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new LC larger than my flat top stove burner - problem?

h
HSTellie Oct 5, 2010 07:49 PM

I just bought a nice seconds LC 5.5 quart round enameled oven at HomeGoods for a great price.
It's about 8.5" diameter on the bottom and the smaller of my front double burner is only
6" in diameter - the large burners are 9.75". Is having the bottom of the pot about an inch
larger around the edge than the burner going to be an issue? I considered the 6.75 quart
wide round LC which would just cover the large burners but it seemed a bit bigger/heavier/lower
sided than I needed for regular 2 person cooking. Not sure if the closer bottom size to burner match
means I should exchange the 5.5 for the 6.75 wide.

Thanks for any input! This is my first LC purchase.

  1. DoobieWah Oct 6, 2010 06:41 AM

    So if I understand correctly, your LC hangs over the burner by 1.25" all the way around?

    Since it's LC, I think I would use it on the smaller burner and for "wet" dishes would just have at it, bur for thicker broths, (say "chili"), I would use a slightly lower temp than I normally might, keep an eye on it and stir it a lot.

    I tend to peek a lot though; my friends always say "Don't worry, it's still in there."

    2 Replies
    1. re: DoobieWah
      Chemicalkinetics Oct 6, 2010 06:46 AM

      'my friends always say "Don't worry, it's still in there."'

      Tell them that you just want to make sure they (the food) are still dead.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
        DoobieWah Oct 6, 2010 07:56 AM

        I'll do that!

    2. paulj Oct 6, 2010 08:12 AM

      Assuming you have an electric stove, the outer edges of the pot will not get as hot as the part over the burner. The effect is stronger with cast iron like this than with a more conductive aluminum. Keep that in mind when browning things and stirring food around.

      Of course when using this in the oven the larger size isn't a problem.

      1. h
        HSTellie Oct 6, 2010 08:18 AM

        Thanks all. Yes, electric and hanging over by 1.25" all around. I understood that the outside of the pot, being off the heat source, won't be as hot... I thought I had read that the enameled cast iron was pretty good at conducting heat but if I keep this one I'll make sure to keep an eye and stir
        as needed.

        14 Replies
        1. re: HSTellie
          kaleokahu Oct 6, 2010 01:23 PM

          No, the idea that cast iron is a good conductor or heats evenly on the stovetop is a myth that will not die. See, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7381....

          If you were using gas, this can be a problem. Less so on your electric or induction. I would say that since you are using electric you are fine.

          1. re: kaleokahu
            Chemicalkinetics Oct 6, 2010 01:36 PM

            See, sometime I wonder if even heating means even heating in space or even heating in time. (spatial vs temporal). The temperature on a cast iron pan is even as a function of time because it holds heat well and slow reacting.

            Let's take an extrme case, let's say you have a stove with an unsteady flame. Big flame for 3 min, small flame for another 3 minute, big flame, small flame....

            A copper pan will react to this heat cycle will be hot, warm, hot, warm, and the cooking will suffer. A cast iron pan is thick and has a lot of thermal capacity, so the cooking temperature is much more steady and the cooking result will be better.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              kaleokahu Oct 6, 2010 01:55 PM

              Well, let's take an actual, real-world, practical case. What about a radiant hob that is either winked on or off? On low, it winks on only occasionally, and is off much longer. On high, it is on almost continuously. Do you think that if we measured and plotted the internal pan temperatures over time, we'd see a lot higher peaks and lower valleys in copper vs. cast of the same thickness?

              My WAG is not, at least not anything significant. For the reason that radiant cooktops (and gas spiders) are going to stay hot even when winked off/dialed back. If the data in the parallel thread ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7381... ) is any guide, I think we'd still find more "unevenness" temporally with cast. I'll also wager that if you could somehow miraculously make copper induction-compatible, you WOULD see some significant difference, due to the fact that there is far less stored energy in the Ceran top..

              1. re: kaleokahu
                Chemicalkinetics Oct 6, 2010 02:01 PM

                "copper vs. cast of the same thickness"

                That is not a real world case. Nonetheless, the cast iron will have less temperature fluctuation. Things which response slower has a damping effect. Yes, the cooktops are going to stay hot for a warm and will make the situation better, but that would be the effects from the stove, not the pan metals

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  paulj Oct 6, 2010 02:14 PM

                  How about putting it this way: case iron is one of the cheapest ways of getting a lot of thermal mass. Copper of similar thickness and weight costs a lot more.

                  Thermal mass is more valuable when thinking about temporal variations, rather than spatial.

