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Le Creuset + Viking induction = no good?

Has anyone had any experience using Le Creuset enameled cast iron on Viking induction cooktops? My wife and I bought a Viking countertop unit (so we could decide if we really wanted an induction cooktop in our new kitchen, and specifically because we like the Viking cooktop) and have found that, while it works well with plain cast iron, the pot-recognizer doesn't see our Le Creuset cookware. Viking literature says it should work, Viking customer service says they've heard it doesn't. If anyone has some actual real-world experience with Viking induction cooktops (which may behave differently from the countertop unit) to share, it would be greatly appreciated.

Alternatively, if you have an induction cooktop which works well with Le Creuset, and haven't already said so in a Google-accessible location, I'd appreciate hearing about that as well (ideally, before we start writing inordinately large checks).

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  1. I have a Diva induction cooktop and have no problem using Le Creuset cookware (two large Dutch Ovens).

    1 Reply
    1. re: cmk

      Check the bottoms of your pots and then repost, please, both cmk and the OP. You may be using a LC with a smooth enamel bottom versus the pots that have some metal on the bottom. I would be willing to bet that it makes a difference. The smooth bottom is on some pans like the grill pan.

    2. Good idea. However, I have two with enameled bottoms (a grill pan and a French/Dutch oven) and one with a metal bottom. Neither type works. The metal-bottom one was bought decades ago; the others are newer. The LC web site says all their stuff works with induction; the literature with the new ones said so as well.

      From the LC web site:

      "Le Creuset enameled cast iron cookware can be used on the stovetop, in the oven and under the grill. Le Creuset is suitable for use on all heat sources including electric, gas, ceramic, halogen top and induction."

      1 Reply
      1. re: SuShiang

        My kenmore induction works fine with several LC pieces'

      2. If you don't resolve this issue, can I have your Le Creuset? :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: higgika

          Nice try! (As my grandmother always said, "If you don't ask, you won't get.").

          However, in this case, if it turns out LC really won't work with the Viking cooktop, we'll just buy some other cooktop. We like the Viking because it has knobs and because the element power ratings are honest numbers - no "power boost" nonsense.. On the other hand, if it doesn't work with LC, who knows what other issues it has? We don't want to be unpaid members of anybody's product testing group.

        2. According to a Viking regional service manager, early units had a (coupling) problem which has since been resolved. My unit will be repaired or replaced. Presumably anyone buying a Viking induction product should verify that it was produced after the fix was implemented.

          Thanks to all who replied. Higgika, we'll let you know when we get too feeble to lift the stuff (maybe sooner rather than later).

          3 Replies
            1. re: SuShiang

              Hi This is a late response, but I have a Viking induction cooktop purchased two years ago and used only rarely, in a vacation home, Suddenly the three big burners are simply dead, Unuseable. Is this the problem you write about in your August 2007 posting? I hope you are still chow hounding.

              1. re: oatsie

                I have a combo induction/electric viking 36" cooktop that has had trouble for one year. Bought in 2007 for my remodel and all was well until about a year ago. Approved repair company has replaced every part imaginable but the induction no longer works on the front right burner. I managed to convince viking that I shouldn't have to pay for all the time (they only cover parts on warranty after awhile) and eventually they agreed. Now, given the expense of nearly $2K on their end, they want to replace the entire unit but I can only choose between all induction or all electric no combos anymore - wonder why. All induction will mean none of my all-clad pots will work which is why I bought the combo in the first place. I wanted the wolf but it didn't have the combo option. So now I'll have a free replacement, great, but my pots - and I really do cook a lot - will cost a great deal to replace and what to do with the old ones? Garage until I move and can have gas and induction. What a pain. Apparently all the blogs that say avoid viking cooktops were right after all. The non-working induction is something I hope you got covered by warranty.

            2. I've received some more information from Viking. Their fix concerned a problem with the small element on their induction cooktops. My problem is with their single-element countertop unit. Viking says that their unit does not have a problem and that the problem is with my cookware.

              This is starting to sound a little like computer tech support fingerpointing between hardware and software, and I'm not very happy about it. Meanwhile, I've got a little free time, which I plan to spend carting my dutch oven around to showrooms and trying things out for myself. First manufacturer to heat the thing up gets my new-kitchen appliance $$$.

              1. Just to wrap this thread up, I dragged some Le Creuset cookware to our local distributor's showroom and fired up their induction cooktop (LC is great on this) and their countertop unit (LC no good, same as mine). Apparently the countertop unit just does not work with certain cast iron cookware, statements in Viking's product literature to the contrary notwithstanding. As is the case with many induction products, the underlying technology is developed and built by someone else, and Viking staff don't seem to be up to speed on the stuff yet. Caveat emptor (this is Latin for "just because it's got a fancy label, don't count on it working right").

