Will excess temp damage the induction cooktop

lucypwdJune 4, 2008

I've just about decided on using induction instead of the wolf gas. Recently there was a post on damaging the ceramic cooktop on induction by deep frying in a larger pot. What about candy making? Would the high temp of the contents and pot damage the cooktop? What are people talking about when they mention this? I don't understand how an appliance designed for cooking can't sustain a lot of heat, but want to clear this up before purchase. The sales reps are of no help.

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cheri127

It's my understanding that all of the cooktops are designed to prevent being damaged from overheating by turning off automatically if they get too hot. I know my 1800W cooktek is supposed to go to 450 F. I don't make candy, so I don't know if that's high enough or not. Have you checked any on the online manuals for the cooktops you're interested in to see how hot they can get?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 3:40PM
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weissman

I think the issue you're referring to is to make sure there's enough room under the cooktop to vent it properly so that it doesn't overheat. The installation spec should provide info on clearance and vent holes, etc. People have had problems becuase they didn't adhere to the requirement.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 3:52PM
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klaa2

I've never heard of this before and I can't see how it would be possible unless inferior materials were used.

Our Thermador has no such warning. Additionally, we've had our cooktop for almost 2 years, use it almost every day and haven't even incurred so much as a scratch (which is another warning you hear).

The ceramic glass on an induction cooktop only gets hot from the transfer of heat from the cooking vessel. If anything, a radiant heat cooktop, which has the heating element under the glass and heats the cooktop more than the pot itself, might have that problem and I've never heard of that with one of those.

I'd be more concerned about melting the pot itself or cooking the telfon off non-stick pots more than damaging the cooktop glass.

By the way, what post has people talking about this?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 3:56PM
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lucypwd

Well that's the problem, it was in the response to one of the induction threads, but I didn't save it and now can't find it!! I don't know, there is so much misinformation. The problem had to do with deep frying in a pot bigger than the approved size ring, ie 11" pot on 9" zone. As far as I know, no one has actually had this happen.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 4:01PM
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djh64

As stated above the most common heat problem is from the units not being installed properly with enough room for the electronics to be vented. Most units have low volume fans that pull/push air through the chassis of the unit to cool the electronics. If the proper clearance is not maintained you could have problems.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 6:32PM
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klaa2

I can't agree enough with djh64 above. It is very important for the electronics to be properly vented. Additionally, you must have dedicated wiring for the unit, most are 50 amps.

I did a search for the issue you mentioned, the poster said there was a warning in a GE manual. I can't verify this but if they are giving this type of warning I'd steer clear of GE.

You can use a pot bigger than the hob, just make sure you are using quality cookware that heats evenly or you can have coldspots. I always recommend quality cookware (maybe too much for some) because you can see the difference. It's well worth the extra money for a lot of reasons.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 9:00PM
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bruce_allen123

All smoothtops-halogen, radiant, and induction can take extreme temperature changes. My Frigidaire uses "EuroKera" and the instructions said it is strong and resistant to sudden temperature changes up to 1000 degrees!(as per the pamphlet that came with my range).

Also, it's my understanding that all smoothtops also have temperature limiters built into the glass and will cycle the element off when it reaches the upper limit. These "limiters" are also used in conjunction with the infinte heat switch to maintain the desired heat setting(using the reflected heat that comes off the pan). Matter of fact, mine will even cycle on high heat. This is a built-in safety feature that protects the glass. Relax. These things are a LOT stronger and tougher than they look...

Cheers!
-Bruce

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 9:25PM
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susan_in_maine

If I remember correctly, the post being referred to was talking about when a pot's radius was more than 2" bigger than the burner it was on: if water was being boiled, it was no problem, but if oil was being heated (i.e., for deep frying), this can overheat the surrounding ceramic because oil gets hotter than the 212 for boiling water.

Correct me if I'm misremembering ...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 3:14PM
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klaa2

It shouldn't matter as the whole top is made of the same material.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 4:02PM
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ya_think

The GE documentation available online has the warning.

"HOWEVER, DO NOT USE LARGEDIAMETER
CANNERS OR OTHER LARGEDIAMETER
POTS FOR FRYING OR BOILING
FOODS OTHER THAN WATER. Most syrup
or sauce mixturesÂand all types of
fryingÂcook at temperatures much
higher than boiling water. Such
temperatures could eventually harm
the glass cooktop surfaces."

