home Forums Kitchen Chit-Chat induction cooking: firing up the burner

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    started new thread here for discussion now that i have actual materials to hand to start induction cooking. there’s some residual stuff on the ‘under water’ thread.

    as i also posted there, one of my early concerns is with heat and smoking because i couldn’t put the cooker under a vent hood. the best i can manage is a tiny fan to push the heat or smoke out into the larger area of the kitchen. the verdict will have to wait until i’ve cooked several different dishes though if it doesn’t pop up right away.

    i was re-reading all the manuals and guides. and yes, i read every word and all the fine print of every bit of documentation i can find.

    so here’s from the duxtop 9100mc manual … gonna have to paraphrase since i can’t paste the relevant section and i’m too lazy to do a screenshot. [g]:

    “DO NOT heat empty containers on the cooking surface”

    and here is from the cuisinart mcp stainless care guide:

    “Never leave Cuisinart® Cookware or any pan empty over a hot burner. Doing so can ruin the pan and cause damage to the stovetop.”

    this runs 180º counter to all advice found on the internet and from you guys that you need to heat up the pan or pot BEFORE you put a single drop of oil in it and that you shouldn’t spray it beforehand either.

    can this contradiction be reconciled? it destroys a bit of my soul to deliberately disobey a product manual–in this case, two product manuals, and not for warranty purposes either.




    Induction heats very quickly when the conditions are right. This can push temperatures up to pan destroying levels VERY quickly. The first thing to go will be the bonds between the laminates. The next will be the glass of the cooktop.

    By having something in the pan, that heat can be wicked away just as quickly saving the pan and the cooktop. However, I stand by my recommendation to heat the pan then add oil. Then add food. Because of the speed of induction however, the delay needs only be very short. Turn on the stove. Then immediately add the oil. In the Second or two this takes, 1. The pan shouldn’t reach destructive temperatures but 2. It will have heated sufficiently for the non stick actions to have activated. Then add the food immediately after. This will be a few more seconds.

    While I have an induction burner, being a Luddite, I still use my gas stove almost exclusively. I don’t have a great deal of practical experience with the technology. I am more than happy to bow to others greater experience. That includes the manual writers.


    well, i just got back from the all-clad page specifically for the d5 brushed line (i just unboxed the 8″ skillet and registered for the lifetime warranty). and although they are more ambiguous, the implication is to coat the bottom with butter or oil.

    but what you say makes perfect sense. when you use the pc on saute mode it takes 3-5 minutes (maybe more) for the indicator to say /hot/, but their /hot/ is around 350º! truly scary.

    and now that i’ve had the brief ‘test’ of the induction burner i can completely confirm your statement–it heats so quickly i could hardly believe it. as i said, after just a few seconds the pot was nearly too hot to touch. so your advice seems very good to me. put the pan/pot on the surface at medium (!) heat and by the time you go to the fridge and take out the butter dish and cut a pat off it will have heated up and still seems safe for the pot and the burner as well.

    plus, you’ve probably put a couple of hundred (at least) stainless pans on heat that way over the years and i trust you much much more than marketeers and cya lawyers. although i realize that could be construed as damming with faint praise. [g]

    thanks! /guy


    one of the nicest unexpected surprises when unboxing was the relatively (<$50) cheap demeyere egg poaching pan. now it’s not a belgium-made pan, it’s made in indonesia, but from 18/10 steel. i don’t think it’s multi-clad either:

    [later note: just found out the base is 3-ply with an aluminum middle layer and a magnetic layer at bottom. it also has the Silvinox treatment as well which demeyere touts.]


    the base is strongly magnetic, but unlike the other all-clad and multi-clad pans, the sides and the insides are magnetic, but ‘weaker’.

    anyway, this thing is a shape that mimics skillets and saucepans and saute pans and demeyere claims it can be used for all three functions. it’s smaller and a little lighter than the ones i’ve unboxed so far. it doesn’t have the angled sides of the frying pan nor the depth of the saucepan–to me it actually resembles a mini-saute pan. a nice bonus is the glass lid. it’s too small for pasta i expect although i might be able to figure out how to do a small batch in it–it’s 1.5qts. feels just great in the hand too! i’m very pleased with this purchase. my only complaint is that i can’t find a digital version of the instruction manual.


