Induction Question

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by NaturalTalent, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. NaturalTalent


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    Hobbyist and gourmet
    Having switched entirely to induction, I find there seems to be a spread of compatibility. All items indicating suitable for induction are not equal. We chucked anything in simple aluminium covered in PTFE, keeping anything which has a magnetic base. These include cast iron, magnetic base-and-sides, magnetic base with stainless sides, magnetic base with alloy sides. They all are very variable one to the other. Then there is the question of weight, heavier articles of same construction generally heating food quicker.

    I think another complication comes with any mismatch of pan base with indications on the hop. If I put a 10” base on a 6” hob, all the electromagnetic energy is used to induce the heat in the pan. If, however, I put a 6” pan on a 10” hob, extra energy must go into creatong strong magnetic fields where no pan surface exists, i.e. inefficiency.

    I would be very interested in others’ opinions on the matter. Does anyone have a Golden Rule for choice of induction cooking implements?

    I think cast iron should be the GR technically, but I can no longer jerk a c.i. skillet - being of advancing years.
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I Just Like Food
    The nature and amount of ferrous material is important. My fagor duo works on induction but is slower than others pots of similar size.

    Your observations about weight are good as that tends to reflect steel or iron content.

    Unless you have very close match in size between your cast iron pan and the burner size there can be problems. Cast iron does not conduct heat well. I used my 12 inch pan on my induction burner and the inner 7 inches got scorching-hot and the outer parts were cold.

    Carbon steel is better as it conducts the heat more evenly than cast iron and has just about as good a thermal mass. Try a 10" carbon pan. Lighter than cast iron and great on induction.

    As to the smaller pans wasting energy on larger burners that's true of all forms of stoves. While you can't turn the burner down in scale as on some gas systems at least it's not making the handles hot. But a star burner can't adapt to pan size as well either.

    There is induction technology that can use any metal not just ferrous metals. This works by inducing eddy currents. But it is very expensive tech currently. It will likely get cheaper over time.
  3. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    Chef Emeritus
    Cheaper stoves use an induction ring of the same size for all their hobs, and simply give the bigger hobs more wattage (power).

    More expensive stoves use the concentric design, where each ring operates individually, so if you put the smaller pot on the lager hop, the outer ring would not get activated and you would not waste any power.