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Induction cooktop question

Posted by gitananoel (My Page) on
Mon, May 12, 08 at 14:50

Do i need special cookware to use on top of an induction cooktop?
If so what do I buy?
I am still trying to decide either induction or gas.
Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Induction cooktop question

You will need cookware which is magnetic. You can check what you have by taking any magnet (including a refrigerator magnet) and holding it to the bottom of a pan. If the magnet sticks, the pan will work.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

This site has tons of info. Cookware link in the orange area down the page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Induction Site


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Buy gas, you will be much happier.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

For over 95% of cooking and cleaning associated with cooking, gas is quite inferior to top drawer induction. Cleaning the top of an induction cooktop takes 1/10th to 1/50th of the time of gas. Induction pans don't get gas scorch marks, which requires plenty of cleaning in itself. It bopils and cooks faster. It simmers better in general. With good induction pans and pots there is generally no warping. My All-Clads have warped on gas and never have warped oninduction.

Yes, you don't get a long gas burner for grilling. But I grill outside.

If you have the budget and room get a3 or 4 burner induction, a gas grill hob, and either an induction or gas wok hob.

Greg


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Take a look at Henckels cookware. Best handle in the industry in my opinion. Also great looking and moderately priced. cast iron works well with induction. Use a thin silicone pad under you cast iron to reduce the chance of scratching your top. The thinner the better for the pad. I know we have an induction basher on here but I have sold well over 200 indution tops of the last 4 years and have had very few problems and the ones we have had have been fixed in a couple of days.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

The inexpensive KitchenAid brushed stainles (or aluminum?) pots and pans set works well on induction. It's a handsome set with glass tops and silicone on the handles. A sales person told me some of the All-Clad does not work. You have to check before you buy.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

The cookware itself doesn't have to be magnetic, but a magnet needs to stick strongly to the bottom of it.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Ok not magnetic but the magnet has to stick strongly to it? Ok tell me why you would not consider it magnetic if a magnet strongly sticks to it?


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RE: Induction cooktop question

If a magnet sticks to a pan then you want to call the pan magnetic? (Then the magnet is really "magnetic magnetic"? Or some other weird nomenclature.) Try pinning that "magnetic pan" to the front of a fridge where you have all those little non-paper "post-its" - you're not going to notice any magnetic field.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Induction works by an electromagnetic coil in the hob inducing movement of iron atoms in the pot, thereby generating heat; hence it only works on iron alloys like steel which contain a lot of iron.

Many lines of cookware will specify whether or not it works on induction, but you can easily figure out which ones won't work. Aluminum (Calphalon, Magnalite), Copper (Falk), other non ferrous alloys just won't work.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Despite all steel having iron, not all steel is magnetic. So you still have to check.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

I love induction and would never go back to gas if you paid me. I had a brief adjustment period, but after recently trying to cook on my sister's DCS gas cooktop, I can confidently say that induction is far superior. It's more efficient, elegant, and just a better technology vs. heating your food with a flame.

The other advantages to induction are: no combustion byproducts, no wasted heat, lower CFM fan hood requirements, no potential gas leaks, and extremely fast heat-up times. The only downsides I can see are that you need to use ferrous cookware, can't cook during a power outage, and with the exception of the Viking unit, controls are touch digital which may turn off more traditional cooks. None of those are major issues for me, but my friend from San Francisco had a heck of a time adjusting to digital touch controls from the analog knobs she was used to back home.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Re: The other advantages to induction are: no combustion byproducts, no wasted heat, lower CFM fan hood requirements, no potential gas leaks, and extremely fast heat-up times.

Having induction and gas in my kitchen, I have to disagree with a couple of points here.

Carbon dioxide is almost the only combustion by-product of burning gas, and it is a naturally occurring gas. If it were truly dangerous to use gas in home cooking, would it be legal?

Wasted heat is largely-true, but sending electricity through the power grid wastes a lot of electricity (i.e. energy) as well.

Hood requirements are the same for induction as for gas. The hood system is NOT there to get rid of heat. It is there to get rid of grease (primarily), smoke, odors, moisture, etc.-not heat. If you saute some salmon with induction and with gas, you make the same amount of fishy odor. Make french fries, again, the same amount of grease is put into the air.

Potential gas leaks, faster heat-up times, and cannot cook during power outage-all true.

However, induction does somewhat limit your selection of pans, and has a lower recovery time-the time that it takes a pan to get back to temperature after food has hit the pan. Longer recovery times means food (if being sauted, fried, etc.) has more chance to soak-up fats. It is also much more complex than gas (my induction top has two large circuit boards), meaning it is likely to be less reliable than gas.

