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Best brands of cookware for induction cooktop?

LaureltQ Mar 8, 2011 11:03 AM

My coworker is considering getting an induction range but is unsure about her cookware. I think for the most part most of her stuff should work on it (just has to be a magnetic material or "induction rated" like my all-clad stuff?) but I think she's keen on getting a new set and is looking for brand suggestions. She'd prefer a stainless set, no need for nonstick.

I've suggested all-clad. Is there something else she should be looking at?

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  1. kaleokahu RE: LaureltQ Mar 8, 2011 11:13 AM

    LaureltQ: DeBuyer is good. http://www.debuyer.com/ And Demeyere, too. http://www.demeyere.be/default.asp?SL... And Mauviel M'Cook. www.mauvielusa.com

    1. c
      cutipie721 RE: LaureltQ Mar 8, 2011 11:17 AM

      budget? preferences?

      These things range from $15 a piece of cast iron to $250 a piece of Demeyere. She can even order induction compatible copper stuff from Europe.

      I was being told that there's going to be a sale in late March at Bloomingdales. Demeyere is probably going to be 15-20% off then.

      1. Politeness RE: LaureltQ Mar 8, 2011 08:21 PM

        LaureltQ, really, there is no magic to finding cookware that works well with induction. When we converted to induction in 1999, most of our ancient pots worked just fine on it. (Our cast aluminum pots did not.)

        We were fortunate that in 1999 Demeyere Apollo pots cost less, both absolutely and relatively, than they do now, and we have three Demeyere Apollo pots. All are excellent on induction, though the smaller 1.3 quart saucepan sometimes gets into a resonant mode and starts to whistle like a tea kettle. The Demeyere mussel pot (now repositioned as a part of Demeyere's lower priced Resto line) is an exceptionally versatile pot and its unique top will find many uses in the kitchen aside from its use as a cover for the pot.

        The best induction compatible pot that we have is a Mauviel Induc'Inox, but it appears that Mauviel has discontinued the line.

        The Kuhn-Rikon Duromatic line is excellent on induction, and each piece should be considered on its own merits as a "regular" pot, aside from its special ability to transform into a pressure cooker with the included pressure top.

        And all cast iron -- enameled and naked -- works well on induction.

        Your coworker should flat out ignore the warnings that pots must be flat-bottomed. Those warnings were cut and pasted with word processors from the instructions for noninduction "glass" top ranges, and have little relevance to induction technology, which is not reliant on a heat conductive path from the cooktop/rangetop surface to the cookware.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Politeness
          paulj RE: Politeness Mar 8, 2011 09:13 PM

          My best induction compatible pans do have flat bottoms. The added magnetic stainless layer is intentionally made flat with quite distinct edges. The bottoms also tend to be quite thick. All these are from TJMaxx.

          I would strongly discourage buying a set. Sets have varying sizes, but identical construction. I much prefer a diverse set of materials. Enamel cast iron for some things, carbon steel, stainless , and induction compatible cast aluminum. I would not buy cast iron for this use, though it is ok to use pans you already have.

          1. re: paulj
            Politeness RE: paulj Mar 9, 2011 04:56 AM

            paulj: "My best induction compatible pans do have flat bottoms. The added magnetic stainless layer is intentionally made flat with quite distinct edges."

            In an earlier thread, I posted a photo of a nambutetsu (cast iron) pot that we use that works superbly on induction. Here it may be seen inverted, showing that it has a rounded bottom and contacts the surface only in three nubby feet with a combined total contact area of perhaps one square centimeter: http://www.chow.com/uploads/3/1/8/318...

            Here is a photo of a scorchprint I made in that same pot with flour, in which you can see that the amount of scorching of the flour is inversely proportional to the thickness of the flour layer (flour being a fairly good insulator). http://www.chow.com/photos/538589

            1. re: Politeness
              paulj RE: Politeness Mar 9, 2011 09:06 AM

              I remember that. I don't think the flatness is required, provided the bottom is not too far from the magnetic field. I was just observing that when dealing with induction ready stainless steel pots, the bottom most likely will be quite flat.

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          stanleytapp RE: LaureltQ Mar 8, 2011 09:41 PM

          Nice ideas all of the members have provided here.

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            camillalieberman RE: LaureltQ Aug 17, 2011 06:01 AM

            This is a little off topic,but has anyone had experiance with using tall pots on induction cooktops? Has anyone tryed using an insert in a pot - such as a strainer in a large pasta pot? When looking for new cookware for the cooktop I have coming, the girl told me I would not be able to use tall stock pot or the pasta pot w it's strainer. I couldn't use a double boiler eather.

            2 Replies
            1. re: camillalieberman
              w
              wattacetti RE: camillalieberman Aug 17, 2011 06:39 AM

              Odd. I have a tall stockpot that works pretty well. Ditto the setup as a double-boiler. I don't have a pasta insert though, but I can't see why that would interfere with the pot's use on an induction unit.

