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Does your All Clad Copper Core make a horrible high-pitched screeching noise on induction stovetops?

Has anyone here used All Clad Copper Core pans on an induction burner, and if so, does it make a horrible high-frequency screeching noise? Please note, I am not talking about the fan -- this sound is distinctly nails on a chalkboard, and despite being fairly quiet, it goes straight through the eardrum and is completely intolerable.

Here's the back story: I finally decided to treat myself to a new range with double ovens, and on a whim, I decided to splurge on the induction cooktop instead of the plain old electric. I made that decision after trying and loving my parents' portable induction burner. Well, as luck would have it, I only tried out my cast iron pan. That was a couple of days ago. Today, I used the induction burner to melt a pat of butter in an All Clad CC saucepan; several hours later, my eardrum still hurts at the memory!!

So it's definitely a deal breaker. The thing is, I LOVE induction otherwise, and I'm not finding much mention of this noise online (and trust me, I think anyone with decent hearing would notice). Some people say that the problem is with the pan being cheap, but I wouldn't think that All Clad Copper Core would qualify! So I'm hoping against hope that this is only happening because my parents' little burner is from a cheap Taiwanese brand (Tatung).

I've been wondering all day how likely it is that I'm going to be sending my brand new range back for a refund and whether I should have a backup plan. Any first-hand experience is greatly appreciated!

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  1. Hi, lovelymicrobes:

    I have not heard of this high sound problem with CC, but the humming can bother some people. Does it happen on all the range's hobs? This may be a foible of this particular model of your range, or it may be older CC which may not be optimized for induction.

    To paraphrase Forrest's mom, "Induction is like a box of chocolates--you never know what you're going to get." There can be about a 30% variability between "compatible" pans of different construction on the *same* appliance, and then there is variability *between* appliances. Most folks who sink long green into a 240V induction range or cooktop never get to A-B their cookware on more than one appliance, and so they tend to attribute differences in *result* to only the pans.

    Before you do anything hasty I recommend you hie thee hither to an appliance store which carries a decent selection of induction ranges they will actually plug in for you (this can be difficult to arrange). Take your singing pan with you, along with all your other pans you would hate to replace just to have induction. Test them and make sure what works to your liking.

    Another, completely ad hoc option is to junk your singer and any other pans that don't work well for you on the appliance, and buy new pans to fit *it*.

    Plan C might be to shame A-C into replacing every CC piece that sings, under its vaunted warranty and customer service policies.

    Please post with how you work through this issue.

    Aloha,
    Kaleo

    PS: Scroll down to the bottom of this stale thread to see a post from another Hound who had sound problems with clad on induction. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/630387

    4 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Hi Kaleo,

      Oops, I failed to mention that I don't have the new range yet -- it will take about 30 days to ship, so I won't receive it until the end of January. At this point, I'm just wondering how likely it is that I will have to haul it back and how to handle that case, and whether I should try to line up a backup option.

      My All Clad was very recently purchased, so I don't think age is a problem there. You're right, I should check to see if there's a local showroom I can go to (although ours is pretty small town). I will also read that thread you posted.

      Thanks!

      1. re: lovelymicrobes

        So you used it on your parents hotplate? I'm confused.

        1. re: c oliver

          Yup, sorry for the confusion: I ordered my range two days ago and will get in 3-4 weeks. Today, I pulled the portable burner out again and found the problem with my CC, and now I'm wondering if I'm going to have a minor stove debacle on my hands.

          I don't know much about induction technology, so I was wondering if it was possible that my pans will behave differently on different stoves.

          1. re: lovelymicrobes

            I agree with kaleo (surprise, surprise!). I'd get to somewhere/some place and try the cookware out. Or make sure that you can send it cooktop back without any problem. There's something going on, for sure.

    2. So it's the range making the noise or the pan? Or can you tell?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Leepa

        I'm pretty sure it's the pan because the burner does not make that noise with a cast iron skillet.

          1. re: kaleokahu

            Kaleo: Could you explain? And how would I tell the difference?

            1. re: lovelymicrobes

              Hi, Lovely:

              It's best to think of this as a combination of the pan *and* the hob--your specific A-C CC on your parents' hotplate. So it's obviously *both*, but that doesn't tell you much.

              The construction of the A-C is different than the CI.
              You will need to try the A-C on other appliances before you can generalize about the pan. It may be that you want to go ahead and install your appliance *hoping* the problem will cease (aka Mountain-to-Mohammed). Or you can take your pan somewhere that demonstrates and sells your intended appliance, and see if she sings. I would take all your A-C (or even every pan you definitely want to keep). There may be some harmonic at work, and you might find that a *different* pan makes noise on the appliance. If everything works to your satisfaction, happy cooking. If not, start the frustrating search for either a different appliance or different cookeware.

