Which pans work with induction?

strayerdarbApril 11, 2013

How can I tell which of my current cookware will work with induction? The dealer told me if a magnet sticks to the pan, it will work. But is it that simple, or do some pans work better than others depending on the type of material in the pan. And is it the same for all induction tops - meaining if a pan works well on one, does that mean it will work well on any induction? I want to assess this before deciding on induction or not because I have to fugure the cost of cookware as part of my budget if I need to do that. Thanks.

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The link is a very good intro to many aspects of induction.

Here is a link that might be useful: theinductionsite.com

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:29PM
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strayer: "The dealer told me if a magnet sticks to the pan, it will work. But is it that simple, or do some pans work better than others depending on the material in the pan."

The dealer is generally correct; no; and yes.

The same principals that apply to thermal conduction pans apply (though the priorities are shifted) to pans used on induction. A magnet will stick to a very thin layer of martensite (the phase of stainless steel that has ferromagnetic response, as distinguished fron nonmagnetic austenite), but the thin layer may not be effective in distributing to the rest of the pan the heat that is generated by the alternating magnetic field. Also, the best iron for inducing heat by induction is relatively soft, and if used alone would have less than ideal properties for the construction of a pan that gets banged around a lot.

The best pans that we have encountered for induction are, unfortunately, no longer in production: the Induc'inox line from Mauviel. I understand that there is a new Mauviel line called Induc'inox II, but I have not seen one in person. The original Induc'inox line had a sandwich construction, with a layer of soft iron clad on both sides with martensite stainless steel; the resulting pans are hefty (not quite as heavy as equally sized cast iron, but much heavier than an average pan), but on an induction cooktop they handle cooking tasks like a Ferrari Maranello and play like a Stradavari (given that they are French, I probably ought to have chosen French analogues rather than Italian ones; oh, well).

Almost all Demeyere pots and pans are superb on induction. The higher-end Demeyeres, such as the Atlantis line, enhance the heat distribution through inclusion of a copper disk in the internal construction, but the aluminum-core Apollo line is excellent, also. All of the Demeyere pans that are sold to multiple retailers are purpose designed according to how the pan will be used, with thick disk bottoms for most pots, and clad construction up the sides for sauteuses. Generally, a pot with vertical side walls will have superior cooking performance (and less wasted heat loss to the kitchen) with a disk bottom construction, wheras clad construction is better for pseudo-wok cooking, such as is performed in a sauteuse.

Not so sure about the exclusive-to SurLaTable "Industry5" line of Demeyere, which appears to violate the principals that Belgian Demeyere proselytized for years before being acquired by a German corporation. The Industry5 pots may be o.k., but look for the traditional Demeyere lines first.

Chantal makes a line of induction compatible pots called Copper Fusion, which looks very interesting. Unfortunately, Chantal oversold the "nonstick" qualities of the enamel coating on the Copper Fusion line, which is about as nonstick as the enamel coating of enameled cast iron. As a result, the Copper Fusion line has got beat up in consumer reviews by purchasers who were looking to the line as a replacement for Teflon or Silverstone pots or pans. The enamel surface is less sticky than the polished stainless steel interiors of uncoated pans are, but "nonstick" in the Teflon sense, it definitely is not.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:42PM
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If your current pans pass the magnet test, you can use them. It won't matter which induction cooktop you get, they will work. You can choose your cooktop or range based on features you like such as hob power, hob arrangement, controls, timers, trim, and whether you can have a drawer right under the cooktop. One caveat - don't get a Kitchenaid unless you don't mind repetitive clicking while you cook.

If you need new pans (I did) there are a lot of less expensive pans that work just fine on induction. Some pans will buzz or hum a little, which is apparently based on pan construction, but it won't affect how they cook. Carry a fridge magnet in your purse. Remember than induction is more efficient than radiant electric or gas. It's possible that over time you may recoup the cost of any new pans in saved energy costs.

If you google "gardenweb induction cookware" you'll find a lot of threads on this topic. Many of them are on the Cookware Forum (yes, there is one!). The Appliances forum also has many reviews of specific brands of cooktops and the occasional problems people have encountered with some brands.

Here's a thread you may enjoy.

Here is a link that might be useful: You know you have induction when...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 2:15PM
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Great info here. Thanks to everyone. I especially enjoyed reading the site laat2 recommended.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 4:00PM
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What about All-Clad Tri Ply stainless steel cookware? It is supposed to be good for induction cooking.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 5:54PM
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Check out the Cookware forum. This topic has been discussed there "to death".

Nowdays, many induction compatible cookware items have the symbol on the bottom, so it is easy. But carry a magnet anyway.

My summary:

Cast iron is induction compatible and cheap.

