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Old 10.07.2011, 17:09
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American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

Is anyone else having difficulties with their American cookware?

I have the heat turned ALL the way up, and I can't even boil water.
It just seems that the cookware isn't picking up the heat from the cooktop.
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:19
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

What kind do you have? My Calphalon hard anodized does well as do my revereware copper bottomed pans, but the all-clad pots do seem to take forever to pick up the heat. I'm not a fan of the ceramic cooktops and miss my gas range.
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:20
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

Sounds like you have an induction heat stove top. Lots of cookware does not work. See excerpt below:

The most obvious and famous drawback to induction cooking has already been mentioned: it only works with cooking vessels made of magnetic materials. The commonest such materials used for cooking vessels are stainless steel and cast iron. Cookware suited for use with induction cookers, from the extreme high-quality end down to thrift-store modest, is readily available; but if you already have a stock of mostly expensive aluminum or copper or glass or pyrex cookware and little or no cast iron or stainless, you might be up for a cookware investment.
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:24
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

Is your stove an induction type?

Certain types of pans are non compatible with induction stoves.

Some friends had to give away most of their pans and buy new ones when they moved into a new house with an induction stove a couple years ago.

Tom
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:33
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

It took me awhile to figure this out but if you look at the large elements on your range they are divided into two rings ( a smaller inner ring and a larger outer one). Typically, when I turn my range on only the inner ring gets hot. It turns out there is a switch on the range top that allows you to engage the heating of the outer ring which really increases the heat supply to the bottom of the pan. It's not really a switch, per se, it's just a spot on the top of the ceramic that has a picture of one of the large elements (a filled circle with a filled outer ring). If I touch the ceramic top next to this symbol and hold for a few seconds, an LED comes on and the outer ring on the large element begins to heat. This might help.
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:37
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

some helpful responses! Thanks! My cookware is T-Fal and some other miscellaneous stuff. I'm really not attached to it and would LOVE to drop it off for recycling.

How do I tell if it's an Induction cooktop? Back home it was easy... it was either gas or electric. haha.

*crying*

I've never had such a difficult time with household appliances...

There are two burners with two rings (inner and outter), and two burners with just one ring; but I don't see any buttons on the cooktop whatsoever. There does not appear to be anything on the knob panel either.
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:44
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

If you have an induction range, you can put your hand on the cook surface when the power is turned on and it won't burn since it only heats the pan. That's not true of radiant element heating.

Are there no symbols on the top of your range that don't make sense?
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:47
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

If it gets hot on top, it's not induction....at least that's the way I understand what/how induction works. I'm not really familiar with T-Fal (as I recall, don't they do a lot of teflon stuff?) but you could try getting a nice Kuhn-Richon (sp?) pan from the COOP as those seem rather solid and see if that works better before recycling all your old pots.
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Old 10.07.2011, 17:49
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

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If you have an induction range, you can put your hand on the cook surface when the power is turned on and it won't burn since it only heats the pan. That's not true of radiant element heating.

Are there no symbols on the top of your range that don't make sense?

Since it hurt when I touched it, I'm guess it's radiant.

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If it gets hot on top, it's not induction....at least that's the way I understand what/how induction works. I'm not really familiar with T-Fal (as I recall, don't they do a lot of teflon stuff?) but you could try getting a nice Kuhn-Richon (sp?) pan from the COOP as those seem rather solid and see if that works better before recycling all your old pots.
It's a teflon coated style. You can't use any metal utensils, etc. What I have is kind of old though. That's why I wouldn't miss it.
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Old 10.07.2011, 18:02
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

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It's a teflon coated style. You can't use any metal utensils, etc. What I have is kind of old though. That's why I wouldn't miss it.
If it's teflon and it's old, especially if it is scratched or flaking, recycle it as soon as you can as I really don't trust teflon in terms of the gases it emits when heated and the possibility of ingesting it later on in the lifespan of the pan. I have a 'chef's pan' that I've seasoned over the years (flaxseed oil - food grad - really works a treat after a few applications). Cheap and nothing ever sticks to that pan. The stainless pans can be a bit more fussy, but with a bit of seasoning, most pans will work just fine sans teflon.

But, since the cooktop is ceramic, it's no guarantee any brand will work better than others so pick a small/cheap pot of a line you like so that you can add more later if it works better than the T-Fal.
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Old 10.07.2011, 18:08
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

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The stainless pans can be a bit more fussy
Not if they are good quality. I have a couple stainless from Lagostina, they are almost as non-stick as teflon!

