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Nov 15, 2008 06:58 AM

pots & pans - induction

we have an induction cooktop, and anyone who has one knows you need a certain type to make it work. my question is, does anyone out there know of a particular brand that works on these cooktops? when I surf the web, they never list if they will work. when shopping in person, we bring a little magnet with us and if it sticks to the bottom you know it will work, but over the internet you can't do it. We know all clad and Le Crusset work, but we are looking at less expensive brands for some items, would appreciate help.

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  1. Take a magnet with you when you go shopping for pans. If a magnet will stick to the pan you will be fine. Yes All-Clad, Le Creuset, Chantal are good contenders. Swiss Diamond is making a couple,but not their entire line. Viking pans should be fine. Emile Henry is making an induction converter disc but you are not going to get the full benefits. Fagor pressure cookers will work on induction cooking surfaces.

    1. The least expensive type of pan that works is enameled steel, including the blue-speckled type sold as camping gear.

      7 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        Have you really worked with enamelware on an induction burner?

        1. re: RShea78

          Yes. I have a small sauce pan, and a 2qt kettle (blue-speckled) that work well. Also a Spanish 'cazuela esmaltada', similar in size and shape like a small paella pan.

          On other threads we've discussed the advantages of different materials. For simply boiling water, the less mass there is to the pan, the faster it boils, though pan size and shape relative to the induction coil is also important. For sauteeing, a multilayer pan (e.g. nonmagnetic stainless interior, aluminum core, magnetic base) may still be better, depending on size and shape of the induction coils.

          1. re: paulj

            I have Mauviel Inducinox - which is made specifically for induction ranges, but I've used it on both gas and electric ranges no problem.

            1. re: beauxgoris

              beauxgoris, we second, bold-face, and underline your reference to Mauviel Induc'inox. We have a variety of excellent induction-capable pots and pans, but the one that is most responsive is our Mauviel Induc'inox Windsor pan (splayed-straighy side saucepan, also known as a fait-tout).

            2. re: paulj

              My fears were mostly in how thin metal can get overheated if some of the liquid evaps.

              1. re: RShea78

                Any pan can overheat if the pan goes dry.

                I have let my small sauce pan go dry when boiling water for for coffee. That was on a regular electric burner. The surface of the enamel lining isn't as smooth as it once was, but the metal did not distort.

                1. re: paulj

                  Obviously! However, the way the metal is sandwiched by the enamel, I would fear an easy melt through, even with an ample quantity of liquids. (Like the split second a water bubble is formed in boiling water)

        2. Carbon steel. All carbon steel (and cast iron for that matter, but that's a little different) pan work on induction, including woks! Just make sure you pick up a flat bottom wok.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mateo21

            I was looking (online) at a French brand of carbon steel pans. The home-oriented line was described as suitable for all stoves except induction. The heavier duty line (2.5mm thick) included induction. I suspect both would work on the induction burner, but the thicker pans were less prone to warping, and thus would stay flatter.

            My carbon steel crepe pan works fine on a portable induction burner. The only problem is that I can't lift the pan off the burner to spread the batter without the burner beeping and turning itself off.

            1. re: paulj

              Here's a link to a blurb about why the Mauviel Inducinox is a good choice of induction.


              We've had ours for 10 years and it still looks new. I also have the line of Mauviel copper (but that's another thread..)

          2. Reedsox, look for 18/0 stainless (not 18/10). Or cast iron, or carbon steel.

            18/0 stainless is the magnetic stainless steel.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ThreeGigs

              The thing is that I do have 18/10 SS cookware, of which is indeed, induction ready. However, all having a thick AL base they could have a magnetic layer within that base. In my opinion 18/0 isn't worth a darn.

              1. re: RShea78

                The /0 and /10 are referring to nickel content. 18/10 is more corrosion resistant, but is not magnetic, and thus doesn't work on the induction burner. However I have a Tramontina mixing bowl that is label 18/10, is not magnetic, yet heats up nicely on my induction burner. There's no evidence of the bowl being a sandwich, so I can't explain why it works.

            2. And the point of an induction range is, what....? People buy these on purpose?

              16 Replies
              1. re: MikeB3542

                The highest energy efficiency of any cooking surface, together with a very fine level of control over that energy.

                1. re: MikeB3542

                  MikeB3542: Induction is faster than gas. Induction is faster to heat up -- about half the time to heat any given amount of water to a boil -- and (you will find this hard to believe, but it is true), faster to turn down. When you put a cast iron pot atop a gas or resistive electric burner, the inside of the cast iron pot, where the food is, heats up at the rate of heat conduction (slow) from the outside of the pat to the inside; when you place the same cast iron pot atop an induction burner, the inside starts heating up at the speed of propagation of a magnetic field in iron (very fast).

