In the last few years I’ve learned a lot about which pans work and which don’t for induction cooking. Overall, you want a sturdy saucepan that heats up evenly and quickly. Plus, it needs to work with an induction cooktop.
When I tried out various brands of saucepans for induction cooking, All-Clad was a clear choice for quality, design, and versatility. I like how consistently and quickly it cooks. It can also withstand a transition from stovetop to a high-temperature broiler.
My favorite choice is a bit pricey, so I’ve also included high-quality options for a smaller budget. While I’m not a fan of the chemicals on non-stick surfaces, I’ve also included a couple of non-stick induction saucepans. Plus, I’ve found some excellent saucepans for people looking for heavy-duty or larger-capacity options.
Read on to better understand what to look for in an induction saucepan. I’ve included information about how to use them along with a list of the six best induction saucepans I’ve found.
Induction Saucepan Buying Guide
When you’re in the market for an induction saucepan, there are a few things that you need to understand before you get started. I’ll start by explaining how an induction cooktop works, explain which types of pans work and don’t work with one, and explain the differences you might experience cooking with an induction saucepan.
How Does an Induction Cooktop Work?
Induction cooktops use electric currents to heat pots and pans through magnetic induction rather than thermal induction.
An electric current moves through a copper wire beneath the cooking surface, creating a magnetic field that heats the contents of the pan.
Advantages of Induction Cooking
The advantages of induction cooking eventually won me over, including that they’re:
- More energy efficient: An induction cooktop is more efficient at cooking than traditional cooking methods like gas and electric because it loses less heat.
- Boils water faster: Water boils 50% faster than electric cooktops because there is no heat waste.
- Precise temperature control: Better temperature control than a normal electric range makes cooking easier. Once I switched to induction, I stopped accidentally burning food when a burner got too hot.
- More responsive: The cooktop changes temperatures faster than other types of cooktop types.
- Easier to clean: Any cooktop is easier to clean than gas. However, induction cooktops are even easier to clean than glass top electrics because they are cool enough to clean immediately after cooking.
- Safer: Because the cooking surface stays cool, it’s safer to use, and you’re less likely to burn yourself while cooking. Induction cooking also doesn’t release pollutants like carbon monoxide into the air like gas ranges do.
Disadvantages of Induction Cooking
I feel like the advantages of induction cooking far outweigh the disadvantages:
- Not all pans work: If you already have an induction cooktop, you probably already learned the hard way that not every pan and skillet you own will work with your cooktop. Some of your favorite pans may become useless, and it can be more challenging to find pans that do work.
- Dangerous for pacemakers: People with pacemakers could experience problems around induction cooktops.
Materials That Work and Don’t Work for Induction Cooktops
When you’re looking for the best saucepans for induction cooktops, it’s vital to choose a pan made from the correct materials.
Let’s look at which saucepan materials will and won’t work with an induction cooktop.
Which Materials Work on Induction Cooktops?
Since induction cooking relies on magnetism for cooking, your cookware has to be ferromagnetic. So, either it needs to contain iron or have a layer with a magnetic metal.
The following types of saucepans will work on an induction cooktop:
- Cast iron
- Enameled cast iron
- Most stainless steels
Keep in mind that not all stainless steel cookware will work. I found myself having to return an All-Clad’s MC2 because it was made of aluminum and stainless steel and wasn’t magnetic enough to work.
Which Materials Don’t Work on Induction Cooktops?
Saucepans for your induction range made solely from these materials will usually not work:
Interestingly, as induction cooking grows in popularity, some manufacturers have started adding a magnetic layer to the bottom of pans made from these materials. So, if you see a nice set of copper pans you like, you shouldn’t immediately discount them as not usable; you might be lucky enough to find that the manufacturer added a magnetic layer.
