Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jan 29, 2010 03:50 AM

Is there anything you can cook on gas you cannot cooks with induction?

After a while of back and forth and almost getting a 36" American Range prostyle rangetop, I have done a 180 - or almost. I am definitely doing induction, I just can't decide whether to do 30" and add a 12" gas module, or to go for it and just do 36" induction.

So (besides perhaps wok cooking, which I don't do now because I never really learned it) is there anything I cannot do on induction? In another post, someone mentioned that you can't braise well with induction (but that didn't make sense to me.)

Can you do pancakes etc. on a rectangular griddle pan? Can I use my oval Le Creuset DUtch Oven for large stews?

I know about the cookware, speed of boiling water (don't really care,) heat with gas or lack of with induction in kitchen (don't really care.) I just haven't read too much about whether there is any real difference in what you can or cannot cook.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. No. No matter whether you use a gas, electric, induction or wood-fired appliance, the heat source does not determine what you can or can't cook on a range.

    I'm sure you already know this, but induction only refers to the heat source and the way it is transmitted from range to pot. As long as it comes from a source that the cook knows how to monitor, heat is heat.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ernie Diamond

      Well it does matter in certain instances, but as far as a stovetop is concerned there's no difference.

      Do you have a gas oven/grill

      1. re: Soop

        Thanks. Yes, I understood about the heat source and the pans, so I couldn't really figure out why you wouldn't be able to do exactly the same cooking on gas vs. induction unless you need the actual flame (but I just go on my deck even in snow for that, so I don't really care about this aspect.) I just want to know if I will be limited in any way cooking wise by choosing induction. I have yet to read the post of anyone who regrest switching from gas!

        Now I just have to pick a brand! Someone is selling a new-in-box, fully warrantid 36" Gaggenau on eBay. Was leaning toward Miele, but thinking this may be a good deal.

        1. re: gratindauphinois

          Perhaps the only negative I can think of is you're kind of limited with your cookware - so if you like a friends pan say, you won't be able to just go out and get it.

          That and there doesn't seem to be any long term health study. It's a powerful electromagnet after all.

          1. re: gratindauphinois

            If you're considering the Gaggenau, make sure you can't use the control puck (unit won't fire without it, very expensive to replace if you lose it).

            Miele and Fagor are very good options.

            As for the question what you can't do, the only thing I can think of is burning off pepper and tomato skins.

            1. re: gratindauphinois

              If you don't care for using open flame to toast something, and you don't worry about being limited to ferrous cookware, then the only obvious limitation is using a Chinese wok. You can still use it, but a bit more difficult.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I just bought a flat bottom, iron wok from the Wok Shop in SF's Chinatown. I haven't cooked in it yet but did "magnet check" it before buying and boiled some water in it when I got it home. Worked just fine.

                1. re: c oliver


                  Cool. Did you get the made in USA carbon steel wok :)

                  I know carbon steel woks should get magnetized quiet nicely. What I read is that induction cooktop does not heat the side of a wok very well, so there is less of a gradual heat surface. The bottom will be hot, but side remains very cold and causing food to stick on the side. Another problem is that most induction stovetops have a safety feature which turns itself off when the cookware is removed. A lot of people, like me, toss foods in the wok for a good period of time and that can cause some inconvenients. Obviously, it is less of a problem if one do not toss foods in a wok.

                  Let me know though because I have only read these problems but have not used an induction range.

        2. You cannot make certain Indian bread (roti/chapati) without an open fire. They first cook them on a griddle, then use a tong and hold the bread on the side, and quickly hover it over an open fire. The bread would puff up like a balloon.

          A simple test for cookware compatibility is by using a magnet - if it sticks to the bottom of the pan, it will work.

          I have switched to induction and never looked back. Didn't miss having open fire at all...

          1. gratindauphinois: "So (besides perhaps wok cooking, which I don't do now because I never really learned it) is there anything I cannot do on induction?"

            We have been had an induction cooktop for over a decade, and there is one, very specialized, dish for which we have had to "improvise." Omochi at oshogatsu. If the prior sentence does not mean anything to you, then you need not wory about it. Semi-facetious explanation follows, which actually contains some tiny kernels of information.

            The biggest holiday of the year for Japanese is New Year (oshogatsu). Traditionally, as December comes to a close, Japanese make little pillows of pounded rice (omochi), the size of a flattened apricot or plum, to be eaten in the first days of the New Year. (The functional purpose originally to save the Lady of the House from having to cook rice during the holiday.)

            Omochi is inedible in its white pillow form. An argument can be made that it remains inedible -- though very delicious - in its cooked form, as every year hundreds of Japanese choke and die of asphyxiation while trying to swallow too-large bites of omochi without properly chewing it. Because the temptation not to chew is especially prevalent among the elderly, some have suggested that omochi is a form of Japanese euthanasia, even a means of fiscal thrift within the household. But I digress.

            Traditionally, the omochi is cooked on a grill over an open charcoal-burning hibachi while being brushed with a syrup of sugar dissolved in soy sauce. It comes out brown and very delicious. With the disappearance of charcoal hibachi in Japanese homes, it was discovered that placing the omochi directly on the coil of an electric coil burner worked almost as well (though some of the wood smoke flavor was lost) -- though clean-up (after the holiday) could get a bit messy. Since WWII, generations of Japanese have grown up thinking that "the" way to cook omochi is on an electric coil burner.

            A magnet will not stick to omochi, so it cannot be cooked directly atop an induction burner. Moreover, grills that would be suitable (like the little zigzag wire thingies used to hold a glass pot above an electric coil burner) do not have sufficient magnetic mass to allow the induction burner to stay on. We have found that on our induction-only cooktop, we are forced to braise our omochi inside a frypan. It works: the omochi comes out o.k. But it is not the same.

            1. You can't do the trick of putting tomatoes and peppers on the open flame to get the peels off. Or quickly warming a tortilla over an open flame.

              As far as a rectangular griddle pans and larger pieces of cookware (or a wok), it depends on the induction range -- some are set up to handle.

              The only thing you won't have with an induction range is money -- they are expensive!

              1 Reply
              1. re: MikeB3542

                I just got a Samsung 30" slide in range (not just cooktop), induction top, convection oven for $1750.

              2. You can't roast hot dogs or marshmallows unless you have a flame. Although I don't do that anymore because now I'm the one who cleans the stove top.