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2 Questions for induction converts

I switched to an induction stovetop about a year ago, and it's changed everything for me. I'll explain as I respond to your answers. Here are the questions:

1. Once you started induction, what new cookware did you buy?

2. Once you started using induction, how did it change what you cook?

Feel free to interpret these questions broadly.

drrayeye

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  1. 1. I bought an induction capable non-stick fry pan (mainly for eggs) and a new pasta pot to replace those same items that were not induction friendly. Otherwise I continued to use my all clad stainless and le crueset.

    2. Didn't change what I cook at all, but it sure made the cooking a lot more pleasant. I'm curious to to hear how it changed yours.

    3 Replies
    1. re: danna

      Hi danna,

      We partially started the same, in that I bought two All Clad d5 10" fry pans (with one lid), one nonstick, but I didn't replace my aluminum stock pot right away. Instead, I headed in the direction of enamel covered cast iron with a 20 oz. pot and three qt. saucier from Tramontina. Then I bought my first two Le Creuset's (small dutch oven and 1 1/2 qt. Saucepan) and all hell broke loose!

      It led me in the direction of much more enameled cast iron Dutch oven cooking, and one pot meals--braising, sauteeing, and slow cooking. Given your existing stock of All Clad and (especially) Le Creuset cookware, it looks to me like you may have gotten there first. What did you switch from, and what made you switch?

      drrayeye

      1. re: drrayeye

        I switched from electric, which I hated from day one due to lack of control and deadly slow heat-up...but with no gas option, the coming of induction made it possible for me to switch. I have been using Le Creuset since I first got a kitchen. It works fine on electric, better on induction. I have always appreciated the possibilities for one-pot cooking...chicken fricassee, osso bucco, etc. I use the LC also for things that need to cook a long time without the danger of my absent mindedness causing a scortch...stuff like apple butter or the long-cooked stone ground grits I made this weekend.

        The only LC product I have ever been slightly unhappy with is the LC stockpot I bought to replace my aluminum one. it already has chips in the coating after just a couple of years and I only use it for boiling water and making stock. I still might buy it again, as it was a good deal, but it's not a perfect 10 like my other LC pieces.

        1. re: danna

          Hi danna,

          I agree about electric stovetops, but I use and like small electric convection ovens: I've got what I call a toaster and a roaster, big enough for 6 qt. enameled cast iron pots. Like you, I'm a big LC fan, but I like Staub better for braising, followed by sauteeing and slow cooking in my "coq au vin" pot.

          The LC stockpot you have is a such a "good deal" because it's enameled steel from Thailand. You'll do better either with some sort of tri clad (like All Clad) or a big enameled cast iron pot from either LC or Staub.

          Ray

    2. I just got my kitchen back 3 days ago after a remodel, which included a Thermador induction cook top.

      When I first saw the induction cooktop installed in the middle of a big quartz counter top, I though it looked like a toy.

      I gave all my calphalon anodized aluminum cookware to one of my daughters. From information I gleamed on Chowhound, I bought 4 sitram profiserie pots and a couple of De Buyer mineral B fry pans. My CIA nonstick skillet works on induction. I also picked up a Staub 9QT Cocotte when a sale was posted here a couple of months ago. I already had some Lodge CI and Lodge enabled dutch oven but had not used them much.

      So far I've tried cooking old tried and true recipes. Chili being the first. I have Lentil soup on simmer right now. Well, I think its on simmer, I haven't quit figured out how all the setting translate yet. I better go have a look....

      Not sure if induction is going to change what I cook. I am going to be using carbon steel, CI and enameled CI allot more now. I haven't noticed it being any faster to heat things up. But I may be playing in conservative with the heat settings until I get a feel for how it works.

      3 Replies
      1. re: blackwing94

        Hi blackwing94,

        Great post. I looked up the sitram profiserie line--great tri clad stuff: high end on a budget! For me, it was piece by piece, with a Tramontina 20 oz. and 3 qt. saucier, then, with considerable help from EBAY, 2 10" all clad d5 pans, followed by a Le Creuset 1 1/2 qt. saucepan and 2 1/2 qt. Dutch oven. I braised and sauteed with my d5's, made noodles in my saucier, and transferred to my Dutch oven for slow cooking. Even at this early stage, I was beginning my commitment to enameled cast iron and one pot cooking. You'll hear my further exploits as I respond to others.

        I like your adoption of Thermador for induction, and your first purchases a great deal. I've been relying on my Vollrath cadet for anything requiring control, backed up by two conventional electric stovetop burners for warming/boiling, etc. What kind of ovens do you have? Do you have/use a microwave?

        drrayeye

        1. re: drrayeye

          Hi drrayeye,

          Your d5 pans and Le Creuset cookware sound really nice. And I like the idea of one pot cooking.

