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Nov 12, 2013 11:30 AM

Are there gas cooktops with burners that would fit a 12" pan or would that have to be a custom order

What I hate about cast iron is uneven cooking. I love my large 12" cast iron skillet but there is so much variance in temperature that I find myself preheating first in the oven. I do have a long burner but its meant more for a long griddle so I still find find food cooking unevenly at the sides. While I would use it for high heat searing, roasting 4 cornish hens or 2 chickens, its one of the reasons I would never make something like pancakes in it. Ideally, the burner should be no more than one inch smaller than the pan you are using. Problem is, I have yet to see burners of this size.

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  1. Hi, PZ:

    Good luck with that one.

    The cheapest/most reasonable solution is to just get a large skillet of a more conductive construction. The next easiest/cheapest is to find yourself a thick piece of copper that is roughly the same size as the CI skillet and perch that atop your gas spider.

    After that, you're kinda in La-La Land. You can drop $$$$ and get a solid-top, or $$$ and get a commercial 'top with large-area hobs.

    In the end, though, your problem is a <$100 pan...


    2 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Actually its not cheap at all. Its a third series Griswold (from the Pre-Griswold era). Im afraid using the copper as a diffuser wouldn't work that well in the end as my skillet has a fire ring. Im willing to spend the money but I have no idea where to look for stoves with such large burners, not to mention one that is aesthetically pleasing as opposed to industrial and cold looking like in a restaurant kitchen. I've considered relining one of my copper pans in silver for high heat searing use but their tin linings are far from worn so its too early to think about that. Plus I feel so sad to think of abandoning my cast iron skillet. Its had over a century worth of history. Had this been a Lodge or even a Wagner, I wouldn't care at all. Even got rid of all my Le Creuset. Im positive my problem is less about the price but more about the properties of cast iron in combination with an undersized burner (5" for my high heat burner and 9" long for my griddle burner though the long burner isn't wide enough and isn't as strong)

      1. re: PrinceZuko

        Hi, PZ:

        I didn't mean to disparage your Griswold. And I'm not suggesting you throw it out. But you may want to consider either dedicating it to oven use or tolerating its hot spotting.

        I have a number of these old pans with fire rings, and I don't think you'd have any problem sitting it atop a copper trivet. If you think about it, the "ringed" pans were MADE for flattop solid-fuel stoves, and they work well on them.

        Sorry that I'm not familiar with any cooktops with truly oversized (as in 10-12") gas ring burners. I *have* seen specialty cookers with interchangeable (concentric) gas ring assemblies which go that large, but they are industrial high pressure units.


    2. Not sure if it helps, but my induction cooktop has an 11" hob.

      3 Replies
      1. re: JayL

        Hi, Jay:

        Does your 11" hob have one element or two? And what diameter(s) is/are the element(s) it/themselves?

        The issue I've seen with these is that the painted-on ring may be 11", but the element underneath is smaller. The makers try to pick the optimum diameter, but the field drops off very quickly with distance, so there's only so much they can do, especially with one element per hob. IME, either you get a "hot" midrange and acceptable evenness inside and outside the ring, OR colder edges with larger CI pieces.


        1. re: kaleokahu

          The new zoneless induction cooktops from Gagg and Thermador adjust automatically to pot size.

          1. re: saeyedoc

            Hi, saeyedoc:

            Well, that's the idea behind zoneless, anyway. Depending on how the zones are configured and detected, it may or may not solve this problem. The zone elements I've seen are interlocking elements which are not necessarily coextensive with the pans placed on top--there may be gaps in coverage depending on several variables.

            Also, is there any reason to believe that the detection circuitry on a zoneless top is going to pick up a small pan like the OP's?