Induction cooktops are the new trend slowly finding their way to every kitchen. They are safe, efficient, easy to clean, and a huge energy saver. There is a bit of a hiccup that comes with them, though: compatible cookware.
Copper is a traditional cookware material. If you have them, you know it is a flex to have them.
But does copper work on induction cooktops? Do you need to ditch your favorite copper pans for another set of induction-ready cookware?
Does copper cookware work on induction?
Ah! Copper! You have probably heard this comparison before, but to borrow words, owning copper cookware is similar to owning a sports car.
Do you absolutely need it? No, you don’t. But is it a fast, flashy, and head-turning item to have? Of course!
Copper’s history dates back to when agriculture was the primary means of living. It developed from being shaped as a decorative piece to becoming material for cookware.
Those thousands of years cemented copper’s status in the kitchen as both an aesthetic and quality piece.
The real magic comes from the physical property of copper. It has high conductivity and thermal diffusivity. In layman’s terms, it heats up evenly and quickly across the cookware and cools down relatively fast.
It’s perfect for cooking delicate proteins. They are also a great choice when making sauces, caramel, or chocolate since they decrease the risk of overcooking.
Tin is a material used to line copper cookware traditionally. It has excellent compatibility with copper and makes the surface non-stick and inert.
Lining it with tin solves copper reactivity towards acids like vinegar which can eventually lead to copper leaking into food. Today, stainless steel is a preferred option for its greater durability.
However, it’s not the Ferrari of the kitchen if it doesn’t come at a hefty price.
It is more expensive than most cookware nowadays, primarily because the supply is limited, and the bulk of it goes to manufacturing wires and electronic components.
Again, if you can afford it, why not buy it?
Of course, if you are a person who prefers an induction cooktop, it might be good to pause that train of thought for a bit.
The truth is that copper-based cookware doesn’t work on induction cooktops.
There are certain modifications done today which make it induction-compatible, and you’ll know of them below.
But first, what’s the science behind why copper does not work on induction?
Why doesn’t copper work on induction?
It all comes down to how induction works.
Induction cooktops use electromagnetism. The enforced magnetic field caused by the alternating current creates molecular friction on the material of the cookware. In turn, the cookware heats up.
However, the magnetic field only affects ferromagnetic materials. Iron is the perfect example of that.
Copper, unfortunately, isn’t. So, that fancy copper pan you have would be quite useless if you have an induction cooktop.
But all is not lost!
As mentioned above, copper cookware is usually lined with tin or stainless steel to eliminate copper’s reactivity to acids.
And since carbon and iron comprise steel, it has a ferromagnetic property that makes it suitable for induction cooktops!
A simple copper with stainless steel would be good enough for an induction cooktop. It has a bit of a problem, though: stainless steel doesn’t conduct heat well. Thus, it negates copper’s special ability to be heat-responsive.
Don’t worry! A few companies are up to making impossibilities come to life.
The famous French manufacturer, Mauviel and the American company All-Clad are examples of well-established companies that spent money on research to make induction-compatible copper cookware.
Does All Clad Copper Core work on induction?
All-Clad is a cookware manufacturing company founded in 1971. The American company’s copper core collection makes induction cooking a possibility. The collection features five bonded layers of copper, aluminum, and stainless steel.
Both copper and aluminum have excellent heat conductivity. It enables you to heat the cookware with even distribution.
However, copper and aluminum are not ferromagnetic and may also react to highly acidic food. Stainless steel, on the other hand, has superior durability with low conductivity.
All-Clad copper core uses all three components to create an induction-compatible five-ply construction. You have a ferromagnetic stainless steel exterior, followed by an aluminum layer, a copper core, another aluminum layer, and then a stainless steel cooking surface.
Copper Core cookware retains heat better than the original copper cookware. They are also less prone to scratches, so that’s a relief!
Does Mauviel copper work on induction?
Mauviel is an old name when it comes to copper cookware. Established in the 1800s, their 200 years of experience show expert engineering throughout. When advanced technology took the form of induction cooktops, Mauviel made a progressive step to match it.
Mauviel M ‘6S is a collection of induction-compatible cookware featuring pans, saucepans, and casseroles. They are clad from base to edge with a copper exterior, followed by three successive layers of aluminum and two layers of stainless steel as a cooking surface.
Ps. Mauviel M ‘6S features non-stick pans too. Stainless steel is notorious for not being non-stick so in case you want something that doesn’t leave a tough residue on your fancy pans, get it!
If you are not up to buying another cookware set, you can purchase the interface disc offered in their M’Plus collection. The interface disc uses magnetic stainless steel. Thus, it can make traditional copper cookware induction-compatible.
One of the main criteria for being induction-safe is not only ferromagnetism. It must also have a flat base. With Mauviel’s interface disc, you can still use your rounded pots and get that even heat distribution!
Does Red Copper pan work on induction?
Copper cookware can punch a hole in your wallet, so seeing a copper set on an infomercial that looks like a bargain buy should be enough to tempt anyone!
Red Copper doesn’t contain a copper layer per se, unlike Mauviel.
The Red Copper pan has a non-stick, copper-infused ceramic coating. Most copper components lie near the lower layer and not the cooking surface. The aluminum rings at its base allow for an even heat distribution.
However, Red Copper only has one pan that is suitable for induction.
The Red Copper Square Dance pan has stainless steel at the bottom, which gives it a ferromagnetic property. It’s non-stick, scratch resistant, and oven-safe until 500 F. Moreover, it doesn’t have toxic components and is PFOA- and PTFE-free.
If you want to venture into copper cookware without the high price, Red Copper is a good way to start your learning curve, especially on seasoning and low-temperature techniques.
Here are some maintenance tips to follow to get the most out of your Red Copper:
- Season your pan— Before using it, spread a thin oil coating and place it on a preheated oven set at 300 F for 20 minutes. Cool the pan afterward and wipe the oil.
- Use a paper towel for cleaning— before putting it in a dishwasher, wipe the cooking residue with either a paper towel or a soft cloth first. If it is still unclean, wash it gently in warm soapy water with a soft cloth.
- Choose high-heat oils— if you are in a high-temperature setting, avoid low-smoke oils and aerosol sprays that may not be able to withstand the heat. This can cause damage and hard-to-clean residue.
Does Copper Chef work on an induction cooktop?
Copper Chef is another favorite in shopping channels. Like Red Copper, it focuses on non-stick ceramic cookware. Their popularity eventually earned them a Product of the Year in 2018.
Despite the name, Copper Chef doesn’t offer copper cookware. If you are looking for copper cookware, this one might not fit your criteria! So, what is it made of?
Copper Chef pans use aluminum coated with a copper-colored layer. It may sound like fool’s gold, but its affordability and excellent non-stick performance make it a great consideration for newbies to the kitchen!
If you are looking for induction-ready cookware with the same traditional copper aesthetic, Copper Chef has a variety of pans to offer you! Their Signature collection has round pans, square casseroles, bakeware, and saucepans that you can use on your induction cooktop.
If you don’t have an induction cooktop yet and want to leap to the new trend, the Copper Chef cooktop has a wide range of temperature settings (up to 500 F), features five cooking presets on its panel, and an easy-wipe surface.
You don’t have to get the premium copper cookware or ditch copper altogether to accommodate your induction needs.
Nowadays, many companies have already developed collections that are induction-ready. You merely have to find it!
A tip: If you can’t figure out if your copper pan is induction-compatible, stick a magnet to it. If it sticks, then you are ready to go!