Best cookware for induction - Part II

eleenaJuly 10, 2010

The original thread started in June of 2004 (see link) though the last post was in June of 2009 (isn't it amazing?)

After reading and re-reading it several times as well as checking reviews on other web-sites (Amazon etc.) for brands/lines (Sitram, Kitchen-Aid Gourmet Distinctions, etc.) recommended by the original thread posters, I came up with two words: All-Clad and Demeyere (well, three if you count All-Clad as two :-)

I was not ready to pay the price of Demeyere but wanted brushed exterior, so I decided to go for the (relatively new) All-Clad d5 stainless line, thinking that 5-ply should be better than 3-ply (original All-Clad stainless) and not much 'worse' than 7-ply (Demeyere).

I purchased a few All-Clad d5 stainless pieces (both brushed and polished because they did not have some styles in brushed) and I don't know what to think.

They look great and make me want to cook more (very important right now!) Cleaning them is a 'breeze'.

I compared my All-Clad skillets to Lodge cast iron on gas, an induction plate, and a Wolf induction cooktop (in the showroom where I was going to get it) - in part, based on the recommendations from the Appliances forum.

All-Clad outperformed cast iron every time - hands down - and cooked very evenly on gas.

HOWEVER, they did not cook evenly on either induction!!!

And it was not anything I was doing wrong. I did NOT use high heat and strictly followed the instructions in every way. In the showroom, the appliance manager (who herself has induction at home) was watching what I was doing.

Also, the handles on the skillets are VERY uncomfortable - far from anything ergonomic. I meed both hands to hold the larger skillet when there is food in it.

I did not expect this with All-Clad reputation and price. Before returning the skillets or giving up on induction, I wanted to ask a few questions first.

All-Clad owners: have you had any problems with YOUR cookware? Any thoughts?

Demeyere owners: are you completely happy with the performance of your brand on induction? Have you had a chance to compare it on gas? How does it compare?

A lot of new brands and/or lines have become available in the last few years. Is there any other "best" induction cookware to consider?

As All-Clad was not exactly cheap and I really need just one pan/skillet at the moment, I don't want the price (low or high) to be the primary defining factor. Just want a good quality and nice looking cookware that does well on induction and will last a long time.

Thank you for reading this long post.

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Here is the link.

Sorry about that.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best cookware for induction?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 1:18AM
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I have Demeyere Atlantis saucepans and Demeyere Proline frypans. I am pleased with them but I have put a few scratches on them during cleanup so they no longer look as pristine as when new but I keep them in a drawer anyway.

The saucepans with their copper layer are very fast and I am still learning what heat levels to use when making rice. I can cook spaghetti for one in the larger saucepan with no boilover.

The smaller frypan is the 9.5" and I can lift it with one hand when it has a steak in it. The larger frypan is the 11" and that is very heavy; I don't think I could use the one-hand flip technique with it even if I knew the technique. One use for the 11" frypan is French Toast and it comes out nicely browned.

I use my Farberware Millenium 8" nonstick for eggs and pancakes because I cook for one. The pancakes turn out well. I haven't used the cookware on gas.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 5:24PM
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I have been using the German Gastro USU (Schulte-ufer) 14 inch non stick frying pan and have been very happy with it so far. I would love to know what other people think and if they have tried their 2 and 4 quart sauce pans for cooking rice, sauces, etc. USU can be found at TJ's or Marshall's if you check frequently. I had terrible luck with the Wolfgangpuck 10 inch omelet pan and would NOT recommend it. Very lightweight and it is impossible to cook eggs without major sticking and frustration. I found and Italian made non stick omelet pan Noir Professional that was only $9.99 at TJ's that works great!!! I am just concerned that at that price it will not perform long. Anyone else tried this one or have other suggestions??

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 5:25PM
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beachlily z9a

I just ordered three pieces of All Clad off of Amazon today. All had loop handles! I gave away 30 pieces of Cuisinart when I got my induction a year ago. The only regret I had was that I missed my loop handled skillets. Well, today, I found a 10" petite Brasier Pan with loop handles, a 3 qt Cassoulet with loop handles, and a 3 qt saute pan with a long handle and a helper loop. I am so happy! Now I can have just about what I gave away! I have arthritis and carpel in both wrists and these pans will help a lot.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 8:56PM
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I have used the Sitram Catering line for 35 years, but it isn't induction-capable. I gave it away & got the Sitram Profisserie line which works w/ induction. I like it very much--its silent & heavy duty,as were my other Sitram pots. Only thing different is the handles which, while more comfortable because they're slightly rounded are, at the same time, slightly less comfortable because they're set at a slightly flatter angle to the pot. That may be a peronal thing, however. They clean just as easily as my others.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 1:37PM
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beachlily z9a

Well, I'm not impressed with All-Clad on induction. I've used my new pans twice. The first time was to caramelize onions. They never browned but would have been great for onion soup if that was what I wanted. It wasn't. Couple of days later, tried making quesadillas. Raised the heat to 6.0 and the flour tortillas browned, but never dried out. As soon as they were out of the pan, they were soggy. Not a ringing endorsement. The only thing I can do is raise the heat in order to use these pans. Or buy some cheap pan to do the browning and enjoy the All-Clads for what they do best--cooking with no browning. Bummer!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 7:35PM
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I am hoping to revive this thread now that a couple of years have passed. I am working through the decision process of deciding what to do about an aging electric coil range.