For pots and saucepans, no need to shell out $$$ for Demeyere. Almost any induction compatible cookware would do. TJ Max and Marshall's often have decent induction compatible European designed/Chinese made pots and sauce pans for a very good price.

If you want to save money, Tramontina has a 'perfect set' for ~$250, sold by Walmart.

All Clad is good but I don't like their pans on induction. IMHO, a good Demeyere fry pan is worth the splurge but it is the only thing I'd pay top $$$ for (and, maybe, for one saucepan for delicate sauces).


    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 5:58PM
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Ditto what Ginny said. I have Thermador and use a variety of cookware. I don't have buzzing, not with any cookware so far.

Cast iron, bare or enamelled will work, though even with induction, cast iron is slow to respond because of its thermal mass. I bought a set from Costco which is induction ready. It's stainless steel with a disc base so it has a layer of aluminum between the steel layers. It works well and didn't cost a bomb. Many have recommended Tramontina. I also have several Cuisinart pieces.

Carry a magnet with you so you can test pots when you see something you like.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 6:03PM
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I have the most eclectic set of pans around.
All Clad
Calphalon(yes they make some induction)
CIA (Culinary Institute of America)
ScanPan IQ
And probably missed something.

They all work and work well. The sandwich pans (layers) tend to sing more than single metal pans but with the fan running - it is not really noticeable.

How did I get this collection - I tend to pick up pans on special to get you hooked. I am pretty good at not buying pans that I don't need - although I might have too many Saute/fry pans.. and they are hard to store.

A lot of folks buy the pans at target and Costco - I would recommend a solid base so the heat can be distributed.

There is more to this than I have time to explain - but Cast iron heats up but is not a good conductor -so tend not to spread the heat. Aluminum is a good conductor but doesn't hold the heat as long - by itself, it won't work on induction but is frequently used in the sandwich bottom.

Have fun! Which cooktop are you getting.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 6:03PM
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>>>" Carry a fridge magnet in your purse."Or, if you don't have a purse (and most guys don't), just keep keep the magnet in your car. :>) Don't keep it in a wallet where it could rub agaisnt credit and debit cards.

>>>"What about All-Clad Tri Ply stainless steel cookware?"Always has worked fine except for or or two of the older model stockpots which, for no apparent reason, were not magnetic like everything else in the line. (I think those were discontinued about four or five years ago, though.) I bought my AC Stainless as seconds about 12 years ago and it has always been excellent (at least for me) for induction. But, AC has escalated substantially in price since then and, these days, there are plenty of other, less expensive and readily available choices. Searching here and in Chowhound's cookware forum will turn up dozens of discussions about the merits and faults of just about any brand you might think of.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 7:20PM
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I have a mix of Cuisinart Multi-ply, Tramontina, Lodge cast iron, a cheapie non-stick Calphalon from Target, and one piece of no-name porcelain enamel on stainless. All work beautifully on induction.

This post was edited by bookmom41 on Sat, Apr 13, 13 at 19:48

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:01PM
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I just went around magnet-testing all my pots and pans. Some of them stuck firmly, some "kind-of" loosely stuck. Does the firmness of the "magnet-sticking" matter to how well the pan will work on the induction cooktop? I'm fine with buying a few new pots and pans, so if I am going to carry a magnet around to stores I need to know if the
"sticky-ness" matters.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 10:10PM
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I think, by now, any pots/pans that are in stores will be labeled "Induction Capable" or some synonym, if they were made to be used with Induction.

We bought the Emerilware set (a cheaper version of All Clad) but made by All Clad, but in China rather than the USA. They have performed well and have held up very well, after several years use. We liked the glass lids, the handles that stay cool. It is a very nice set for around $200, (as I recall) at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Sorry , I have not done the "Stickeyness test" but we have a Caphalon as well as a Circulon pan and they all work well, and no buzzing on any of them.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 10:37PM
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Sounds like you might be reading too much into the magnet test. Really, it is a lot more important to look at pan construction than the completely imprecise fridge-maget testing.

The fridge magnet is only going to tell you if the pan is suitable for induction at all. It really can't tell you how good the pan is. For one thing, different magnets have different strengths, so not-so-strong "stickiness" may just be a weak magnet on a thin pan.

For example, I've got a no-name, restauant-supply, 13" diameter 25 quart steel stockpot/kettle. A magent sticks t oit, but the pot has thin walls. Some of my fridge magnets don't adhere well to it. Other do better. I can still boil water in it on an induction burner. But: because (a) it is so much larger than most induction burners, and (b) the metal is so thin, the boil pattern stays in the middle, right above the burner.

