One of the greatest ways to make cooking more efficient is induction cooking, and when you have the best induction cookware then what you get is a fantastic meal preparation experience while not using nearly as much energy as you would otherwise, along with many other benefits.
The critical thing to remember with induction cooking as that the process is designed to work best with induction stoves and induction cookware. There are many instances when you can use conventional cookware on an induction stove, and vice versa, but for the purposes of these reviews we are going to act as if you have the induction stove so that the reviews will be most authentic and completely relevant.
When you invest in an induction cooking system, it makes complete sense to get the right induction cookware. Check out the table below for our top picks.
What is Induction Cooking
When you think of the term induction cooking, it sounds like there must be a lot going on in the way of physics, and the truth is that assumption is largely correct. If you are someone who understands the different properties of heat transfer (something that cooking is beholden to) then it makes sense to read up on induction cooking. But, what about the person who is physics challenged?
The best way to explain induction cooking is with one word: magnets. Now, there is a ton that can be said about electromagnetism and the electromagnetic field and how that works, but basically your stove is turned into a transformer, and that transformer conducts a requisite amount of heat. The difference is in the energy transfer. Traditional cooking uses radiation – that is the heat radiates out from the heat source and heats the different elements. That’s how gas ranges and outdoor grills work, and electric ranges use the principle of conduction – specifically the metal to metal contact of burner coils and metal pots and pans. This has been the way cook for ages, and there has been tremendous benefit but also some issues associated with it as well.
As induction cooking turns your stove into a transformer, that may sound incredibly dangerous by the reality is the heat source is the interaction between the magnetized areas themselves. This interaction allows you to control the heat in a safer way than in other ways, and the cookware’s design makes it so that you get the same cooking experience regardless of how you used to do it in the past.
The classic stainless steel look is one way in which the more technology advances in our world the more we cling to the classics. In the case of the ELO Cookware Silicano, you have an induction cookware set that provides impeccable results while not looking like something from a far distant world of the future, and we all rejoice at having the future without it being intimidating.
However, this cookware set is deceptively futuristic. For example, how do you do when it comes to measuring out liquid quantities before cooking? What about when you add oil to a pan – in the ELO there are rings in the center of the pans measuring out the difference between a teaspoon of oil and a tablespoon of oil, and along the side are measurements for liquids, so if you are making a soup you know exactly how much stock to add.
There are other great features as well, the copper core of each pot means that you have better conductivity, which means the pan heats evenly and quickly, also the ergonomic handles are perfect for handling the pots and pans. You won’t strain your wrist – always a plus.
There are a couple things to be concerned about – first, you can’t really use this cookware in the oven because it is only safe up to 392 degrees Fahrenheit. The other issue is this cookware doesn’t seem to have the best lids out there, almost a bit cheaply made as if they are an afterthought.
The ELO is the best induction cookware out there and works on all types of stoves, but if you are looking to do induction cooking, you can’t do better!
- Copper core distributes heat very well to all parts of the pots and pans
- Measurements within the pot are very helpful to getting accurate cooking
- Ergonomic handles mean that you never have any issue handling these pots and pans
- The pots and pans are oven safe, but only to 392 degrees Fahrenheit
- The lids do not seem to be made with the same level of care as the pot and pans themselves
When something is comprehensive, that means it should leave no doubt that every single possible use in the world is covered. Also, when you name your brand Chef Star, you should be sure that your comprehensive nature is only exceeded by its quality. So, it stands to reason when you do both of those things, that you can charge a hefty amount for your cookware. You’d be right – expect Chef Star decided that though the price might be somewhat expensive, you literally get everything you need in one stop.
Here’s the run-down of what you get – two frying pans, two sauce pans, casserole pan, sauté pan, stock pot, lids for all, along with slotted spoons, spatulas, and other cooking instruments. That is a lot of cookware for its price. But, then you get the quality – this particular cookware set can stand temperatures of up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning you can do braises and other types of oven work with the cookware set.
The other great part of this particular cookware set is how remarkably durable it is. Perhaps when you see something can withstand up to 550 degrees of heat it speaks for itself. However, the Chef Star is notable because the serious cook will get a lot of use out of these pots and pans. Furthermore, they will experience great satisfaction with how consistently everything cooks in each piece of cookware.
The big problems that people have with the Chef Star is that despite using a lot of oil or butter, there tends to be lots of residue stuck to the cookware. Whether this occurs from inexperience with cooking remains to be seen, but it happens enough that it is worth including in a review. The other issue is if you are someone who does not do much culinary work beyond the basics, then this is too much cookware for you.
If you are looking for a great cookware set that gives you everything you could want, then you can do far worse than the Chef Star, it is definitely worth checking out if you are serious about cooking.
- 17 piece set means you are getting a lot for your money
- This set is very durable and will last you a long time
- Can withstand up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven
- For the novice cook, this is way too many pieces for their needs
- Fond tends to get very caked on to the pans and needs a lot of scrubbing to remove
There are many reasons why people who cook with Teflon pot and pans swear by them – they are easy to clean, no worries about different types of residue staying with the pans, and ultimately in many respects they allow you a level of control without having to deal with all the different things that can trip up novice cooks that more experienced cooks can work around – like how to use fond.