    My recent experience (my induction burner sat in a cupboard for 6-8 years) is heat the pan briefly then brush/baste with oil.

    My first experience was in a hotel room I was living in and I put the pan that came with it on with a little oil and it smoked very quickly. I took it of, burnt my fingers, and dropped it on the carpet which it singed slightly but did not actually damage as I kicked it around the room till I could grab at a towel. Cheap crappy pan which I probably still have.

    I did not get brave for a while but started using it for stocks and stews mostly lower heat. Then I got 2 roommates who had their own needs for counter/table space so into the cupboard it went.

    Recently, due to threads on Hip pressure cooking, and no current roommates, I got it out again and use it for searing and with my Fagor Pressure cooker. Despite it’s crappy pan, lower wattage, and general lack of newer features it really is lovely.

    Nice little saucepan/egg poacher. I like my eggs poached like Julia Child used to do them with slight improvements. I also like the soft boiled Instant Pot eggs. Such a no brainer to get them right. I even did it wrong and they came out right.

    BTW an induction burner is not a hot burner but can act like it is. Be careful adding butter to a hot pan as it burns quickly. No big harm done but can make black mess in new pan and you have to start again. Even more annoying than it sound.
    Either pick up the pan before plopping in butter so you can swirl it quickly or start with a dollop of neutral oil first or use the ghee. Butter is not for frying generally but for finishing. Browned butter good, burnt butter bad except in toffee. That said, I have fried many things in butter over low/med heat.


    great visual of you kicking a pan around the room! i can’t stop chuckling … [g]

    not to mention the opening line “my first experience was in a hotel room …” which breaks the innuendo meter!

    and being the lazy sort who likes convenience, i love the spray pam oil. they make it with olive oil now. but i’ve only been working with plastic microwave dishes so far and with any heat or open flame i’d be leery of the aerosol propellants.

    thus in this order i got two of the misto spray bottles. i had another brand spray bottle long ago and filled it with olive oil and it clogged up–perhaps because i just didn’t use it enough.

    i got two different colors and was planning to put olive oil in one and the sesame oil in another. but if these are two similar, recommend a better pairing to the sesame oil.

    my thinking is that a fine mist sprayed into a hot pan would be better than dropping a clump or glob of fat into it. is this thinking valid? i don’t mind adding any needed butter at serving rather than using it for cooking. well, except in eggs–gotta cook eggs with butter!

    i gotta get some oven mitts on order or get them from the grocery store when i go. i have the silicone cuffs from the smart pot and a couple of narrow strips, but with the hot pans i’d think i need a little more control than those.


    Personally I save the fat from frying bacon to use for eggs.
    Only use butter if I don’t have any.

    I am leery of propellant based sprays. I do have one squirt bottle I use for olive oil. But mostly I just pour some oil/Fat in and swirl it around.


    I love bacon fat fried potatoes:)

    Lately I have been using a silicone basting brush to oil the pan. I pour out a bit and spread it with the brush. Or brush solider fat right on.

    I use the cooking sprays for baking. Much better to get the crumbs to stick for cheesecake than butter and less messy.

    I have a commercial squirt bottle for water, small olive oil and vinegar dispensers, mostly for tabletop use but I use them for cooking too. Big caveat, the oil dispensers are a pain to clean. If the oil comes in a dispenser type bottle that works well, like my EEVO and my cheap olive oil, I just use that.


    Nah! Goose fat for potatoes!

    For greasing pans, I use a butter wrapper. You can still get a block butter wrapped in a sheet of paper here. I keep the empty wrappers in the fridge. There’s just enough butter left on one to do a lasagna tray.

