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?

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 1
    The wikipedia page has a nice description of how induction stoves work and why they generally require pots made of ferromagnetic materials.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 15:27
  • 1
    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. Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 14:02
  • @jbarker2160 - I was actually paraphrasing the text on the test magnet that came with my induction stove.
    – Carmi
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 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).

  • 1
    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!). Commented May 4, 2015 at 21:07

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