                  When you turn down a gas burner, the pot remains on the spider (a heat reservoir) that holds the pot above the flame, and, for a while, the direction of heat transfer continues from the spider to the pot; in an induction burner, the cooktop always is cooler than the pot, and the direction of HEAT transfer (as opposed to ENERGY transfer) always is from pot to cooktop. Therefore, when you cease the energy transfer (in the form of magnetism) of an induction cooktop, the heat transfer instantly is away from the pot. There is no functional difference between turning off the induction unit, leaving the pot in place,. and physically removing the pot from the burner.

                  Also, when there is a spill or boil-over -- we all experience spills or boil-overs from time to time -- the induction cooktop, being merely warm from having a hot pot atop it, may be cleaned up immediately with a rag or sponge, and then the pot put back atop the cleaned-up burner.

                  And, unlike gas or resistive electric, the energy heats the pot, and very little of the energy goes to heating up the kitchen.

                  1. re: MikeB3542

                    Other advantages of induction that haven't already been mentioned:

                    You can set a burner to maintain whatever temperature you specify - great for deep frying.

                    The burners automatically switch off when you remove the pot, and switch back on (at the same temperature setting) when you put it back.

                    There is no open flame or hot electrical element - less risk of fire or burns.

                    The handles of pots and pans tend to stay cool - my stainless steel pasta pot has metal loop handles, but I don't even need to use potholders to lift it and drain spaghetti.

                    You can put sheets of newspaper between the cooktop and the pans WHILE cooking - makes cleanup even easier.

                    1. re: MikeB3542

                      I'm with you, Mike. Hey, any of you induction fans out there ripping out a good vintage wood cookstove to get that fine control, etc? I just move the pan a little bit or stoke the fire. Does your induction rig heat the bathwater?

                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        That's what the tankless waterheater is for - or the solar system. Unfortunately I have neither.

                        1. re: paulj

                          I don't really get the "Good for the Planet" rationale. Sounds like a feel-good exercise for gadget junkies to me. Isn't it analogous to a car purchase and use? I mean, you already HAVE something to cook on, and it presumably works for you or you wouldn't be interested in this site. By the time you calculate the energy/carbon footprint necessary to produce and install your new induction stove and remove and dispose of the "old" one, you have a lot of catching up to do to be carbon neutral. Same thing with a car--the greenest thing you can do is drive your car until it is dying and THEN buy a new one.

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            I don't think CH is the proper venue for discussing that type of non-Chow issues. I'm sure there are plenty out there for you. Plus the OP (a year and a half ago BTW) is asking for recommendations for pots and pans not whether it's a good idea or not.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              Kaloeakah is new. I don't think Kaleokahu has anything against induction cooking, as much as he is a real huge fan of copper cookware. If you look at his profile, you will realize he has responded to a bunch of copperware posts. I cannot but smile at this.

                              I have never seen someone so excited about copper cookware.

                            2. re: kaleokahu

                              The trade off between buying new, energy efficient appliances (or cars), and keeping the old, is not trivial. However, if you are going to get something new, for what ever reason, efficiency should be a consideration.

                              Induction stoves and tankless waterheaters are both more popular in Europe than the USA. Pressure cookers as well. At least part of the reason is energy efficiency. Part of the efficiency is less waste heat to the room, and hence a lower AC load. Space is also a consideration, especially with regards to the water heater. Typical homes and apartments are larger in the USA.

                              By the way, I don't have a full blown induction cooktop. Mine is just a 'hot plate' model, that cost less than $100. It is especially nice on warmer days.

                            3. re: paulj

                              From your post about the crepes, it seems that the induction burner will shut itself off if the magnetic pan is lifted off the stove. In that case, every time you lift a saute pan to flip the mushrooms, vegetables, whatever, the burner will turn off? Does it come back on automatically and since it's a magnetic field, will the heat stay the same on the bottom of the pan? I realize this might be an elementary question, but I have no experience with them. I'm interested in a portable induction burner, what make and model is yours and would you purchase the same one if given the chance?

                              (If and when my water heater goes out, I'll consider the tankless water heater. One of the drawbacks is that everybody in a given neighborhood can't have one because the natural gas line pressure is not great enough if everybody wishes to shower at 7am.).

                              1. re: John E.

                                On my range, yes, it comes automatically back on and at the same temp setting. And the pan, of course, stays as hot as it ever would. Elementary is what it takes on this subject as,here in the US, it's pretty new technology for the home kitchen.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  My hotplate style induction unit beeps and shuts off if the pan is lifted. But it is a <$100 unit. I gather from comments by others that the big units are more forgiving. But I don't know the details.

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    What make and model do you have and are you satisfied with it?

                                  2. re: John E.

                                    My cooktop is induction and when you remove the pan, the power is turned off and the display flashes "F" at you until the pan is returned to the burner, at which point the power comes back on automatically at the same level. If you take the pan off and don't return it, the range turns itself off after a while, maybe a minute or more.

                                    1. re: Buckethead

                                      I'm interested in getting one, but would like to try the individual one first before I make a huge investment. Having an extra burner would be nice too. I think it would be much more useful than an electric skillet (not taking cost into account). For some reason, I hate the electric skillet that we have. It only gets used rarely, usually for pancakes.