          We bought a double oven by Thermador. Both are convection. I'll use one of them for the first time tonight. I had to break them in with 4 or 5 hours at 450 to get that "new oven" smell out of them. In the remodel, I had a shelf built in the upper cabinets for a small microwave. We don't use it much, but it comes in handy from time to time. When I saw on ATK how they used a microwave to precook potatoes, it got me wondering what other creative ways it might be used.

          As a joke, my youngest daughter got me a 4.5 inch De Buyer mineral b pan. It's really really small. The size of one healthy slice of tomato. But it works on the smallest burner on our induction cooktop. Not sure what I'll use it for. :-)

          1. re: blackwing94

            Hi blacklwing94,

            Long ago, I did a great deal of cooking with an induction/microwave oven. There are some very interesting possibilities to explore!

            Ray

      2. Hi drayeye-

        Ours was a different experience, as neighbours had made the transition to induction first. We learned by their experience.

        1. We like our cookware, and well before our transition to induction, we decided on a hybrid cooktop, both electrical and induction. That would give us gas, electric, and induction capability.

        We did not want to replace all cookware, but clearly some pots and pans worked better than others on electric, and gas cooking surfaces. We also wanted a pot or pan that could be used in an oven, cooking directly first on induction or another heat source.

        We found a manufacturer ( Silga Teknika ) in Milano, IT, that did this, and was induction compliant. The German manufacturer Rösle had a line of the Silga Teknika products. Asking around we found someone that was willing to share her experience with that line, the good and the bad ( the bad only being the heavy weight of the pan ). The good far results far outweighed the bad.

        Yet another 7 months went by before I found a sale on a set of Silga Teknika pots, pans, and lids. And during that time I was searching for a good induction cook top, and listening to the experience of others. So our induction pot and pan set were purchased well before the induction cook top (AEG) was installed.

        2. The change to induction continues, even after a few years. As a result of using induction:

        a.) Use of our microwave today has become non-existent. I am seriously considering removing our microwave, and installing a more efficient hood exhaust.

        b.) The remaining good pots that are non-induction are still used on the remaining electric cook top, and outside on a gas BBQ. Only a few have been donated or given away.

        c.) Induction cooking is quicker, but when steaming, the water level in pans needs to be refilled more often. However, we use lower heat setting levels for cooking. What was on level 6-8 sustained, is now 3-5 on induction, with a sustained simmer or low boil held on setting Nr. 1.

        d.) Waterbath " canning " of jars, is much quicker with slow cooking conserves, setting level 1. The 10 minute sterilization takes less time to come to a boil, and retain the boil-simmering. We still maintain 10 minutes pre-sterilization of empties, and 10 minutes of sterilization on completed, or full jars.

        e. ) COST TO OPERATE: Most importantly is a definite drop in our electrical service charge by using induction. About 35 CHF or $30 USD per month, verified directly from the kitchen electrical mains, and that includes our normal baking routine.

        X 12 months that saving quantifies to $360 USD/ 420 CHF per year.

        I hope this is helpful.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SWISSAIRE

          Hi Swissaire,

          Sorry to be so slow in answering, but this is really a terrific post, and I wanted to recover from teaching a class to give it justice. I like your evolutionary process very much, since it allows you to go forward very slowly while keeping your losses of all kinds to a minimum. I've not totally given up electric, since I use two electrical stovetop burners for warming and boiling, and my two convection ovens (my "toaster" and "roaster") are really electric. Like you, my usage of microwave is down.

          Where we may differ most is that my cooking is moving in the direction of "one pot" meals in specialized enameled cast iron, especially by Staub. These days, I've got a steamer (insert), a coq au vin pot (big bird and little bird), a paella pan, a bouillabaisse pot, a wok (sort of), a roasting pot, a braiser, a Crepe pan--see what I mean? It's led me to resurrect my chicken Perisienne, a fish stew, my famous Swedish pancakes--lots of fun.

          drrayeye

        2. Hi Ray,

          1. I was cooking on 12+ yr old Calphalon tri-ply which was not ready for prime time (induction), so had to buy all new, except for a few deBuyer carbon steel pieces I had. I began with Vollrath Optio saucepans and a pair of Mauviel M'Cook aluminum pots. Those are only so-so on the new range. I've recently acquired some sautés and sauciers from Zwilling, Vollrath Tribute and USA Pans that are thicker than AC tri-ply and have really allowed me to turn out much better food than ever before, because it's less finicky than my old Calphalon was. As you know, we've also just picked up a new wok that works (with an upside-down ring) surprisingly well. Stir fries are on the menu.

          I would say that, even more than thick bottom disk stuff like the Optio, I enjoy the heavy clad pans the most. They have been a revelation to me.

