I am getting a new convection oven and smooth top range. Someone told me that I needed special pans. Like what kind?
Regarding your smoothtop, I suggest you review the thread linked below.
You may want to use the Search facility (located at the bottom of the main Forum page) regarding other cookware, if you haven't already...
Here is a link that might be useful: What brand pans for ceran black glass electric cooktop?
I have a Viking smoothtop. I CAN use copper on it but CANNOT use Le Creuset or other cast iron. That's what the booklet says.
Other brands have other restrictions.
Meanwhile, I bought a set of All Clad but it was so slow on there I was ready to bash it. I tried out a really old Sitram pot I have -- that's a French stainless pot with a copper sandwich bottom and it's every bit as fast as gas to boil water in that pot.
So it goes to show you....
I'm taking the All Clad to use with our gas stove and buying a set of the Sitram for the smoothie.
I use cast iron and Le Crueset on my black Ceran smoothtop all the time. I was very cautious at first. Be careful not to slide it. Always wipe your hand across the bottom of any pot or pan before you set it on the cooktop to be certain there is nothing on the bottom that could scratch it and always make certain that your cooktop is completely clean. These two simple procedures will avoid scratching and heavy cleaning problems.
I found that Titanium bottoms don't work too well as they reflect heat back into the element and cause it to think it is hot enough when it is not, thereby shutting down the element too much and slowing cooking to a crawl.
I don't use any pans with ridges around the edges and I make certain my pans are completely flat when I try them out at the store. If they are not, they tend to spin around on the cooktop like a "Whirling Dervish".
I use lots of different brands and tend to really like Circulon and Analon over the Calphalon. I think their quality is better and longer lasting.
I have used a smoothtop for almost 25 years, the first being a Dacor corning. I used all types and brands on it also with no negative results. My newer range which is the Ceran has been used heavily for two years now and NO scratches yet.
More often than not, I use half sheet aluminum pans for convection cooking. You want a pan with low sides that the air can circulate around, and these have worked the best for me. I also use a long oval copper roasting pan, which has low sides as well.