If you have just invested in an induction hob and then realised that some of your pans cannot be used on your brand-new induction hob, this is the article for you.
Having an induction hob is fantastic. It’s not so great when you can’t use the hob, though.
So, if you have loads of normal pans and want to know how to make them work on your induction hob, let’s find out how to trick your induction hob into thinking your pans are suitable for it, shall we?
What happens if you use a normal pan on an induction hob?
As I am sure you know, an induction hob works by heating up the pan directly. So, the surface of your induction hob doesn’t heat up itself.
This sounds like magic, but it is actually pretty simple. The pans that you need to use on an induction hob are magnetic. The hob senses this magnetism, and this creates a circuit for a magnetic field. When that magnetic field is created, the pan begins to heat up.
So, if you use a normal pan on an induction hob, nothing will happen because a magnetic field hasn’t been created. Therefore, no heat is created. But is there a way of tricking your induction hob? Well, I am glad you asked!
How to trick an induction cooker
The way to trick an induction hob is to convince it that your pans are magnetic. Thanks for reading this article, I hope that helped! Kidding, of course!
Making your pans magnetic is impossible if they aren’t already. So, you need something to go between your pans and the hob. An induction hob converter if you will. But does such a thing exist? Well, yeah, actually, here are three of them:
Induction converter discs
1. ProCook Induction Hob Converter Disc – 19cm
This induction converter disc from ProCook is 19 cm wide. It sits on top of your induction hob and creates the magnetic field that I spoke about earlier. Your pan then sits on top of this disc and uses the heat created by this to cook your food.
It is simple, and it works perfectly. Use this disc for any cooking tasks you want to perform on your induction hob with pans that do not function on it usually.
2. VonShef Induction Diffuser – 19cm and 23cm
This next induction converter disc we have here is from VonShef. It is another 19 cm disc, perfect for a wide range of pans.
There is also a 23 cm converter disc available from VonShef too. You can use this disc on your induction hob for making coffee with certain coffee brewers. And you can use it on any of your pans and pots that aren’t suitable for your induction hob.
3. Andrew James Induction Converter Disc – 23cm
Finally, we have an induction base for non-induction pans from Andrew James. This one is 23 cm too. This is another very solid option for making normal pans work with an induction hob.
This induction disc is perfectly suited for the bigger pans and pots you have that do not function on your induction hob currently.
You can even use aluminium pans on your induction cooker with this base and any of the other options above.
Which induction converter disc is the best size?
As you can see, the induction converter discs above come in two sizes. I would suggest buying both sizes. You want to maximise the cooking surface that you have on an induction hob.
Using a smaller converter on a large hob ring can mean that you won’t benefit from the power of that ring as much as if you were to use a converter that is more suited to that size.
So, the discs above aren’t terribly expensive and allow you to use a whole range of cooking equipment on your induction hobs. Plus, all of them are built exceptionally well so they will likely last the lifetime of your induction hob anyway.
Should you buy an induction converter disc?
The induction converters above are fantastic for using non-induction pans on your induction cooktop. They are also great for use with smaller pans that can’t turn on the magnets underneath your hob.
However, if you use a very large converter on a smaller pan, this can reduce the energy efficiency of your induction hob. This is because the converter is heating up, and if some of it is not in contact with the pan, the heat generated just goes into your kitchen.
So, if you want to go down the converter route while staying as energy efficient as possible, buy as many sizes of the converters as you can find. That way, you can match the size of the converter to the size of the pan you are using and maximise the heat distribution.
Of course, the best way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your induction hob is buying pans that are made for the job. Induction pans aren’t too expensive nowadays – see our top picks here.
Of course, they are more expensive than the converters above, though. The converters for induction hobs will work fantastically for you until it comes time to replace your pans. When that day comes, induction pans are the way to go.
Why isn’t a small pan working on my induction hob?
Finally, a quick chat about smaller pans not working on an induction hob and what you can do to make them work.
This problem goes back to the magnetic field we spoke about earlier. When you use an induction hob, the pan you use must be big enough to create the circuit that the magnet needs. If it isn’t, even a pan that is built for induction hobs won’t work on that ring.
Basically, the pan is too small for the ring you are using because the magnets can’t detect it. Instead of using a different ring or a separate pan, pick yourself up one of the converters above, the smaller one is probably better for this task.
The ring will create the magnetic field thanks to the converter, and you can use any size pan you wish on that ring!
We hope this look at induction hobs and how to use normal pans with them has been helpful. Please explore our other induction hob articles on here for even more tricks and tips for induction hobs. Happy cooking!
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.