I've also got a 12" Circulon Premier Pro non-stick annodized aluminum skillet which has a magnetic base plate to make it usable on induction. (BTW, Coscto had the set for $169, and they work fine). As far as I can tell, the Magnet sticks to that base maybe a bit more strongly than with the kettle, but the pan comes to full boil noticably faster and the boil pattern slowly spreads out across the base as the base heats and conducts. Next, I substitute 12" All-Clad stainless tri-ply skillet on the burner. This starts out with the same same center-ring boil pattern, but it spreads across the base more qucikly as the pan heats up. The AC pan has a beefier construction than the Circulon, but I cannot tell that from slapping a frige magnet on it. I'll bet herring_maven's heavy-duty Mauviel pans will be even better.

So, The magnet only tells you if the pan will work at all, not how well it will work.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 3:20AM
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I have a mixed bag as well. Cast iron, calphalon (that I picked up at TJMaxx), Swiss Diamond and ikea. The Swiss diamond is my favorite. Heats evenly no buzzing.
My 2 ikea stock pots make a tremendous amount of noise! My 8 year old daughter can't be in the house when I am getting the ikea's going on high to boil water. It makes some kind of high frequency sound that my 40+ year old ears can't hear that she says "makes my head feel like it's going to explode!". I would have to agree that it's all about the construction and not the stickiness. The ikea pots stick like glue! They will hopefully be replaced on Mothers Day!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 10:19AM
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In addition to my Tramontina TriPly Clad set, I have Fissler, Simply Calphalon, Wolfgang Puck, TVS nonstick, and Oneida Artisan nonstick. Everything buzzes, some a little more than others.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 10:30AM
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If we are going to engage in a kink-off for who has the kinkest collection of induction-capable pots and pans, we are prepared to submit our entry.

Starting with the cast iron, we have two pieces of the line that Michael Lax designed for Sam Farber (the founder of Copco, and later, Oxo Good Grips) in the 1950s or 1960s. We have a roughly four and a half quart casserole and an eight-inch frypan. Both pieces were made on an island in Denmark. Two pieces from Denmark, then.

Then we have an Iwachu Nambutetsu pot; Nambutetsu is the finest cast iron in the world. See the link below for a picture of our piece. We have another bail-handle Nambutetsu that was made by an artisan craftsman, also, of course, in Morioka. Two cast iron pieces from the Tohoku region of Japan.

And we have a giant Descoware enameled cast iron frying pan, and a much smaller (6"?) matching Descoware enameled cast iron pan. Beloved by Julia Child Descoware cast iron cookware was named after the company's founder, D. E. Sanford, who was a resident of Connecticut; but the enameled cast iron was made in Belgium.

Naturally, we have a Griswold 11-inch cast iron griddle/skillet, one of those that has Erie, Pennsylvania, moulded into the bottom.

We have a large (two gallon?) West Bend stock pot that my mother acquired sometime in the 1930s -- her home was in Kewaskum, Wisconsin, and the West Bend factory was just down the road.

There is our Mauviel Induc'Inox splayed (or "Windsor") pot to which I alluded in an earlier post in this thread; it was made in France. Also made in France is our 8-1/2" Matfer Bourgeat "black steel" frypan.

Our largest capacity Demeyere, made in Belgium, is the 3.2 quart "mussel pot," a remarkably versatile piece of cookware that gets a lot of use in a variety of roles. We also have a 1.7 quart Demeyere Apollo saucepan and a Demeyere sauteuse, both also made in Belgium.

Our Kuhn-Rikon Duromatic collection comprises two pots with two lids (one pressure, one conventional) each, and they hail from Switzerland. Induction and pressure cooking are a match made in heaven, and an artichoke cooked in a pressure cooker on induction is as different from an artichoke cooked over gas or on an electric coil as pasta in a first class restaurant is from Chef Boy-ar-dee spaghetti in a can.

Speaking of pasta, our larger saucepan is from the Karen line of Serafino Zani, and is very Italian: http://www.serafinozani.it/serafinozani/bin/famiglia.php?fam=Karen&cat =Pentole

Our current induction cooktop came with a shiny stainless steel griddle purpose sized and shaped for the true bridging burners on the LG LCE30845. One presumes that it was made in Korea.

And then there is the one-cup-plus mini tea kettle, enameled steel, that we picked up at a 100 yen store in Sapporo.

Out-kinky that collection if you can.

Here is a link that might be useful: At this link, our large pot is called a Tempura Set

This post was edited by herring_maven on Sat, Apr 13, 13 at 14:11

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 12:02PM
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Not even going to try!

Why do you need so many pieces of cookware, if I may ask?

If I had that many, I would probably need a kitchen twice the size of my current one, LOL.

