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Best skillet for induction?

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  • Rick Feb 23, 2011 05:56 AM
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So I've learned on chowhound that cast iron actually isn't the best pan for induction. I need a 10" pan that someone can recommend for induction. I'd like a non stick and also a stainless, hoping to spend under $50 each. There are lots of options out there, but was hoping I could get a rec from someone with experience using the pans.

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  1. "cast iron actually isn't the best pan for induction."

    I don't know where you get this information from, but cast iron works perfectly on induction, at least on mine. There are individual studies about cast iron heat conductivity. They were testing on various heat sources, including induction. The conclusion was that cast iron is a bad heat conductor, and talked nothing about the heat source itself. They did experience hot spot in the center of the cast iron pan on induction because they were using a portable hob, like you do.

    If you like your current set of cookware, you don't need to get new ones. Like I said in your other post, as long as you don't use an oversized pan on a relatively small hob, you'll get the best and the most even heating ever. Shape doesn't matter either. Now you can use an oval or square or heart-shaped pan with every square mm being heated, as long as everything fits inside the hob. Anyone here who owns a residential grade induction range / cooktop will tell you the same thing.

    Here's a photo of a "scorchprint" from my ~10" cast iron griddle.
    http://www.chow.com/photos/537021

    36 Replies
    1. re: cutipie721

      That's the problem I have with cast iron, the hot spot in the center. Cast iron holds the heat very well, but it's slow to heat up, seemingly amplifying the hot spot problem on my portable hob. I need something that is a better heat conductor to try to eliminate, or at least mitigate, the hot spot.

      1. re: Rick

        I only have experience with All-clad 3-ply stainless steel and Mauviel Mcook. Both available in Bed Bath and Beyond. A 9.5" Mauviel skillet is $76 after their 20% off coupon. I know it's over your budget, but it's only 1-2 pieces. :-) I did not do a scientific measurement on both of them, but I think the Mauviel boils water a little faster than AC. It also stays clean for longer (I use Bar Keepers Friend on AC more often than on the Mauviel)

        But seriously, with the speed and evenness of the induction cooktop, looking for the difference between brands is almost like splitting hair. I'm sure anything you pick will be fine, as long as the bottom stays flat. Maybe you'll even fall in love with your cast iron pieces all over again!

        1. re: cutipie721

          When I first wrote this, I missed your scorch print photo. That is consistent with the bubble pattern I see with my portable unit, except the ring has an outer diameter of 6".

          In my experience cast aluminum heats most evenly. Several companies, mainly European, make induction compatible aluminum pans. They have a steel plate embedded in the base. When I boil water in a steel pan (stainless or enameled), the rim and handle remain cool to the touch. In contrast the aluminum rim, even the base of the handle, quickly gets too hot to touch. I've bought several pans like this at TJMaxx. That of course is a hit or miss source. Keep an eye out for a frying pan with a bunch of dots on the base.

          Yesterday I watch 'Avec Eric' making paella. He used a 12, maybe 15", paella pan (stainless or new carbon) on an induction cooktop. Since the rice is cooked in a wide shallow layer, even heat is important. I have to finish mine in the oven. In Spain the best places cook it over a wood fire using vine trimmings. Eric seemed to be getting even enough heat from his stove.

          check around 13 min on the episode
          http://aveceric.com/wp/gallery/videos...

          1. re: paulj

            What portable unit do you have paulj? My portable only gives me a 4" ring.

            1. re: Rick

              I just got a Max Burton 1800w unit. I had a Tautun 1300w that had a slightly smaller ring - that blew a capacitor. That's the one I took apart, so I know the dimensions of the coil.

              1. re: paulj

                paulj: Did you end up replacing the capacitor? You made it sound like putting in a new one in was within your experience and comfort levels. Or is the Max Burton the replacement?

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  I haven't found a replacement for the capacitor yet. Since I found the MB at a good price (Las Vegas Toolup) I decided to go that route (for now). Turns out that unit was the ATK top pick, so I had to wait a month for backorder. I've hung on to the broken one, so repair is still an option.

