Induction - here's what I have.. what do I need?

mysterymachineSeptember 28, 2007

As part of my remodel I am switching to an induction cooktop and therefore need to get all new cookware (which makes me happy). I want to be kind of a "minimalist" as I am tired of having tons of pans that rarely get used. Previously I frequently got those generic sets for christmas which gave me way more stock pots and frying pans and nothing specialized (I can hear people thinking already... "he loves cooking and got a new kitchen, I know for christmas I'll go to costco and get him a nice new combo set of cookware for $40".. maybe I better call all relatives in advance and tell them "NO cookware")

Anyway, here is what I have purchased...

- Kenmore professional stainless set (got 1/2 price!) including "1.5 qt. & 2.5 qt. saucepans with stainless steel lids, 3 qt. saute pan with helper handle and stainless steel lid, and a 6 qt. stockpot with stainless steel lid"

- Demeyere ControlInduc fry pan (9.5 or 10".. something like that) for eggs and other "sticky things".. wow it was expensive - I hope if lives up to the hype :)

Here is something I plan on buying (let me know if bad idea):

- Lodge cast iron grilling fry pan (fry pan with the grooves in it for meat)

So.. I know I want a wok any advice? (would like nonstick unless people convince me don't need non-stick for a wok.. haven't done stirfry before so have no experience - previous kitchen setup did not have good enough ventilation or cooktop for it).

Finally - what more do I need? I'd like to add a couple peices to this list.

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I'm not an induction expert, but I do have experience with cast iron on an induction hob: it works GREAT. I have used both enameled cast iron (Le Creuset and a knockoff) and 'raw' cast iron.

As long as a magnet sticks to it, the stainless should work fine. (Just checked online, and the Kenmore stainless claims to be induction capable.) Many European lines such as Demeyere work fine (induction is a lot more common over there than in the USA--energy costs more there, and induction is a very energy efficient cooking process).

Another item I use is a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker. If your induction cooktop will have a timer function, you could almost 'set it and forget it' as that annoying Ron Popeil infomercial says.

As far as a wok, ya got me there. Since induction works by the proximity of a pan to the hob, I don't know if a flared wok would work well on a flat induction hob--dunno if enough iron atoms in the pan would be close enough to the induction element to induce heat. They do make induction hobs specifically for wokking.

Have any of you wokkers out there used a round bottom wok on an induction hob? How 'bout a flat bottom wok?

About nonstick for wok: there is a controversy about non-stick. What I gather is that it's fine for low temp cooking, but there is some question of its safety at high temps. And if you're not getting the wok to high temps, you're really not stir-frying, you're steaming, and you might as well use some other implement other than a wok.

Even though it wouldn't be look traditional, you might try stir frying with cast iron. Cast iron would certainly get quite hot on an induction hob of sufficient wattage.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 2:20PM
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Cool thanks for the tips.. I will look into a pressure cooker. I see demeyere has added a wok to their control-induc line but I have not seen it anywhere or heard reviews (and its really really expensive).

Well stir frying with the cast iron would give my arm a workout ... I was wondering the same thing as you if woks work well with induction. I'll go ask on the kitchen forum - there are a lot of induction worshippers there :)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 8:52PM
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If you're considering a pressure cooker, do a search on this forum and on Cooking forum for'll find a lot of PC enthusiasts including me who are sold on them.

I never had one till a few years ago, but these new ones now are fantastic, allowing you to cook comfort foods like pot roasts or chili in a fraction of the time.

If you watch the Food network: I noticed Alton Brown uses one to make chili (looked like the brand was Fagor), and I noticed somebody on Iron Chef use a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker. Kuhn Rikon makes pc's in a huge range of sizes, but they're a tad pricey.

Check out the link for more PC info. And any of Lorna Sass's pressure cooking cookbooks (especially her last one, "Pressure Perfect") are excellent resources.

Here is a link that might be useful: miss vickie

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 8:27AM
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I can't help with induction, since I've never used it, but I can comment on woks because I do quite a bit of stir-frying. I used to swear by my Farberware non-stick wok, but after getting a BlueStar gas rangetop in my new kitchen, I decided I'd try a "real" Chinese wok, and got a carbon steel one on eBay. To my delight, after seasoning it, I discovered that it really is non-stick (well, occasionally, a bit does stick here and there, but it's rare). I can heat to a far higher temperature than I'd want to heat the non-stick version, and it cleans up easily with hot water and just a dab of detergent. Carbon steel is magnetic, and a flat-bottomed wok would sit on the cooktop surface, so that would work with induction, but would more than just the bottom of the wok get hot? With my BlueStar, I remove the burner grate and the wok sits down in the flames so both the bottom and the sides get heated. The induction units designed for stir-frying that I've seen are bowl-shaped to accomodate a wok, so I've just assumed that's what one needed, but I don't know. ---Margaret

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 8:09PM
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For sure you don't want a non-stick wok! Wok cooking depends on a blazing hot wok a little bit of oil and quickly cooked foods. Non stick will emit dangerous fumes if you heat it to blazing hot.
Get one of those cheap spun steel ones or a chinese castr iron one. Either way shouldn't cost more than about $40...if that.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 5:55PM
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Cooks Illustrated (I believe) recommends a good stainless flat-bottomed fry pan for most wok cooking, unless you have gas. It may 'look' and 'feel' odd to stir fry in a flat pan, but it aqpparently works very well. A wok would not get real hot on induction, unless it is an induion wok burner and matching wok.

As to other pans to get, I would get a regular cast iron fry pan. Beyond that, I think a lot depends upon what you cook. Get a little pad and store near the cooktop. As you cook, jot down notes about what you feel like you miss, and review then purchase after a few months.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 10:58AM
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My neighbor had a cook top like that and the heat didnt transfer well into her cast iron. Also I have a cast iron wok and they are NOT the best. A wok needs to be thin, unfortunatly aluminum Or thin stainless is the best for the heat to totally heat the pan. Cast Iron is much to heavy for the pan to heat uniformally. I have a gas stove and the wok doesnt work well on gas either. I love my Cast Iron pans but the wok isnt one I use much.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 2:00PM
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myterymachine, what is your opinion about the ControlInduc pan you have?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 11:53PM
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I tried using a flat bottomed carbon steel wok on my smooth-top electric stove. After a few uses, the pan warped, no longer sat flat and rocked on the burner. Also it tended to make the burner cycle on and off a lot. Finally, one day I took the pan to my mother's and used it on her gas stove. I burned the heck out of it and threw it away.

Though I think woks are interesting, the food tastes no different than if I use my 12" skillet to cook it. I am done with woks.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 8:42AM
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Fori is not pleased

I have a really cheap cast iron pot shaped in such a way that it could almost qualify as a flat-bottomed wok. It's not awful as a wok on induction. Not quite right, but good enough for most stirfrying--but only for small amounts.

It doesn't heat evenly unless it's preheated, but if you like to shove cooked stuff up the side to add more stuff, it's good to have a cool spot, if that makes any sense...

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 12:05AM
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Anyone (hint, hint Mysterymachine) have any experience with Demeyere ControlInduc? I see a sale but notice a Demeyere disclaimer: induction hobs must specifically state that they are compatible with Demeyere Controlinduc® cookware to be compatible hobs. I wonder what that really means?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 3:35PM
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