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Best Cookware for Electric Stoves

by J. Paventi
Published February 22, 2010 | Updated March 18, 2015

To get the best results from your cookware, it's important to know which material will work best with your type of electric cooktop. While all pots and pans can be used inside an electric oven, different materials work better with different cooktop surfaces. Electric cooktops range from the conventional metal-coil burner to smooth-top units, electric coil burners, and induction stove tops that use electromagnetic energy to heat food. To learn which type of cookware will work best with your electric range, keep reading.

Electric Stove Cookware Materials:

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  • Smooth cooktops:

    Glass or ceramic cooktops are easy to clean, and they have a very contemporary look. The smooth surface requires cookware that is also smooth on the bottom; this will be the most important feature for you to shop for. Bare cast iron has a rough texture, which means that this cookware is not recommended for use on glass or ceramic cooktops. However, enameled cast iron is smooth and can be safely used on glass or ceramic surfaces. Copper, stainless steel, and aluminum cookware is also smooth on the bottom.

  • Cast-iron cookware

  • Copper cookware, stainless steel cookware, and aluminum cookware

  • Electric coil:

    Electric coil stoves have been around for a long time, and many kitchens have them because they are so affordable. They're easy to use and familiar to many people, but they are known to heat unevenly. One tip to keep in mind is that the cheaper your stove is, the better your cookware needs to be. Heat distribution in copper cookware is the best of all the pans available. Some cookware manufacturers make anodized aluminum pans, which employ a special coating that makes a pan non-stick while maintaining its aluminum core. Anodized aluminum pans are darker in color, sturdier in construction, and more expensive than plain aluminum cookware.

  • Cheap or thin cookware, such an non-anodized aluminum cookware

  • Cast-iron cookware, copper cookware, or anodized aluminum cookware

  • Induction cooktops:

    Induction stoves use electromagnetic energy to transfer heat and cook food. As a result, the cookware must have iron in its construction. The cooktop surface stays cool to the touch, and food can be heated quickly and precisely. Lined copper pans contain iron, which means they can be used on induction stoves. Stainless steel is often made with iron, which makes it another good choice for induction cooktops; you'll need to check it with a magnet to make sure it will work first. Cast-iron cookware has a reputation for cooking food evenly and lasting forever. Cast-iron pans can even be used to start a recipe on a stovetop, and then be transferred to an oven. Because it is made of iron, it will work well with an induction cooktop.

  • Aluminum cookware, non-magnetic stainless steel cookware

  • Lined copper cookware, cast-iron cookware, or copper-core stainless steel cookware