                  The MB has better controls, such as 10 power settings - though the lowest cycles power on and off. Levels 1&2 keep my Fagor pressure cooker up to pressure. The temperature control seems to work as well - provided you allow for a 20deg difference between the pan contents and sensor under the glass. It also remembers the power settings when the pan is taken off the burner, so I was able to swirl crepe batter around the pan.

                  1. re: paulj

                    I was torn between the MB and Duxtop, both nearly the same price on Amazon. I went with the Duxtop, I think I'm going to send it back and try the MB.

          2. re: cutipie721

            Thanks for the reply. I think my real problem is the portable hob, I just need to convince myself to spend the nearly $3k on that electrolux! Other than this hot spot problem that seems inherent to portable hobs, I think induction is extremely impressive.

            1. re: Rick

              Rick: Is the oven on the Electrolux going to be large enough for you? The thicker induction cooktop can take away oven height in a range.

              1. re: kaleokahu

                I actually didn't even consider that, thanks for the heads up. That being said, I rarely use the oven so anything I lose in oven capacity would be gained with the conduction performance.

              2. re: Rick

                If there are mom-and-pop appliance stores around you, call them up and see if they have a unit hooked up. People bring in their own cookie batter to test drive all the ovens before they commit. You may end up liking the hob arrangement better on a less expensive model instead.

          3. re: cutipie721

            cutiepie: Eureka! CERN couldn't find it, Lawrence Livermore couldn't, but you did... A *coldspot*! Call the Nobel Committee. ;)

            Seriously, that's nice work. Your photo shows that the pattern of the coil DOES translate up through the pan. Your coil has a size/shape that evenly heats an 8-inch circle about 2.5 inches in from the outer circumference. Inside of that *doughnut* it appears that no heat is supplied to a 3-inch circle in the very center (depends on conduction to get the heat to the center). This is encouraging.

            When you use your M'Cook, is there still a cooler spot dead center?

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Kaleo - I'm not interested in splitting hair with all the nano-science. That's between you and Politeness :-) If you have any hands-on experience with your cookware on induction, please do share. I'm just an average person who cook twice a day and got liberated by induction!

              The 10" measurement is based on the opening, who knows what the measurement is at the bottom / point of contact. There is also a dent all around the pan, which makes the contact area even smaller. Heck, my 31cm oval dutch oven fits in my 11" hob with like an inch to spare on each side. What can I do?

              1. re: cutipie721

                Kaleokahu is just trying to find excuses to avoid the inevitable! :) Induction is wave of the future.

                1. re: paulj

                  paulj: "Induction is [the] wave of the future." LOL. So was the Laserdisc. Or flight in 1905. I think I'll defer induction for a few more years. By then someone will want rid of their AGA for a song. ;)

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    I came across a novel idea for testing heating efficiency in Cooking For Geeks - put a probe thermometer in a block of tofu (say 4" on side), and heat that in various ways (oven, steam, frying, boiling water etc). That tests the heat transfer to the food as well as heat tranfer or generation in the pan. Of course you don't get efficiency directly from the heating speed.

                    1. re: paulj

                      I tried that, most around here can order me an induction range, but none seem to have any in stock let alone test models.

                2. re: cutipie721

                  cutiepie: Well, let me split some anyway, for others' amusement....

                  It has been debated here before whether there is a direct translation of the size and shape of the induction coil up through the pan; and, whether in poor conductivity pans that can result in hot spots. Some have claimed that the field isn't so discrete, that the field emanates such that it heats not just directly over the coil. Others have claimed that the translation only happens with cheaper hotplates, and that $$$ induction doesn't do that.

                  It is looking like they were half right: the wider, flatter coils on $$$ induction seem to provide more widespread heat (than the $ hotplates, presumably because of the latter's narrower coil), *but* the translation phenomenon is nonetheless valid, especially in pans of poor conductivity like CI, all-SS, and carbon steel. I thought I saw a cooler spot in the center of Politeness' (flour) scorchprint photos, but that pan was strange (i.e., a footed cauldron, slung bottom, not in actual contact with the Ceran top), and the translation was less than clear. Your photo was very clear, thank you.

