Is this cookware suitable for induction?

My4thGardenMay 19, 2013

I know that the bottom of pots and pans has to be magnetic in order to be suitable for induction, but I also have read that the base has to be completely flat. As I understand it, the heat is generated only if the bottom of the pan is fully in contact with the induction cooktop. My cookware is either all stainless steel or in the case of my Scanpan Classic it is titanium ceramic with a stainless bottom disk. Most of my stainless is Farberware which is what I prefer because it is lighter weight and suitable for someone who cannot manage heavier items. However, looking at the bottom of any Farberware pot there is a central circular VERY slightly recessed area (with the logo etc) which although it is stainless and magnetic, would not physically directly TOUCH the induction cooktop. It's maybe a millimeter or two recessed from thte rest of the surface. The Scanpan cookware undersides are made the same way. Does that mean that if I were to put this cookware on an induction burner there would be NO heat generated in those central circle areas of the pan undersides which are ever so slightly recessed??

I currently have an electric smooth top range and have no problems because of course the heat from the burner reaches all the parts of the pan underside. But as I understand the way induction works, there is no heat generated by any part of the pan that is not actually in contact with the induction surface. True? False?

I have always interpreted the meaning of "completely flat" to mean that the bottom of the pan cannot be warped, but maybe for induction that means there cannot be any sort of a recessed area either ... however slight that recessed area may be???

I am already rethinking induction because almost all of the pans I use on a daily basis are smaller than the minimum pan sizes but if in addition to the size issue the bases of the pans are not optimal then I will have to give up the idea of induction and try to find the most suitable smooth top range instead. I see that there is an LG range on which all four of the burners are expandable with the smallest diameter being 6 inches. My current cooktop has two very small expandable burner areas of 4 1/2 inches and 5 1/2 inches and those are the ones that I use in more than 75% of my cooking.

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Please check out the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: One of the best sites for induction info

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 7:04AM
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My4thGarden - I have a Farberware pan like that and it works fine on my portable induction cooktop. Many of my induction compatible pans are not perfectly flat. Some have concentric rings and the one cast iron skillet has a central depressed area with 'Lodge' in the center.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 9:07AM
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Expanding on what oasisowner wrote, induction hobs generate a magnetic field. As with all magnetic fields, closer = stronger. A pan that's slightly warped might have a cold spot and still work somewhat, but I wouldn't use it for anything but thin soups, where even heating isn't an issue.

Pans such as you have, with the depressed logo, will work fine, because we're talking about maybe a 1mm, if that, variation. Warped pans will be off 3-4mm, often more.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 8:09AM
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The induction field is toroidal, and extends from the field generator (sort of half of a transformer) through the Ceram cooktop into the air above the cooktop. If a steel suitable for induction intersects the field lines, high frequency alternating current will be induced into the metal. The metal is resistive, so the current causes heat.

Thin gaps between the pan base and the Ceram will not cause noticeable increases in cooking time. (By thin is meant a mm or two.) Larger gaps may allow some field lines to sneak under the pan. A depression at the center of a pan having otherwise flat edges may not matter as there should be minimal field lines at the exact center of the hob.

It may be instructive to recall the elementary school magnet and filings experiments to see how the steel will tend to concentrate the lines so that they go through the pan base rather than escaping around it.

The actual gap limitation is determined by the magnetic sensor underneath the Ceram that shuts the field off if it senses that there is no pan above. This is a safety mechanism that protects the user and the electronics.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 10:17AM
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