There is no one perfect induction pan or set of pans. The requirements in terms of number of pans, and their size, shape and weight will vary from household to household, and cook to cook, depending on the number of people being fed and the type of food being prepared.
But there are qualities that every pan should have. Ideally, the pan will have a perfectly flat base, so it achieves maximum contact with the hob, to ensure even cooking and optimum energy efficiency. The base will be thick enough to ensure ingredients won’t stick and burn, and will react quickly when you increase or decrease the heat. It will be robustly constructed, so it will last a long time. and, if it says it’s non-stick, surely nothing will stick to the surface.
Happily, our testing showed that there are lots of options at different price points that meet all of those requirements. However, the old saying that ‘you get what you pay for’ holds true with induction pans. In our experience, pans with higher price points, made from high-quality 18/10 stainless steel or enamelled cast iron, were generally more robustly constructed and likely to outlast lower-priced options.
We were very pleasantly surprised by the aluminium pans we tested, which had the advantage of being particularly lightweight, too (it’s worth noting that not all aluminium pans work on induction hobs, and need either a magnetised base or a layer of iron in the base to work with the technology, so always check product details before you buy).
There is a continuing debate around non-stick pans and the presence of potentially harmful PFOA and PFAS chemicals in the coating, although it appears that the jury is still out on the matter. However, many brands are now proudly stating that their pans are PFOA and PFAS free, so it’s worth doing some research before you buy. There is also competition between Teflon and ceramic coatings, as to which is the most effective and durable. Although our favourite non-stick pan in this review was ceramic coated, all of the non-stick pans we tested performed very well, so the choice may come down simply to personal preference.
How we tested
We cooked with all the pans several times, to see how well they performed in terms of even heat distribution, versatility (including if they were oven safe), ease, comfort of handling and, if applicable, how well its non-stick coating performed. We assessed them in terms of the robustness of their construction, their weight and how easy they were to store (for the pan sets, we judged them on if they stackable or not). We also hand washed every pan, to assess how easy they were to clean, as well as if they were dishwasher safe.
The best induction pans for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Stellar induction 28cm frying pan, non-stick: £99, Stellar.co.uk
- Best non-stick pan – GreenPan Barcelona pro 18cm saucepan with lid: £85, Fenwick.co.uk
- Best budget pan – Swan retro five-piece pan set: £79.99, Shop.swan-brand.co.uk
- Best cast-iron – STAUB 25cm tomato cast iron cocotte: £279, Zwilling.com
- Best design-led pan – Smeg 24cm casserole pan: £169.95, Shop.smeguk.com
- Best family pan – Kuhn Rikon allround cookware five-piece set: £284, Kuhnrikon.co.uk
- Best for aspiring MasterChefs –Saveur Selects voyage series tri-ply saucepan with lid, 20cm: £71, Amara.co.uk
- Best uncoated pan – Zwilling simplify five-piece stainless steel pot set, silver: £349, Zwilling.com
- Best versatile pan – Our Place always pan: £125, Fromourplace.co.uk
- Best durable pan – Zyliss cook ultimate non-stick three-piece set: £135, Zyliss.co.uk