                  I can better understand now why you may not be displeased with your induction cooktop. If you match your pans to your coil sizes correctly, and you use pans with decent conductivity, you may not notice any problems with hot/cool spots (the *doughnut hole* will heat up by conduction). However, others' results may not be as pleasing if they have cooktops with different coils. That's one of the problems with induction as a whole--it's suspect to generalize from a particular model.

                  As for your last question about your 31cm oven, (if the coil is in fact 11" in diameter) then your oval will overhang less than an inch on each side--probably still good for stovetop use, with whatever size doughnut hole. Liquid contents will do just fine via convection.

                  LOL. I'm not investing $$$ in my own induction stove (and buying worse cookware to be compatible with it) just to ante into discussions with those who have made those compromises. *However*, your work on this thread has made it more likely that I would consider it. Thanks again.

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    "your work on this thread has made it more likely that I would consider it. Thanks again."

                    *blush*

                    I thought you are friends with the folks at your local appliance store, that's why I thought you might actually have cooked on one.

                    I only have a small m'cook saucepan. A cup of water for tea goes to rolling boil in ~30s. Hardly any chance to look for cold/hot spots.

                    1. re: cutipie721

                      cutiepie: Good memory. I've held off bothering the folks at the app store until I get a converter disk, a 220VAC watt meter, and an IR thermometer for some comprehensive tests. Then they'll have to beat me away with a stick.

                      Blush away, I was serious about your photo making it more likely I'd--sometime--buy induction. It appears that (some? many?) manufacturers have come up with ways to avoid/moderate the ring of fire effect, and spread out the heat. They're hurting themselves by not publicizing their own particular hob/pan scorchprints; I'm surprised CR or ATK hasn't done this, too. You moved the ball downfield on this.

                      Too bad you don't have a M'Cook piece of comparable size to compare with the CI on the same hob. My bet is the center coolspot would be less distinguishable. What size hob did you use for your scorchprint, the 11"?

                      As for the boiling water test, yes, until they come up with 3600W microwaves, induction will win every time. I need more time than 30 seconds to get my tea stevia and cream ready, anyway!

                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        I did the CI scorchprint on the 11" hob. I turned it to high for 2-3 mins. Yea, I know, I was pretty rough with that piece of CI which I shouldn't have. It's only $15 or so, I didn't care. I do have an M'cook roasting pan and a 12" AC copper core skillet. The thought of leaving them on high and dry for 3 mins stopped my heart for a little bit. I bought them within the last year or two and I plan to keep them for the next 20+ years. If I use a lower setting for 6 mins, then that's too much time for heat to travel around.

                        No other species of stoves had any kind of scorchprint experiments to show in their catalogs, why should induction be the first? If people are happily thinking that their Le Creuset pots have no hot spots on a gas stove, there's really no reason or demand to conduct these tests for the general public. Those who are seriously interested will look for individual studies.

                        Seriously, I don't need a microwave. The more I think about it, the more I want to rip it off from the cabinets and install a half oven instead.

                        In a few years, by the time you're ready to jump in :-), you may see "zoneless" induction in the stores. You get them in Canada now. Maybe this zoneless technology is what they use to eliminate doughnuts?

                        In either case, I don't want to hijack Rick's thread further. ;-)

                        1. re: cutipie721

                          Zoneless induction! I think I'll wait for that, this hot spot doughnut hole thing is driving me nuts!

                          1. re: Rick

                            I did not say zoneless fixes donut. I was just guessing.

                            And plus, zoneless induction is available in markets where everybody knows what induction is. The US has a long way to go. Who knows how many years you're gonna have to wait.

                            1. re: cutipie721

                              The donut holes will just be smaller. I believe the idea of zoneless is to distribute a large number of coils under the surface, and power the ones under a pan.

                              1. re: paulj

                                You're right. So that means we're going to see a lot of mini donuts? LOL I guess if they're small enough it hardly matters.

                                I think "zoneless" is not as fancy as it sounds. There ARE zones in zoneless. The difference is, with a normal induction hob today, you get the best experience by fitting a 10" pan to a 10" hob. Now you may put a 4" butter warmer anywhere within a "zone" and still experience good heat.

