Recommendations for cookware with smooth cooktop?

dpoulsenMarch 2, 2007

Please tell me which type of cookware is best for my new black smooth cooktop (not induction) - both material and brand would be appreciated. I used it for the first time last night & just used my Pampered Chef skillet - didn't work well at all, but I noticed it was slightly rounded. Then I switched to an old Cuisinart pan (stainless steel, I think). I swear it already scratched it - was it the rounded bottom or one of the materials? Thanks.

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I use a combination of Member's Mark stainless (like All-Clad) and Le Creuset with very good results. I also have a non-stick aluminum saute pan that I use for eggs, also with good results. For my bridge burners, I use an anodized aluminum griddle. Great!

What you think are scratches on the top may just be marks left by the cookware. They may disappear with cleaning.

Speaking of cleaning, I've discovered that using vinegar, or ammonia, or Orange-glo with a damp sponge, follwed by a dry microfiber cloth will keep the top sparking.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 2:30PM
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When I purchased my black ceramic top, I bought a number of different kinds of cookware. After all is said and done, I really like Analon and Circulon nonstick with anodized exteriors.

I had some pans that weren't working well and my husband told me it was because they were titanium on the bottom. Titanium evidently is so heat conductive that it shuts down the thermostat too quickly in the burner, so I got rid of those.

Also, you want to make certain that you use flat bottoms with no ridges. If you get a pan that rocks, get rid of it. It can dance right off the cooktop.
I also use Le Creuset type pans and cast iron. I have a Cuisinart saute pan that works well, too. I have a Chantal pot and several other brands.

I like having different brands of pans for different cooking tasks.

The white colored cleaners, such as Weimans, polish and protect your cooktop and should be applied to the cooktop once in a while. I use green Windex for everyday cleaning and if I have something left on the cooktop, I break out the white colored cleaner. Microfiber cloths are great for use with the polish.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 7:56PM
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The titanium in your pan is just a thin coating, not the base material. Even if it was the base material, it is a poor conductor like stainless steel compared to copper let's say which is 95% better at conducting heat than titanium..

So why the titanium? The titanium coating (titanium nitride which is then oxidized actually) makes the surface harder and protects the non-stick coating better. The coating is so thin as to have a negligible if any effect on heat transfer.

And how about stainless, if it's such a lousy conductor of heat then why is it used? Because it's low maintenance,has limited reactivity and so can be thrown in the dishwasher and it's almost always just an exterior layer over an aluminum or copper core though the thermal impact of this layer depends on the thickness etc.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 8:07AM
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sleepyhollow: Thanks for the heads up on the titanium. I just spoke to my husband (aerospace engineer) who straightened me out. I must have misunderstood the context of what he told me. He says titanium can withstand heat very well, which is why they use it on aircraft and is what he probably meant when I asked him about it the first time. I evidently misunderstood. However, the titanium did not work well on my range. Couldn't get a good boil from it.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 2:37PM
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The problem with your Cuisinart and Pampered Chef is that the aluminum in the base probably warped. It's a common problem. My cousin works with Consumer Reports and he says that aluminum warps when heated, so over time or with too much heat, it bends the stainless steel that's surrounding it. Also causes hot spots. My suggestion is to really invest in high quality cookware. If it's really good quality, the base should stay flat forever. My Fissler cookware for instance, all have a star pattern on the base which has expansion joints for the aluminum to warp without affecting the s/s. It's the best I've ever used on my smooth cooktop even after 12 years.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 1:30AM
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After I got a smooth cooktop I had to change my pans and I bought all ones with the thick disk bottoms. they also fit the burner better. I found these are best as the bottoms do not warp out of shape like the triclad type or other types can.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 8:34AM
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I read somewhere that pots must be perfectly FLAT on the bottom (curves at the outside edges are okay) so that the pot makes maximum contact.
When we got a smooth top I had to stop using my cast iron because most had a ridge near the outside and don't make contact. Porcelain coated pots (like my water bath canner) have concentric circles and do not make good contact.
America's Test Kitchen says any pan (particularly skillets) will warp if you put it in the dish water while still hot.
Anyhow, put a straight edge on the bottom of the pot and if you see a gap, you're not going to get good contact.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 12:01PM
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FWIW.....increased "conductivity" of the pan's material would have the opposite result twinkledome described. HIgh-conductivity materials would conduct the heat away from the thermostatic limiter making it less likely to activate. Less conductive materials would be those that would tend to trip the thermostatic limiter earlier than desired/expected.

I'm suspecting non-flat bottoms may be more likely cause.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 12:11PM
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I used my Demeyere Atlantis pans on a smoothtop for a while, and they worked really well. Demeyere designs them so that they will remain flat, and in my experience they do indeed stay flat.

I didn't have any problem at all with the pans marking the cooktop.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 1:37PM
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You could also get a Flame Tamer and use that between the cooktop and your cookware. It would be a hassle to do all the time, but I use mine for that occasionally. See my more detailed comments under "looking for conversion device for my induction cooktop" thread.

Pots do have to be 100% flat on the bottom to work well, as the others have said. You need full direct contact between pan and the glass.