              This type issue is one of the prices you pay going with induction. Many will say it's worth it. Many--like myself--will say that the totality of those prices makes it not worth it. Only you can decide for yourself.

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

      2. Have you tried it with food or water in the pan?

        1 Reply
        1. re: JayL

          JayL: I filled the pot most of the way with water and tried that. It still buzzed -- not quite as screechingly, but still pretty high and annoying. It's a little 2 quart saucepan, so it's still not much, but I do often cook with small amounts.

        2. AC CC user on Miele induction - no issue. Good luck.

          1 Reply
          1. I just called Lowe's, and the appliance guy was very surprised. He said they sell 4 or 5 induction units a month (small town, not a lot of money here) and has never had a single complaint. So I'm hopeful. :) He also assured me that they will take it back if necessary.

            My husband thought that it could be that this portable burner puts out a particular frequency that doesn't work well with my CC pan and a different stove would put out a less obnoxious frequency. If anyone who understands the technology better can weigh in, I'm all ears!

            I'm pretty excited about induction, but it won't be the end of the world if this falls through. I've already got my eye on a nice double convection oven electric range ... :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: lovelymicrobes

              All the US appliances are supposed to operate at the same frequency, around 24kHz.

              Whether they actually do is a different question. However, the coil shape, size, power level, pan size, design, etc. will all be possible variables.

              Heat is made in these things because a magnetic field oscillates, causing resistance within the pan. Your pan may be "tuned" to the hotplate exactly wrong, generating harmonics in the audible range along with heat.

              Good Luck,
              Aloha,
              Kaleo

            2. I spent some time today on amazon, asking the induction owners of AC/CC about buzzing/screeching. Only one reply to my question so far, from a Wolf owner. Mild buzz, goes away with food in the pan. Several mentioned induction in their AC/CC reviews with no mention of any problems.

              My guess is that Kaleo is right, it's a combination of the PIC and your pan.

              My Calphalon clad frypan and my Demeyere Proline both buzz at high temps, but nothing like what you're describing. With both, it's barely audible, and goes away at level 5 and lower.

              I'm finding that pans can be weird. My Mauviel M'Stone sauté pan registers but takes forever to heat on my largest burner, despite having a base that meets the requirements for that hob. Moving it over to a smaller hob it works exceptionally well.

              My backup plan would be a different induction cooktop or a gas unit, if feasible.

              6 Replies
              1. re: DuffyH

                Hi, Duffy:

                If the combo of pan and coil cause the materials to resonate, 24kHz is itself at the high end of human hearing, and might well explain the OP's experience. It may also be that the different layers in clad resonate differently. I dunno, but I never heard of the screeching before.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Hey Kaleo,

                  I've not heard of screeching, either. I have heard complaints of some extremely loud buzzing. I'm very pleased that none of mine do more than make a very low hum/buzz above level 5. It seems to settle down or go away after a time, too. The room has to be dead quiet to hear it.

                  It seems logical to me that more layers is an invitation to buzzing, but I'm no expert on the science.

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    Are we talking harmonic vibration here? Is the theory that the magnetic field is energizing the pan at a frequency where by the pan is reacting at that frequency with a harmonic result? If this is the case, I would think that if all the induction units operate at the same frequency, that all of them would cause the same harmonics at some setting. I'm assuming that not all induction units have the same output at the same setting point. Anyway, if this is the case, it would seem that any unit could potentially cause the same sound at some setting.

                    There could be any number of reasons for this to happen to a particular "flavor" of cookware and even a specific piece. Finding the correct frequency to set up harmonic vibration on a specific piece of cookware might only happen very rarely. In this case it could be the induction unit, it could be the SS/Cu/SS construction, it could be a delamination of layers making this pan unique.

                    I agree with others, the best thing to do is try out the unit you are purchasing. Not sure where the OP lives (small town) but it would be worth a drive to the "Big City" to test out the unit in my opinion. It's going to be easier and less hassle to cancel the order now rather than wait until it's delivered.

                    1. re: mikie

                      I know the best thing is to test the unit, but even in large metro areas it can be difficult to find any induction ranges to test, let alone a specific brand/model. IME here in Tampa Bay (pop. 4.3mil) most dealers simply do not have an induction range on the floor. I could not find any store with a floor model of my GE. I found one with a Samsung, and a couple of high line retailers had cooktops by Wolf. Slim pickings.