          2. This part made me think. In the 6 months I've had my range, I've begun cooking more the way I used to when I cooked with gas, only much better. When we moved 4 yrs ago and I had to use radiant, I could no longer make GOOD quick-fried or sautéed food with pan sauces. Things like last night's stroganoff would have scorched and burned. I mostly used my cooktop for rice, pasta and breakfast. We love all kinds of pan sauced foods and I was too much a victim of runaway heat to be able to use fond (it burned) or to simmer meats in a sauce (they'd be overcooked).

          Now I can do anything I want again. Part of my problem was the radiant cooktop and part was the Calphalon Tri-ply. While it was fine on gas, where heat was easy to control, it was too thin (or I lacked the skill) for radiant hobs where fine/quick adjustments aren't possible. At least, that's the story I'm going with.

          Duffy

          7 Replies
          1. re: DuffyH

            Hi Duffy,

            This is really such a great post, I had to think awhile before I got back to you. It's really the stovetop where gas really shows it's stuff to a discerning cook. A transition from gas to electric on the stovetop can breed depression.

            Not so with the oven, IMO--especially with convection. An induction stovetop completes the picture: it's ramp up can be very fast (sometimes too fast), but it's true power is in control. When one braises, sautees, reduces, and simmers--all in one pot--using a convection oven strategically back and forth with induction--real magic can take place--no copper or cladding required! Enameled cast iron is just fine.

            That's where induction is taking me.

            Ray

            1. re: drrayeye

              Hi Ray,

              <... it's ramp up can be very fast (sometimes too fast),...>

              That's very true. I've always made hard-cooked eggs the standard way; drop them into cold water, bring to a boil, let cook off the heat, etc...

              That method is designed (timed) with the presumption that the water will take some time to boil. Mine was coming to a boil much too quickly, giving me drastically undercooked eggs. The white was a little runny and the yolk was still completely liquid. I tried adding extra time at various points, but was not satisfied that I could get consistent results.

              So I had to find another way, one that didn't place limitations on my induction cooktop. Luckily, Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats recently published a recipe that starts with boiling water. Perfect for induction!

              1. re: DuffyH

                Hi Duffy,

                ]The manufacturers worry about damage to the pots and pans. Staub and Le Creuset both suggest first warming up the pan on low to medium heat for five minutes before giving full power.

                Ray

                1. re: drrayeye

                  Hi Ray,

                  Oops, I didn't realize you were talking specifically about ECI's stovetop heating limitation. I thought it was a more general comment on how induction's speed can make us alter the way we cook some foods.

                  Duffy

                  1. re: DuffyH

                    No, Duffy,

                    That was a great comment. Co9nsidering all the hype about how fast one can boil water with induction, some might be easily mislead. Induction is clearly about control--and safety.

                    Ray

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      Just to add another comment to that...

                      When using pressure cookers on an induction cooker, it's necessary to add a minute or two to the cook time to compensate for the induction cooker heating up so fast.

                      1. re: LMAshton

                        Thanks, LMAshton,

                        Very interesting.

                        Ray

            2. 1. When we first moved to Singapore, the first place we lived had an induction cooker, so I bought a couple of pots specifically for use there. When I bought my own induction cooker months later (I have a single-burner cheapo one), I still didn't have much in the way of cookware, all of which was already induction-compatible. And in Singapore, most cookware is induction compatible, so there was no problem buying suitable cookware. I bought a couple of pans. I don't have much in the way of pots and pans anyway.

              2. Um, no, can't say that it did. Nope. But it made cooking more pleasant. Induction cookers put out much less waste heat than gas, and given that I live in a tropical country, that makes a huge difference. Induction cookers mean I sweat far far less in the kitchen as opposed to when I use gas. Other than induction, I've used gas for most of the rest of the last decade, so I think in terms of gas vs. induction. I will *never* use radiant heat ever again if I have the choice.

              3 Replies
              1. re: LMAshton

                Hi LMA,

                I live in California, and appreciate your preference for induction over radiant heating during our hottest season right now. Having lived for a time in Thailand, I can really appreciate what it must mean in Singapore.

                drrayeye

                1. re: drrayeye

                  Good morning Ray,

                  The heat savings that LMA mentioned has turned out to be a bigger deal than I thought it would. I've got a ceiling fan in the kitchen, but even so, with my old radiant range, it would get pretty hot in there. Not so much anymore.

                  It's most noticeable when something is on the boil, like a pot of pasta, which cooks much faster (a LOT less time heating the water). Another time induction shows to advantage is when I'm using a pot that's smaller than the element, or one with curved sides, like a saucier or wok. With radiant heat, the entire element gets very hot, no matter the pan size above it. Not so with induction.

                  Duffy

                  1. re: DuffyH

                    I agree, Duiffy,

                    The increase in energy efficiency is very clear.

