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If you’ve got an induction cooktop, you know that, unlike regular stovetops, they don’t generate heat through flames or electrical heating. Instead, the coiled wire beneath the surface generates a magnetic field with your cookware that creates an electric current to generate heat. Induction cookware is either made from cast iron or stainless steel, with certain metals added to create the right magnetic force.
Once you've installed this energy-efficient cooktop, you might need to overhaul your set of pots and pans to something more compatible. To help you get back to cooking, we've rounded up the top induction-compatible cookware sets, focusing on both their durability and the variety of the pieces included. We also put some of our top picks to the test in our dedicated testing lab, specifically looking at heat distribution and hot spots, the amount of splatter, ease of pouring, nonstick qualities, how hot the handles get, and how easy they were to clean.
After research, scouring online reviews, and some lab testing, here's our list of the best cookware sets that are compatible with induction cooktops.
Best Overall: Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
What We Love: Beautiful brushed stainless steel, quick to heat, sauce pan's high walls prevent splatter
What We Don't Love: Some users say the inside bottom of the pans discolor easily from heat, can easily overcook fatty foods if not careful
This set includes all the essentials, including two fry pans, a 3-quart saucepan, and a generously sized 8-quart stockpot, plus a bonus steamer insert. It’s suitable for all cooktops, including induction, and is oven-safe up to 500 degrees, ideal for recipes like skillet lasagna. Cuisinart's Heat Surround Technology promotes even heat distribution throughout the pan, from the bottom up to its sides. The aluminum core construction was a highlight for our staff, who put this set through its paces at our testing lab. "For a stainless steel set we were very impressed how fast this pan is able to heat up," says Collier Sutter, our food review editor, talking specifically about the frying pan, which cooked a fried egg perfectly. This is thanks to that core that's sandwiched by double-layered stainless steel. "This heats very evenly and quickly, and is superconductive of heat!" she raves.
And that's not all we have to say about the stainless steel construction. The brushed exterior is durable and easy to clean (and dishwasher safe to boot). The non-reactive stainless steel interior helps to promote efficient searing and caramelization while the lids circulate and heat moisture effectively. Last but not least, the stay-cool stainless steel handles are riveted on to create a seamless, classic look. And they're not all looks, either: "This set has slightly elevated and comfortable handles that felt safer when cooking at high temperatures, especially because your hand is further away from the heat," Collier explains, adding that she found the weight of each piece was distributed evenly throughout the handle.
The set's downside, however, is that because it tends to run very hot, very fast, it can easily overcook food (especially fatty food) and even start smoking, Collier says. She advises taking extra care to not overheat the cookware: "When searing a chicken, there was a point where the chicken began sticking ... and slightly overcooked the skin exterior," she explains.
"Especially if you can’t justify in your budget spending extra bucks on [a higher-end set], you can rely on this set daily for its even heating, angled comfortable handles, lighter weight, and its high-walled saucepan." — Collier Sutter, Food and Drink Review Editor
Material: Stainless steel with aluminum core | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees | What's Included: 8.5-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, 1.5-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart saucepan with lid, 3.5-quart sauté pan with lid, 8-quart stockpot with lid, steamer insert with lid
Best Budget: Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
What We Love: Very lightweight, heats evenly, each piece has a glass lid with a steam vent
What We Don't Love: Regular washing in dishwasher may lead to discoloration, handles can get very hot
This wallet-friendly set works on a variety of cooktops, including induction burners. It includes a 10-inch sauté pan with a lid that you can use for everyday skillet cooking. Instead of long-handled saucepans, this includes three double-loop handled casserole pans. Overall, the set's volumes tend to be on the smaller side, so it might not be ideal if you’re planning big batch cooking projects or cooking for a crew.
"When I’m looking for induction-ready stainless steel cookware, my first consideration is always price. My favorite budget-friendly set is the Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set," says Justine Martin, the cake artist behind Guilty Pleasures Bakeshop in Ontario, Canada. "This set is great for the elevated home cook who understands how to work with stainless steel, which isn’t inherently nonstick. I like this set because it comes with a lid for each piece, which allows you more versatility in the kitchen. While the pans are oven-safe up to 500 degrees, keep in mind that the lids can only withstand 350 degrees. This set is perfect for preparing anything from soups, stews, and stocks to seared meats and proteins.”
It’s made of stainless steel with an aluminum disc layer that claims to promote even heat distribution, though it does have some hot spots. Reviewers say they like how light the pieces are while still being heavy-duty, which we found to be true when we cooked with the set in our dedicated testing lab. The tempered glass lids are designed with a steam vent and allow you to monitor the cooking process. We docked some points due to the riveted handles' performance: While they are designed to stay cool and feel comfortable in the hand, our staff found the opposite—they got very hot to the touch while cooking. Everything is dishwasher-safe, although some users noted that over time, regular dishwasher use led to discoloring.
