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Apr 16, 2014 10:56 AM

Boiling water is super slow on induction?

I recently purchased the All-Clad 10 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set to use on my new induction stove top. Trying to boil water in the stock pot last night (about 3/4 full) took me over 20 min to heat up.

Is this normal? Should I look into getting something else?

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  1. Most stainless steel should be induction compatible, but some of All-Clad's lines have aluminum, too, so they aren't. I'd check the model and call All-Clad to make sure.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gildeddawn

      This one does say that it is induction compatible. It still cooks, but I was just a little surprised at the time it takes to boil. It's my first time using an induction top, so I had nothing to compare the boiling time to.

      1. re: shyhh

        Not knowing what the background is (meaning if you bought it yourself or you're in a rental, or...), are you sure it's an induction cooktop and not just a glass-top electric? The difference is pretty major, but they look similar. Glass-top electrics take forever to heat up, whereas, as Kaleo said, an induction should not take the kind of time you're experiencing.

    2. Hi, shyhh:

      Nope, not normal. With a properly-functioning appliance and compatible cookware, boiling should be a lot faster than that.

      Still, and sadly, it is not unusual. Pans vary in compatibility, and appliances vary in the way they sense and the extent they excite the pans. Pans that should be flat (and are everywhere but on glass) can sometimes not be flat. It can be a can of worms to predict what is going on with your particular combination.

      I would suggest trying boiling in a similarly-sized cast iron dutch oven and comparing the times. If they are both >20 minutes and both pans are perfectly flat, you probably have an appliance issue.


      1. Hi. I see this is your first post. Could you expand on the name of the cookware and also the name of your cooktop. I've been cooking on induction for several years and something sounds off here.

        7 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          It looks to be A-C #501853, and is listed as induction compatible.

          These people claim it will work on "all induction cooktops".

          1. re: kaleokahu

            It is this set here:

            I have to check my cooktop when I get home (and make sure it is not glass top electric).

            1. re: shyhh

              Hi, shyhh:

              That's odd. This is standard A-C tri-ply (with stock photo) but the Bay's description of it reads: "[C]an be used on gas, electric and ceramic cook tops." Perhaps it's an older version that's *not* fully compatible, just squeaks along...

              Try the other pans when you get home?


              1. re: kaleokahu

                I will when I get home and will update later tonight. Thanks for all the comments everyone :)

                1. re: shyhh

                  I wish there was an objective rating system for how "inducible" or inductive is each given pan model. I'm convinced that even some "induction ready" pans are much less so than others.

                  1. re: VTB

                    Hi, VTB:

                    Re: objective rating system...

                    Good idea, but to make it useful in the present, you'd really have to rate *each* appliance model's mating with every pan line. Once you get past the most basic of generalizations (e.g., "Cast iron works well"), it's virtually all ad hoc. Consumers can't afford to test every model hob against every model pan, and precious few come here to ask about ideal hob/pan marriages.

                    I've railed about this "Forrest Gump's chocolates" phenomenon before. I'm surprised that few people complain about it being a PITA. They either grin and bear it, or throw out and replace the "underperforming" pans.

                    Perhaps as the technology matures, and IF the sensors, circuits and electronics become (more) standardized, there can be more predictability and a simple rating system, based on measuring pans' ferromagnetism, will be feasible.


                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Thank you. Dumb question-- Is there a way to measure ferromagnetism other than just sticking a magnet onto something and judging how difficult it is to pull off the magnet?

        2. So I went home and looked at my cooktop and I think glideddawn was right, I don't think my cooktop is induction.

          With that being said, I am probably going to keep my cookware set, but I guess there is no way to speed up the heating process without changing the cooktop.

          9 Replies
          1. re: shyhh

            Under specs, it says, "Cooktop Element Style - Radiant". Yep, not induction. :(

            You could buy a single burner induction cooker or two if you want induction. They're relatively cheap. I bought one in Singapore for around USD30. They're also small enough that they can be stored in a cupboard or drawer when not in use. Personally, mine is permanently on the counter - I use it every day. It's just too useful.

            1. re: shyhh

              Hi, shyhh:

              Let me get this straight. You intended to buy an induction appliance, and somehow you mistakenly bought and installed a radiant? How did this happen, and will you be returning that cooktop?

              Oh well, I hope you bought it from a retailer who allows returns.


              1. re: kaleokahu

                Hi Kaleo,

                I should have clarified. I purchased a new place and it came with the new appliance. I mistakenly thought it was induction (I had a gas cooktop before) and purchased cookware for it.

                I needed to replace my previous cookware anyways as I still had cheap flimsy ones from my university days so I will be keeping this set.

                In a couple of years I will probably be replacing my current cooktop with an actual induction appliance.

                Thanks for all the help and responses, I am just venturing into the kitchen and am still learning!

                1. re: shyhh

                  Radiant stovetops can have a relatively high top heat, but they take forever to get there (and there are some that don't get especially hot even with a long preheat). They are also extremely slow to cool down. You'll have to get in the hang of moving pans off the burner entirely when you want them to cool down and longer preheats than you're used to with gas. Your cookware should be fine though.

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    Yep. God help the OP. I suffered w/ a combo halogen/radiant glass cooktop for almost 15 years before induction became available. You can cook on it, but you better plan your boiling water needs well in advance, and be prepared to move pans around when the eye becomes too hot and won't cool off. arrgh.

                    Only downside to induction was a couple of copper pots I miss.

                  2. re: shyhh

                    Ah, that makes sense.

                    I wish you many fine meals and great experiences with your new house and kitchen. Cooking really is an act of love, so go for it with gusto. I hope your All-Clad set stands you in good stead.


                    1. re: shyhh

                      1. Research for the current sale price of this radiant stove on Craigslist while it's still relatively brand new.
                      2. Look for an induction stove you like.
                      3. See if you can afford price of 2) - price of 1)

                  3. re: shyhh

                    Try different burners. The front left on my glasstop is a "quick heat'' but the other 3 are not.

                    1. re: shyhh

                      radiative cooktop is very different than induction cooktop. As cowboyardee has said, it may take awhile to heat up and cool down -- especially depend if your cookware can effectively absorb the radiative photons. That is a 6 quart stock pot, so you were boiling 5 quart of water.

                    2. On trying to boil water, did you turn the element on HIGH? I know some people who try to boil water on med-med/high. Be sure you're at the highest setting.

                      This seems elementary, but we are talking to someone who thought their radiant cooktop was induction.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: JayL

                        Heh, yes I did set it to high. I tried it with a different pot today and it did come to a boil eventually but slower than what I am used to with gas. Not that I am surprised though.

                        1. re: shyhh

                          <... slower than what I am used to with gas>

                          You may have an underpowered builder's grade range, common in many tract homes. Generally, a radiant cooktop will boil water slightly faster than a gas range.

                          1. re: shyhh

                            Just get a standalone induction cooktop - (i.e. a single heating surface) - you can get them on Amazon - about $50 for 1800 watts. Fast enough and should plug into your ac socket without tripping the breaker.