Cookware and stovetops compatibility...need help

mominator61January 28, 2013

I am frustrated over cookware incompatibility with stovetops, and with manufacturers of both! In 2008, and after much research, I finally replaced my old cookware with All Clad Copper Core. Today I read that All Clad Copper Core made before 2009 may not work on induction stoves? We are going to remodel our kitchen and I am trying to select the best stovetop for my cookware. Also in 2008 I purchased a beautiful copper pasta pot by Mauviel/Williams-Sonoma, and I have hated my copper pot for 4 years because it takes nearly an hour to boil water! I have a JennAir radiant heat stove, and my understanding is that copper should work on it! Also in my arsenal are a few Lodgeware cast iron pans, and a couple of Le Creuset enameled cast iron pots. I have to say the iron pots and pans are my absolute favorite! So now the question is...what type of stove should I put in my new kitchen/remodel? I also have a cast iron griddle that I love to cook all sandwiches and pancakes on, and of course glass-top manufacturers will recommend not using my favorite cookware on their precious stove tops. We do not have natural gas available, but it would be possible to install a propane tank on our property and purchase some type of propane gas stove - not my first choice. I have looked at the Electrolux hybrid stovetop thinking two of those burners might actually heat the water in my expensive copper pot, but now I'm even wondering if my All-Clad Copper Core will work on the induction! And with my love of cast iron, I will be using those on any glass stovetop (as I do now, on my old JennAir). I've also thought of selling my copper pot and eliminating that item from the dilemma. It seems a propane gas stove would work on all: Copper, All-Clad copper core, cast iron. Does anyone have any thoughts or insight on this? I would so appreciate some input! :-D Thx.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mominator - love your name..

Do a simple test.. use a magnet on your favorite pans. It they stick then you can use induction. I have all clad from 2006 and they work fine on the induction. I prefer induction as the cooktop does not get hot but the pot does. Love the ease of cleanup. There is no restriction on using iron. I have old cast iron that I use all the time.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Use the copper pot for decoration. And yes--get induction, especially if you like cast iron. You can use cast iron on anything. Just don't drag it across the cooktop.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

GWlolo and fori:

Thank you for your input! I'll do the magnet test for sure, and, sigh, will polish and place my copper pot for viewing only, lol. I see a pretty bouquet popping out of it... Thx both of you for the encouragement on induction! I've been pretty unhappy with the old JennAir, so am hoping for a really great improvement!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 5:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

That's the spirit!

(I wonder why your copper pot was so unresponsive though. Weird!)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 5:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

fori, IDK...I am so DISenchanted with copper that I will never recommend it to anyone! I had read so much good about the heat conductivity and pleasure of cooking with it. :-/ When I discovered last night that my pot actually is stamped "Williams-Sonoma" and not Mauviel...and yet my receipt reads Mauviel - after reading that it could be of lesser quality because it is made for W-S, I wondered if that was the reason. Well, it doesn't matter anymore. For $410 it has been the biggest disappointment in my kitchen! But you did give me a really great idea, because yesterday I bought a huge dried flower bouquet and once home discovered it is too wide to fit into any of my vases! I was going to shop for a larger vase this afternoon...but now I am going to plop that sucker in my copper pot and see how it looks! If it works, I'll polish my pot and post a picture! :-)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would recommend getting an inexpensive induction burner, that's what we did. It was under $80 and experiencing it completely sold me on induction.

I bought this one on Amazon:

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not all cast iron (enameled or plain) pans will work on induction. Shocked by that?

It's true, though. CI pans or pots or griddles which do not have a perfectly flat bottom will not work well, no matter that the material itself is highly magnetic. Cast iron can get warped. But the biggest problems are cast iron pans that have little rings or ridges on the bottom. My fave 7" CI egg skillet has a ring and while it will eventually heat up, the ring interupts the close contact needed for good heating. Some older European enameled cast iron pans also have ridges. Some large CI grill pans and griddles also have ridges underneath.

Find some place with an installed induction set up and take your pans to test, if in doubt.

All my 1994-2003 SS All-Clad work. AC made a cheaper line of big pots c 2004-ish (sort of pasta boiler and stock pot size) that doesn't work, even though they are SS clad. Just not enough magnet-friendly iron in the layers, I guess.