                                1. re: cutipie721

                                  If I had the means and need to get a new cooktop, I'd lean toward one with multiple heat sources, part induction, part resistive heating (even old fashion coil). Maybe one of those radiant grills that I see on Iron Chef. And somehow I'd like to have a gas burner as well, for use with earthenware pots - maybe butane hot plate for use inside, propane grill outside.

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    paulj: "If I had the means and need to get a new cooktop, I'd lean toward one with multiple heat sources, part induction, part resistive heating (even old fashion coil)."

                                    And you would regret it. We had a hybrid cooktop (four burners: two medium-sized -- 1400 watt -- induction, plus one smaller -- 1200? watt -- and one much larger -- 3000 watt -- ribbon radiant) for seven or eight years. After a few weeks, maybe after a few days, the ribbon radiants descended to a status of near desuetude, brought into the action only when we absolutely had to use three or four burners at once or when we had one of our very large diameter pots in play. It is really hard to use a conventional electric burner once one has got used to using an induction burner; it's like learning to crawl around the living room floor on your knees again once you have learned how to walk.

                          2. re: cutipie721

                            cutiepie: I understand your reticence to go high and dry with your $$$ cookware (That's why I haven't tested my theory that you can roast in tinned copper at 450-475).

                            FWIW, in my scorchprint tests, I added a thick layer of glass pie weights over the parchment and then just put the cold pan over the hob. I think the weights soak up enough heat to spare the pan, and I watched the parchment closely so it never got super hot.

                            It would be interesting to see a 'print of your 10" CI skillet on your smallest hob, in order to see if the outer boundary of the translation is as clear as was the inner boundary--the doughnut hole; that would be good visual corroboration of Athanasius' IR data. Please? I know it's a less than ideal match, but some folks *do* sometimes need two larger pans going at once.

                            Good point about scorchprints for ALL hobs. I'm sure folks could benefit from knowing in advance that the gas hobs they're considering have good flame spreads or not. Resistive electrics less so--you can see what you get. Radiants--sure, that would help a little. I singled out induction because the units are sometimes sealed, and the little rings painted on the Ceran don't show the size of the coil. At best, they're the manufacturer's judgment of max pan size to match with that hob. If such a thing were required, there would be a lot less CI and thin clad sold, and a lot more Al, Cu and disk-bottom.

                            Re: MW I only raised that because it sounded like you were bragging about how fast induction hobs can boil water. A 3600W MW could probably do it faster than a 3600W induction hob, was my only point. And I'm no big fan of MWs, either.

                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              Actually none of my cookware is $$$. I got them for $. If I ruin the pan, I just don't know if I can find the same deal ever again.

                              I don't remember seeing any of the portable hobs advertising the actual measurement of the cooking surface. They tell you the size of the unit, the power output (1200w 1500w 1800w) and many other useless info. They even tell you the max pan size you should use. They just keep mum about the size of that circle. Not the case for $$$ cooktops. They advertise them as x" cooking elements / hobs. If things look funny, they would have been sued already i'd say.

                              1. re: cutipie721

                                Hi, cutiepie: "They advertise them as x" cooking elements / hobs. If things look funny, they would have been sued already i'd say."

                                I'm not as sanguine as you, I guess. I don't have one, so I can't say, but I can't remember a single poster here who's ever said the painted ring on the Ceran is the same size as the underlying induction coil. What we *have* seen are photos showing the coils to be *smaller* (unsurprising, considering how induction works)--hence my statement that the mfgrs size the circle bigger to take into account the largest pan they *think* can be matched to the coil. But there is SO much difference between pans' performance (imagine CI vs. steel disk+aluminum) that these must be approximations.

                                Good for you, getting $$$ pans for a bargain! It makes them dear, doesn't it?

                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  The Max Burton directions describe the rings on the glass as 'cookware placement guides'. The inner circle is 6" diameter, roughly the size of the magnetic field (as seen in a 10" skillet). The only pan size constraints are that it be at least 4" in diameter. A larger pan, such as 12" paella will fit on the top, even though it does not heat evenly. It can be shifted around to even out the heat some what - but I have to do that on my largest electric coil as well.

                                  I successfully cooked a batch of buckwheat crepes on the MB. However I'll probably stick with the electric coil for that purpose, since I have good feeling for the power setting that gives a steady even heat. And the coil doesn't beep at me when I swirl the batter around. The quick response of an induction burner is not an asset with cooking crepes.