They said "could eventually" which might be taken to imply you would have to do it quite a bit before any damage is done. So people saying they have deep fried with no problem means nothing to me. And owners manuals for other brands not giving this warning means little to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: the other thread

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 4:40PM
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klaa2

Can you sauté? LOL

If I am reading this correctly, it is saying that you can only use a small diameter cooking vessel for anything other than water! I must be missing something.

The question that begs to be asked is how does using a small skillet to fry something effect the glass top less than a large one? How could the footprint of the cookware make a difference?

Stay far away from the GE induction cooktop if this is the case. You should buy an induction cooktop that can accommodate cookware without damaging itself.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 8:02PM
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lucypwd

Here is a response from DIVA.
If you are concerned about the 'aggressive reaction of caramelizing sugar on a vitroceramic glass top, you are absolutely right to be concerned. Thus, caramelizing sugar will permanently damage the glass surface; it would create indentations in the surface. However, one can still melt and caramelize sugar on a cooktop, but any spill (crystals or melted sugar) must be removed from the glass immediately as the spill occurs.

The other material that could potentially damage the glass surface is aluminum foil. If a piece of foil is put on an element and the element is turned on, the piece will instantly melt and leave molten particles in the surface. Tomato sauce, milk, Windex, ... are not as aggressive and would not harm the glass.
That is straight from DIVA

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 12:03AM
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bruce_allen123

Yes, spills like syrup, chocolate, icing, fudge, honey, or anything with a high sugar content like candies or confections needs to be wiped up IMMEDIATELY using the scraper that was supplied with your range. It's not as difficult to clean up as it sounds. Whatever you do, DO NOT let the spillover dry into a hardened resin. It will knick and ruin the glass off when you try to scrub it off.(hence the warnings). I'm really not into making candies or confections myself, and unless you do a lot of work with that kind of stuff, I wouldn't worry too much about it...

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 1:57AM
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djh64

Bottom line is that what ever will harm a ceramic glass surface on a radiant top will have th potential to do the same on an induction however in most cases it will take much longer to do so because the temp of the glass on the induction even when frying or canning will be much lower.

Radiant glass temps can and do get close to 750 deg while on an induction would rarely get in excess of 475 to 500 degrees.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 11:18AM
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klaa2

Yes, absolutely. You can't allow sugar or aluminum foil ON the cooktop, it could cause pitting. But this is not the GE warning or the concern of the original poster.

The GE warning does not talk about letting molten aluminum foil or sugar onto the actual glass top, it talks about the cooking vessels themselves. Not to use them for fear that the temperature will damage the ceramic glass top! This is far different than what the last few posters are talking about.

Regardless, we've spilled plenty of things onto the cooktop while cooking. Move cookware, wipe with paper towel, put cookware back. Takes 2 seconds, no need to stop cooking. No caked on mess, no pitting or damage.

If you use a deep saucepan when making candies you probably won't have any spillage.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 4:32PM
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bruce_allen123

Let me repeat myself... High temps *WILL NOT* damage the cooktop. Either GE is misinformed, or they're using substandard glass in making their cooktops. What the heck good is a range if you can't cook on it??? I've used umpteen different kinds of pots/pans/skillets/cookers on my smoothtop and have NEVER encountered a problem so as long as they are FLAT BOTTOMED and not warped... Besides, the temperature limiters which ALL smoothtops have will keep the glass from overheating. Or at least that's what they're supposed to do...

For the record, I've never been impressed with GE, and this thread confirms why. Good luck and whatever you choose.

-Bruce

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 5:39PM
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kaseki

Pans that overhang the defined induction area can, in some configurations, overhang electronics under the glass. If the pans get very hot, the electronics may be subject to significant radiant or coonducted heat. For example, do not let a hot pan overlap the touch controls, where present.

Otherwise, one would expect the glass/ceramic cooktop to have uniform heat resistance over its surface. However, perhaps this is not the case.

kas

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 3:15PM
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lovemcm

Kaseki is on-point with my original post in the other thread. Certain induction cook top manufacturers, including GE and Electrolux, told me I could damage the cooktop (and by this I believe they mean its function, not the glass top itself) and void my warranty were I to use pans larger than the maximum size specified for each burner (in most cases, more than 1" over the max diameter of the hob). Spilling sugar or burning foil and damaging the glass was not the question I was asking initially. Diva, Wolf, and Miele all told me it was not a problem to use any size pans, in terms of worrying about overheating the electronics, and, in fact, Diva's brochure specifically says you can put three 14" pans on their 36" induction simultaneously. At a demo at the Miele regional showroom, I was told by their rep over-size pans are not a problem, and an engineer at Wolf told me they were OK with it, too.

