Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am looking into replacing my hob with an quick, induction type electric hob, but they stipulate that the the cookware must be ferrous. I have decent cookware, but how do I know if it is correct?

share|improve this question
up vote 20 down vote accepted

If a magnet sticks to it, it's ferrous.

I'd like to give a more elaborate answer, but there isn't anything more to it.

share|improve this answer
The wikipedia page has a nice description of how induction stoves work and why they generally require pots made of ferromagnetic materials. – Jefromi Dec 5 '10 at 15:27
Ferrous means an alloy that contains iron in reasonable amounts...that would include all forms of steel and we know that not all steel is magnetic. – Mr. Mascaro Jan 21 '15 at 14:02
@jbarker2160 - I was actually paraphrasing the text on the test magnet that came with my induction stove. – Carmi Jan 22 '15 at 12:21

I have a pressure cooker made (or clad) in stainless steel. Please note that many types of stainless steel are only weakly magnetic. For stainless to be completely non-magnetic, however, it needs to be in an annealed state. Not likely with cookware.

Thus, I can tell between something that's weakly magnetic if you use a neodymium magnet. These are significantly stronger than your typical fridge magnet. Frequently they are sold online with the caution to not allow skin to get between two of these magnets as they can snap together forcefully and deliver a painful blood blister.

BTW, ferrous = made of, or contains iron, (all types of steel are ferrous).

share|improve this answer
18/10 stainless steel, as is often used for cookware at least here in Europe, is not magnetic and will not work on common induction hobs. Also, neodymium magnets can be salvaged from broken or obsolete hard disk drives (do not attempt to borrow from a working drive!). – rackandboneman May 4 '15 at 21:07

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.