induction conversion device for cookware??

liz_hMarch 24, 2007

I vaguely remember someone on the Appliance Forum mentioning a flat object they could use between a burner and a pan to allow them to use non-induction ready cookware on their induction unit. Does anyone know anything about this? It's quite possible I misread the post at the time.

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I have one, I bought it about 6 years ago, and it is something that was made for a different purpose. It is called a "flame tamer" I think, and was made for putting on top of gas burners to create more even heat distribution - and perhaps for safety reasons, given the name they gave it. It is a large, round, flat metal disk, black in color. It feels like it may be made of some kind of cast iron w a coating over it, as it is pretty heavy for its size. It is about 3/16" thick and 11" in diameter.

The staff at Sur Le Table thought I was crazy when I asked for their permission to take their flame tamers and check them for flatness. You see, you defeat the point if you get one that is even slightly warped. We did the test by placing it on the top of their glass display counter. The first one rocked and was really warped. The 2nd one was completely flat and would not rock at all, so I bought it.

Most of my pans work just fine w/o it - I have a large set of Al Clad SS, as well as Le Creuset cast iron. But one of my Al Clad pans is warped, so I use it for that one. I also use it when cooking in a large stock pot when I need to boil large volumes of water. Regular induction cooktops take forever to boil water in large and deep stockpots: like 15-20 minutes or so. The flame tamer cuts the time at least in half.

Also, with induction, you are supposed to use pans that match the size of the burner, but our stockpot is larger than the burner, and the flame tamer is still larger yet, so that is one reason why I think it helps boil the water faster. It is distributing more heat over a larger surface area. I have not tested it with copper cookware, as I have none, but that would be a good test. If it works with copper or with glass (such as Visions by Corning), then you are in business.

Hope this helps. By now, they may have produced something just for this purpose, but my trying out the flame tamer was just a crazy thought I had one day and it just happened to work out.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 2:01PM
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Thanks Lynne. That is probably what the post I remember referred to. I used to have a cast iron roasting rack. If I can find that I may try it. Even the purchase of a flame tamer would be less than a new stockpot.

I've noticed that my induction cooktop doesn't seem to require exactly flat cookware - an improvement over my former glass top electric range.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 2:07PM
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the above link has an induction conversion disc ... allows you to use copper or aluminum pots .. costs about $85.00.. they list very little information.

it is made by mauvel, which is also sold by William-sonoma, but they don't list the disc

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 2:28PM
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kayscats - thank you for the link. If I hadn't already given away most of my Calphalon, I would definitely get one of these. I'm still tempted, if I can find it for a lot less than the list price.

I couldn't find it listed anywhere but Ira Wood. I emailed Mauvel. If they respond, I'll copy the answer here.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 3:19PM
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liz h: I can't find any other sources for the disc in this country ... seems to be readily available in England and France and a bit cheaper, but time you payed shipping wouldn't wouldn't save anything.

please tell me that the Calphalon you gave away wasn't the contemporary stainless line ... About six months ago I started out looking for a dutch oven and wound up becoming enamored of this line and have been gradually building a collection. Very happy.

I like the idea of induction, but it's so rare in this country that you have to spend two arms and two legs to get cookware for it. Iron works great, but it is so heavy.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 7:05PM
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kayskats - I was fortunate that most of my cookware was the All-Clad stainless steel, which is fine on induction. The Calphalon I gave away was the anodized aluminum. I had several skillets and a couple of dutch ovens. At least it was all purchased on deep discount. I did keep the 7 quart dutch oven, which is wider than it is tall. I figured it would make a good roasting pan.

We do have some cast iron - a grill pan I bought and the skillet and dutch oven DH inherited. If we had planned on induction when designing the kitchen, we would have included a full height cabinet near the cooktop, with the cast iron stored just at waist level. ;-> I have one area in my new kitchen where I've always said I may install an appliance garage some day. Maybe it will be a cast iron garage instead.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 9:42PM
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I tried putting a large cast iron frying pan on the induction cooktop and then put my flameproof glass kettle on top of it. It worked just fine, but much more slowly than induction appropriate cookware. But hey, the price was right!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 9:18PM
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Would something like this work? Pretty inexpensive.

Here is a link that might be useful: cast iron griddle

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 9:17AM
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That would work even better than my cast iron skillet as the sides on my skillet limit would could be put "inside." Thanks for the link!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 12:15PM
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I was going to go on and on...but, I'll just say this. Spend ther extra money on a good stockpot that is compatible (I strongly suggest Demeyere) you will save money in the long run.

The 'disk', for which I posted a link is below, is only for an emergency when aunt etna comes over with a pot of hungarian goulash and your fresh outta pots.

I do not know if it even works, but I will be able to tell you just by common sense that you lose a lot of efficiency, speed and control over the temperature of the food you cook using it. Wouldn't you agree?

Lynne, you said - ' Regular induction cooktops take forever to boil water in large and deep stockpots: like 15-20 minutes or so. The flame tamer cuts the time at least in half.' - Was this a joke? Were you saying that it takes YOUR induction cooktop 15 to 20 minutes to bring a stockpot of H2O to a rolling boil?

If so I strongly suggest a few things for you to check out.
1. Your electrical supply. Are you powering the unit corretly (have an electrician check this before you burn your home down.)

2. Is this the first induction cooktop ever made? What is it's make and model. If it isn't a very early model, I would suggest to you that it is broken.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mavuriel Disk

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 10:50PM
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question for those folks using cast iron skillet or griddle between their induction cookers and a non-ferrous pot:

does this ruin the seasoning you have worked to hard to maintain on your cast iron?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 2:13PM
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    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 11:42AM
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