Each has advantages and disadvantages.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Just because no government agency regulates household indoor air pollution doesn't mean there isn't any.

How can it be that burning gas inside the living space of your home would not increase the amount of ventilation needed? Natural gas contains contaminants that can cause problems in themselves or may further react. Even if the gas were completely pure, complete combustion is a theoretical goal, not a real-life achievement. Aside from unburned gas (methane), carbon monoxide, ketones, ketenes, and aldehydes are produced. While the amounts are most likely small (unless the burner is really messed up -- but how often are burners checked?) they certainly aren't good for us. And even under the best conditions, oxygen is consumed and water vapor produced. Personally, I want a lot more ventilation (external ventilation at that) for cooking with gas than for cooking the same things with electricity. And I'd use it any time gas was burning, even when simmering or baking.

On the subject of recovery, how can it be that a system that operates by generating heat directly in the pan is slower than one that has to first increase fluid flow to the flame and then transfer heat from the flame to the pan?


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RE: Induction cooktop question

On the subject of recovery, how can it be that a system that operates by generating heat directly in the pan is slower than one that has to first increase fluid flow to the flame and then transfer heat from the flame to the pan?

Simple but not obvious. A gas flame runs around 3,000 F. Induction for cooking heats the pan no hotter than several hundred degrees, say maybe 500-600 F. The larger the difference in temperatures, the faster the heat transfer. There are induction furnaces that are used to melt steel, but they are generally not used for cooking!


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RE: Induction cooktop question

I guess I'm one of the few that *HATES* cooking with gas. I personally find them dirty, slow, ugly, smelly, and a nightmarish experience with a supposedly high-end range recently has turned me off on gas for a LONG TIME. The honest truth, as has been pointed out many times, is that electric cooking isn't as bad as some make it out to be. Electric ranges have come a long way in the past ten years... Gas is overhyped IMO.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Recovery is proportional to the rate of heat input into the pan. The fact that the gas flame temperature is higher than induction hobs normally heat pans is not the relevant measure. If true, a candle would beat induction.

The relevant measure is the actual power flux into the pan from either approach. cpovey's experience may be that gas is faster, and I have no intention of arguing with the experience of a real cook. I will take exception to the explanation, though.

I do wonder, however, what the gas hob BTU rating was and the induction hob wattage rating was that cpovey compared. A 3500W induction hob is rated by Cooktek as equivalent to a 30 kBTU/hr gas hob, or somewhat less BTU at the Induction Site. (It depends on assumptions about gas flame losses.) Both of these BTU ratings are higher than typical gas ranges provide. Alternatively, a modest 1200W induction hob might well be outgunned by an 18 kBTU/hr Bluestar or similar hob.

kas


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RE: Induction cooktop question

I have a 3500 Watt CookTek and a Bluestar with a 22 K burner.

Discussion point: While my Cooktek is a lot faster than the Bluestar in heating water (more than twice as fast, in fact), the Bluestar returns to the boil almost if not faster than the Cooktek does, after past or other food is added to the water.

I am not an engineer, nor am I trained in thermodynamics However, it seems to me that induction tops are limited in power output somehow. Induction heating is used to melt steel. Yet, my 3500 watt Cooktek seems to have some limit in it, for if I put a small ferrous object on the cooktop, it never even comes close to becoming melting, yet I can make steel objects become dull orange in a burner.

If someone can explain this, I would appreciate it.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Ah. I think I see what the issue is. Here is my conjecture.

The Cooktek, and other induction cooktops, can be expected to limit the temperature of the bottom surface of the pan. This is why it won't slag a small piece of steel. (If it were allowed to, the cooktop surface would deteriorate quickly.) The Bluestar has no such limitation on temperature, it will happily heat an empty pan to flame temperature if allowed. Because there is some thermal resistance between the outer surface and the inner surface of the induction capable pan, really high induction power will heat the outer surface too quickly and induce some power throttling.

The limits on induction power applied to the pan thus will be a function of the pan's conductivity from outside to the interior water and pasta, as well as its magnetic susceptibility. (An eddy current heating design applied to a water filled copper pan would allow a higher heat loading, methinks.)

So my apologies, cpovey. Rereading your statement a few messages up, I see that I can interpret your statement to be mostly consistent with my conjecture. However, I doubt that in cooking pasta with a gas flame, the outer pan surface actually reaches the flame temperature. It may reach more or less the temperature achieved with the Cooktek, thus your observed "almost if not faster" observation.