How to Check If a Pan Is Induction-Compatible
If you want to check to see if a pan is compatible with induction cooking, you can try to check its magnetic qualities by performing a magnet test. Here’s what the results will tell you:
- Strong magnetism: If the magnetic holds on firmly to the bottom of the pan, it will work on an induction cooktop.
- Weak magnetism: If the magnetism is weak, the pan probably won’t work well with induction cooking.
- No magnetism: If there is no magnetic pull, the pan doesn’t have the right type of metals and won’t heat your food.
Another way to check for compatibility is to look for the “induction compatible” symbol on the bottom of the pan. The symbol usually looks like a coil or a horizontal zigzag.
How to Cook With an Induction Saucepan
Even the best cook will go through a period of adjustment switching from one cooktop style to another. When I first switched from gas to electric, I burned more than I care to admit. And I did the same thing when I finally switched to induction. But, eventually, I got used to the new cooking method, and I never want to go back to either gas or electric.
Here’s what you can expect when cooking in an induction saucepan:
- The temperature remains the same: It can be an adjustment to realize that the temperature won’t build slowly like with electric or gas. Instead, it remains at the same precise temperature until you change it.
- It heats up quickly: There’s no need to wait for a while for your pan to heat up. As a result, I find it helpful to have all my ingredients ready to go before I start cooking because there’s not as much lag time for prep.
- Foods cook faster: It’s easy to accidentally overcook or burn a recipe that you’ve made successfully for years. I suggest starting out cooking on a lower setting at first until you get used to this cooking method. Timers are also your friend.
The Best Induction Saucepans
Here are the six best induction saucepans I’ve tested.
All Clad – Best Overall
Superior quality often comes at a higher price, which is the case with All-Clad’s 5-layer stainless steel saucepan. The consistent cooking surface is what sets this pan apart from others. The 18/10 stainless steel on the outside distributes the heat evenly for cooking, the aluminum core provides rapid heating, and the stainless steel core reduces hot spots. I like how every area of the pan cooks consistently and quickly so that everything’s done at the same time.
Not only does this pan work well on an induction cooktop, but it’s also oven and broiler safe up to 600°F (315°C). And its 3-quart (2.84-liter) size allows you to serve 12 one-cup servings.
The long handle on the pot makes it well-balanced for lifting, and the extra handle prevents dangerous spills and splashes, especially if you need to pour out liquid to strain the contents of your pot. The handle also resists heating, so it makes transporting the pan from the stove that much easier.
- Consistent and fast cooking
- Heat distributes evenly across the pan
- Dishwasher safe
- Oven safe up to 600°F (315°C)
- The lid is stainless steel rather than glass
Duxtop Stainless Steel – Best Quality Saucepan
I’m a big fan of stainless steel saucepans with glass lids like this one. I especially found a glass lid helpful when I was new to induction cooking so that I wouldn’t accidentally burn my rice when it boiled down faster than I expected.
You’ll also recognize a distinctive difference in quality because it cooks food quickly and easily. If you’re used to inferior cookware, you may be surprised to find that you don’t have to turn the heat up as high to cook with these. The nice thing is that the high quality comes at a lower price than you’d expect.
I like that it’s made with 18/10 food grade stainless steel, a layer of heavy, gauge aluminum, and a bottom layer of 18/0 magnetic stainless steel, which makes it safe to use. It’s a 2.5 quart (2.37 liter) saucepan, so it can hold 10 1-cup (128-gram) servings of food (a 1.6-quart pan is also available). The top of the pan overhangs slightly for a no-drip pour design.
The pan is oven-safe up to 550°F (287°C), while the lid is oven-safe up to 400°F (204°C), so you can easily transfer it from stovetop to oven (or the other way around).
- Glass lid
- Riveted lid handles
- Oven and dishwasher safe
- Stainless steel
- Handle needs to be longer to prevent burns while pouring
Swiss Diamond Non-Stick – Best Heavy-Duty Saucepan
Aluminum alone isn’t magnetic, but Swiss Diamond uses anodized aluminum in this saucepan, which makes it somewhat conductive. Although it won’t heat up nearly as fast as more conductive metals, it still gets the job done. Plus, anodized aluminum is twice as strong as stainless steel and should resist changing shape, so your pan will make surface contact for years to come.