              1. re: camillalieberman
                Politeness RE: camillalieberman Aug 17, 2011 06:47 AM

                camillalieberman: "When looking for new cookware for the cooktop I have coming, the girl told me I would not be able to use tall stock pot or the pasta pot w it's strainer. I couldn't use a double boiler eather."

                The girl is flat-out wrong. Believe nothing that she tells you, as she has demonstrated that she does not regard her ignorance as an impediment to spewing false advice.

                Induction transfers energy as an alternating magnetic field to the pot, which converts the magnetic energy to heat inside the pot. If you cook on a gas burner, the heat is applied at the bottom of the pot; if you have flames lapping up the sides of any pot other than a wok, you are just showing off, not cooking. Once the heat from a gas burner makes its way through the thickness of the pot to the inside of the bottom of the pot, a gas burner heats the stock on a tall stock pot or boils the water in the bottom of a bain marie (double boiler) exactly the way the heat works inside a pot on an induction burner.

                If you cook on a resistive electric cooking surface (either coil or flat-top), the heat source heats the bottom of the pot only. Once the heat from a resistive electric burner makes its way through the thickness of the pot to the inside of the bottom of the pot, a resistive electric burner heats the stock on a tall stock pot or boils the water in the bottom of a bain marie exactly the way the heat works inside a pot on an induction burner.

                An additional point concerning bain maries: because induction technology allows a pot to be maintained at a very low simmer, there are fewer occasions when a bain marie is a necessity when you cook with induction than there are with gas or resistive electric heat sources. For instance, it is easy to melt chocolate without scorching on induction, even without using a bain marie.

              2. twyst RE: LaureltQ Aug 20, 2011 11:04 AM

                My parents just purchased a retirement home on a lake and the kitchen was outfitted with an induction cooktop. As a housewarming gift I gave them a full set of pots and pans and they are all set up other than a nonstick pan to fry eggs in. I really broke the bank and went all out on all the other pots, but being this is a nonstick pan that should probably be replaced every couple of years, Id like to spend less than $75 on it. Any suggestions? Something available from amazon would be a plus.

                3 Replies
                1. re: twyst
                  paulj RE: twyst Aug 20, 2011 11:22 AM

                  I've bought from TJMaxx several induction compatible nonstick cast aluminum fry pans. They have the best heat distribution of any of my pans. I don't see those brands on Amazon, but they have several Fagor pans that appear to be equivalent.

                  1. re: twyst
                    Politeness RE: twyst Aug 20, 2011 04:51 PM

                    twyst: "Any suggestions?"
                    http://www.amazon.com/Matfer-Bourgeat...

                    Seasoned according to Matfer Bourgeat's instructions (takes about 15 minutes), it is at least as nonstick as Teflon, and stays that way. Constructed from a heavier gauge of steel than the similar deBuyer. Fabriqué en France.

                    1. re: Politeness
                      paulj RE: Politeness Aug 20, 2011 05:23 PM

                      If their seasoning instructions are so amazing, why does Bourgeat still make an aluminum nonstick pan like this:
                      http://www.matferbourgeatusa.com/prod...

                      Why not suggest a cast iron pan? I thought every lake side cottage came stocked with those. :)

                  2. w
                    will47 RE: LaureltQ Aug 20, 2011 11:53 AM

                    Despite having a copper layer, I think CIA's Masters series is supposed to be induction capable. Mafter Bourgeat's stainless steel lines are supposed to be as well.

                    1. BIGGUNDOCTOR RE: LaureltQ Aug 20, 2011 12:59 PM

                      I run an induction unit at work for zone annealing electrical contacts. The item does not have to be magnetic, just electrically conductive. We heat copper contacts with ours, and can melt them in seconds if set wrong. An induction unit has several variables to make it work correctly. Power output, coil design, coupling to the magnetic field (how close the coil is to the item to be heated), cycles per second of the power supply, and even surface finish (shiny-matte) will affect performance. To work best the coil needs to be as close to the item as possible without touching. Generally the bigger the item the lower the frequency, the smaller the item the higher the frequency. As the item is introduced into the magnetic field that is projected from the coil the North-South poles start to reverse at the frequency of the power supply. This induces internal friction that creates heat in the object. With the right coil, and power you can levitate metal objects. When I worked in a foundry we had an induction furnace that we used to make dental alloys with. It was pretty cool to watch 25Kg of chrome cobalt alloy spinning, and levitating in the crucible at 3,250 degrees-white hot. Ameritherm is a company that makes induction units for industry, and may have some helpful info on their website.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR
                        paulj RE: BIGGUNDOCTOR Aug 20, 2011 01:27 PM

                        Home units work best with ferromagnetic materials, e.g. iron and 18/0 stainless. Units that work with any conductive material (e.g. copper) are still new and innovative.

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