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Aug 19, 2012 06:46 AM

ugh...dumb question about pans and induction stoves

I bought this pan: It's the Cuisinart Chef's Classic 3 qt saucepan (pour spout kind) if you don't want to go through the link.

It says it's good to use with electric, gas, glass ceramic, halogen cooktops. I have an induction stovetop - at least I guess I do, it's the flat glass top with the heating element underneath. Does that mean it won't work, or is that what they mean by "electric"?

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  1. If you can turn your heating element on and produce heat with no pan on it at all, you don't have induction, but likely just an electric glasstop rather then an electric coil. The link does not work, but as long as its not aluminum it might work for induction. For induction to turn on the pan generally needs to be magnetic, and should have a flat bottom. You probably wouldn't have induction without knowing it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TeRReT

      Thanks for the clarification. Your first sentence was more helpful than anything I found doing specific searches.

    2. <it's the flat glass top with the heating element underneath>

      That does not mean it is an induction cooktop at all. Halogen and ceramic cooktops also have flat glass surface. In fact, straightly speaking, the heating element of an induction cooktop is the cookware themselves. Induction cooktop is very special. I don't see how you can acquire one without knowing so.

      The easiest way to distinguish is to turn on your stove alone (without any cookware on top). If the stove glow and can produce heat on it own, the it is NOT induction.

      As mentioned, the true heating elements of an induction cooktop are the cookware. This photo illustrates this. The chocolate on the pan is heated and melted, but the chocolate outside of the pan remained cold and solid:

      3 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Thanks! I moved into this house recently and the range/stovetop were here, so I didn't buy it, and don't really know anything about it. Well, now I do, thanks. It's NOT an induction stovetop - thanks for the clarification. When I was looking around I saw lots of pictures, but nothing more specific, and from pics mine doesn't look much different.

        When this one dies I want a gas top, I felt a lot more confident cooking with gas than with this one - electric!!! It does look like that pan will be fine on this stove though. :)

        1. re: justlearning

          :) Good to hear. Have fun with the new pan.

          1. re: justlearning

            There are apparently better and worse glass cooktops. I used one with no problem for 12 years. I was always amazed that people dissed them so much because mine worked well. I always wished for more room on the cooktop, but I liked the steadiness of the heat. I found med heat worked well for many things.

            You can use cast iron on them. (I didn't know that and got rid of my cast iron, only to rebuy some later.) You will like the performance of a totally flat bottomed pan better than one that has a bit of dish in the middle. If the pan is at all wobbly or lightweight, you will have to steady the pan as you use utensils in it.

            Buy cooktop cleaner at the grocer's. Use if often. If you do this it is easy to keep clean. (Easier than any gas cooktop I have ever used, but I haven't used one in a long time.)

            I like gas too. Its one of my strong preferences in a kitchen as I search for a new house. But the glass cooktop worked well for me for a long time.

            So, have fun in your new house, and use your stove or cooktop with confidence.