Tom
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Old 10.07.2011, 19:16
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

For what it's worth... I did read somewhere once that it's best to use flat-bottomed pans with ceramic stove tops because a more curved bottom might keep water from boiling because it won't evenly distribute the heat. I'm not sure if that's true, though, since all of my pans have flat bottoms anyways.

P.S. Bought quite a few pans from Ikea here and actually haven't been too disappointed. I agree with the above poster, though, that it's best to throw a pan away as soon as the non-stick coating starts to flake. (I, too, have wondered before how safe that Teflon stuff really is).
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Old 10.07.2011, 19:18
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

P.S. Maybe "flat-bottomed" or "curved" pan isn't the best choice of words. What I mean is... a pan that has the same circumference at the top as it does on the bottom.
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Old 10.07.2011, 19:35
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

In general, Teflon is safe as long as it's not overheated, which can happen if you leave the pan on a range set on high without any food in it. At that point, the Teflon can break down and release compounds that may be considered hazardous. Typically the temperature must exceed something like 500F.
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Old 10.07.2011, 19:43
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

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Since it hurt when I touched it, I'm guess it's radiant.



It's a teflon coated style. You can't use any metal utensils, etc. What I have is kind of old though. That's why I wouldn't miss it.
The problem is most likely that the US cookware is simply not designed for ceramic electric or even the iron plate electric stovetops so common in this country. As much as I agree with you about gas, you're not going to easily find it here. Most US cookware has uneven bottoms (in our case it was because my wife was constantly throwing them at me) and simply does not make contact with the heating surface. If you don't want to spend a sh*tload of money on pots, try the local brockenstube. They will have all sorts of used stuff, but bring a straight-edge to make sure you're not buying something that will have the same problem.
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Old 10.07.2011, 19:46
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

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Most US cookware has uneven bottoms (in our case it was because my wife was constantly throwing them at me) and simply does not make contact with the heating surface.
Thank you... that's the term I was looking for -- uneven bottoms, not flat bottoms as I had written.
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Old 10.07.2011, 20:52
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

So the next question is... how to dispose of old cookware. I'm thinking to just bring it down in a paper sack and leave it next to the blue recycling bins on the street corner.

But it seems there should be a more proper way to do it. Any ideas?
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Old 10.07.2011, 21:56
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

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In general, Teflon is safe as long as it's not overheated, which can happen if you leave the pan on a range set on high without any food in it. At that point, the Teflon can break down and release compounds that may be considered hazardous. Typically the temperature must exceed something like 500F.
I remember when I was back in grad school and teflon was still a bit novel on the consumer end and one of my professors at beer&bowling one night ranted about how he'd never let his food touch the stuff since it releases flouric compounds at much lower temps than 500F (he was an organic chemist of some repute). I know that there have been numerous studies done on the various compounds reassuring us that the amounts released are too small to be harmful, most of them sponsored by DuPont, but I figure, why take the risk if a well seasoned pan does the job as well, if not better than, teflon?
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Old 10.07.2011, 22:25
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

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I remember when I was back in grad school and teflon was still a bit novel on the consumer end and one of my professors at beer&bowling one night ranted about how he'd never let his food touch the stuff since it releases flouric compounds at much lower temps than 500F (he was an organic chemist of some repute). I know that there have been numerous studies done on the various compounds reassuring us that the amounts released are too small to be harmful, most of them sponsored by DuPont, but I figure, why take the risk if a well seasoned pan does the job as well, if not better than, teflon?
Appealing to authority from 'back in the day' really isn't a valid argument, eh? Sounds a bit too much like 'Back in my grad school days, we didn't have any of this fancy Schrodinger wave equation nonsense and my professor (someone of high repute back then) didn't think much of it.'
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Old 10.07.2011, 23:44
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Re: American cookware vs. the Ceramic Cooktop

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So the next question is... how to dispose of old cookware. I'm thinking to just bring it down in a paper sack and leave it next to the blue recycling bins on the street corner.

But it seems there should be a more proper way to do it. Any ideas?
Here in Basel it's part of the recycling scheme just like paper and carton - every 4 months or so there is 1 day where you can put out metal things on the curb and they pick it up for free. I got rid of a number of old pots and pans some time ago like this.

So check with the gemeinde where you live if there is something similar in place.
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