    And aren’t those silicon brushes wonderful.


    i remember my grandmother using the butter wrapper trick @greg. and @helen, the only oil sprayer i’ve owned did clog up, but to the fair, it was only used once every few months and i put cheap oil in it initially. the mistos have good reviews, so we’ll see.

    and speaking of oil, i was watching ‘chopped’ last night and an executive chef at a four seasons resort (with the ego to match!) got chopped early on for using too much sesame oil!

    yes, i took the lesson to heart … [g]


    so why does the all-clad stainless d5 skillet have a black bottom inside? i thought only cast iron and non-stick had black coatings? i double checked and indeed i do have the stainless model and none of the pans i’ve unboxed so far have this inside black bottom.


    went shopping today and spent $125. and that was no meat or chicken or fish either.

    my closest grocery (an albertson’s — some of these names may mean nothing to those not in texas) has changed over to one of the trending ones today such as whole foods and others that prepare meals in-store and they now have a starbucks inside. i can’t remember the new name … ‘market [something] or [something market’.

    they were serving sushi samples just inside the door and a cheerful asian lady offered me one which i took. but instead of that fiery green sauce (wasabi?) which rides roughshod any flavor of the food (why would they put something so overpowering on something so subtle as raw fish–usually that’s to cover up spoilage), she put a dollop of orange sauce on it which she would only identify as ‘yummy sauce’. yeah, right–you and mcdonalds lady. [g]

    turns out it was crab and that i could actually recognize it as crab scored it high points in my book. and the sauce was exactly as advertised–yummy. at any rate i told her i’d stop back by on my way out and pick up some.

    so i found some stuff we talked about: ghee and sesame oil. there was nearly 3/4 of an aisle devoted to asian food and i couldn’t find the ghee so i flagged down someone and he didn’t know either and trundled off to fetch a manager. meanwhile i found a small can of it labeled ‘purity farms organic ghee clarified butter’. it makes a lot of other claims: salt free, no gmo feed, lactose & casein free, pasture raised, 0 grams of transfat per serving, kosher. and cost $6.99 for 7.5oz/212g. also, i got the impression this stuff can last on the shelf forever, but this can has an expiration date of 03/12/2017. the only ingredient is ‘certified organic butter (milk)’ and is 45 cals per tsp. at any rate, i can afford that once for experimentation purposes but i’d have to seek out cheaper options if i continue to use it.

    next in the asian aisle was sesame oil even though i got in a can from amazon yesterday to use in my mister. i found ‘sun luck pure sesame oil all natural’ which on closer inspection of the fine print turns out to be toasted sesame and i already had toasted and hoped that the word ‘pure’ meant not toasted. apparently not. this also was obscenely priced at $5.99 for 5oz (147ml).

    next i found a sesame oil sprayer: ‘international collection toasted sesame spray oil’. this was $7.99 for 6.76oz/200ml, but i wanted to compare it to my misto sprayer.

    i also picked up 18 grade ‘aa’ eggs, two pounds of stick butter, and a couple pounds of dry pasta.

    one the way out i made the mistake of stopping by the prepared foods section which is on the way to the sushi counter and saw a quiche. i absolutely love quiche and haven’t had any in about 4 years. the local grocery store in my old place sold mini-quiches which were about one serving and 2 or 2.5″ in diameter for 3 or 4 dollars! also, land’o’lakes sold cartons of liquid quiche that you put into your own pie crust and prepared at home and i bought those frequently. haven’t seen that stuff in years which is a shame–it was very good.

    but this was a large quiche (8-10″ diameter) and is spinach and feta and i couldn’t resist even at the $10 price. so that’s what i’m going to be eating for the next week! but it’ll fill in the time until my new smart pot gets here.

    couldn’t find oven mitts, so i’ll have to order them from amazon. but i did get a silicon brush and a silicon whisk–both very small but the small one looks to the the right size to beat up eggs in the skillet for scramble.


    According to the All Clad website, they don’t. Either it’s not a D5 or Williams Sonoma ( or wherever you bought it) have a special line.


    Most Wasabi isn’t. Commercial preparations in tubes and tubs are almost always Horseradish with a little green colouring added. True Wasabi has lots of sublties missing from the tubes. Or so I’m told. I’ve never tried it.

