weight limit on ceramic cooktops?

jadeiteAugust 14, 2012

Does anyone know what the weight limit is for ceramic cooktops? I've read about cooktops cracking, but there are few specifics. I assume there is some maximum weight the ceramic can bear safely, but can't find any more information. We called Thermador, manufacturer of our induction cooktop but they didn't know. They promised to call us back, but we've heard nothing so far.



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Here is the response a beer maker got, when they asked GE.

"GE cooktops are made of a tough ceramic material tested to meet UL requirements.

UL impact test: a 2" steel ball weighing 1.18 lbs. dropped from a distance of 20". The UL impact test is equivalent to the force created when dropping a can of soup (12.4 oz) from a distance above the cooktop of 31" and dropping a can of corn (1lb. 4 oz.) from a distance of 19".

These would be minimums which the glass ceramic would withstand. These 2 food product items were chosen because they are so widely used & the heights were chosen to simulate an item being taken from cabinets above the cooktop & slipping from a hand.

Weight sitting on cooktop - the top is tested to withstand a load more than 50 lbs. So there would be no problem with taking a turkey, in a roaster, out of the oven & placing it on the cooktop. Also, no problem with using a canner on the cooktop."

From Electrolux, response to a canning question:

"The maximum weight of the canner and it's contents should not exceed 50 pounds."

Page down in the link to a very long post from Molly53 regarding canning on smoothtops (lots of manufacturer feedback)

Here is a link that might be useful: big pots on smoothtops

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 11:53AM
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attofarad - thank you for your helpful response. I tried searching and couldn't find anything authoritative. One website said "around 50 lbs" but that's pretty vague.

So far Thermador hasn't given us any kind of guidance. An unofficial comment was they wouldn't put a 20 qt stockpot on it. 20qts of water weigh around 44 lbs, so with the weight of a pot, it would put it right at 50 lbs. When they finally get a real number back to us, my guess is that they will be conservative to protect themselves.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:53PM
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I don't advise standing on it. Nor banging with a hammer or cast iron pan.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:04PM
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Wow, jadeite - I never thought about this! I was hoping to find something like a 16 qt pot to boil lobsters in, but maybe I better just run two smaller pots - a 12 and an 8, which would not be full anyway. I would think that if the weight were spread out it would be less likely to crack. Thanks for the heads up, though! I'll keep watching for more info.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:57PM
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Ginny - my thoughts exactly! I was all set to use a 20 qt pot on my cooktop when I heard about ceramic cooktops breaking. I think shock is worse than sheer mass, but there has to be a load limit. So far Thermador hasn't been very helpful. If I get a definitive answer, I'll post it. So far it seems that 50 lbs is the limit.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:51PM
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A gallon of water weighs 8.3 lbs so a 5 gallon pot full of water will be 41.5 lbs plus maybe 3 to 5 lbs for the weight of the pot. Remember Archimedes displacement principle when adding anything to the pot.

A 5 gallon (20 quart) pot is pretty huge. Can't really imagine needing one bigger for a lobster boil.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Fori is not pleased

You might be able to find some user experience on the Harvest forum here at GW.
All the cracks I've read about were from impacts.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:34PM
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After many calls, we finally got an unofficial response from Thermador. We were told the cooktop can bear loads up to 200 lbs. I was astonished, but they told us that they can stand on it without breakage. They would not put this in writing because (they said) there is no official number.

I told them that I was going to put a 21 qt pot on it, loaded with canning jars and if it broke, I was going to claim against the warranty. I made sure my husband was part of the conversation. They said to go ahead.

So I did. Very carefully, and with much trepidation. I canned 28 jars in 4 lots over about 4-5 hours. In addition to the canner I also had a 10 qt pot on the cooktop, heating the contents of my canning jars. My guess is the total weight on the cooktop was around 60 lbs. The cooktop is still intact.

I am NOT recommending that everyone with induction can load up their cooktop with impunity. Call the manufacturer if a limit isn't stated anywhere. But I feel a bit better about my unit.

BTW induction does a great job of canning - perfectly uniform heating for hours. And the kitchen wasn't unbearably hot.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:00AM
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Fori is not pleased


Thanks for updating!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 5:26PM
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Thanks, Cheryl! Watch out, lobsters!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Alex House

Jadeite, are you canning with a pressure canner or a hot water bath? If a pressure canner, what brand? Is it aluminum?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 3:18AM
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Alex - it's a hot water bath, steel, made by Ball. There is no recommended pressure canner (Presto, All American) that will work on induction. Presto and Fagor make steel pressure cookers which could be used for canning, but neither has been tested or approved by USDA. I think you already knew this!


    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:53AM
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Alex House

I did know that but I thought that there might have been a new development on this front. I have read that it MIGHT be possible to use aluminum vessels on an induction top so long as one didn't expect top performance. That was theory rather than someone writing of their own experience. I thought that there might have been a slim chance that you actually put the issue to test. Just checking.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 5:03PM
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You can use aluminium on induction with an induction plate. I tested this for my own satisfaction, using a carbon steel plate under an aluminium pot. It will work, but the efficiency is drastically reduced. IMO it's not worth it.

I plan to do pressure canning on a propane burner outside. It's a bit of a nuisance, but it will work. May keep me warm in fall and winter too.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 5:24PM
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