating).

This means that all kinds of pans can work with induction hobs—such as non-stick pans, stainless steel pans, and cast iron pans—as long as they have one of these two things. If they are not induction-specific pans, many pans will also explicitly state whether or not they work with induction hobs on the product description. 

You can also test pans before purchase. During a chat with Jessica at The Langham's cookery school Sauce, Michelin star chef Michel Roux Jr suggested carrying a strong magnet with you when you go to purchase your induction pans, so that you can see for yourself how well the pan connects. 

It is important to note that the heating process in induction hob cooking takes place in the base of the pan, and therefore if the pan is not compatible it will not work and the hob will remain cold.

What are the benefits of induction hobs?

There are three main benefits of induction cooking and using an induction hob:

  • Safety—in the induction hob vs gas hob debate, this is where induction may win out. The induction hob itself does not become hot. This means that unless an induction-specific pan is placed on top of the hob it will not heat up, thus removing a potential safety hazard. Richard Bramble confirmed this, saying, "When you’re cooking on inductions you don’t get any referral heat. It stays directly at the bottom of the pan so the handle of a frying pan or saucepan will never get hot, which minimises the risk of you burning yourself while you’re cooking. It’s also safer if a child reaches up and puts their hand on it—you know they’re not going to burn themselves." Plus, given that it is the pan that heats up, once this pan is removed the hob will lose any of the residual heat quickly and return to cold (even if it is left on).
  • Efficiency when cookinginduction cookers heat up very quickly, meaning your cooking will be very efficient. Multiple pans reached maximum temperature in less than a minute. The key is that less energy is wasted on heating the surroundings (the outside of the pan or the base of the hob). Instead only the inside of the pan is heated. The best pans for induction hobs only work to improve this efficiency.
  • Efficiency when cleaning—given that induction hobs only heat the pan and not the hob, it is very rare for food to burn onto the hob itself. This reduces the time spent cleaning and means only a damp cloth is required—though a glass cleaner every couple of months doesn't go amiss.
  • More precise and even temperature control—induction pans and hobs allow you to control the temperature at which your food cooks instantly, meaning if something is heating too quickly or too slowly, you can rectify any cooking mistake within seconds. Nina Matsunaga explained further, "Induction pans transfer heat really, really, well without wasting energy, so they’re useful for cooking pretty much anything. They’re especially good when cooking eggs and fish and for searing meat evenly."

Is it important to look for induction pans that are PFOA-free?

In each product we have reviewed above, we have noted whether or not the product is PFOA-free. Various items—including clothing, carpets, takeout boxes and cookware, as well as the air we breathe and the water we drink—contains PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid—also known colloquially as C8).

This can cause concern, because they stay in the environment and the body for long periods of time, and some studies (though it hasn't been conclusively proven) have suggested a link between PFOA exposure and cancer. As such, pans that are free from PFOA are generally preferred for customers.

induction pan and hob

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But, while a PFOA-free pan is preferable, it's worth noting that non-stick cookware that is not PFOA-free is still one of the smallest exposures of PFOA that can be found in the household. And, just because an item is PFOA-free does not mean that it is completely safe and harm-free, as often manufacturers swap them out for other chemicals.

It's also good to know that when even the very best induction pans become scratched or overheated, the potential dosage of PFOAs consumed may increase. This is why many manufacturers recommend changing pans when damage occurs.

Which is better—gas or induction?

If you are currently deciding whether to install an induction cooktop, or replace your gas cooktop with an induction one, you might be wondering which is better when it comes to cooking, energy-efficiency and of course, price.

Many believe that induction cooking is superior to gas cooking in terms of time efficiency, because induction hobs will heat the base of your pan incredibly quickly—and cool it down just as fast too. Gas hobs, on the other hand, take time to warm up your pan, meaning that food takes that bit longer to cook. The speed at which induction hobs cool down also means they are generally considered to be safer too. 

Similarly, induction hobs are considered to be much more energy-efficient, as they use energy to directly heat pans, while gas hobs heat up pans indirectly via the heat of the burner. This means that the energy is concentrated exactly where it needs to be with an induction hob, making them generally better at saving energy. 

However, if you're considering installing an induction hob, it's worth noting that they do tend to be pricier than regular gas hobs. This is because induction hobs are, on the whole, just that bit more complicated than gas hobs to set up. However, because they are so energy efficient, once installed, the running costs of induction hobs can be very low—so it's a trade-off you'd have to consider against your own budget. 

Do you need to buy more expensive induction pans for a better result?

Do you need to spend more on an induction pan for a better experience then? According to Nina Matsunaga, opting for the more premium purchase can sometimes pay off. She said, "In my opinion you get a much better deal with a more expensive pan. Yes, they cost more initially—but you won’t have to replace them every five minutes. This is because induction hobs are really powerful and as a result pans made from cheaper materials tend to warp and buckle, which means in the long run you end up buying even more pans."

Peter Sidwell, chef and cooking expert at Cook Serve Enjoy, agreed, saying, "Well-built pans can last for years if you look after them. Going for cheap pans puts you at risk of shoddy cooking, owing to materials that quickly warp (so you stop getting that good energy distribution) and the non-stick coating coming off within a handful of uses."

"However", Matsunaga continued, "if you don’t cook that often you can get by using cheaper induction pans, which are quite solid—but you will still need to replace them every couple of years depending on usage."

Once you've bought your pans, be sure to read up on our clever pan storage ideas so that you can keep them organized and in the best condition.


With thanks to Nina Matsunaga, chef patron at Black Bull, Sedbergh, Cumbria, Richard Bramble, a chef who runs a fine dining private catering and waiter service, Bramble Dining, and Peter Sidwell, chef and cooking expert at Cook Serve Enjoy, for their expert insight and comment for this article.