    Like chili it can wake up the senses and alert your palate to other more subtle flavours. Like chili, it needs to be used in moderation to achieve this. Also like chili lots of people use way too much.Try a very light smear mixed with a good japanese soy sauce.


    you think i got a counterfeit? what’s the black substance?

    let me go back and check again before i try contacting them. i don’t want to look more of an idiot than i am. [g]


    well double-dang-it! it does say nonstick on the box! i was so excited to find one at least $20-40 below the usual cost i jumped on it without noticing.

    so here’s the deal. i have this skillet duplicated in the mcp line in stainless. i was going to use the mcp to learn on and only then pull out the all-clad.

    but …

    … i also have a demeyere 9.4″ one coming and there is just not a lot of difference between 8″ and 9.4″. and i would never have a need to deploy two skillets at once, let alone three.

    i think i talked myself into returning it (got it from amazon, so that’s painless) unless one of you guys makes the case that having one non-stick skillet might be useful.

    thanks–i really feel like a bozo for missing that. but i was jumping on july 4th sales and working against a clock. /guy


    I think having a non stick will be very useful for the omelettes and other things requiring less heat. I know there is a slight risk of the surface degrading at high heat, but the non stick surfaces are much better these days and that looks like a hell of a nice pan. I generally cook my bacon and eggs in a non stick, and pan fry my potatoes in there as well. Overall I think non stick is much easier for a novice chef and cleanup is so easy. And a good or even reasonable non stick will crisp up your food nicely.

    If it was affordable, you should keep it and make that omelette, or try frying an egg without oil.

    As with almost all of your pans, I want one:)


    Oven mitts can be found at a dollar store for believe it or not $1. They also have very reasonably priced silicone utensils if you need any more.

    When your smart pot gets there you might try an impossible pie in it. This is like a quiche using bisquick and every bit as good but much easier. I made one in the pressure cooker and it was pretty good although I think an oven is better.

    Also a frittata can be easily made on your induction burner and it is just a crustless quiche. But I too splurge on occasion and buy one from the store or restaurant.

    A handy gadget next time you feel like spending money is an immersion blender. Most come with a chopping attachment, a whisk, and of course a blending attachment. Reasonable ones are around $20.

    I have a Braun which is very good, but splurged on a Cuisinart cordless which I had to order from AMAZON US as I could not find one in Canada. I would have bought a Braun cordless, but very expensive. 3 x as much IIRC.
    Long story short, I love it. It isn’t as powerful in Watts as the Braun, but seems to be in actual usage. Things whip/chop/blend as well and as fast, and it has a wall hanger thingy which I haven’t put up yet. The charge lasted 24 days and I used it at least once a day. And it is easier to detach/attach the attachments than the Braun.

    I have had ghee on the shelf for several years I think and it stayed the same. Expiration is basically just a suggestion for many things. If I bought a giant jar I would probably put some in the freezer. I have seen expiration or best before dates on salt, calcium and other minerals. If they thought they could get away with it they would put them on pots and pans:)


    @helen: i’m going to take your advice and keep the all-clad d5 nonstick. it will be a cheap price for the associated education of learning how it works and how it’s different from the stainless. i remember i’ve read ‘no cooking sprays’ (i’ll struggle to contain that impulse) and ‘no metal utensils’ and i think i have more nylon and silicone ones than metal anyway.

    that d5 line just suits me to a ‘t’ in looks and feel. i can’t wait to get the demeyere skillet in and compare it to the all-clad stuff. the reviewer made it sound like if you had that goose that laid the golden eggs, you’d cook them in only a demeyere skillet! [g]


    Not sure why “no cooking sprays”?
    I don’t use them much, but that is more habit than anything else. I don’t think I have heard they were bad, but then again, everything changes or I forget.


    I don’t use them at all. But only because I find them very poor value for money. A slurp from the bottle and a quick swirl is enough for most purposes. Better oil and cheaper.


    i was looking for the nonstick no spray meme and found this. @greg note the prohibition against turning meat!



    ah! here we go. and reading things like this were exactly why i invested in some non-aerosol oil sprayers. up until now i had just been using my pam tyle aerosol cans on plastic microwave cookware but i also had been using on my stainless steel pc pot.