The missing link here is that if the Cooktek is twice as fast to boiling temperature (well below the induction temperature limit of 500 - 600 F you suggest), one would expect that boiling recovery of what must be only a few degrees of temperature difference would behave in the same proportion. That is, the gas flame would not dominate until the experiment is done at a temperature closer to 500 - 600 F. I wonder if the Cooktek is allowed to heat the pan that high. I thought oils would start to break down in the vicinity of 300 F.

kas


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RE: Induction cooktop question

OK let me give another pint of view. The flame at the tip is very hot but it is just at the flame tips. So gas depends on the appliance to spread the heat out along the pan bottom. So if the food is near the center and the flame is at the center you get a fast heat up of the food. So if it is sauces and liquids induction heats the whole pan evenly with power not just the center or outside of the pan as gas would.

To summarize it is impingment on the pan with gas and whole pan heating with induction.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

I just posted a new thread...I am so confused. We had a Wolf range top when we had natural gas, but now that we are on propane, induction makes the most sense. But, I don't want to be lacking in power...Is a saut a problem?


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Paso, I've never cooked with a Bluestar or a 22000 BTU burner, but I do have a DCS range with 15000 BTU burners and 18000 BTU grill and my 1800 watt portable cooktek is superior in every way (except for satisfying the primal desire and romantic elements of cooking with fire, which seems to be a manly thing, DH wants a Wolf...I told him he could get a bigger outdoor grill if I got my induction). The Diva is one powerful cooktop but if you need more, Gaggenau has a boost to 4400 kW.

Besides the high power output, induction offers other advantages over gas such as no hot spots (it heats incredibly evenly) and this is especially useful at low temperatures, where it really shines. I think in a perfect world, having both gas and induction is the way to go, but since my kitchen isn't large enough to support both, I'm going with induction inside and gas outside.

If you have more money than you know what to do with, I read that Molteni can make you a hybrid range that has gas and induction burners. Good Luck.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Ok, so the Diva boils water very fast and the recovery is good. What about sauteing...will we have enough power at 3600w?


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Q: why would you want to melt steel in your kitchen?

"If it were truly dangerous to use gas in home cooking, would it be legal?"

Yes. You can put an open charcoal barbeque grill in you kitchen if you want, but you'll be dead by next day.

There are induction-capable pans out there that are not all steel/iron. I own some fry pans that are aluminum non-stick which have (essentially) a slug of iron formed in the bottom.

There is a good presentation about induction cooktops on the GE appliance website. Its a video so you might have to look around a bit to find it.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

The simple answer is that the saucepans etc need to have a ferrous base to them - that is a magnet should stick to them. For a brand by nrand summary and more background info take a look at this site - http://www.induction-cooktop.com - they have a couple of pages about cookware materials and brands

Here is a link that might be useful: induction-cooktop.com


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RE: Induction cooktop question

On the question about sauteing with 3600 WATTS is it enough power. Let me ask the questions another way is a 25,000 btu gas burner enough for sauteing? because that is the conservative equivalent of the power on the Diva center zone. If a Wolf,Viking,DCS,Blue Star or any other of the high powered ranges have enough power than the 3600 watt induction zone will have that and then some.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

One thing I noticed when cooking pasta on a regular coil-type electric element is that the return to boiling is faster than with gas and slightly faster than with induction. I think that it has to do with the amount of heat in the mass of the surface unit that serves as a heat sink to augment the input wattage because the element contains more heat than can be absorbed by the pan. When the addition of the pasta cools the water below the boiling point, the reservoir of heat in the element, especially if you are using a flat-bottom pan, quickly moves from a place of more heat to a place of less heat to speed the return to boiling. The amount of heat in the mass of the element operating on its highest input setting is far greater than the heat that can be stored in the bottom of a pan so the gas and induction methods rely solely on the energy going into or being generated within the pan to return the water to boiling without the reserve of heat in the electric element. The induction unit's efficiency and power are the reason it is only slightly slower than a coil-type electric element at this task.

Another difference between gas and electric cooking when boiling pasta is that over a gas burner, the water boils up from the side toward the center while with electric elements, including induction, the boiling is more across the bottom and usually gives a pattern of boiling from the middle of the pan toward the outside because the heat is going into the bottom of the pan, not moving across the bottom and up the side. You can check this by heating a pan of water using electricity and gas. While the pan is heating, hold your hands close to the side of the pan, palms down and note the difference in the amount of heat coming up the side of the pan.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Are we still have discussions about induction? I have an observation: induction cooking does not mess up my wall cabinets as much as gas cooking did. The yellow greasy spatters that happen are concentrated much lower down, on my backsplash about 12" high and there doesn't seem to be any buildup on my hood. With gas, my hood would routinely need to be "de-greased".