With T-fal, they have added some interesting features to help you cook the right way. First, there is their patented “Thermo-spot” that tells you when the pot or pan is optimally heated so that you can add oil and/or butter. One thing to remember though is never to heat a Teflon pan too much without oil because that could melt the Teflon and cause you to inhale noxious gases. However, the thermo-spot is a fantastic way to help the novice chef learn about controlling heat.
Besides the other advantages of Teflon, this particular set can be used with metal utensils. Normally, it is a big no-no to use metal utensils when cooking with Teflon because it scratches the finish, however T-fal made sure that their Teflon coating would be durable as many chefs feel more confident with metal utensils than they do with plastics.
The downside however is that these pots and pans are only good up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. Basically, unless it is something really basic and you don’t mind letting it cook for a while, you are good with these pans. The other issue is even on the stovetop, you can only use them and have them last if you keep the heat on low to medium. This isn’t good if you need to sear something.
The T-fal set provides a lot of advantages for people who are seeking to cook with the benefits of Teflon, but the low temperatures required mean you have to be patient.
- Teflon coating means that you have a lot of ease when cleaning these particular pots and pans
- Thermo-spot helps you judge when the temperature is right to add oil and begin the cooking process
- Teflon finish is durable so you are able to use metal utensils with this set
- Oven safe up to 400 degrees, which doesn’t do much
- Need to cook on low to medium heat on the stove otherwise you will risk ruining the pans
One of the worst things out in the marketplace is the idea that if something does not cost a vast amount of money that its quality is in direct proportion to the price. The reality is there are many different reasons why products succeed or fail, and sure, sometimes this has to do with the price point because there isn’t as much cost in making the products. However, the Heim Concept series for induction cooking seeks to show that you can get great cookware while not spending the same amount of money it costs to go to Williams-Sonoma to get a single Dutch Oven.
The Heim is a 12-piece set that actually provides very good durability for the price. In fact, many people report that the stainless steel set stands up to frequent cooking very well, and there is no need to worry about if it will last. This is what makes it a great value – low price plus a long shelf-life, and when you come across that it would be foolish not to seize the opportunity.
The other thing that people love about these pots and pans is the ergonomic design. Instead of hurting your wrist while trying to move the pots and pans, the design works with your natural intuition and allows you to have even more control over the stove – and that’s never a bad thing.
However, there are some bad things to discuss, the first is when you clean these pots and pans, make sure that you check the rivets. There are reports of water getting behind the rivets and when heated, the water expands and forces out the rivets, this can potentially injure you. Another issue is that these pots and pans are not oven safe.
Great value does mean some limitations, but in the case of Heim, they have managed to pull off fantastic value with good quality.
- Great durability that outlasts pots and pans that cost twice as much
- Perfect set of pots and pans for those who are on a budget
- Ergonomic handles mean that pots and pans are easy for you to handle in all sorts of cooking situations
- Rivets may get water behind them, be sure to clean and dry thoroughly before using
- Pots and pans are not oven safe, limiting what you can do with them
When you pay a premium for an item you expect that the item is going to have great quality to justify the high price. In many cases, high prices do connote high quality and depending on how you intend to use the item is indicative of why you are willing to pay a high price for it. Think of a car – if you are planning to use a luxury car for its luxurious features, it is worth it.
In the case of the Duxtop induction pots and pans, you are paying a price for only a nine piece set. And that’s ok. These pots and pans perform very well in the areas of heat distribution along with durability; in fact, when you tell someone how much you paid for them, they could think that they are a value, however there are other pots and pans that perform similarly well but you get more in your cookware set.
The biggest advantage, however, for the Duxtop set is that they are oven safe up to 550 degrees. On these reviews only one other set can boast that same resistance. This is important – if you are someone who needs to use pots and pans in the oven to prepare meals, then this set provides great value.
However, there are some things that you should be aware of – besides the value. The biggest issue is that these pots and pans need a certain type of environment, if you are in a humid area or are someone who has a newer induction stove, these pans can be dodgy, and even develop pits.
Paying for these pots and pans is a good investment if you are seeking decent durability along with doing a fair amount of oven cooking.
- Fairly good reliability except in certain cases
- Oven safe up to 550 degrees
- Very good about consistent heating
- Expensive set for only 9 pieces – the 9 includes lids
- If you live in a humid environment, these pots and pans can get pits and other issues
Benefits of Induction Cooking
There are many different benefits to induction cooking, but perhaps the biggest benefit is that with induction cooking you are working with food in a way that is more environmentally friendly. The short version is that induction cooking makes more efficient use of heat than traditional methods of cooking – statistically induction cooking uses 80% of heat produced to cook while traditional cooking situations like gas ranges only use 40%. Now, gas is the gold standard because the heat is theoretically easier to control, but as seen here, is fairly inefficient.
Because there is less wasted energy with induction cooking this is more of an environmentally friendly way to prepare your dinner. It does not take as long for the heating element to get the cookware to the proper temperature, and you have greater heat control than you do with other types of stoves. Furthermore, another benefit of induction cooking is that unlike with gas, you are not breathing in harmful chemicals like carbon monoxide.
Ultimately, investing in induction cooking and induction cookware has many benefits, but perhaps the most profound is that you are reducing your carbon footprint and giving your children and grandchildren a cleaner world, and who could argue against that.
Making sure that you have the best induction cookware means that you have taken seriously the investment in an induction stove. This is something that will yield many positive results. Besides tasty meals that take less prep time to deliver to the table, you also get the satisfaction of having an easier clean up along with using something that is far more efficient.