    “Sticky Build Up

    One key drawback of nonstick cooking spray is the build-up of residue due to the lecithin. For this reason, cooking spray is not recommended for use on nonstick cookware. After all, nonstick cookware is supposed to be, well, nonstick! But the properties of cooking spray combined with the coating of nonstick pans makes for a paradoxically difficult clean up. Dark coated pans heat more quickly and cool more quickly, which means that cooking spray gets cooked on to the surface and may adhere or harden before it has a chance to be cleaned. Cooking spray can build up on other surfaces, too, especially if we spray liberally, and if we use high heat. Typically, residue builds up on the sides of the pan or baking sheet, and not necessarily where the food itself is cooked.
    If you worry about additives or the sticky residue that simply won’t budge, you can always make your own cooking spray, using a mister and the oil of your choice.”


    this page looks pretty informative for nonstick advice and pretty well sums up what i’ve been reading elsewhere:


    although i have _not_ previously read that they only last 5 years! wth? the cost for an all-clad nonstick pan goes up dramatically if that’s true and @greg is totally vindicated at shunning them. also, some interesting comments below the article:

    “The average life span of a nonstick pan is around five years. I’ve had some high quality nonstick pans longer than that, but I also don’t use them as frequently as other pans in my kitchen. You’ll know your nonstick pan is on its last days if the surface becomes pitted or starts to peel.”


    well, as i said, i had no idea of the lifespan issue. i’m seriously thinking returning this again despite the learning opportunities and the ease of cooking eggs. this nyt writer seems to have done some good research:


    well helen. you had great advice and made a very good case for keeping it. but once i started digging i found too many little ‘gotchas’ with nonstick, not even counting the unknown chemical factor.

    so i’ve scheduled an amazon return for this one and i’ll save that money until i target another all-clad piece i need. as i said, i have that exact 8″ skillet replicated in the cusinart multi-clad line in stainless.

    i’m going to try to stay with the d5 line if i can get them at the same price or cheaper than the regular all-clad line. i much prefer the brushed stainless look and they claim the handles are somewhat more comfortable. as far as i can tell, there are no downsides to the d5 compared to the regular except the price.


    Where’s the science? I gave you some. There is more out there.
    I would trust the likes of Heston Blumenthal, Nathan Myhrvold & Harold mcGee all of whom actually do the experiments over a journalist who at best is repeating old cooks tales and at worst is pushing disguised advertising copy any day. Note that my references include two physicists and one of the top ten chefs in the world. Heston has been number 1 but I think he has slipped to about 5 now. They all say to flip often. I even directly cited Nathan’s experimental results.

    The one who claimed that nonstick (aluminium) transfers heat slower than stainless steel needs to go back to school and learn some very basic stuff. As for the one who suggested putting a nonstick pan into a pyrolitic oven and putting it on “clean”. Sheesh! Actually I think it was the same journalist.


    oh, i’ve already told you i’m a flipper–you don’t need to sell me! i just thought i’d tweak you because i knew it’d push a button. i’m sneaky like that. [g]


    i bought a turner or spatula that guy who reviewed the cookware recommended. as a bonus i got a pdf file with 101 cooking tips. some look very useful but if you guys could scan through and tell me how they look that’d be great. here’s the link to my dropbox /public/ folder.


    @greg, i don’t immediately see any flippin’ prohibitions, so your eyeballs are safe!


    Guy. You’re a flipping nuisance :P

    Cannot open that link. Getting a server not responding message


    well, it opened right up for me. of course i’m the owner!

    went to the website and grabbed the share link from there. it looks different:



    Cook I can read that.
    Some good advice there as well as some junk.
    I particularly liked this sentence:

    There are lots of vegetables that can be carrots.


    haha! that’s very zen. could be a koan … [g]

    btw, i put a quarter apple into my bag of potatoes. i can’t remember if it helps or deteriorates onions though, i’ll have to read it again more slowly.

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