                      1. re: DuffyH

                        DuffyH: Thanks for relaying the Amazon info! It's good to hear that this is not a common problem. :)

                        As for trying to find a unit to test, I've decided it's more practical to just take the delivery and deal with the return if necessary. The nearest big city (St. Louis) is 2 hours away, we're in the middle of some nasty snowstorms and subzero temperatures, and even if I could find the range, I'm reluctant to inconvenience a store knowing that I wouldn't buy from them. :-/

                        1. re: lovelymicrobes

                          I felt exactly the same, with a terrible case of the guilts even asking BB&B to let me test my pans.

                          In the end I decided to trust the reviews and take the leap. I'm glad I did. :)

                2. <Some people say that the problem is with the pan being cheap, but I wouldn't think that All Clad Copper Core would qualify!>

                  It has nothing to do with being cheap. The sound most likely is coming from the pan vibrating on your portable burner. You may very well have better luck with your actual induction stove. As such, your concern is a moot point. Is there a way for you to test your All Clad copper core cookware on your new induction stovetop model in a store?

                  Does it only make this noise with your copper core saucepan or all other copper core cookware?

                  You can put a couple pieces of paper towels between your pan and the stove and see if the noise is coming between the pan vibrating against the stove. Alternatively, maybe the cladding has came loose and it is vibrating within the pan itself.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Chemicalkinetics: A 10" fry pan (also All Clad CC) had the same problem. I tried putting a paper towel and then a wash rag under the pan -- no difference. The only thing that made a difference was filling the saucepan with water, and that reduced it to a constant high-pitched hum -- lower than the screeching, but still unpleasant.

                    1. re: lovelymicrobes

                      Thanks. It is unfortunately that this happened to both the pan and the saucepan, so I am guessing that it is not a delamination. Unless both cookware have their cladded layer separated which is unlikely.

                      Since putting papertowel and wash rag in the between the cookware and the cooktop did not change the sound, then it is definitely not because the cookware was vibrating against the stovetop.

                      Interestingly putting water in the pan changes the sound. I think this further suggests the sound is not originated from the cooktop. This doesn't mean it is not cooktop specific. In fact, it mostly is. It is just that the sound is from the cookware.

                      Most likely, your unit will be a much better combination with your All Clad copper core unit. I won't worry about the little bad experience you have right now.

                      1. re: lovelymicrobes

                        Yep, sounds like harmonic vibration. When you fill it with water you change the natural frequency of the pan, kind of like when I was a kid and you would blow across the top of a soda bottle and the more you drank the lower the pitch of the sound. Only in this case it works the opposite.

                        I know what you mean about driving 2 hrs to an appliance store, we had to drive about an hour to find a good selection of appliances we could actually look at and touch. From my experience, if they have the appliance set up with power, it's not much bother for them to let you try your pan. The store where we purchased had a number of units set up and ready to cook. But I have no idea if they had any induction units set up as we were looking only at gas, but I'll bet they do. Our local appliance store had a very limited selection actually on the floor. He offered to match the price on any appliance I found that they sold, but our sales guy spent hours and hours with us on multiple days, so I figured he diserved the commission.

                        1. re: mikie

                          Hi, mikie:

                          I think I'll wait until the appliance can make 3 pans sing harmony like Crosby Stills & Nash...

                          Aloha,
                          Kaleo

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            Hi Kaleo,

                            Excellent !!!

                            Half the folks on here probably don't know who that is.

                            1. re: mikie

                              Aw, mikie, say it ain't so! We can't be THAT old. Can we?

                    2. So, I wanted to post an update. Unfortunately, I have no news: A couple of weeks after ordering the range, my husband and I made the crazy decision to move to a different state as soon as humanly possible. (Let's just say he's wanted to do this for a long time and it finally seemed like the right time.) Since it seemed pointless to order a range and then haul it across the country, I canceled the order and planned to reorder it once we got there. (For the record, Lowe's was absolutely wonderful about the cancellation and refunded me all of my money, no questions asked.) But then, we ended up buying instead of renting, and our new house's kitchen is designed with a cooktop and wall ovens instead of a range. Honestly, I prefer that arrangement, so I'm quite happy. But it means that I probably will never get to test that induction range after all.

                      Sorry for the anticlimactic ending! I still appreciate all of the answers ... and since our new house is all electric (no gas available in that neighborhood), I will probably be back asking about induction cooktops in not too long. :)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lovelymicrobes

                        It all worked out for the best. Thanks for the update.

                      2. The heavier the induction cooker the better. The screeching may be just vibration. Try a heavier induction cooker. Good luck!

                        1. What is your favorite thing to cook anyways on the Induction Cooker?