What Happens if You Use a Normal Pan on an Induction Hob?

Pans on hob in kitchen

Many home chefs have heard horror stories of people buying an induction hob only to find that their pots and pans don’t work with this hob type.

This is a common kitchen complaint, and I am sure that anyone interested in induction hobs may like to know why and what would happen if you try to use a normal pan on an induction hob. So, let’s find out, shall we?


What Happens if You Use a Normal Pan on an Induction Hob?

If you try to use a normal pot or pan on an induction hob, the hob ring won’t turn on. This is because a pan for an induction hob must be made from ferrous metal, or have a ferrous metal base.

This completes the circuit of the hob, switches the hob ring on and allows the pan to heat up. Without any ferrous metal in a pan, the hob won’t recognise that a pan has been placed on the hob.

This is because induction hobs work by heating the pan using electrical induction, rather than thermal conduction like a gas or electric hob. So, when the correct pan is used on an induction hob, an alternating current is passed through it, and that generates the heat.

Pans on induction hob

Do You Need New Pans for a New Induction Hob?

You don’t always have to invest in new cookware for an induction hob. Many manufacturers now make pots and pans that can be used on all hob types, since induction hobs are becoming increasingly popular.

So, it is worth checking your current cookware to see whether or not it is compatible with induction before buying brand-new pans.


How to Check if Your Cookware Will Work on an Induction Hob

Checking whether cookware is compatible with an induction hob is as simple as using a magnet to test if the pan or pot is magnetic.

Just place a magnet (a fridge magnet will work for this) on the bottom of the pan. If the magnet sticks, then the bottom of the pan is made from ferrous metal and will work on an induction hob. If it doesn’t, it won’t.

You can also check your pans for the induction compatible symbol, which looks like a coil of wire.

Induction Hob Symbol
Induction hob symbol

If you find that your pots and pans are not compatible with induction, you can also buy an adapter or converter disc. These go between the hob and your current saucepans.

They are not as effective as using the proper cookware, but will at least get you started on your new hob as you save up for a good quality set of induction hob cookware.

We hope this look at these hobs and what will happen if you try to use a normal pan on the hob has been helpful.

For more information about the best induction cookware on the market and more about induction hobs, please explore our website further. We have all of the info you need about induction hobs whether this is your first induction hob or favourite hob.