Can You Use Induction Cookware on a Gas Stove?

Can You Use Induction Cookware on a Gas Stove?dglimages /123RF

Most induction-friendly pans and pots can indeed be used on a gas stove. As long as you follow these ground rules.

So you’re here because you’re eyeing this beautiful, versatile cookware set that’s listed as induction-compatible… but you own a gas stove.

And, before spending all of that money on it, you understandably want to know if induction cookware works with gas stoves in the first place.

Let’s get into it, then. Can you use induction cookware on a gas stove?

As a rule of thumb, induction cookware can also be used on a gas stove. The only difference between induction-friendly and regular cookware is that the former must contain enough iron or magnetized steel to be able to pick up—and react to—magnetic fields.

The key difference between a gas and an induction stove is that one burns a flame to transfer heat to your pans and pots, whereas the other creates a magnetic field that heats them directly. (If you’re curious why, I’ve written in-depth about the methods of heat transfer.)

So these two types of stoves tend to have different requirements for the cookware that you’re using on them.

On a gas range, you need thick-walled, heavy-bottomed pans and pots capable of enduring the intense heat of the flame without warping and distributing the heat of the flame to your food evenly.

On an induction cooker, you need sturdy and heavy cooking vessels that contain enough iron (or magnetized steel) to be attracted to magnets, so that it heats quickly and evenly from the magnetic field generated by the appliance.

As you can probably imagine by now, cookware compatible with induction stoves will typically work with gas or electric stoves. However, not every cooking vessel that works with gas or electric will work on induction.

Here’s what I mean:

Cookware MaterialGas StoveInduction Stove
Aluminum, with ceramic coatingCompatibleCompatible only if magnetized
Aluminum, with non-stick coatingCompatibleCompatible only if magnetized
Carbon steelCompatibleCompatible
Cast ironCompatibleCompatible
CopperCompatible only if lined with silver or stainless steelNot compatible
Stainless steel with an aluminum base/coreCompatibleCompatible only if magnetized
Stainless steel with a copper base/coreCompatibleCompatible only if magnetized
Cookware that works with gas vs. induction

Why You Need Special Cookware on Induction

Induction stoves work differently than their gas and electric counterparts.

Instead of burning a flame or heating an element to transfer heat to your cooking vessels, they create a powerful magnetic field that heats your pans and pots from the inside out.

But an induction stove won’t just work with any pan or pot that’s stacked inside your kitchen cabinets. To cook on induction, you need to have so-called “ferromagnetic” cookware, which contains enough cast iron, carbon steel, or stainless steel for magnets to be attracted to it.

That’s the sole reason why some pans and pots—like carbon steel and cast iron skillets as well as aluminum and stainless steel frying pans with a magnetized bottom—are compatible with induction cooktops, while others are not.

Cookware brands typically indicate if their pans and pots are compatible with induction ranges or not by including the terms “induction-friendly” or “induction-comptabile” on the label and product description.

Why You Need High-Quality Cookware on Gas

Gas stoves, when installed and regulated properly, burn a blue flame at a temperature of 3,596°F.

They offer quick and precise temperature control by letting you twist the heat dial to turn the flow of natural gas on and off, as well as adjust the burner flame’s level.

A gas stove can be used with just about any type of cookware. However, they work best with high-quality skillets, Dutch ovens, and stockpots with thick walls and heavy bottoms that are capable of holding on to heat and distributing it evenly.

Thin, flimsy cooking vessels—the kind that you can get for a few bucks at the cookware aisle of any supermarket or home improvement store—are prone to having hot and cold spots. In other words, they’ll burn your foods in some spots while leaving them undercooked in others.

The good news is that, since they need costly materials and require additional steps to make, induction cooking vessels are typically on the higher end. Hence why any good pan or pot that works with an induction stove should be perfectly good to use on a gas stove, too.

Tips for Using Induction Cookware on Gas

Below are some tips for using induction pans and pots (and, to be frank with you, they apply to cookware as a whole) on a gas stove.

Aluminum Coated With Non-Stick

Most non-stick cookware is made of an aluminum cooking vessel sprayed with a PTFE coating. (This type of vessels are also known as “Teflon,” the brand name for the chemical PTFE, which belongs to the company that discovered it in the 1940s.)

Non-stick pans and pots shouldn’t be heated to temperatures above 500°F, or their coating can get damaged. For the same reasons, you should never heat a non-stick pan empty and for longer than 15-20 seconds.

