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Heat management on induction - n00b observations and questions


claussen
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We just put our first induction range into our new kitchen.  It's a Cafe 30" double oven.  First off, frickin' loving having a double oven!

I'm also very, very happy with the general speed and performance of the range, but also still figuring out how to think about temperature controls, because of the way energy gets delivered to the pan.

I've searched around a bit and haven't seen anyone actually do a writeup on the nitty gritty of usage.

 

Some observations I've made about speed:

- It's possible to get to smoke point almost instantaneously -- like five seconds or so, even on a small burner

- When already at boiling temperature, turning the heat on/off is like flipping a light switch -- water goes from full boil to dead flat and back in a second

- Element size mismatch can leave cool edges on larger and thinner pans

- It feels kind of like induction delivers heat directly to the *top* of the pan, and maybe less so to the bottom?

 

The instant heating is really neat, but also leads to some scorching if I'm not very careful with it, so... I'm adapting. 

But after some extended bacon cooking today, I turned off the heat and things kept sizzling for a *very* long time.  Enough that I worried that the burner hadn't actually turned off!

It definitely had, but there was a looong coast.  That made me happy, because I do want some thermal inertia from the pan and cooktop.

 

The whole thing seems to have two personalities -- super-fast, concentrated heat, but also relatively slow heating to even temp across the pan at medium and below.

I'm cooking on affordable tri-ply Al/Stainless cookware ("Cooks Standard" all-clad knockoff stuff), so I was expecting it to equilibrate a *bit* faster.  They're flat and decently heavy.

Are these pans just crappy, or do those of you with nice All-Clad stuff also have to do a bit more preheating to get things to even out at lower temps?

 

Related:  Is there some target height above the cooktop where the inductive energy is most-focused?

Like, if you simply set a two-inch thick slab of steel on top of an induction burner, where would the heat end up?


Thanks for any input y'all can offer :D

 

 

 

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Unless the induction element is perfectly sized to match your pan, you will always need to do a slow-ish preheat to get more even temperatures across the pan -- even with heavier All Clad stuff like the copper core and D7. Even then, there is a sizable hot spot (or hotter spot) directly over the induction element. I'd avoid turning a cold pan to high immediately, since this runs the risk of warping the pan.

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1 hour ago, claussen said:

We just put our first induction range into our new kitchen.  It's a Cafe 30" double oven.  First off, frickin' loving having a double oven!

I'm also very, very happy with the general speed and performance of the range, but also still figuring out how to think about temperature controls, because of the way energy gets delivered to the pan.

I've searched around a bit and haven't seen anyone actually do a writeup on the nitty gritty of usage.

 

Some observations I've made about speed:

- It's possible to get to smoke point almost instantaneously -- like five seconds or so, even on a small burner

- When already at boiling temperature, turning the heat on/off is like flipping a light switch -- water goes from full boil to dead flat and back in a second

- Element size mismatch can leave cool edges on larger and thinner pans

- It feels kind of like induction delivers heat directly to the *top* of the pan, and maybe less so to the bottom?

 

The instant heating is really neat, but also leads to some scorching if I'm not very careful with it, so... I'm adapting. 

But after some extended bacon cooking today, I turned off the heat and things kept sizzling for a *very* long time.  Enough that I worried that the burner hadn't actually turned off!

It definitely had, but there was a looong coast.  That made me happy, because I do want some thermal inertia from the pan and cooktop.

 

The whole thing seems to have two personalities -- super-fast, concentrated heat, but also relatively slow heating to even temp across the pan at medium and below.

I'm cooking on affordable tri-ply Al/Stainless cookware ("Cooks Standard" all-clad knockoff stuff), so I was expecting it to equilibrate a *bit* faster.  They're flat and decently heavy.

Are these pans just crappy, or do those of you with nice All-Clad stuff also have to do a bit more preheating to get things to even out at lower temps?

 

Related:  Is there some target height above the cooktop where the inductive energy is most-focused?

Like, if you simply set a two-inch thick slab of steel on top of an induction burner, where would the heat end up?


Thanks for any input y'all can offer :D

 

 

 

About all I can add is that I bought the GE Cafe range six months ago for my newly built home.  I have cooked on just about every kind of stove made and I can honestly say I LOVE induction. This range is not only beautiful bot a dream to clean.

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7 hours ago, lindag said:

About all I can add is that I bought the GE Cafe range six months ago for my newly built home.  I have cooked on just about every kind of stove made and I can honestly say I LOVE induction. This range is not only beautiful bot a dream to clean.

We have been cooking on a GE Cafe induction cooktop for 2+ years. My SO was a confirmed gas cooktop lover until cooking on it. The ability to use silicone mats under our cast iron (antique) pans to prevent scratches in the glass and the ability to clean as you cook are as important to the SO as the instant reaction to changes in "knob" settings.

 

I enjoy the precise control of cooking temperature as well as the utensil handles staying cool when in the pan. That was one of my big issues with cooking on a gas cooktop. I got more than a few superficial burns on gas ranges. I'm trainable, but just.

 

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I have been cooking on induction for about 10 years and will never use anything else.  Along with what others are saying,I like being able to put a paper towel overthe pot whenever I am pan frying something.  It catches most of the grease splatter and the added bonus is itdoesn't have to be watched because the towel can't catch fire.

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I have no useful feedback to the OP, but you're all making me lean even more heavily towards passing up gas when we redo our kitchen.

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13 minutes ago, dtremit said:

I have no useful feedback to the OP, but you're all making me lean even more heavily towards passing up gas when we redo our kitchen.

 

Buy induction - you won't regret it.

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I  agree with @ElsieD and the others. I recently moved into a kitchen with no gas service and plan to have 2 countertop induction hobs.  I have teh first one (the relatively inexpensive one) now and will be bringing in the other, expensive one, soon.  Even the cheap one is a pleasure to use - the near instant heating for pans, super fast water boiling, plus I can stand near it and not get hot like I would have with gas.  For water boiling type stuff, I've been using an old Le Creuset enameled cast iron dutch oven and I'm amazed that I can have water boiling in it, and still grab the handles without a pot holder.

 

I also have a carbon steel wok which is great to use with it - even though I don't have super fine power control on the cheap unit.  And if I want to quickly blanch something - I can put maybe 6-8 cups of water in the wok and it will be boiling in about a minute.

 

For the thin carbon steel, when the cheap one cycles on and off, I can definitely see when this happens if I have a small amount of liquid simmering in it - and I have also burned some things once or twice due to a hot spot that I wasn't constantly stirring - like I would be with a stir fry.  Eventually I'm going to get a stainless pan with aluminum or something in the core - that should help distribute the hot spots more evenly than the carbon steel.

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On 6/4/2021 at 11:34 AM, KennethT said:

Eventually I'm going to get a stainless pan with aluminum or something in the core - that should help distribute the hot spots more evenly than the carbon steel.

We are quite happy with these:

https://circulon.com/search?q=Symmetry

 

They have belt up well and are very easy to clean. I do wish they had a wider open stock selection.

 

 

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