When my mom's 1960's vintage coil cooktop finally died, I advised her against getting a smooth cooktop since most of her pans used to be her mom's and were very old and most of them warped. The warping made no difference on a coil top, but at age 85, I knew she would not feel too good about having to replace all of her life long "cooking companions." It was hard to find a decent coil range (her old one had double ovens and the cooktop), so she now only has one oven and a cooktop. (Actually she passed away and now dad is the only one that uses it and all he knows how to do is fry eggs and heat soup...)

I would also ask the manufacturer what they recommend. Of course, they probalby won't tell you a brand as they would be worried about liability. But they owe you some guidance about what attributes you should look for in cookware. Then I would start trying things, one piece at a time rather than buying a whole set, unless you are sure.

When we remodeled our kitchen and got our new cooktop, hubby bought me a set a Mauviel copper cookware from W-S. It was gorgeous, but did not work on my cooktop, so I had to take it back and ended up exchanging it for a set of Al Clad stainless, which has worked well.

Why did the copper not work? Some tell me it was because it is too reflective and throws off the sensors, causing them to shut off to often. Others said because copper lacks the magnetic properties necessary.

It has been many years since my chemistry and physics days, so I just took their word for it and went w the AC. As you know, SS is not very conductive, but they put an Al core in it and that gives it desirable properties. Pretty to look at; easy to clean (mine go in the DW); good heat transfer.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 2:26PM
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I want to purchase the twotwelve cookware set from food network is this ok for smoothtop stoves it is the 16 piece set.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 9:39AM
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Lynne...i know it's been yrs since anyone posted on this page but I just came across it tonight and am hoping i can find out about this "flame tamer" that you referred to in your last post here. I too have, as of yesterday, a glass, black, smooth top range. I am homebound, hubby picked it out and it is here weather I want it or not.I have one pan I think I can use on it lol. Won't know until it is hooked up tomorrow. I hunted thru several pages of your threads but have not been able to find the one you mentioned, "looking for conversion device for my induction cooktop" thread. Can you tell me what date it was under, then I can probly find it. Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 1:14AM
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looking to purchase the As Seen on TV cookware Stonedine or the Flavorstone Cookware for my black oven top. Are these types of PFOA cookware recommendable for cooking on these stove tops. I was recently reading an article that most non stick pans should not be used since over medium heat setting can release toxins making humans and mostly pets sick. Should I stick to iron cast ...i never used one and this is my first black smooth cooktop (not induction).

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Personally, I only use non-stick cookware for low heat cooking, like fried eggs. I know it is controversial as to whether there is any health risk with the use of such cookware, but I don't think there is any argument that they have very short non-stick life expectancies, especially when washed with harsh detergents, or horrors! in dishwashers.

I don't like to frequently replace cookware, so I prefer multi-generational type materials like cast iron (it's cheap too!) for skillets/frypans. I don't see any need for non-stick surfaces in pots which typically are used for very liquid contents, so basic quality stainless steel should be adequate. When I had a smooth top (not induction) cooktop, I could use any pots/pans regardless of material. The only specification was that their bottoms be smooth and flat. I used my cast iron all the time, and didn't experience any scratching, although I know others have had different experiences. So, the cooking surfaces may possibly vary by brand/model.

Otherwise, I have no opinion at all about those specific TV brands.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 10:38PM
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Ok, I need info as to the brands of cookware that leave the least amount of stains/residue/visible marks. Cooking is not so much the issue with me since I don't do it that often. Anyone have suggestions (other than get a personal chef and house keeper)?

From the info on this thread, it looks like stainless, heavy aluminum, or titanium pots will work well, but do they leave stains?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 11:08AM
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I own stainless steel, plain aluminum (not anodized), cast iron and carbon steel pans. I use them all on my radiant range. None of them leave any marks. But they CAN scratch the paint off.

Mine is 12 yrs old and 3 of the 4 burners are almost or completely pristine, but the 4th is pretty bad looking. I routinely pop corn on it, though, and shake the pan a lot.

My advice? Don't be afraid of cookware, even cast iron. I slide pans around all the time without fear of scratching or marking the top. But shaking a pan 3-4 times a week on the same burner will wear the paint off eventually.

FWIW, my popcorn pan is stainless steel, the smoothest of the 4 kinds of cookware I own. My range is a builder's grade GE Spectra, nothing special. Again, it's 12 years old. If anything, today's paints are likely better.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 12:54AM
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We use several brand's and types on ours. All-Clad, Cuisinart, DeBuyer and Calphalon. The stainless pots and pans are all tri-ply, the debuyer is a mineral b pan (like cast iron, but about 1/2 the weight) and the calphalon is a mix of commercial hard anodized and unison slide.

Our go to pans are usually the cuisinart, they are lighter and heat up faster than the all-clad's. We have never had a problem with any of our pans warping (with the exception of a calphalon non-stick pancake griddle).

I don't cook anything higher than medium (with the exception of boiling water in the stainless steel); and usually have to turn it down after it has started cooking.

None of my pots have scratched the surface of the stovetop. As far as staining, nothing is permanent, if it's too hard to just wipe off, then I use some bar keepers friend and it comes right up.

Solid copper bottoms tend to get too hot and shouldn't be used in my experience - And I've been told to never use glass pots because the glass will melt into the the glass on the stovetop - never tried it, didn't want to find out the hard way :).

Good luck and enjoy your new stove!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 10:57PM
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