My most-used AC SS-clad skillet works but the nearly two decades of hard use over high heat on a pro-range have caused it to be slightly warped which makes for less than optimal contact.

Not all "magnetizable" pans work well, as some have only a weak attraction. And defintitely not all SS pans work.

Propane works with everything, including glass (Pyrex, Chemex), Corningware (cornflower blue) all metals, all cladding, clay pots, aluminum pressure canners, my ridged bottom Presto pressure cookers, my copper preserving pan, my non-ferrous poultry and meat roasters that I make gravy in after removing the meat, etc. Which is one of the reasons I like it, a lot. Even though there are some things inductions does pretty well. I wouldn't want to go induction-only though. I want both high-BTU propane burners and induction!

However, we now get a good whack of our electricity from solar panels, and I am increasingly troubled by the environmental consequences of cheap fracked gas, so I am pondering how to design my kitchen to shift a lot of my cooking to induction.

BTW, for inexpensive, very induction-friendly cookware try's Tramontina Triply. Dead ringers for AC at a tiny fraction of the price.

I wouldn't buy a stove to match your cookware, I'd buy the cookware to work on the stove, even if itmeans changing some out.



    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with liriodendron. Cookware should not be a deterrent to the wonderfulness that is induction cooking. You can get lots of nice, affordable induction capable pots at Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning, Walmart (aforementioned Tramontina) and BB&B. As was pointed out in an earlier thread on Appliances, Induction Rocks!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kailuamom (one of my favorite places, btw!), that is really excellent advice, and thank you because I didn't know a portable induction burner existed! I will definitely try this one out and give induction burners a test drive with my current equipment. Thank you!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 4:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi liriodendron, that was a lot of information there! Are your All Clad pieces copper-core? I did the ruler-test on the bottom of a few of my pans today, and sadly my Mauviel/WS Copper Pot was the worst! (Perhaps that pot will only ever work well on a flame.) The All Clad SS pot also showed light under the ruler. The Lodgeware CI was the best, and I didn't get a chance to test my L/C Enameled CI. I looked at rings and markings on the bottom of the pans, and they all seem to have some, although none seem too large. I think kailuamom's idea to test drive an induction burner is the way to go, and with the exception of the larger pans (which won't fit on the burner) I should be able to get a good idea which of my pans will function well. Thank you for your help!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is stainless steel AC copper-cored? Mine don't have any copper trim bands, just SS inside and out with "something" inside them - I never gave it much thought, I guess. In the "old days" the only AC styles I was aware of were the SS and ones with an anodized black coating on the exterior similar to Calphalon, which was at the time the much-promoted "high-end" brand. Mine are shiny SS inside and out, well, except for one square grill pan with rounded ridges on the bottom, which has to be the most useless pan I've ever owned. My DH bought it for me as a gift so I can't really get rid of it. It doesn't work on induction, but then since it's such a stupid, useless pan in general it's hard to tell the difference between using it on high BTU gas (where it certainly ought to work) and induction (where it can't work). But I digress....

Re portable induction units: they can be had at Target/Wal-Mart for less $100, but with a caveat - those are generally not very powerful so some pots that don't work on them may be OK on a regular induction cooktop. There are many other portable models available ranging up to about $500. My own, a Viking, has been very satisfactory and gotten hard use as we are using it as the main (only) burner during our marathon reno, now going on for more almost five years. I think it had an MSRP of @$400, but I got it on sale locally for about $275-300, I think. I've had it since 2009.

I'll add a link below to the induction burner that I use. My SIL has a cheaper one (no idea which brand) and she is not very happy with it. I especially like the control knob and the size on the Viking. I am not suggesting you buy it from Amazon, just using them as an exmaple of what mine looks like.

I see in some of the Amazon reviews of my unit that some are saying that Le Creuset doesn't work on it. That is not my experience, though I use quite old LC (My Mother's from the '60s) with completely smooth bottoms. It's possible newer ones have little rings on them. What happens when there's a ring is that the pan is raised far enough away from the unit that the cooker can not sense a pot and won't turn on. (That's why my fave little fried egg skillet doesn't work. Its ring is about 1/8" high.) A lot of my pots are still packed up, but I regularly use a variety of LC-style knock offs on the induction (Martha Stewart, and no name ones, and assorted old ones I inherited).