                    Ray

              2. I have documented on various threads on CH how I replaced much of my cookware. I bought a couple of Sitram Profiserie pans: chef's pan and large rondeau. (I haven't use the latter very much.) I also bought other pieces as I located them usually at Home Goods. I only have bought stainless. I have tried to stay on a reasonable budget, but I have tried to buy good tools.

                I still use CI for a lot of different things.

                The way the induction has changed things for me, is that I am getting consistent results all the time. I really enjoying the sauteeing of veggies now. The heat under my Profiserie chef's pan responds so well, that I do things with more confidence than before.

                And I no longer use an electric tea kettle to boil water. And my eggs and French toast are usually perfect. I love the low simmer for long cooked beans too. In fact my bean dishes have improved quite a bit, I have to say. And my stir fries have improved too.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sueatmo

                  True about that consistency thing. I set it at 600 watts, and it's always the same. Set the gas stove at medium-ish, and... well, I'm sorta close but not the same. Induction is definitely far more predictable.

                  1. re: sueatmo

                    The possibilities of control for induction are awesome. I've been able to dial in exactly the right level of simmer every time--down from boil and up from "warm."

                    Ray

                  2. 1. I bought Demeyere (http://www.demeyere.be/default.asp?SL...), a set of 3 saucepans, small skillet, large skillet, a large saucier, and a stockpot (med size)in the Atlantis line. They're superb, worth their price handily. Sur La Table could/should make you a good package price for these. With the Le Creuset pots I had I don't miss ANYTHING. I gave away All Clad and the like.

                    2. I didn't expect to be captivated by induction because it looked "cold" somehow. I was reluctant to detach from the romance of the flame on the gas range. Not anymore! It is exquisitely responsive (I have a Miele 5 burner), and so easy to clean up with a single swipe that I think it's the single best investment in the new kitchen, - which has a lot of toys.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Quasarandkitty

                      Congratulations, Quasarandkitty,

                      You've made some awesome choices. Demeyere 7 ply is hard to beat for saucepans and skillets, and anything SS. They've really exploited the possibilities for induction far better than the competition--and their cookware is gorgeous. For my induction rebirth, I was more one pot/pan at a time.

                      For skillets, I have two AC 10" d5's--and one globular lid. But I also have a 11" CI Staub Crepe pan, with wooden handle. I've three saucepans w/lid: 1 1/2 qt. Thermo-clad. 2 1/2 qt tri-clad Dansk Kebenstyle, and a 3 1/2 qt. AC tri-clad. I preferred the lighter weight of tri clad for saucepans. I have a 3 qt. Tramontina enamel cast iron saucier (that weighs 9 pounds!), but has a perfect windsor style shape for reducing sauces. My enameled cast iron ovens (1 1/2 to 7 1/2 qt) are a mixture of oval and circular, Le Creuset and Staub, with my 7 1/2 qt. LC bouillabaisse pot serving as a stock pot. They all can go in the oven. I also have stoneware if I need to use my microwave.

                      I think you can see how they push me toward one pot meals, like chicken parisian, paella, coq au vin, or bouillabaise. It's eclectic, but it works for me.

                      Ray

                      1. re: Quasarandkitty

                        Hi Quasarandkitty,

                        I forgot to ask you about your Miele induction stovetop--again, one of the best there is--plenty of power and three different ranges of coils (11", 9", and almost 7"). With my Vollrath, I have half your power, and a one size fits all coil--but commercial quality control. I compensate by using 2 additional electric hobs for warming--or occasional boiling, and two small convection ovens for roasting or baking.

                        What kind of oven do you have, and how do you coordinate between your induction stovetop and your oven? Do you use your Le Creuset Dutch ovens on your Miele stovetop only, or do you put it in the oven?

                        Ray

                      2. I added a clad bottom non-stick pan. Nothing more. I was lucky in that I already had plenty of stainless pots and cast iron pots & pans.

                        Not sure why you would change what you cook. We cook the same stuff we always have.

                        If you meant change "how" you cook...nothing there really either. It's just a faster heat response. Heat is heat.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JayL

                          Hi JayL,

                          I just got an AC 3 1/2 qt. tri clad saucepan today. Finishes my SS collection.

                          I've got two AC d5 10" fry pans--one nonstick, one globular lid. I got the nonstick because I'm not good enough yet with eggs and such releasing, and temperature control. I've also now got 3 SS clad saucepans: 1 1/2, 2 1/2, and 3 1/2. My effort to use cast iron saucepans failed: they are too heavy and unresponsive. Everything else is enameled cast iron, from 1 1/2 qt. to 7 1/2 qt., oval and round, Le Creuset and Staub. Before I used induction, I only had one small enameled cast iron pot for warming up soup.

                          Cast iron pots lead me toward meals where I braise, sautee, simmer, and serve from one pot--stovetop to oven to table.

                          That's what's new for me.

                          The biggest induction cooking advantage: temperature control.

                          Ray