                  Some ceramics also give you a lot thermal mass or capacity for the buck. The examples that I have a Chinese sand pots, a Korean bowl, and a Spanish cazuela. You have to heat them slowly, but once up to temperature will keep their contents bubbling with smallest flame. Emile Henry ceramics probably work as well, but for a lot more money.

                  1. re: paulj
                    Chemicalkinetics Oct 6, 2010 04:52 PM

                    "I have a Chinese sand pots, a Korean bowl, and a Spanish cazuela. You have to heat them slowly, but once up to temperature will keep their contents bubbling with smallest flame."

                    Exactly. I agree.

                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    kaleokahu Oct 6, 2010 02:17 PM

                    "That is not a real world case."

                    With respect it is real-world. I have 3mm copper and 3mm cast.

                    My question was both rhetorical and practical: Do you think we would see a LOT higher peaks and lower valleys on a real-world radiant hob?

                    Your answer, with respect, is simply an observation of a theoretical principle that omits consideration of the spatial element athanasius demonstrated. I'm not sure how you can make that omission without also omitting significance.

                    I suppose if you "shoot" the pans from a great enough distance away from the pans so that the gun's target area is the same size as the entire pan, you might get something closer to meaningful, but I'm not sure everything won't end up being skewed by averaging; temporal hot and cold spots will get lost.

                    1. re: kaleokahu
                      Chemicalkinetics Oct 6, 2010 04:14 PM

                      Just because you have a 3 mm copper and a 3 mm cast iron, it does not mean most people have a combination like that. Most people have cast iron cookware much thicker than their copper pans. That is the norm. You were basically asking "what if an elephant is as big as a human, who will win the fight?" Yes, you can find an elephant as big as a large human, but the answer to that question address a very narrow situation. Nonetheless, I have already said that this matters not in the last response.

                      What I speak of is not a theoretical extrapolation. It is common sense. In fact, it is actually definition. What I speak of does not contradict with athanasius's finding, ask him.

                      Why do people get copper cookware in the first place, because they have great heat response. You turn the heat on, and they heat up fast. It responds to the surrounding temperature fast. Cast iron responds to the surroudning temperature slow. It heats up slow and cool down slow. What does these all mean? They mean cast iron has a good temporal heat (temperature) eveniness.

                      Take the extreme. Let's talk about the definition. Let's say there is a material does not absorb any heat and give off any heat - ever. This material will have no heat response at all. It will never increase or decrease one degree of temperature. It will also have absolute temporal heat eveniness because its temperature will not change as a function of time. "Absolute no heat response" = "aboluste temporal heat eveniness"

                      Cast iron cookware's slow heat response makes them have great temporal thermal eveniness.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        paulj Oct 6, 2010 05:24 PM

                        I've bought 'adiabatic trivets' from an Asian grocery. That's not quite the extreme you mention, but their purpose is to limit heat transfer from one item (eg a hot pot) to another (the table).

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          kaleokahu Oct 8, 2010 10:29 AM

                          Chem: "Just because you have a 3 mm copper and a 3 mm cast iron, it does not mean most people have a combination like that. Most people have cast iron cookware much thicker than their copper pans. That is the norm... '

                          If we shouldn't be testing outside of what you call the "norm", we wouldn't be testing copper at all. IT's not the norm. By your lights, induction isn't even the norm, and we tussle about that all the time.

                          I can't FIND 1 or 2mm cast saucepans to test against 1 or 2mm copper. If I could I would. My point was simply that, if one plotted the temperature peaks and valleys of equally-thick cast and copper (and 3 vs. 3 is what we have) over a real-world ON-OFF burner, e.g., my radiant hob, we won't see any dramatic difference between the two materials. I think 3 vs 3 is apples to apples, not man to elephant.

                          1. re: kaleokahu
                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 8, 2010 11:00 AM

                            " I think 3 vs 3 is apples to apples, not man to elepant"

                            Depending how you want to see it. Asking for a "3 mm" copper vs a "3 mm" cast iron, is almost like asking to comapre a "250 pound" human vs a "250 pounds" elephant. My original point is that most people have cast iron pans much thicker than their copper pans, just like most elephants weight more than humans. Let's say a 250 lbs human can beat up a 250 lbs elephant (which it cannot, but just for the sake of argument), what does it really tells me about a 250 lbs human vs a 8000 lbs elephant, not much really.

                            You can test what you like, but keep in mind what you are really trying to address. You can test induction vs gas, but keep in mind that the result only apply to induction and gas, and not electric coil for example. You can test 3 mm copper vs 3 mm cast iron, but beware the conclusion may not translate to 2 mm copper vs 10 mm cast iron. Now, if 3 mm copper vs 3 mm cast iron is of your interest, go ahead, just make sure you know that you are answering a very specific question.

