Lodge cast iron wok and induction cooktop
I am a wreck in the kitchen, but I'm trying to learn to use cast iron cookware and an induction cooktop. I read all about cast iron cleaning and do's and don'ts. My Lodge wok is seasoned well enough to try it.
I already tested the cooktop by putting it on the highest temp. I believe the highest is 454 degrees. It overheats in about 3 minutes if I do this, if the wok is sitting there with oil in it. I tried it 3 separate times to see if it would overheat and give an error.
It is a like new cooktop that someone else returned, so it may be a defective one, and I would exchange it for another. However, I think it's overheating because of the shape of the wok, and it being heavy cast iron. Does anyone know? If I can't use this wok on this cooktop, I may have to use my electric stove.
I have the inexpensive Duxtop 8300ST. It has mostly good reviews and some reviewers said they often made stir-fry on it (and the previous Duxtop model).
I'm still hoping to use the wok today to cook my veggies and meat while they are fresh. I read that you don't need the highest heat. As little as 300 degrees will sear? So I hope it won't overheat and that I can manage to cook.
My biggest concern besides overheating is: Will it be obvious to me when the meat and veggies are cooked enough? I would hate to have them uncooked in the middle.
I have a silicone splatter screen but I don't like how it blocks your view (unlike stainless). I try and avoid stainless when I can. I have a good long handled turner.
I am gathering that the overheat-shutdown sensors on many induction appliances still have bugs to be worked out. Others have reported that the appliances give overheat error codes and shut down when converter disks are used. Demeyere makes a cookware line that is supposed to turn nonmagnetic above a certain temperature (hence stopping the induction from further heating the pan), which MIGHT prevent this from happening. But the pans are $$+, and there's no guarantee it would work. The other possibility is that the sensors are working just fine, but the appliance itself wasn't designed or built to take or vent the levels of heat many folks use.
Perhaps ultimately there will be "defeat" features put on these like switching off an automobile's airbag, so that you can actually watch to control heat, keep cooking >3 hours, lift the pan off the surface without killing power, etc., etc. But I wouldn't bet on an exchange changing anything for you, although I hope I'm wrong.
Thanks. At my novice level, I see no need to lift the pans. From what I read, cast iron has the least problems or enameled cast iron. I want only those types, so I don't have noise problems or temperature being uneven. Also to save money on the cookware, and so I don't need to purchase a disk.
hmmm....i'm just getting used to my new Kitchenaid induction top , and although I'm very pleased so far, I did start behaving oddly the other evening when I was using the Lodge skillet. Overheating? I don't see anything in the manual about a cut-off....but I bet that's what it was doing. because I burned the hash browns, so it was clearly hotternhell.
I cooked the meal at 320-392 degrees. The lower temp did not seem enough, or maybe it was not enough oil in the wok. Considering it was my first time with induction and cast iron, and that I'm bad in the kitchen, it was a success. I have had little good wok experience. A few parts were undercooked and a few parts overcooked. Next time I will go up one temp setting. After the next setting, is the highest, at 464 degrees. Each setting jumps up by about 36 degrees. Maybe I will try the 464 degrees again if the next level works, however, once it gives the overheat error, it may not let me go to a lower temp without waiting.
I was surprised how the oil kept "disappearing". I hope I don't need to use this much oil in the future. I used safflower oil. Some food was sticking but I am sure it will improve. The wok is preowned but I think it needs more use to get seasoned better. Now it's only ok.
I mostly use my Max Burton on the power setting, not temperature. Keep in mind that the temperature sensor is under the glass, not in the pan, so there's going to some difference.
3 minutes is far to long to preheat a pan on an induction burner. 30 seconds is about the max I allow for preheat. More often I just put the food in right away, and it starts sizzling in seconds.
I have not, though, tried high temperature wok cooking on the induction burner. I can see where that could butt up against the overheat protection.
Are you cutting your meat into uniform bite size pieces? Normally with wok stirfry the meat is cooked at high heat for about 30 seconds, just enough to change color all around. It is then removed, and various vegetables are fried. Finally the meat is added back, and if necessary allowed to steam for a bit to finish cooking.
I had the same Duxtop for almost two years and loved it. I did about 95% of my cooking on it but did notice very early on a problem with the unit overheating and shutting down with some cookware, specifically my Paderno 11" carbon steel skillet and any cast iron piece larger than 8". This was not a huge negative since I cook for one and seldom needed the larger size pans. I never tried boiling a huge pot of water for pasta.
I found out early the temp settings are useless - I could produce golden brown french fries at 280 degrees and burnt brown potato sticks at 360. Like most/all? of these inexpensive home units, also, any setting over level 3 is mostly useful for boiling water, fast, faster, even faster, more faster still, etc.
I came to the conclusion it was the heat retention properties of the CI and carbon steel that were causing the problems. I could use a 9" steel skillet, and did every day, with never a problem, and pieces of Ikea induction compatible cookware (up to 3 qt capacity) and Graniteware enameled steel pans, mostly useful for boiling water for pour-over coffee since they're very thin and it's very east to scorch food.
A little over a month ago I was rummaging in the cabinet behind and over the Duxtop and clumsily knocked a bottle of hot sauce off; it landed square on the cooking surface and shattered it.
I had already determined I wanted a second induction unit and planned to get a Volrath but needed to get another circuit installed in the kitchen first. I just headed over to the restaurant supply house and picked up the Mirage Cadet. The salesman said the difference between that and the Pro model is the Pro is built to operate all day long, non-stop, without overheating, while the Cadet has about a 3 hour usage limit before it will shut down. Three hours is enough for me, so I went for the Cadet. Lots of differences between the two and I haven't gotten used to the Volrath yet but I can and have used the Paderno regularly with no problem. I still haven't had any need to get out any of my larger CI pieces.
Oh, and I keep a stiff plastic cutting board on top of the Volrath when it's not in use.