                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                    Well, I didn't see that, so I have no comments. Depending on how they advertised the unit, that could totally become a lawsuit. In either case, you can always ask them to "pop the hood" for you ;-)

                                    1. re: cutipie721

                                      cutiepie: "In either case, you can always ask them to "pop the hood" for you ;-) "

                                      Sure, at least where the cooktop units aren't sealed or with "No User-Serviceable Parts Inside--Opening Voids Warranty" seals.

                                      Am I understanding correctly that the painted circle on your 11" hob is the same size as the outer diameter of the coil beneath it?

                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                        On both of our induction cooktops, the Ceran top plate has been entirely separate from the electronics underneath, simply held in place by a trim piece. The touch control contacts operate THROUGH the Ceran, not with wires that emerge from it. When you think about it, no matter who makes the guts of the cooktop or range, the Ceran plate comes from a different source (Schott), and is just a piece that is put on -- presumably as the last step, because there would be no need to do it earlier -- of the assembly process.

                                        That said, removal of the Ceran plate from an already installed cooktop is not the kind of procedure that one undertakes casually, because access to the screws retaining the trim is on the underside of an unwieldy and fragile appliance that is hard-wired -- good practice dictates that the wires not be excessively long -- into a high amperage electric circuit.

                                        1. re: Politeness

                                          Politeness: Good points. But we were talking about asking the appliance store people to pop the hood. Maybe plugged in, maybe not. At their risk.

                                          If the manufacturers would provide the dimensional data on the coils in the first place, this would be less of an issue. We were lucky awhile back to stumble onto the *service* manual of your appliance, and so got to see the Oz behind the curtain.

                3. Rick: Sorry to have gone off topic. Since you asked for the "best" on induction, you might try to find a Mauviel Induc'Inox skillet. This line has been discontinued (probably because it worked well ONLY on induction and therefore didn't sell many), but it has gotten very high marks from some folks here on CH. I believe it is an all-steel clad, i.e., carbon steel clad in SS.

                  You might be able to find one on eBay, or an orphan somewhere.

                  1. Chantal works very quickly on induction. Swiss Diamond has brought out some pans made for induction. Unfortunately both will be over $50. There are also induction converter discs if you have cookware that is not compatible. They are not quite as efficient as ferrous metal pans. The Chantal pans have a core of carbon steel and copper and are enameled inside and out, dishwasher and oven save as are Swiss Diamond. All Clad is usable but like using the induction converter disc they are not quite as efficient as others. The aluminum core slows the induction process. Matfer carbon steel skillets and crepe pans are good too.

                    1. Rick: " . . . someone can recommend for induction. I'd like a non stick and also a stainless, hoping to spend under $50 each."

                      Not stainless, but nearly non-stick after seasoning: http://www.amazon.com/Matfer-Bourgeat...

                      A Mauviel Induc'Inox frypan, mentioned by another poster, would be a superb addition to your collecton, but (starting at $130, and going up) well above your $50 price point. The line has not been discontinued, and (given that Mauviel is a relatively small producer compared to, say, the offerings from Groupe SEB or Newell Rubbermaid or Meyer) it continues to sell well. However, the line has been renamed M'Cook. http://www.lacuisineus.com/catalog/in...

                      Tangentially, it is untrue that the Mauviel M'Cook works well "... ONLY on induction"; indeed, it would be an engineering challenge to manufacture any commercial item of cookware that would work well on induction yet not work well on another energy source. {A challenge, but -- non-commercially -- not impossible. Using a magnetic steel trivet similar to the one sold with Kuhn Rikon cookware http://www.kuhnrikon.com/products/pre... partially immersed in water inside, one theoretically could cook (though probably not fry) in a paper disposable plate that you can purchase in a supermarket; it is unlikely that one could cook at all in such a vessel on a gas or coil-top cooking appliance; it is also unlikely that anyone would WANT to cook in a paper plate other than as a parlor game.]

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Politeness

                        Politeness: A year ago you were uncertain whether Induc'Inox was the same as M'Cook. What has changed?