I hope this helps to clarify my original concerns and the answers I received.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 3:05PM
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weedmeister

I would like to also say that the 'overheat' sensors (the sensor that measures the temperatures under the pan) are more or less in the center of the hob. If things do get too hot, it will turn it off for a while. But if there is 'significant' over hang, then those areas could get too hot for whatever is underneath and not be sensed.

Also, I think the GE statement is a CYA thing in that IIRC there were instances in the dim past where the first smooth tops would crack if used on high for extended periods.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 1:59PM
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wsscott

I got the Wolf 30" unit in March, 2008 and the problem I've been having since the beginning is that I have a difficult time searing meats or cooking meats with no liquid in the pan. When I cook bacon or try to brown pork chops or lamb chops, or even when I was preparing hash browns, the cooktop heats up fine, then after a couple of minutes cools down, and then starts cycling. If I'm boiling water for pasta, or cooking a sauce, etc. its fine. I guess the liquid helps to "extract" the heat from the glass cooktop. I find it very frustrating. Wolf says its a software problem they're working on, and that their European units don't have this problem. I'm not using the highest setting, but 2 down. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 9:36AM
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lucypwd

WOW this is funny! We just moved back in yesterday and after a two days of moving I see this thread has jumped back to page one. How ironic! We did go ahead with induction. I haven't had a chance to do much with it yet but it sure is pretty!! I don't have an answer to your question,but it doesn't surprise me because the cooktop probably senses that the pan is empty and cuts off. Are you opposed to using a little oil?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 2:15AM
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scargod

wsscott, Did Wolf ever resolve the problem of your induction cooktop shutting down? I bought one less than a year ago with the same problem. I have found references to this happening from two other people. That makes at least four of us. Most comments are well over a year old, as yours.
I am told that earlier in 2010 Wolf Induction cooktops became unavailable for a while. I wonder if it was in response to faulty elements (coils or some part of the heat sensing circuitry), and whether the problem has now been addressed...
Can anyone comment or shed any light?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 2:40PM
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wsscott

Scargod- still have the same problem. Never fixed. How about you?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:53AM
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CJ123

Bruce said: "Also, it's my understanding that all smoothtops also have temperature limiters built into the glass and will cycle the element off when it reaches the upper limit. These "limiters" are also used in conjunction with the infinte heat switch to maintain the desired heat setting(using the reflected heat that comes off the pan). Matter of fact, mine will even cycle on high heat. This is a built-in safety feature that protects the glass."

It's that cycling off and on that kept my induction stove (20 years ago) from getting candy to 300 Fahrenheit. Has that been solved now?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:11PM
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herring_maven

CJ123: "It's that cycling off and on that kept my induction stove (20 years ago) from getting candy to 300 Fahrenheit. Has that been solved now?"

The problem you had was not related to the technology, but to a specific make and model. The "problem" was long since "solved" 20 years ago (but badly handled on your appliance), and today remains solved. Our relatively low-end current model induction cooktop will happily raise the temperature of a cast iron skillet to the point where it glows -- and it does not break itself by such libertine allowances.

This post was edited by herring_maven on Thu, Oct 17, 13 at 6:37

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:30PM
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mountaineergirl

Not sure why this thread was revived after a year, but I just wanted to chime in about the aluminum foil melting on the cooktop. I'm a little confused about this, because since aluminum foil isn't magnetic, the burner isn't going to turn on with foil laying on the cooktop surface. I assume its just the radiant cooktop that would have that issue. not induction. am I missing something here?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 5:45PM
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kaseki

Heating aluminum foil in an induction field occurs because the foil has electrical conductivity, and the alternating induction field induces a current in it.

The more difficult question is why the sensor that is supposed to be present would "detect" that an proper pan was above it when only foil was above it. Aluminum is slightly diamagnetic, but this shouldn't be sensed by a magnet. If the unit detected the foil another way, such as from a reaction field, then it is not designed well, because there are good reasons for not allowing aluminum pans to be heated.

However, if a proper pan is present, and someone puts it on aluminum foil, or allows aluminum foil to nestle up next to the pan, then the fault lies with the cook.

kas

This post was edited by kaseki on Tue, Oct 22, 13 at 11:08

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 8:58PM
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mountaineergirl

my post just reposted for some reason so deleted

This post was edited by mountaineergirl on Tue, Oct 22, 13 at 7:45

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 7:43AM
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