Material: Stainless steel with aluminum layer | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees | What's Included: 10-inch sauté pan with lid, 1.5-quart saucepan with lid, 1.5-quart saucepot casserole with lid, 2-quart saucepot casserole with lid, 3-quart saucepot casserole with lid, 5.5-quart stockpot with lid
Best Nonstick: Circulon Symmetry 11-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set
What We Love: Heavy-duty construction, truly nonstick, comfortable silicone-wrapped handles
What We Don't Love: No venting hole in the lids
This hard-anodized cookware set means it’s twice as hard as stainless steel, built for durability, and promotes fast, even heating. A PFOA-free nonstick interior releases food seamlessly, washes up easily, and is safe to use with metal utensils. Plus, its performance is backed by a lifetime guarantee.
The 10-piece set includes all the essentials like fry pans, saucepans, and a large stockpot. The bonus piece here is a small 1-quart saucepan with a pour spout. The pans heat quickly and evenly on induction burners, although one reviewer noted that the smaller pans didn’t heat as quickly and evenly. As with all induction cookware sets, it’s important to choose pans that are the same size as the burners. Other features that win this set points include comfortable, silicone-wrapped handles and it's safe in the oven up to 400 degrees.
Material: Hard-anodized aluminum | Maximum Temperature: 400 degrees | What's Included: 8.5-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, 1-quart saucepan, 2-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, 8-quart stockpot with lid
Best Dishwasher-Safe: T-fal E760SC Performa Stainless Steel 12-Piece Set
What We Love: Sturdy construction, cooks quickly and evenly, includes a Dutch oven and measuring spoons
What We Don't Love: Food can stick to the bottom easily
T-fal is known for its workhorse cookware and dishwasher-safe capabilities. Several reviewers commented that this set of pans is compatible with induction burners and live up to their dishwasher-safe promise. However, as with most cookware, the manufacturer recommends that you wash pans by hand to extend durability and finish. The premium stainless-steel construction suggests durability, and the set comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Modestly priced, this stainless-steel set comes with the basics, including 8-inch and 10.5-inch fry pans and saucepans. The pans have T-fal's “techno release” interior that allows for easy release and clean-up. Where many sets have a stockpot, this offers a 5-quart Dutch oven, a wide-bottomed workhorse you might actually use more than a tall stockpot. There are also measuring spoons to round out your kitchen equipment.
Overall, this is a good oven-safe starter set for beginner cooks or if you need a set of knock-about pans for the kitchen.
Material: Stainless steel | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees | What's Included: 8.5-inch fry pan, 10.5-inch fry pan, 1-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart saucepan with lid, 5-quart Dutch oven with lid, 4 measuring spoons
Related: The Best Nonstick Cookware Sets
Best Ceramic: Blue Diamond Cookware Triple Steel Ceramic 7-Piece Cookware Set
What We Love: Strong nonstick coating, great heat conductivity
What We Don't Love: Doesn't include a stockpot
This value-for-money set is also a great option if you prefer cooking with ceramic cookware, which is lauded for its nonstick capabilities. Beyond a couple of basic pieces, there's an 11-inch multifunction chef's pan and a nylon spatula and spoon. This does not include a stockpot or Dutch oven for big batches.
This set is built for durability, with a double layer of stainless steel surrounding an aluminum core. Because the aluminum is built into the pan, it’s fully clad, rather than just having an aluminum disc attached to make it induction compatible, like some less expensive sets. The diamond-infused ceramic nonstick coating is harder and stronger than traditional coatings. The diamond technology promises heat conductivity that is four times more conductive than copper, so they heat up faster, too. The stainless-steel construction also ensures even heating. It’s oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees and is dishwasher safe for easy clean-up.
Material: Stainless steel with aluminum core | Maximum Temperature: 600 degrees | What's Included: 8-inch fry pan, 11-inch fry pan, 3.75-quart sauté pan with lid, 11-inch chef's pan, nylon slotted spatula, nylon solid spoon
Related: The Best Frying Pans
Best High-End: Fissler Original Profi Collection 9-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
What We Love: Scratch-resistant, quick and even heating, comfortable and heat-insulated handles
What We Don't Love: Doesn't include frying pans
This German-made professional-grade cookware set is more expensive, but it’s built to last a lifetime and comes with a 10-year guarantee on stainless steel parts. The 9-piece set consists of only saucepans and stockpots, so if you need frying pans, you’ll need to purchase those separately. The 18/10 stainless steel construction is scratch- and wear-resistant, easy to clean, and dishwasher-safe. The manufacturer states that the thick base ensures fast and optimal heat distribution and even cooking without overheating.
Other design features include lids that are designed to let steam fall back into the food to keep ingredients moist. The ergonomic handles promise a comfortable grip and are heat-insulated to help prevent burns. The pots have an extra-wide pouring rim that helps minimize drips and spills. There are also measurement markings on the interior of the pot that makes it easy to measure liquids. Pans are ovenproof up to 450 degrees, perfect for finishing a frittata.
