Induction Cookware Advice

FLsandytoesDecember 4, 2013

I need advice about induction cookers and aluminum.

We all know that aluminum conducts heat brilliantly. It is also known that induction cookers are capable of very low simmers, much more so than other hobs.

Generally, it is agreed that the thicker the aluminum, the better. Thicker means a sauce won't scorch, etc... But now I wonder; does it really matter on induction, given it's ability to 'go low'?

I recently scored 2 Mauviel M'Stone pieces, a stewpot and a saut� pan. Everything about them is impressive, but they're only what I consider average thickness, about 3mm. This is pretty close to the Circulon I've seen at Costco. By comparison, Kitchenaid Professional is 5.5mm thick.

So, for induction, is this of minor importance? I can't try the Mauviel for 2 reasons; 1) to return them, they've got to be unused and 2) I haven't got my induction range yet. The pans were a Black Friday deal ($110 combined) that was too good to pass up, because the current price at Cutlery and More for the same pans (the saut� is on sale) is $385. Mine don't have lids, oddly, but that's cheaply remedied.

So is this a thing, or not? Also, if you've cooked with the Kitchenaid anodized or Mauviel, how does it perform relative to other pans?

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Aluminum is not usable on induction; only ferrous metals can--steel or cast iron. If a magnet sticks to the pot, you can use it.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 2:17AM
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I'm sorry I didn't make it clear in my post; these pans have a thin steel disk embedded in the base. And yes, magnets stick.

My question was specifically about the thickness of the aluminum and how that might factor in with induction. Thickness matters on gas and radiant electric. I don't know how much it matters on induction.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 10:13PM
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A lot depends on what you plan to use them for. More aluminum mass creates nice even heat but also a small heat control lag. Probably not a problem so a very good choice for ordinary cooking. Should be fine.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 12:00PM
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Does anyone know of a good frittata pan for induction stoves?
Preferably one for an 8" pan.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 2:27PM
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Magafesa makes one. I've no idea what the quality is:

But... if you use Marcella Hazan's stovetop/broiler method, all you need is a nonstick skillet. A lid helps. There's no flipping involved and you avoid buying a pan that's only good for one thing. For that, my recommendation would be either a Henckels Spirit frypan or a Lodge cast iron or carbon steel pan.

My personal choice would be the carbon steel, because it's less fragile than nonstick and cast iron, but almost as nonstick as teflon. It also has a flared sidewall which makes it easier to slide food onto a plate. It does require seasoning (Lodge comes pre seasoned) but this can be done on your stovetop. Mine were seasoned on a radiant range, induction will work just as well.

I'd also note that my personal preference in carbon steel pans is deBuyer, from France.

BTW - I love Vollrath Optio lids. They're inexpensive but quite well made, feeling like a heavy quality item.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 9:43AM
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