                1 Reply
                1. re: SuShiang

                  Bringing this back up, did they every resolve this for you? All my Demeyere stuff works perfectly on my Viking portable induction cooker, as does my Batali cast iron risotto pan. I just found out that my Le Creuset does not, all three pieces just get a blinking red light.
                  Not that big a deal, really, as I tend to use the Demeyere for stove top while my LC spends most of its time in the oven, but I'd still like to be able to use it on the Viking.

                2. It says right on Le Creuset's website that their enameled cast iron cookware works with induction. I would call them and see if they have had any other complaints regarding their cookware not working with some induction units.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: blondelle

                    As owner of 4-burner Viking induction unit production unit 146, I can say that these things are not good. Have had four service calls in two years of ownership. Viking has "paid" for $1500 of parts although I must pay the service call each time. And it failed again last week, with internal arcing (that sounds safe) and of course, no heat. Viking = great gas burners. In hindsight, should have gone euro for sophisticated electronics.

                    1. re: tucco

                      Viking ≠ great gas burners.

                      Viking = great marketing.

                      1. re: Joe Blowe

                        So does the Viking induction just not recognize LC cookware, or does it not recognize ANY enameled cookware?

                        1. re: beauxgoris

                          beauxgoris, this statement has been on The Induction Site website for years:

                          "From numerous reports reaching us, Viking's induction units are highly prone to problems--not so much failures (though their overall reliability record, according to various respected third-party sources, is not good) as actual inherent design defects (for example, their countertop unit is known to not work with Le Creuset cookware even though that cookware is solidly induction-usable on every other induction unit in the known universe)." http://theinductionsite.com/hob-maker...

                      2. re: tucco

                        Hi. I have a six burner, two year old Viking induction with the three large burners out. Previously, I have owned, and still own at our regular home, six and eight burner viking gas and/or dual fuel ranges. And they were great workhorses and just kept running. I have rarely used this cooktop and now I find I have a $3000-plus three burner cooktop. It is impossible to reach anyone at the Viking headquarters in Mississippi. And the Viking dealer out here sent out a repairman who had only "minor" knowledge of induction cooktops. I am stuck with non-gas where i live, but there must be a better induction solution.

                        1. re: oatsie

                          Fagor or Diva would be better and less-expensive choices than the Viking. I am using the VICC single-hob and while it's been a good workhorse, I wouldn't buy it again - too many idiosyncracies with induction-ready cookware.

                    2. We had a GE induction made by Hitachi and now a DIVA unit. All Clad Stainless, enameled cast iron and bottom cost, cheap pots all work with both units.

                      1. My stovetop range does NOT work with any of my Le Creuset, nor with a new Staub. It works great with no coupling problems with Lodge (regular and enameled), and all carbon steel. With the Staub, it will couple when cold and perfectly centered, but not once hot.

                        If anyone knows a contact person, or the right type of complaint at Viking to get this dumb coupling problem fixed, please share.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: michaeld2

                          michaeld2, when you write your letter to Viking, be calm, understated; do not rant or threaten. BUT ... somewhere in the letter, mention the Uniform Commercial Code warranties of merchantability and of fitness for a particular purpose, adopted in 49 states (excluding Louisiana) and the District of Columbia. Just mention them; Viking will understand.

                        2. Before you spend a bunch of $$$$ on Viking induction cooktop be advised when something goes wrong with it you will be hard pressed to find anyone to service it, we too like the knobs and the layout and it worked great for two years then one unit went out and we had a hard time finding a service rep even through our extended warrentee, they finally replaced the pair of units plus the electronics below it as well as the knob, it worked for a couple days and we have been fighting this for almost a year, we are now looking to replace this with a different brand, if you get Viking be sure to get the extended coverage.

                          1. I have a portable Viking induction cooktop unit that i've used for almost 2 years now. And i've got the square LeCreuset enameled cast iron grill pan which i've been using now for over a year. In fact, i use several times every week to grill fish or chicken, make panini, etc. Long story short, the cooktop and the grill pan work great together.
                            Why you're having a different result is curious. Which LeCreuset pans are you using?

                            1. I would not purchase a viking induction cooktop !
                              We did a few years ago and it has never worked. The company has walked away from repairing it saying it is our electrical wiring - its new and checks out, but they still refuse to do anything. We have not used our cooktop in 6 months and are about to replace it with something else.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: bspeck

                                Wow. How much that thing costs you? In other words, how much went down to the drain?

                              2. We have a Viking slide in 30" induction range and my LC grill pan and dutch oven works fine on it. The only issue we have now is the Viking literature and customer service reps telling us we are not supposed to use cast iron cookware on their cooktops/ranges because it risks breaking the cooktop.

                                VIKING use and care guide: "CAUTION: To avoid risk of property damage, DO NOTuse cast iron cookware. Castiron retains heat and may result in damage to the range"

                                http://www.manualowl.com/m/Viking/VIS...
                                (page 15

                                )

                                Viking's own web site: "Stainless steel, enamel and cast iron are usually induction friendly, while copper, glass, and aluminum are not."

                                I've refrained from using my LC on the induction range for now until I can figure out whether its safe or not to use.