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I moved to new place with inductive cook top. But all the pans I have are the normal non-inductive pans (ceramic and stainless steel).

I tried using them with no luck. Cooktop shows error, keeps beeping and doesn't start. If I try an induction pan, it works.

Is there any way to make them work?

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    Stainless steel pans are expected to work with an inductive top. Are you sure it's steel? – JimmyJames Aug 17 '17 at 15:13
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    @JimmyJames: Stainless comes in magnetic and nonmagnetic forms. Before induction stoves stainless was generally not magnetic. Nonmagnetic stainless will not work. Now some stainless pans are using magnetic stainless for this reason. – Ross Millikan Aug 17 '17 at 15:28
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    @RossMillikan a pan does not need to be magnetic to work on an induction range. Induction heaters are used to heat up elements like gold and platinum in refineries without a hitch. – tuskiomi Aug 17 '17 at 15:37
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    @tuskiomi, OP does not have an induction heater from a refiner, but an induction cooktop. Most induction cooktops do require a pan that a magnet can stick to to work. Typical induction cookers operate at switching frequency between 25 kHz and 50 kHz. In this regime, induction cookers are only able to couple with ferromagnetic cookware, such as cast iron and some alloys of stainless steel. aceee.org/files/proceedings/2014/data/papers/9-702.pdf However Panasonic has introduced an "all metal" induction cooktop that operates at 120kHz, business.panasonic.com/KY-MK3500.html – Shannon Severance Aug 17 '17 at 22:37
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    @DmitryGrigoryev: it is actually about the crystal structure. All stainless has a fair amount of chromium, which forms the oxide coat. The most common magentic stainless has little nickel while 304 has 10%. I had a case of a 302, which is usually nonmagnetic, tank that had been cryostretched and changed to martensitic crystals. It was nicely magnetic. – Ross Millikan Aug 18 '17 at 14:47
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You seem to be mixing up some things here.

The difference is not between "normal" and "inductive". The difference is between pans which happen to have a ferromagnetic body, and thus work on induction, and all others. All pans with ferromagnetic body also work on resistive or gas stoves, so they are sold as "normal" pans, just like the non-ferromagnetic ones. "Ceramic" has nothing to do with the pan body **, that's a coating which can be put over a body made of a variety of metals, some of them ferromagnetic and some not.

Most steel pans and all iron ones should work on an induction stove, regardless of how they are coated. You can test this with a magnet - if it sticks, it will work. If it doesn't, don't try it anyway - in the worst case it can be an aluminium pan, and melt on the stove bad things can happen - my memory is patchy about what exactly happens, but the general advice is "don't".

You are likely to already have enough pans to use on the induction. But if you want to keep using some existing pan which is not ferromagnetic, you can simply use metallic discs which are sold for this purpose. The downside is that the performance of the stove drops to levels comparable to old-style resistive stoves (non-glasstop). But you can continue with your existing pans, and ditto for pots.

** I assume here that you mean ceramic-coated nonstick pans. The word "pan" is ambiguous in English and can also mean e.g. a lasagna pan whose body is 100% ceramic. But these are not used on stovetop, so I think we can exclude them here. Another option is a series of solid ceramic pots and pans developed for the stove, like Arcoflam/pyroflam but they are quite rare. None of the full body ceramic will work on induction, no matter if intended for the oven or stovetop.

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    Are you sure aluminium pans melt? Induction works by causing electrical currents to flow within the base of the pan so the resistance of the metal to that current causes heating. I thought the point about aluminium was that the currents don't form, so there's no heating at all. – David Richerby Aug 17 '17 at 14:53
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    @DavidRicherby, the aluminium pans do not melt, but using one can melt the stove. Specifically aluminium and copper pans with their lower electrical resistance dissipates the eddy currents faster placing higher current draw on the stove. There are two ways to deal with this when designing the stove: the first is to design it to heat aluminum pans. One estimate was that it would increase the cost of the stove by ten times. The other method is to disable the stove when an aluminum pan is detected. This is cheap and included on all new stoves. – hildred Aug 17 '17 at 15:31
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    All three of us agree on that. But I'm confused because you're saying that using aluminium can damage the pan and @hildred is saying that it can damage the stove. – David Richerby Aug 17 '17 at 15:40
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    I'm no electrical engineer and don't remember the exact mechanism, so maybe I erroneously combined "foil melts" and "something bad happens with pans" into "pans melt". But I am pretty sure in the general message; alu pans and induction stoves are a bad combination. – rumtscho Aug 17 '17 at 15:42
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    @rumtscho I've used them on various resistive types (the spirals that glow, the metal plates that don't, halogen, etc. as well as gas but mainly in the oven). You do have to heat them gently (put them on the stove then turn it on) but you can get them very hot. We've got 2. – Chris H Aug 17 '17 at 15:49
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Short answer - no.

Longer answer - yes, but you don't want to.

Longish answer - yes, you can get steel gadgets (such as this one from amazon) that you can put on the cooker that will heat up, and transfer the heat to the non-inductive cookware. But you lose all the advantages of an inductive cooker, and have yet another thing to worry about.

My recommendation is to get proper cookware. Induction cookers are great to work with, and it's worth the extra cost. It's as fast as gas, yet easier to clean than a regular vitroceramic cooker.

(And, as rumtscho points out - most cookware is induction-compatible already. There are exceptions, though, such as ceramic fondue caquelons, glass saucepans and all kinds of solid aluminium cookware.)

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Measure your various pots and pans.

Go buy cast iron skillets (etc.) they will fit inside. A flea market may be cheaper than other sources.

You may or may not choose to use the cast iron skillets as pans themselves, too.

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