                            That is not the important point anyway.

                            The important point is that a cast iron cookware has a slow heat response and by definition it will react to external temperature, which by definition will dampen heat fluctuations from a stove. The faster the heat fluctuation, the greater the dampening effect. So, let say you turn the stove on an off (intentionall) every 1 minute, the dampening effect will be great. Now, if you turn on and off the stove once a week, then the dampling effect will be minimal. Kinda of like a capacity in an electric circuit, or a spring in a mechanic diagram.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              kaleokahu Oct 8, 2010 11:09 AM

                              OK, please just answer my earlier question, then: Do you think that if we measured and plotted the internal pan temperatures over time, we'd see a lot higher peaks and lower valleys in copper vs. cast of the same thickness?

                    2. re: kaleokahu
                      m
                      mikie Oct 6, 2010 02:20 PM

                      I make chicken vesuvio in a Staub Dutch Oven on a coil top electric range. The pot slightly overhangs the coil. When I brown the potatos in a thin coating of olive oil, I have to move them around a lot to get them to brown evenly, thus reinforcing the findings in thread 7381. Also, if I happen to turn the heat up just a bit too much, I have to take the pot off the burner to have any hope of cooling it down before I have scorched potatos. Thus reinforcing the statement that cast iron holds onto the heat it has, very well.

                      Although you might be correct with the glass/ceramic top stove, they are known for heating up slowly and cooling down slowly, I don't think you would see the same thing with a coil or gas. Gas is almost instantanious, at least the flame temperature change, and electric coils cool fairly quickly, expecially if you remove the pot that's holding the temperature.

                      That thermal immaging equipment is looking more like a must have all the time ;)

                  3. re: kaleokahu
                    Jay F Oct 6, 2010 04:48 PM

                    Kaleokahu said: "If you were using gas, this can be a problem."

                    I've been using a "regular" gas nearly exclusively for the past 31 years, and I've never had a problem using Le Creuset dutch ovens, which I have been using just as long.

                    I don't like cast iron skillets much, though that's got more to do with seasoning than with cooking.

                2. h
                  HSTellie Oct 8, 2010 06:58 AM

                  I called one of the LC factory stores; the rep said there wouldn't be a problem with the DO heating evenly all the way to the outside edge with the smaller burner size.... she said even the handles would heat to
                  the same temperature as the middle of the pot.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: HSTellie
                    cowboyardee Oct 8, 2010 07:14 AM

                    While for practical purposes the pan is still totally usable on the OP's smaller burner, that rep told you wrong.

                    1. re: HSTellie
                      Chemicalkinetics Oct 8, 2010 07:59 AM

                      "even the handles would heat to the same temperature as the middle of the pot"

                      Ok, the rep must be kidding. I cannot think of any material behaves like that, least of all cast iron.

                      Here is a test to debunk that statement: turns the stove up to the point that the Dutch Oven starts to boil water. Now sprinks water droplets on the handle. If the temperature of the handle is the same as the cooking surface, then you will see water boils on both surfaces, but I doubt that.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        m
                        mikie Oct 8, 2010 08:52 AM

                        I knew it wouldn't take long for some folks to jump all over this one. The company rep. fed you a crock, pun intened. There's a whole discussion, very technical, on how cast iron heats or doesn't. Somewhere there is a temperature where the entire pot will be the same temperature, not exactly sure where that is, my guess is that it's not very hot. Cast iron is slow to heat up and slow to give up the heat it has, so there is some point where it will reach equilibrium, that just may not match your cooking temperature. The handles however are very unlikely to reach anywhere near the temperature of the bottom of the pot, they have too much air flow and will dissipate heat rather quickly.

                        1. re: mikie
                          cowboyardee Oct 8, 2010 08:54 AM

                          "Somewhere there is a temperature where the entire pot will be the same temperature, not exactly sure where that is, my guess is that it's not very hot."
                          _______
                          I'm pretty sure that's room temperature.

                          Or else I'm not following you.

                          1. re: cowboyardee
                            m
                            mikie Oct 8, 2010 09:16 AM

                            I'm pretty sure you're following me.

                          2. re: mikie
                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 8, 2010 09:59 AM

                            Mike,

                            Yep. Since the cookware is being heated at one spot (the bottom), then there has to be a heat gradient. Think of a very simple case, where we have a long cast iron rod. You light a flame under one end. At equilibrium, the temperature of the two ends will still be different.

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