I only own one Lodge CI pan as I simply loathe them, though I am very happy with my other cast iron pans. My DH adores food with stripes so I finally gave in and bought the Lodge ridged grill pan. The pan is OK, if somewhat crudely made. But the foul "non-stick" coating that they put on to try and make the rough surface workable, is awful. But it makes lovely stripes - my DH would probably eat sheetrock if I put grill marks on it.

Customer service at Lodge told me the coating can be removed and the pan ground down and re-surfaced to make it smoother, but that's a big project which hasn't gotten on my to-do list, yet.

If you do decide to jump completely on the induction band wagon and get an induction cooktop or range, I suggest you enlarge your stock of vintage cast iron pans, which are often very cheap and much nicer and lighter than Lodge. My old Griswold and Wagner cast iron shillets and dutch ovens (most about 100 years old) work like gangbusters on induction.

Many manufacturers are now making induction, or all-cooking methods, cookware now, so it's not hard to find what you want. And you can always ask on cooking forums if a brand you are considering will work on induction. Induction is common-enough now so that people will be able to tell you readily.

I am not not entirely converted to induction - still on the fence with it and I am certainly not ready to switch completely. I still really prefer cooking with gas. I think people who are presently using electric coil, electric radiant and smooth glass cooktops will find induction much, much, better. As will people who are presently using ordininary gas ranges. But if you've gotten used to a high BTU gas range, you're kind of spoiled. Plus gas works even when there's a power outage, which is a big deal for me.

My gas range will probably outlast me so it's a moot question. But I am planning on integrating some induction capacity into my ever-evolving kitchen plans. There was a neat picture posted this weekend that showed a small portable cooker mounted in a drawer that was pulled-out to use. That particular burner turned out to be radiant electric (not induction) so it had a lot of safety concerns, but as a storage position for the Viking unit, it offered lots of possibilities. I was very intrigued



Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Viking Induction Unit on Amazon

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You know, you can buy brand new Wagner cast iron pans. I have posted this link before, but I haven't actually bought one. Maybe I will pull the trigger and get one!

Also, don't neglect the possibility of a carbon steel pan. Most of the nice properties of cast iron, but lighter.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wagner Ware (New!)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Nothing wrong with the new Lodge--just takes much longer to season and they weigh more. Lots more. And longer.

But certainly not as nice as a 1920s Wagnerware Drip-Drop Roaster on a 2010s Windcrest induction top-

Outlets be damned--they work without being attached!

I miss my ex-kitchen! :)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Liriodendron, Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your last post. Not long after - we began tearing the kitchen out, and took down a wall, and the upheaval along with work, I have been burning the candle at both ends!

To answer your question, no - not all All Clad has a copper core. The pans I bought in 2008 are specifically "copper core" and cost a bit more than the others, and yes they have an exterior copper band, just for looks.

Thanks again for all the info. I agree - those coming from other electric sources will be thrilled with Induction - as I am!
I had natural gas for about 5 years in a previous home so understand the love of it.
I bought the Burton induction burner that Kailuamom mentioned, and am thrilled with the heating performance! Just in the nick of time, too, since hubby pulled the old stove out.

Also, I ordered the Electrolux Induction Burner, Double Oven, Slide in Range. I'm crossing my fingers that I don't get a lemon - such mixed reviews! When it works - people love it. For the first time in my life, I bought a service contract.

Angie_DYI - thanks for the link on the Wagner, those look very nice! I had never heard of them. I might be interested in purchasing one after my kitchen is done being remodeled.

Thanks all for your input!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 10:58AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Banquette as only dining area?
I apologize for starting a banquette thread again but...
Any reason a DW couldn't go next to a fridge?
We need to pull the trigger on our cabinets next week,...
Ikea Cabinets & Butcherblock - Quality?
We're about 95% sure we're replacing our cabinets....
Resurrecting kitchen project Part II
My husband’s kitchen deadline is still May, but it...
Bungalow galley kitchen layout
Hello GW'ers! I'm new to the forum and have been so...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™