I’m not a huge fan of non-stick surfaces. This one promises to be PFOA free, but it doesn’t say that it’s PTFE-free. You will also have to baby the surface with silicone and wooden utensils to prevent scratches when you stir. However, cleanup is a breeze, and you don’t have to use as much oil on your food.
The 3-quart saucepan is big enough for a hearty stew and will provide 12 one-cup servings. You can also get the pan in 1.5-quart and 2-quart sizes.
- Easy to clean
- Solid and sturdy build
- Glass lid
- Cooks more slowly
- The non-stick surface may flake
Cuisinart – Best Budget Induction Saucepan
If you’re looking for an inexpensive option that will work as well or better than other induction saucepans, Cuisinart’s is an excellent choice. It has an aluminum layer inside to help the pan heat quickly and evenly. Meanwhile, the stainless steel surface makes it induction-friendly.
The bottom is heavy, so it provides even heating underneath. However, the sides are thin, so you might lose heat through them over time. However, the cooking process is still smooth and fast. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty, so you know it’s built to last.
This 1-quart (0.95-liter) saucepan only provides four 1-cup servings, so it’s the type of pan you’d use to warm milk or make sauces. The shape of the rim also makes sauces easy to pour. The pan and lid handle designs are easy to grip and stay cool.
This saucepan is cheap enough and works well enough to consider buying the set. Other sizes to buy individually include 1.5 quarts, three quarts, and six quarts. Or buy as a set with 8-16 pieces.
- Consistent heating
- Lifetime warranty
- Sets available
- Glass lid shatters easily
- Thin sides
Avacraft – Best Large Capacity Induction Saucepan
When you’re looking for a large capacity induction saucepan for stews or braising large pieces of meat, Avacraft is a stand-out at a reasonable price.
Its five layers are specially designed for superior induction cooking. The inner and outer surfaces are stainless steel, while the inner layers are made of aluminum for quick heating and a heat-retention layer. The internal layers help distribute heat evenly.
The lid and pot handles both have a silicone coating to make them cooler to handle. I especially appreciate the straining holes in the lid. And the 18/10 food-grade stainless steel interior has a matte finish to prevent scratches.
If you like the idea of silicone handles and lids with strainers, Avacraft has three other sizes: 1.5-quart, 2.5-quart, and 3.5-quart.
- Measurement marks inside
- Silicone handles
- Tempered glass lid with straining holes
- Lifetime warranty
- The bottom isn’t completely flat on some
- Inside metal may pit and discolor
Shineuri – Best Non-Stick Induction Saucepan
Cleanup and oil-free cooking are far easier in a non-stick pan. When I’m looking for a non-stick induction pan, I feel more comfortable with my choice if it’s PFOA- and PTEF-free, like this one is.
This ceramic and aluminum cookware has an induction bottom layer, making it easy to use on an induction cooktop. The aluminum helps the pan heat up quickly, while the ceramic helps keep the food warm. I also like the double rivets on the handle, which make it feel more sturdy.
The pan holds 1.5 quarts (1.42 liters), which provides six 1-cup servings of whatever you’re cooking.
- PFOA- and PTEF-free non-stick coating
- Handle doesn’t get hot
- Double rivets on the handle
- May not work on some induction cooktops
- Coating peels off easily
When looking for the best induction saucepans, All-Clad was the clear winner. Its five layers are built to heat up rapidly and evenly. The design is also superior for safety and ease of use. There’s a clear difference between using this pan and others of lesser quality.
The Duxtop comes in as a close second-place alternative. I like it because it has all the advantages of the All-Clad at a much lower price. The only negative is the handle design. However, it’s still an excellent choice on a budget.