When looking at pans to use on an induction hob, an interesting question arises:
Can you use a pan that is bigger than the hob burner on an induction hob?
Of course, with induction using a magnetic field that is created by the pan coming into contact with the burner,
This is an important question, since induction hobs work by creating a magnetic field between the pan and the burner. If the pan is the wrong size, will it heat up properly?
On a traditional electric hob, even on gas hobs, you can use any pan that you wish. But can you on an induction hob? Well, the answer is yes, sort of…
I think we need to break this induction hob topic down a bit, don’t you?
Can you use a pan that’s bigger than the burner of an induction hob?
Larger pots and pans can be used on a smaller induction hob burner. However, heat is only generated above the element.
So, if the pan is really big, the hob may struggle to heat it up. The further the pan extends over the sides of the burner, the less effective the burner will be.
To conclude, while you can use a larger pan on a small ring of an induction hob, it isn’t as efficient as using a pan of the correct size.
Using a pan that is smaller than the induction ring
If a pan is too small for the induction burner, it can still be used. However, if the pan is a lot smaller than the burner, you may find that the induction hob won’t activate when the pan is placed on the burner. This is simply because the pan is too small to register on the magnets.
Also, even if a smaller pan does register, so your induction hob will work when the pan is placed on the burner, this set up will generate less heating power compared with a “correct” setup.
This is because the ring is exposed, and so the energy that should be flowing into the metal of the pan can escape.
So far, we’ve just discussed what works and haven’t mentioned energy efficiency.
Of course, induction hobs are really energy efficient when used correctly. However, when a larger or smaller pan is placed on a burner that isn’t suited to it, this energy efficiency almost goes completely out of the window.
Induction hobs are fantastic at heating up quickly and offering a lot of control over cooking. However, if you misuse them, they can fail you as a result.
If you have an induction hob, you can use any induction-compatible pan on any ring of the hob, as long as the pan is big enough to register with the magnets. However, to keep your induction hob as efficient as possible, you should be using the correct pans on the right induction rings.
We hope this look at induction hobs and which pans are suitable for which rings has been helpful. Please explore the rest of our induction hob articles for everything you need to know about buying, owning and enjoying an induction hob.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.