Material: Stainless steel | Maximum Temperature: 450 degrees | What's Included: 1.5-quart saucepan, 2.7-quart saucepot casserole with lid, 2.1-quart stockpot with lid, 4.1-quart stockpot with lid, 6.7-quart stockpot with lid
Best Stainless Steel: Tramontina Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Clad 12-Piece Cookware Set
What We Love: Beautiful mirror finish, sturdy construction, heats evenly
What We Don't Love: Expensive
This versatile stainless-steel set is compatible with all cooktops, including induction. It comes with a 5-quart deep sauté pan (perfect for stir-fry recipes) and a generous 8-quart covered stockpot, which is ideal for big-batch stews and boiling noodles for your pasta carbonara.
The set is designed with tri-ply clad construction, which means it’s made with a triple layer of metal: 18/10 stainless steel, an aluminum core, and magnetic stainless steel. Having all three throughout the pots and pans promotes even heating and excellent conductivity. Other design features include stay-cool stainless-steel handles that are riveted for stability and a mirror-polished stainless-steel exterior finish that’s also easy to clean. The pans are also dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 500 degrees.
The price tag for this set is a little higher than some other stainless steel sets, but the top-quality materials, durable construction, and beautiful finish make it worth the investment. Plus, the set’s performance is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Material: Stainless steel with aluminum core | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees | What's Included: 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, 1.5-quart saucepan with lid, 2-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart saucepan with lid, 5-quart sauté pan with lid, 8-quart stockpot with lid
Related: The Best Skillets
With its excellent heat conductivity and enough pieces to really get you cooking, the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set (view at Amazon) is a surefire bet for an induction cooktop. The Circulon Symmetry 11-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set (view at Amazon) is perfect for those needing induction-safe nonstick cookware.
What to Look for in Cookware for an Induction Cooktop
When using an induction cooktop, you’ll have to be careful about the kinds of pots and pans you use. Certain materials are induction-ready while others aren’t. Magnetic materials like stainless steel over aluminum, cast iron, and enamel on metal are all safe to use on an induction cooktop. However, avoid glass, ceramic, aluminum on its own, and copper.
Of the materials used for induction-ready cookware, stainless steel over aluminum is the most common. "Stainless is bar none to most durable and versatile cookware material," says Martin. "You can scratch it, drop it, burn it, and it’ll always come clean (sometimes with a little extra elbow grease) and be ready for your next culinary adventure! It is virtually indestructible and endlessly refurbishable."
"The tradeoff here is that you'll need to do some homework to learn how to properly cook with your new set because stainless steel is not inherently nonstick," he says. "You’ll need to find information on the appropriate fat and heat combinations to save yourself from spoiling tonight’s dinner."
Purchasing a cookware set is more cost-effective than purchasing pieces individually. The more variety, the better. Look for a set that includes frying pans and saucepans that come in multiple sizes, since that will give you more versatility for cooking. Some may even include a stockpot, saucepot, casserole dish, measuring spoons, steamer insert, or utensils. Determine what’s important to you and choose a cookware set that contains your must-have items.
Most stainless steel cookware sets are dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze. Clean your stainless steel cookware gently with mild soap and a non-abrasive sponge to avoid scratches and a damaged finish.
All pots and pans are prone to some wear and tear, and induction-friendly sets are no exception. Stainless steel cookware may show water spots, get dinged or warped, or get food stuck on it since the surface isn’t nonstick. With the proper care, these imperfections can be avoided or at least kept to a minimum.
To best maintain your stainless steel cookware, follow these tips:
- To prevent water spots, dry your cookware immediately. This stops them from forming in the first place.
- When boiling water, salt your water after it’s come to a boil to prevent pitting corrosion.
- Heat your pan before adding oil. Then, let the oil get hot before adding food to prevent the steel from becoming static.
- To prevent sticking, avoid putting frozen food directly onto the hot pan. Let frozen food sit out for a few minutes before cooking.
- Allow the pan to cool completely before washing or submerging in cold water as this could lead to warping.
- Use vinegar or baking soda to remove discoloration stains.
Can you use induction cookware on other cooktops?
Induction-friendly cookware is not exclusive to induction cooktops. Stainless steel pots and pans can also be used on gas and electric stoves.
Is there an easy way to know if cookware is induction-ready?
Cookware must have a magnetic bottom to be induction-ready. An easy way to tell is by holding a magnet to the bottom of the pot or pan. If it clings to the bottom of the cookware, it’s induction friendly.
Can cookware damage an induction cooktop?
You should take extra care of your induction cooktop since they are usually made of fragile glass or ceramic. Daily use will likely not damage an induction cooktop, but it may become scratched or cracked if handled incorrectly. Your cookware is unlikely to damage your induction cooktop.
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