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Does Stainless Steel Work On Induction Cooktops? – Use Safely

Does Stainless Steel Work On Induction Cooktops

Despite offering several benefits, induction cooktops only work with some pots and pans. The cookware should be compatible with induction technology which is present only in a few. But does stainless steel work on induction cooktops? Luckily, stainless steel works on induction stoves if a magnetic grade is used.

Stainless steel is made of alternating alloys or metals; only some with lesser nickel content work with induction cooktops. If stainless steel has magnetic properties, it is ideal for induction, while non-magnetic stainless steel (with more nickel) is incompatible. 

This guide has elaborated on every important aspect to help you better understand how induction works and why you should opt for it.

Does Stainless Steel Work On Induction Cooktops?

Your stainless steel can work on induction cooktops, but It requires some electromagnetic properties. Most stainless steel, carbon steel, cast iron pots, and pans have magnetic materials compatible with induction. However, not all stainless steel types are for induction. So, choose the type of steel safe for induction cooking.

stainless steel works on induction stoves

There are two main types of stainless steel:

Ferritic Stainless Steel 

This type of stainless steel has magnetic properties to work on the induction by creating a magnetic field. This stainless steel contains 10.5% to 18% Chromium and less than 0.2% carbon. However, the nickel content is very low and counted as nickel-free steel. Therefore, Ferritic stainless steel is compatible with induction cooktops.

Austenitic Stainless Steel 

In contrast, austenitic stainless steel doesn’t include magnetic properties and has a high nickel content which makes it incompatible with working on an induction cooktop. With the increase of nickel, the crystal structure converts from ferrite to austenite. In these types of stainless steel, there is 18% chromium and 8% nickel. These elements increase the corrosion-resistant abilities of stainless steel to give more temperature sustainability.

Stainless Steel Grades

Some stainless steel grades can work on induction cooktops along with types of stainless steel. These grades decide how durable, magnetic, and corrosion-resistant stainless steel is. Two primary grades, 304 & 316, belong to austenitic types lacking magnetism.

  • Type 304 is the most commonly used stainless steel alloy containing 18% to 20% chromium and 8% to 10% nickel. Other alloys, such as carbon, manganese, silicon, and iron, are also present in this stainless steel.
  • Type 316 has a similar composition that includes 2% to 3% molybdenum as an additional element, improving rust-resistant properties.

What Makes Stainless Steel Work On Induction Cooktops?

Stainless steel has certain unique qualities that work best on induction cooktops. Some of those characteristics are:

  • The non-conductive nature of stainless steel doesn’t require it to be heated to build an electrical current. It makes steel ideal for induction.
  • Even with its non-conductive nature, stainless steel has a comparably higher thermal conductivity than copper, allowing easy and quick heat transfer. So, if your pan’s bottom is made of stainless steel, it will take longer than expected to heat and cook food. A pan with stainless steel bottom has better heat conductivity and takes heat faster than gas or electric cooktops.
  • Stainless steel is induction safe due to durability, better than cast iron, aluminum, and Teflon-coated cookware.
  • It is affordable and convenient to maintain. You can easily clean it with mild dish soap and warm water. In case of scratches, you can polish the surface.

Does Stainless Steel Work On Induction Cooktop

How Does Stainless Steel Work On Induction?

The current in stainless steel cookware is induced due to the material’s ferromagnetic properties, which help produce heat. Stainless steel itself isn’t a good heat conductor, but it is coated over aluminum or copper to increase conduction. The magnetic field creates when the copper coil and electric current combine in the cooking space. The coupling effect of electric and magnetic fields permeates into the bottom of the pan to produce heat to cook food.

How Does Stainless Steel Work On Induction

In most stainless steel for induction, a layer of copper or aluminum is added inside the pan to increase the conductivity. This layering of stainless steel compatible with induction with inner layers of copper or aluminum is known as Tri-Ply.

All these materials increase the heat dispersion thoroughly and quickly in steel pans to keep the overall uniform temperature. However, an equal size and flat bottom are necessary for stainless steel to work on induction cooktops.

Checking the Compatibility of Stainless Steel For Induction

How to know your stainless steel work on induction cooktops? If you are still determining whether your pots and pans are compatible with induction, you can learn it by following methods.

Method 1 – Use A Magnet

Take a magnet and touch it with your pan. If the magnet sticks to the pan, it means there is a magnetic alloy in the pan compatible with induction. However, if it doesn’t attach to cookware, a nonmagnetic alloy may be used in manufacturing. Such stainless steel cookware doesn’t work on induction.

Method 2 – Look For the Symbol

The other method involves looking for the symbol or any sign at the bottom of stainless steel cookware that confirms induction-ready.

The symbol is like a piece of coiled wire attached in a horizontal shape.

Downsides of Using Stainless Steel On Induction

Even though stainless steel offers several benefits and works ideally on induction cooktops, there are some downsides that you must consider to avoid any risk or damage.

  • Stainless steel and induction cooktops are the best matches, but the costs are comparably higher than aluminum or other materials.
  • During induction, cookware usually warps due to the overexposure of stainless steel at higher temperatures.
  • Also, cleaning them with great care is necessary to avoid scratches. The excessive use of pans scratches the surface and gets more difficult if stubborn stains are present.


What is the best cookware for an induction cooktop?

If you are looking for versatile and best cookware for induction cooktops, stainless steel pots and pans are ideal for working. They are long-lasting and have magnetic properties that make them compatible with induction. Cast iron and carbon steel can also work on induction.

What should you not use on an induction cooktop?

Metals without magnetism, such as copper and aluminum, are incompatible with induction. Even if you try to cook in a copper or aluminum pan on induction, it will not get hot. The glass-ceramic cookware also doesn’t work on induction cooktops.

Final Thoughts

So, stainless steel is undoubtedly best for induction cooking if the right type and grade are used. If you want pots and pans compatible with induction cooktops, stainless steel is highly recommended for your kitchen cookware.

In case you already have stainless steel at home, run the compatibility test before using it on induction. We hope this guideline will help you use stainless steel safely over induction technology.

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