I find induction very appealing. I have missed my gas range ever since we moved to this house, but we don't have gas here.

My induction-capable cookware is a mix of cast iron and All-Clad Stainless. By all accounts the cast iron will work great on induction. My concern is the All-Clad. When I do the magnet test I find that the All-Clad is less magnetic than the cast iron. I'm wondering if that makes any difference in how the cookware performs.

I suspect beachlily's problem in the last post was just not knowing what power level to use to get the desired cooking results.

My real concern stems from the OP, which talked about not cooking evenly.

Now that a couple of years have passed, what is y'alls experience with All-Clad Stainless cookware on induction?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:08PM
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My two pieces of all clad d5 work quite well on induction.
Faster response than my cast iron pieces
(Mainly due to the mass difference)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:26PM
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Thanks, Icubed. Yes, I'm sure the mass of the pot will affect responsiveness. The marketing material on induction makes it seem magical but physics always wins out.

Do you notice ant unevenness in the heating of your All-Clad? Or cast iron for that matter?

I finally located a showroom in my town with a couple of powered cooktops(Wolf & Jenn Air). The sales people were all busy so I wann't able to ask if they will let me bring in my own utensils but I'm hopeful. Wolf is out of my price range but Jenn Air might work out.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:26PM
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We ran tests with a 12" lodge skillet on a Bosch 866 induction cooktop. We observed temperature variations of over 100F across the skillet when heated on level 8. Heating the skillet more slowly in stages reduced the variation somewhat, but our conclusion was that CI is not a good match for induction because it is highly efficient at picking up energy from the induction coils, but not a good conductor, so you get intense localized heating in a donut-shape above the coil. We know that contradicts a great many comments from people who are happy cooking with CI on induction. We didn't have a chance to cook with the pan, so we can't comment on that aspect.

This post was edited by PeterH2 on Wed, Feb 20, 13 at 21:05

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:04PM
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"12" lodge skillet on a Bosch 866 induction cooktop"

maybe your particular pan has an issue

your sample size of one is kind of small to draw a general conclusion on CI

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:28PM
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How long did you let the CI skillet heat before you measured the temperature variation? Did you measure more than once to get some idea of variation vs time?

Also, how did you measure the surface temperature, IR thermometer or some other method? I don't own a IR thermometer but I am always open to a new excuse to buy a tool.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:30PM
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> maybe your particular pan has an issue

It's a lump of iron. There is not much scope to have an issue in something so very simple as a lump of iron. We can see that it is reasonably uniform in thickness (the base is flat and the inside is flat).

> your sample size of one is kind of small to draw a general conclusion

I don't believe there is significant variation in cast iron cookware beyond thickness (and the Lodge is by no means thinner than average). As such, I think it's reasonable to draw wider inferences from the tests we performed. I would be interested to see what results you obtain in similar test conditions.

> How long did you let the CI skillet heat before you measured the
> temperature variation? Did you measure more than once to get some
> idea of variation vs time?

We tried both rapid heating on a high (but not the highest) setting and slower heating increasing the setting in steps. We measured repeatedly during heating, dwell, and cooling - maybe 15 minutes in all. We had expected the variation to even out during cooling, but it was surprisingly persistent - heat loss to the air was apparently offsetting conduction across the pan. By contrast, the temperature of clad aluminum pans evened out rapidly (and obviously stayed even during cooling).

> Also, how did you measure the surface temperature

We used an IR thermometer from Thermoworks, and a bead thermistor held in contact with the pan. The results correlated between the two devices. I have since purchased a better contact probe thermistor (the bead is a bit flimsy); I will use that for future tests if/when we are able to perform them.

Scorchprints are a handy technique if you don't have instrumentation (Google is your friend).

Here is a link that might be useful: Thermoworks IR thermometer

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 6:11PM
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I am confident that PeterH2 is correct. I LOVE my cast iron, but the thermal conductivity of cast iron is just not that high.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 12:20AM
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One induction-ready cookware name I have not seen on this particular forum is Vollrath. It's a restaurant-supply company, and some--not all--of their cookware is induction-capable. It's pricey, and not particularly pretty, but appears to be designed for heavy use. Anyone have any experience with it?

Just got my GE induction range. My cast iron pans work well on it. The only other pieces of cookware I've purchased so far are a Tramontina 8 qt tri-ply stockpot (also works well) and a still-to-arrive induction-ready stainless steel version of the Whirley Pop popcorn popper. Am hunting for a teakettle--information on this website is voluminous, but very helpful, so thanks!

Finally, as I go about finding the right pots and pans, can I dispense with a double-boiler? Seems like it should be unnecessary since I can achieve the same result with a small saucepan and the 'melt' hob on low.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 1:57PM
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Has anyone tried All Clad Tri Ply stainless steel cookware on an induction cooktop? I am interested in getting these if they are any good.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 6:06PM
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My advise is save your money and buy the Sur La Table house brand. I have All Clad - not worth the money - doesn't cook evenly even now that I have gotten rid of the Viking induction cooktop and now have gas - still not good. The Demeyere set I have - pots and skillets work nicely but were very expensive - however my favorite go to is the cheaper Sur La Table piece I picked up because it was the perfect size - heats evenly on both induction and gas, stayed nice looking (4 years now) and is easy to handle.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:05PM
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