Can A Clay Pot Be Used On Induction Cooktops?

The exponential progress of technology has left no industry unchecked, not even the cooking industry. The introduction of induction cooktops has changed cooking forever and for the better. No flames, no fumes, no harm to the environment, that’s what the best induction cooktops are all about.

Induction cooktops work differently than traditional cooktops. First of all, they use electricity instead of fuel.

Secondly, induction cooktops heat the cookware using electrical induction which is different from traditional cooktops which use thermal conduction for the same.

Induction cooktops require the cookware to have magnetic properties so that the electrical induction can take place.

Metal cookware sure has these required magnetic properties but do clay pots have them too?

Can you cook in a clay pot on an induction cooktop?

We will answer this question in this article.


induction cooktop compatibility

What Kind Of Utensils Work On Induction Cooktops?

Induction cooktops, as the name suggests, uses electromagnetic induction to heat the cookware. Now, for electromagnetic induction to happen, the cookware must have magnetic properties which are caused by the uneven distribution of electrons.

Most metals have these magnetic properties due to this uneven distribution of electrons. Therefore, they are perfect for use on induction cooktops. For this reason, you can use metal utensils with induction cooktops. However, some metals do not have magnetic properties like some versions of stainless steel.

We recommend conducting a magnetic test before buying cookware that is compatible with induction cooktops. You can run this magnetic test simply by checking if that metal attracts the magnet or not which is also a rule of thumb to check if a metal will work with induction cooktops.

Non-magnetic metals like aluminum have a sheet of iron sandwiched between the layers of aluminum to make things work. Using this method, almost all utensils made of metal, regardless of that metal’s magnetic properties, can be used on induction cooktops.


cookware made of clay

What Happens When You Use A Clay Pot On an Induction Cooktop?

As said induction cooktops require the cookware to have magnetic properties or it simply won’t work.

Metals have these properties but clay pots?

No, they don’t have any magnetic properties. When you put a clay pot on an induction cooktop, nothing will happen. Your clay pot won’t heat up as there is no uneven distribution of electrons to cause magnetism in clay.

However, the same problem does exist with metals like aluminum and stainless steel which do not have magnetic properties. You can solve the problem with these metals easily though, simply by putting a layer of iron in between the layers of aluminum or any other non-magnetic metal.

The iron in between the non-magnetic metal has magnetic properties. Therefore, you can heat it up with the induction cooktop. This explanation leaves you with another question- why can’t the same be done with clay pots to make them work on induction cooktops?

The story is different in the case of clay pots. The metals between which iron was sandwiched to heat the base of the cookware were good conductors of heat. Clay, however, is not quite there when it comes to conducting heat.

Even if a layer of iron is sandwiched between clay, the clay won’t efficiently be able to absorb the heat from the iron sheet. If you still make that happen and place an iron sheet in between the clay despite being the cookware highly energy-inefficient, you’re left with another problem- the expansion due to heat.

You know that things expand when heated, especially metals like iron. The expansion due to the heating of iron and aluminum is pretty much the same but that changes in the case of clay. Clay and iron expand differently when heated which inevitably leads to cracks. Long story short, you can’t use a clay pot on an induction cooktop using any means.


cooking on clay pot

So, should you use a clay pot on an induction cooktop?

Clay pots aren’t the same as metal cookware. Clay isn’t a good conductor of heat nor does it possess magnetic properties. This makes clay pots simply unfit for use on induction cooktops. Even non-magnetic metals like aluminum and stainless steel can work on induction cooktops by sandwiching a layer of iron.

Unfortunately, this method also doesn’t work with clay pots as the expansion of iron will inevitably cause cracks in the clay pot. So, in a nutshell,  you just can’t use clay pots on an induction cooktop. Non-induction cookware can be used with induction cooktops with special arrangements too.

It’s best to use clay pots with traditional cooktops if you crave an earthy flavor in your food or just don’t want clay pots to die. Yes, clay pots for cooking are pretty much dead nowadays, no one wants to use them anymore.

Clay doesn’t play the game of heat conduction very well while metals do that pretty effectively. You can even indirectly support a poor family by buying clay pots for cooking, what a good way to donate to the needy.


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