I love-love collecting cookware too but I started giving away to friends b/c I ran out of storage room, even with the remodel.

ETA: I looked into Kuhn-Rikon for quite some time. They are a Swiss company but most (or all?) of their cookware available in the US was made in China, so I gave up. What about yours?

This post was edited by eleena on Fri, Apr 12, 13 at 20:07

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 8:00PM
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strayer - as you can see, there are lots of options. The magnet is important and if it is weak, the vessel will be less effective.
Decide what you need and the function and go pick and choose what you like.
Have fun! You will love your induction. I didn't realize how much I liked it until I cooked on a friend's "professional" gas range and the heat is dancing up the sides of the pan - ouch and get rid of my fleece!
The key is - don't feel you have to get a full set of something as you can pick and choose. I picked up a LeC grill pan and panini press(and a dutch oven) at the outlet a couple weeks ago.
I forgot about the Swiss Diamond version - as much as I love my little ScanPan IQ fry pan, I didn't like their grill, so went with LeC.
Herring - you definitely have the best eclectic collection out there! Wow!! I am going to visit DM soon and she has another pan for me (she could not call it a vessel) - Hope it is ferrous! Most of DMs pans were Wearever aluminum which would not work - so have to see if she has anything that will work.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 8:11PM
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eleena: "Why do you need so many pieces of cookware, if I may ask?"

Well, we didn't actually buy all of them. I am an "orphan": parents now deceased, and my only sibling died in a drowning accident two decades ago; and we have lived in our present house for nearly 40 years. Whenever a family member downsized by moving from a house to an apartment, or died, the chattels of the estate ended up in our house. For instance, the enameled cast iron Copco casserole was a gift that we gave to my father as a wedding present when he remarried at age 64; he had been microwaving for one for a few years, and he and his bride (he was a widower and she a widow) planned to make some romantic meals for two together. They died, and the Copco casserole came back to us. It happens to be gorgeous; see the link below.

That said, we really need to have three saucepans: often one is in the dishwasher (every pot we own, except the three non-enameled cast iron ones is dishwasher safe) and another is in the refrigerator with last night's leftovers. We probably overdosed with frying pans / skillets / griddles, but the big stainless griddle just came along with the LG induction cooktop, which we purchased after the others were in place. We use the giant Descoware the least, but when you need to fry an entire chicken all at once, it is the only piece that will do.

Both of our Kuhn-Rikons say "made in Switzerland" on them. The frying pan Kuhn-Rikon was a direct replacement for a tabletop Farberware electric frying pan that we had acquired right after we were married. Over the years, we realized that the dining room table that was basically the only place where the Farberware got used was dangerously far from an electrical outlet (guests tripping over the wire), and the chandelier over the dining room table would get gummy from the cooking smoke; so we ditched the Farberware, but replaced it with the pressure-cooker Kuhn-Rikon of nearly identical dimensions, which replaced one trick (ability to cook at the table) with another trick (pressure cooking capabilities).

Here is a link that might be useful: A twin to our Michael Lax casserole

This post was edited by herring_maven on Sat, Apr 13, 13 at 14:48

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 2:35PM
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I am sorry for your losses.

I was just teasing you. I figured that many of the "older" items had been inherited. I love cookware. Every time I go to WS, I have to exercise a lot of restrain in order not to buy yet another piece. :-)

I have three (top of the line at the time of purchase) non-stick skillets that I am no longer using. They are taking a lot of space but I cannot depart with them for some reason. So, I have too many as is and I am lusting after a crepe pan. LOL

This post was edited by eleena on Sun, Apr 14, 13 at 12:38

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 3:54PM
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Herring - So sorry for your losses as well.
The link you posted is not linking for me.
Your memories are wonderful.
Keep on cooking and make those vessels brim with memories.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 4:00PM
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a2gemini: "So sorry for your losses as well.
The link you posted is not linking for me."

Fortunately, none of us lives forever. My father was intellectually active until his death, a few months short of age 90; by then, his vision and hearing were deteriorated, and so his peaceful death was almost a blessing; my sister, too, had a very active life up until her death at age 57; she got her money's worth. My memories of my family are now pleasant remenisences, not "losses," to me.

I had tested the esty.com site link for the image before I posted it in the earlier message; I don't know why the link does not work now. Here is a simple photo of the enameled cast iron casserole in question.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 8:39PM
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Herring - that is a beautiful vessel! Thank you for the picture. Those are some interesting wooden utensils.

Yes, no one lives forever - My DD used up many lives before his death. He is at peace and no longer struggling to breath. It was his time. I am not sure it was my brother's time - but no one knows the answer (he was in his 20s and was in a fatal auto accident)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 3:32PM
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