To use a non-stick pan, apply 1 tablespoon of cooking oil to the bottom and sides of the pan with the help of a paper towel. Preheat the pan over medium heat and quickly toss in the food or pour some cooking liquid (water, broth, beer, wine, canned tomatoes) in it to bring its temperature down and start the cooking process.

A gas stove is pretty powerful—and its flame is very intense—so never turn the heat all the way up to high when you’re using non-stick cookware on one. Medium-low heat is best for frying in butter (butter burns quickly), medium heat for frying in oil, and medium-high heat for boiling eggs or pasta and simmering sauces or soups.

Aluminum Coated With Ceramic

Contrary to popular belief, ceramic cookware isn’t made of ceramic at all. Ceramic pans and pots consist of an aluminum body sprayed with sol-gel ceramic.

As a metal, aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat. It heats up quickly and cools down just as fast. This is why a ceramic pan only needs to be preheated for 15-20 seconds before it’s ready to cook in.

Ceramic pans’ cooking surface is coated with a thin layer of food-grade silicone oil, a tiny amount of which gets released whenever you cook, giving the cookware non-stick properties.

That surface wears off after about a hundred uses, which is why these pans are said to have the shortest useful life. Though you can keep on cooking with a ceramic pan after it’s gotten sticky, it will no longer have non-stick properties and you will need to drizzle plenty of oil in it on every use.

Carbon Steel and Cast Iron

Thick and heavy, carbon steel pans and cast iron skillets are made in a cast from a single piece of molten metal.

This makes them perfect to use on a gas stove as they won’t warp as easily as other pans. They’re slower to get up to heat but, once they do, are capable of holding on to that heat for a long time and distributing it evenly.

To keep food from sticking to your carbon steel or cast iron skillet, make sure it’s well-seasoned and drizzle a tablespoon or two of cooking oil on every use. Don’t use them over high heat as it can cause the seasoning to flake off.

These pans and pots take longer to get up to heat. When I cook with mine, I preheat them for a good 4-5 minutes over medium to medium-high heat. When I hold my palm close to the cooking surface and it radiates heat, I know it’s hot enough to cook in.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat. So poor, that it needs the help of another metal, like aluminum or copper, to heat quickly and evenly.

That’s the main reason why present-day stainless steel pans and pots have a stainless steel exterior, and feature an aluminum or copper disc-shaped bottom or, on higher-end cooking vessels, an inner core.

These metals have been bonded together tightly. When heated or cooled down, though, they’ll bend and twist to a various extent, making stainless steel cookware particularly prone to warping.

Use stainless steel pans and pots over medium to medium-high heat. To keep them from warping, never place a hot pan on a cold surface, like a cold countertop or wooden board, and allow it to cool before rinsing it under running water in your sink.

In my experience, it takes 2-3 minutes to preheat a stainless steel pan or pot on a gas stove. You can add the oil to the pan before or after you’ve brought it to heat; it doesn’t make much of a difference for your cooking. I prefer to do so before; it makes it easy to tell when it’s hot enough to cook in (it starts to ripple and glisten).

Copper

Copper pans, especially if they’re lined with tin, are not a great choice for gas stoves. Tin melts at a temperature of 450°F so, unless you’re good at controlling the flame, you might damage your cookware and need to have it re-tinned.

Silver- and stainless steel-linings are okay. To be on the safe side, read through the manufacturer’s usage instructions before cooking with a copper pan on a gas stove. This type of cookware doesn’t come cheap, and you don’t want to damage it in a way that’s not covered by the warranty.

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    1. Post
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      Jim the Home Cook

      Hey there, Paul!

      Great question and thanks for stopping by.

      A ceramic pan, induction-friendly or not, is essentially an aluminum or stainless steel cooking vessel sprayed with a ceramic coating (cookware manufacturers call this “sol-gel”).

      You should be good to use a ceramic pan on a gas stove as long as you keep the following few peculiarities in mind:

      1/ These pans are highly conductive and preheat quickly, so never preheat yours for longer than 20-30 seconds;
      2/ It’s not a good idea to preheat a coated pan, ceramic or teflon, empty. So drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil in your pan, greasing the bottom and sides with the help of a paper towel.
      3/ Start with medium heat. Gas stoves, as you mentioned, get really hot—and ceramic pans are very responsive—so medium heat should give you just enough heat to brown, but not burn, whatever it is that you’re cooking.

      Some ceramic pans have white or pastel-colored exteriors and a metallic plate on the bottom. It’s important to note that the flame may cause stains on its exterior.

      Jim

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