I can only surmise the reason: Without the gas/heat rising there is nothing to carry the grease upwards. Not only is the cooktop easier to clean, but the backsplash and uppers are cleaner too.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Tomato, you've got to be kidding about coil being faster to reboil than induction. I've had both, induction is WAY faster. Instant full heat to the bottom of the pan unlike the coil which itself has to be reheated and runs at a much lower power equivalent.


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RE: Induction cooktop question 2

PS. When I throw the pasta in I have to turn down my induction. High is just for getting the water to boil very fast. One would never cook on that setting. About 75% is all you ever need on rare occasions, average is about 50-60%. My highest burner is equivalent to a 25,000 BTU gas burner. No coil can come close.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

I agree with the last 2 statements. Place pasta in and start to reduce heat. Even 50% is high once the pasta gets heat and things settle down.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Don't rely on Cooktek induction hobs to limit pan temperature. Their temperature measuring system works very poorly and they will overshoot by a lot. You really need to keep an eye on them because they are so fast. If you're heating a pan on high power don't leave it alone for more than 30 sec or so unless it's full of water.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Glad you resurrected this thread.

The observation made by lightlystarched Aug 22nd confirms what range hood salespeople have been telling me. Their explanation why I won't need the most powerful blower with induction cooking is that it produces less heat, less hot air. It is more efficient.

Quoting lightlystarched: "...induction cooking does not mess up my wall cabinets as much as gas cooking did. The yellow greasy spatters that happen are concentrated much lower down, on my backsplash about 12" high and there doesn't seem to be any buildup on my hood. With gas, my hood would routinely need to be "de-greased".
"I can only surmise the reason: Without the gas/heat rising there is nothing to carry the grease upwards. Not only is the cooktop easier to clean, but the backsplash and uppers are cleaner too. ..."

In November and December here in Gardenweb whenever I have mentioned this supposed fact in other threads I receive responses saying to me Umm_No,_All_ Cooking_Requires_the_Same_CFM.

Please note.

I hope I haven't started anything that I'll live to regret later. It's just that I need to buy a remote inline blower real soon now and I have to reckon with all the variables and figure out how much power will be enough. It's good to know that induction produces the least waste heat and that some people signed in here can point out the Huge difference it seems to have made.

-david


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RE: Induction cooktop question

The evidence is incontrovertible that induction cooking causes rising effluent just as gas cooking does. The flow rates, velocities, and spreading angles may be different, but the flow is still there. Please review the following paper that should still be available on the web somewhere:

Thermal plumes of kitchen appliances: Part 2 Cooking mode, Kosonen Risto, Koskela Hannu, and Saarinen Pekka.

(Note: If you want to evaluate equation 1 for your own situation, the constant should be 0.05, not 5, and the power "phi" should be in kW not watts. As written, their equation does not agree with their plotted data.)

kas

Here is a link that might be useful: thermal plume reference


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Any type of cooking causes effluent from the substance being heated. But gas has its own effluent plus the effluent of the heated substance, while induction just has the the heated substance effluent.

Basically what the paper states is that it is wise to have an air suction method to get rid of all effluent while cooking.

Greg


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Sorry if this is a dead horse, but I would like to beat it again..............

What an awful analogy... anyways....

getting ready for a new build. Researching this and that. Thinking if I found some bargains on things I know I need, I could go ahead and make a few purchases.

Which led me to stoves, which led me to induction, which by the way I had never heard of before.

I don't do a whole lot of cooking. But I am trying to do better. So I bought a nice set of pots and pans, well nice for someone that doesn't cook. It was over $700 but I got it for half price.

It did not pass the magnet test.

So on top of the price of the stove, will have to invest in new pots and pans. Which for the cooking that I do, I now have plenty.

So just wondering if it is worth it. Every little bit adds up, a few hundred here, few hundred there....

So just wondering anyone's opinion that has lived with it for any awhile now, was it worth it for the amount of cooking that you do, etc.

I think my other choice would be electric. I am not worried too much about cooking if the power is out. I don't cook that much when the power is on.... but again, trying to do better. :-)

Thanks!


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RE: Induction cooktop question

I have an induction cooktop that I adore. But if I didn't cook very much, I think I'd be perfectly happy with my old electric smooth top. And they're much, much cheaper.


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RE: Induction cooktop question

Thank you very much for the reply.

I will probably keep my eyes open for a bargain, and if I can't find one, go electric :-)

Thanks again!


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