Published March 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.
Does switching to an induction range mean saying goodbye to your favorite pots and pans?
Because induction cookers use electromagnetic energy to generate heat, they work only with cookware made of iron or magnetic gauges of steel. (If a magnet sticks to its base, your pan will work on an induction stove.) For nonmagnetic cookware, the answer might be an induction interface disk, a Ping-Pong paddle–shaped device that sits under your incompatible pot and acts as a converter, transferring heat by conduction. We tested three models priced from $48.95 to $99.95, using them to boil water and make pancakes under non-induction-ready pans. One small carbon steel disk never managed to bring the 2 quarts of water to a boil or fully cook a pancake, and its metal feet scratched our cooktop’s glossy surface. We had more success with the other two models, made of smooth 18/10 stainless steel. These models reliably boiled water and cooked pancakes—albeit in twice the time it would take using straight induction and a compatible pan (or about the same time it would take on a gas burner). We strongly favored the Max Burton Induction Interface Disk, which has an aluminum core for speedy heat distribution and a comfortable, heatproof rubber handle. At $48.95, it costs less than a new induction-ready saucepan.