                        My understanding is that Induc'Inox was a 3-layer bar of all-ferromagnetic steel "optimized" for induction--hence the name (and its discontinuance). See, http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/... As our friend Sam Kinsey wrote there in 2009:

                        "So perhaps we might like to have carbon steel clad in a thin layer of stainless steel. As I said above, Mauviel used to make exactly this. People loved it, but it never really caught on and they discontinued the line. If you have a chance to find some Mauviel Induc'Inox, I strongly suggest you acquire some. The reason Induc'Inox didn't catch on is because the market for truly induction-optimized cookware isn't large enough for a manufacturer to devote the production, distribution and marketing costs associated with a line specifically designed with induction in mind."

                        Do you think Mauviel reintroduced Induc'Inox?

                        It is also my understanding that M'Cook differs from Induc'Inox in that the former is a 5-layer construction comprised of SS+AlAlloy+Al+AlAlloy+SS. See, http://www.cookstovesguide.co.cc/deta... This sandwich was apparently designed to work better on non-induction heat sources than Induc'Inox, while still being induction compatible--a better seller. Is this not the case?

                        As to the price, perhaps the OP can find an Induc'Inox pan on eBay or at a clearance outlet within his budget.

                        Finally, working "well" is pretty subjective, but I see no reason to believe Induc'Inox (if it IS 3-layer, all-steel) would work any better that straight-gauge SS on non-induction hobs. To me, that is synonymous with "works well only on induction".

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          kaleokahu: "A year ago you were uncertain whether Induc'Inox was the same as M'Cook. What has changed?"

                          My degree of confidence. Apparently, misdirected.

                          kaleokahu: "As our friend Sam Kinsey . . ."

                          As you know, your opinion of Sam Kinsey is much, much higher than my opinion of Sam Kinsey -- and yet even your opinion of Sam Kinsey is several orders of magnitude lower than Sam Kinsey's exalted opinion of himself.

                          Kaleokahu quoting Sam Kinsey: "So perhaps we might like to have carbon steel clad in a thin layer of stainless steel. As I said above, Mauviel used to make exactly this. People loved it, but it never really caught on and they discontinued the line."

                          Now THAT is interesting, and I thank you for digging up this quotation. In my private email exchange with Sam Kinsey in 2004, I told him of our success in cooking with Mauviel Induc'Inox, which at that time we had been using for four years. His reply, couched in demeaning and dismissive language, was that no cookware of that kind of steel-steel-steel construction ever had been constructed, period, and that no cookware of that construction ever would be constructed; not only was I wrong, but I was ignorant, he wrote. When I replied that such construction made the cookware especially suited for use on an induction cooktop (which we had been using for five years at that time), his reply was that his vastly more sophisticated readership would have no interest in what he called "a nonstandard heat source," and so there was no reason at all to make any mention whatsoever of induction in his writings. Apparently, some time in the last seven years he has -- at least around the fringes -- got religion. That is a positive development, one supposes.

                          kaleokahu: "Do you think Mauviel reintroduced Induc'Inox?

                          Until two days ago, I thought that Maviel simply had renamed Induc'Inox. Primarily, my belief was founded on the lacuisineus.com website, which long has been a premier source in the United States for purchasing Mauviel coukware by mail order (as Williams-Sonoma has basically limited its Mauviel offerings to the copper lines). LaCuisine's page for Induc'Inox changed seamlessly into the page for M'Cook, everything but the title at the top remaining the same -- IIRC, even the SKUs remained the same, piece-for-piece.

                          kaleokahu: "It is also my understanding that M'Cook differs from Induc'Inox in that the former is a 5-layer construction comprised of SS+AlAlloy+Al+AlAlloy+SS."

                          The Mauviel home site in France confirms the correctness of your understanding, and the data there is conclusive that my statement in this thread about 48 hours earlier than this post is incorrect. I apologize for the confusion, and assure you that I had no intent to deceive.

                          kaleokahu: "I see no reason to believe Induc'Inox (if it IS 3-layer, all-steel) would work any better that straight-gauge SS on non-induction hobs."

