Odd size pans and induction

needinfo1December 18, 2012

I was pretty much settled on gas but am now reading up on induction because, even though aesthetically I prefer the looks of a range, getting an induction cooktop might solve most of my problems for me. So, last night I got the magnet out and discovered nearly all of my cookware won't work on induction. I'd be okay with buying new, but I wonder about the availability of induction-ready pans in unusual sizes and configurations.

As some examples, I have a crepe pan with very low sides I use a lot (not for crepes, other things). I have another low-sided pan that is perhaps 10" to 12" square. I have an oval skillet that spans two burners. And, of course, I have a griddle. I also have a large and heavy enameled cast-iron dutch oven that has a very low lip around the bottom edges. Would this work with induction? How does one make gravy with the drippings from a large traditional speckled enamel roasting pan on induction?

I can easily find new cookware in the standard sizes and configurations. It is these oddball pieces I depend on that I wonder about being able to find. I've gotten used to some of these shapes and find them to be perfect for what I do.

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needinfo - the fastest way to find out what cookware is available is to do a search on "induction ready cookware" or "induction ready crepe pan". You'll find a host of pans that work on induction. I don't know if you can get exact matches to what you have, but you'll find out what there is so you can decide if you can live with it.

I have cast iron with a thin ridge on the bottom. My guess is that it raises the bottom of the pan about 1/8" from the surface. The pots works perfectly with our induction cooktop. We also have a cast iron griddle that we use across two hobs. The bottom is ridged, so not ideal for induction but it works. A perfectly flat surface works best, but induction is so fast that we can live with the loss of efficiency.

You can make gravy on induction if the pan is ferromagnetic. I've done it, although my best roasters aren't magnetic. I have one big roasting pan which will work on induction, so I use that if I want to deglaze over direct heat. Otherwise I scrape juices from the non-magnetic pans into a saucepan which can be used on the cooktop.

Hope that helps.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 12:00PM
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You can find all manner of odd size pans in induction suitable construction but finding specific replacements may take research and may be expensive. Here's some info that I gathered in my recent stove-buying expedition that may help you along with your research.

Induction suitable crepe pans are made by the likes of DeBuyer and maybe even Lodge. I saw recently that Lodge has now started selling some low sided carbon steel frying pans so they might have a crepe pan. French carbon steel crepe pans, IIRC, used to come with a beeswax coating but may still require seasoning. In the meantime, depending on what you cook in the crepe pan, and how hot you need it to get, you might be able to continue using your present crepe pan by getting an induction interface disk. Max Burton makes one that has been discussed here and was recently reviewed at Cooks Illustrated and can be had from numbers of stores including Chef's Catalog and Amazon. According to CI, the disk will work reasonably well for making things like pancackes where it will function rather like a pan on radiant-smoothtop electric stove. For the same reason, it seems to be less suitable for high heat applications. Here's a link to the CI write-up on the disk:


Spanning burners with large oval dutch ovens and rectangular griddles is sometimes feasible and sometimes not. I'm not familiar with cooktops, but I do know that the GE induction ranges (freestanding (PHB925 and PHB915, slide-in PHS925) have twin 8-inch burners on the left which GE told me can be spanned (and for which the equal sizing makes heat management pretty easy). Samsung's NE599NOPBSR and NE597NOPBSR freestanding induction ranges have twin rectangular burners which are specifically designed to be be linked for such purposes (Samsung calls this a "flex zone"). The other Samsung induction ranges and the Maytag, Kitchenaid, Whirlpool and Frigidaire induction ranges are not set-up in a way that permits spanning and I believe the manuals for some of them expressly forbid spanning/bridging.

With regard to cooktops, many of them have burner arrangements where it is not physically feasible to span burners with griddles or large dutch ovens. Several also forbid spanning. I have read that LG makes a cooktop that is designed with bridgeable elements and comes with its own griddle. And, of course, there are the newly available (new for the US, anyway) "zoneless" induction cooktops where bridging is not an issue because the cooktop sinply heats around whatever pan shape and size is place on it. I think there have been a couple of threads on them, or at least the one by Thermador. A search should turn them up.

The speckled "Graniteware" roasting pans that I've owned have been magnetic steel and will work on an induction burner. But, they are thin which means you have to be very watchful with heat management. Of course you must be watchful with such thin-steel pans on any other kind of stove, as well, but induction hobs bring the pans to heat so quickly that they can require additional vigilence.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Tue, Dec 18, 12 at 12:30

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 12:29PM
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In addition to the LG that JWVideo mentioned, there is also a Kitchenaid induction cooktop that has a "bridge burner" that links two burners. I have the Kitchenaid, and I've used the bridge burner to deglaze a roasting pan and also to cook with a SS fish poacher (the long oval kind you cook a whole fish in). I have been unable, however, to find a lightweight non-stick double burner griddle. I live in hope that someone will come out with one as induction becomes more common.

Induction is so wonderful that the lack of a pancake griddle (yet) bothers me not at all.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 7:51PM
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You are a wonderful source of help. Thanks. Now I can do some follow up.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 11:52PM
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Also consider induction with burners that handle multiple size pans on the same burner. That's one thing I overlooked when choosing ours, where I only own one pot and one pan that fit the largest burner.

I have an ancient Farberware pot of unknown age (it was old when purchased for a vacation home at garage sale 20+ years ago) that works on our induction. It is a thin steel, so I am careful with it and how I use it.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 6:32AM
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Cavimum--so I think you are trying to tell me to make sure I would be able to use any size pan on the burners. Correct?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 2:10PM
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needinfo - I think Cavimum may be referring to the multi-size hob on the Thermador cooktop (we both have this). The largest hob has 3 rings, so you can put 3 different sizes on it and draw 3 different power levels. It offers flexibility over a single hob which needs a minimum pot size.

In practice I have found that I can use various shapes and sizes on the cooktop. I have a number of oval pots, as well as couple of rectangular ones. As long as I cover most of the marked hob, it will heat. The only problem is if the pot is a lot smaller than the ring. In that case, the hob will not heat up.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 3:09PM
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Yes, and yes to @needinfo and @jadeite. We have the 30" cooktop and the larger burners won't recognize a smaller pot.

The Thermador 36" cook top has 3 rings on the largest hob/burner, so it is a multi-size hob/burner. I didn't have room for a 36" cooktop with our remodel. The Bosch has "pot sense" even on their hob/burners, and I think (stress 'think',,, check the web site) 30" has pot sense as well as 36". It's a nice feature if you use a lot of pots at one time.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 5:46PM
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