                          There is no way to know for certain without destructive dissection, but my very strong suspicion is that Induc'Inox is/was a three-layer construction, but that the center layer is iron, not steel -- that is, that it lacks a carbon component. Quite aside from the issue that an uncoated pure iron vessel quickly could rust from atmospheric exposure, a pure iron pot would have structural integrity issues -- it would ding and dent easily. But a soft iron compound is superior as a magnetic material to a structurally more satisfactory steel. Our Demeyere Apollo cookware has a magnetic steel disk in it (in addition to an aluminum layer), but the performance differential on an induction energy source between the Mauviel Induc'Inox and the (very good withal) Demeyere Apollo is quite pronounced, with the Induc'Inox the clear winner. That leads me to believe that the Mauviel's magnetic layer must be of a different chemical composition than that of the Demeyere's magnetic layer. And, as the magnetic steel layer of the Demeyere was selected specifically for its magnetic properties, it would be surprising if Mauviel could have found a significantly superior magnetic steel. Which indirect and circumstantial evidence suggests to me that Mauviel used a soft iron instead.

                          As for its performance on a noninduction energy source, our Induc'Inox is the equal of the Demeyere Apollo and the Kuhn-Rikon Duromatic pots that we own, both of which have aluminum sandwich construction disks at the bottom (diskless but five-ply overall clad construction in the Apollo conical sauteuse). You may recall that, until a couple of years ago, we had a hybrid cooktop with two medium size induction cooking areas and two ribbon radiant burners, one smaller in size and wattage than the induction cooking areas, and one much larger than the induction cooking areas.

                          On those occasions that I am the cook for the evening when we have steaks, I prefer to broil the steaks in the oven; but when my spouse is the cook for the evening when we are cooking steaks, my spouse's choice is to sear the stak on the cooktop. The pan of choice to sear the steak -- chosen in preference to the Griswold cast iron skillet, to the Descoware enameled cast iron fry pan, to the Demeyere clad-construction conical sauteuse, and to the Kuhn-Rikon Duromatic frypan -- has been the Mauviel Induc'Inox. And the burner employed under the Mauviel Induc'Inox usually has been the largest burner on the cooktop, now an induction unit, but for eight years it was a ribbon radiant burner.

                          1. re: Politeness

                            Politeness: The plot thickens a bit...

                            Yesterday I took a flier at finding a seller of Induc'Inox, and actually found some. The only one I found on Google's first page that claimed to be by Mauviel was in New Zealand, and a person there confirmed it is indeed new Mauviel stock (and not M'Cook). However, I found several other sources for "Induc'Inox" that curiously did not mention Mauviel at all, one of which ID'd the maker as "Eurodib". This seller only says its "Induc'Inox" is multiple layers, without any more information.

                            Perhaps this was license arrangement gone bad, or a sale of the N American rights to Eurodib. But Induc'Inox is a very specific spelling, probably with trademark rights, so who knows?

                            Sam Kinsey's been very nice to me, and has been very giving of his time and knowledge on the other Board. I'm sorry you didn't get along.

                      2. My favorite pans for use on my induction cooktop are:

                        Archetun induction-cabable aluminum nonstick pan
                        De Buyer CHOC Induction aluminum nonstick pan
                        carbon steel lyonniase-style pan (mine is Japanese, but in the US, De Buyer is popular)
                        Japanese Iwachu cast iron omelet pan

                        Infinite Circulon and Swiss Diamond (their induction capable line) also work well. I also love Silit Silargan ceramic-coated stainless steel pans on induction, but they are pretty expensive.

                        If I lived in the US and had to pick only two frying pans, I'd probably go with a De Buyer CHOC Induction pan and a De Buyer carbon steel pan. Since they are so cheap, I'd also suggest getting a Lodge cast iron skillet (or maybe even a grill pan). IME, even though cast iron doesn't heat so evenly, a cast iron skillet/grill pan is perfect for cooking steaks and for searing meat. I don't really use stainless steel frying pans much, but I'd suggest you check out Tramontina as a maker of good-quality pans for a very reasonable price.

                        1. For stainless, an option of very good quality is the American Kitchen tri-ply line made by Regal in Wisconsin. It was formerly marketed as 'Marcusware'; I got a 10" skillet for $40. in a closeout of Marcusware, but I've seen the American Kitchen version in at least two places for $50.