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 Post subject: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:05 am 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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Next year I'm going to be moving into a house that's got an glass (induction) stove top. Pretty much my whole life, I've cooked on gas, and the few times I've had to use electric burners, I've hated them. (My biggest peeve with electric is not being able to quickly adjust the heat level.) But I hear that using induction cooking is completely different than the old fashioned coil electric burners.

Does anyone have experience using a glass stove top? Tips? Comparisons to gas/traditional electric? Am I going to be able to use the pots and pans I have now? (I have stainless steel saucepans, Tefal non-stick frying/saute pans, and an enamel-coated, cast-iron Dutch oven.) I'd love to hear other people's experiences.

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:42 am 
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I cannot offer much advice but I am in a similar situation: I'll have an induction oven next year and I'm looking forward to that a lot. Yes, from what I've heard, you can adjust heat very quickly and it is also supposed to be very energy-efficient.

Since the heat is induced with a magnetic field, you need pots and pans that are ferromagnetic i.e. not made from aluminium, glass, clay etc.

From what you've listed, the only pan that may not be suitable is the nonstick-one since they are often made from aluminium for less weight. If you're lucky then the bottom is iron, though. Tefal's website should provide some information on the materials used for your specific pan.


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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:52 am 
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Thanks, Lily. I'll have to check the Tefal website. I'm actually most worried about the Dutch oven because I've read that enamel coated cookware can fuse to the stove top. But then some people online say this isn't true.

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:32 am 
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Yeah, I don't know about enamel, but induction is totally different from normal electric heating elements. It's all physicsy and stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:54 pm 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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I'm startin' to get that!



Now I'm doubting whether the stove in the house where I'll be moving is induction or just a glass-topped electric stove. My boyfriend thought it was induction when he saw it, but we didn't look that closely. I'm hoping it is, if only so I can try out geeky stuff like in the video. (Plus, I really hate cooking on traditional electric stoves.)[/first world problem]

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:08 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:
My boyfriend thought it was induction when he saw it, but we didn't look that closely. I'm hoping it is, if only so I can try out geeky stuff like in the video. (Plus, I really hate cooking on traditional electric stoves.)[/first world problem]


If ther house/the kitchen isn't brand new I think that chances are pretty high that it is a normal electric stove.

But that wouldn't be all that bad. I have one and cooking is different with it but has some advantages of its own.


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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:45 pm 
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The kitchen was fully renovated in 2007, and they put a lot of work into this house, so it wouldn't completely surprise me.
Bf now says it could also have been halogen. Hopefully I'll have a chance to check again soon. (Not moving in for at least 8 months, but I would like to know if I need to switch out any of my cookware.)

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:35 pm 
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I have one. I like gas a lot more, but this isn't so bad once you get used to it. I still find that you can't adjust the heat as quickly as you can with gas, and it takes a little bit longer for things to heat up. I'm pretty used to it now though (after a couple of months) and it doesn't really bother me anymore. I still use all of my old cookware- normal stainless steel, a Scanpan non-stick pan, and an enamel-coated cast iron grill pan. Haven't noticed problems with any of them. I am a big fan of how much easier it is to clean that my old gas stove. I was worried about scratching it at first, but I don't seem to have damaged it yet.

The oven is awesome though, even if it does run about fifty degrees too hot.

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:27 pm 
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We have one and I don't have any special pans for it. I never heard of that! I never liked gas (I am scared of exploding). To me the only negative is not being able to heat up tortillas the way you can on an electric - because that is the best tastiest way to heat up tortillas.


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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:23 pm 
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I don't know if there are different kinds of induction stoves or not. I had one in one of my Paris apartments, and it took a lot of getting used to--it was a huge adjustment. I couldn't use half my pans on it. Some just plain wouldn't work. I had to get special pans with particular induction symbols on them and particular surfaces on their undersides. Once I got those, they did work. It was stunning how quickly the surfaces heated up--I really had to adjust my cooking style since the plaques got so hot so quickly.

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:20 am 
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So it's actually just a glass-topped electric (halogen) and not induction, which I'm kind of disappointed about. It's going to be an adjustment from cooking on gas my whole life. Any tips from anyone who has gone from gas to electric?

I did end up getting rid of my tefal non-stick frying pan and sauté pan because they were both a bit warped and not flat on the bottom anymore. Mom gave me a gift-certificate to a fancy-schmancy kitchen store and I splurged on some mid-range stainless steel replacements. I understand there's a learning curve to using them, but I'm excited to try them out! If anyone has used stainless steel frying/sauté pans, I'd love any tips on that too!

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:41 am 
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molasses jane wrote:
I don't know if there are different kinds of induction stoves or not. I had one in one of my Paris apartments, and it took a lot of getting used to--it was a huge adjustment. I couldn't use half my pans on it. Some just plain wouldn't work. I had to get special pans with particular induction symbols on them and particular surfaces on their undersides.


Induction works by utilizing the magnetic properties of the materials you put on top to create heat. That is why not all pans are working with it. There is only one kind of induction.

BUT, you do not neccessarily need to buy special pans, you just need to make sure that they have an iron bottom (or even better, are completely made from iron) because iron is magnetic. This means that any old cast iron pan is fine, those made from aluminium will not work (because aluminium is not magnetic).

If a very light pan claims to work for induction then it is because it has probably an iron bottom sandwiched into the aluminium.
Since aluminium is really popular these days due to being light and durable, a lot of pans are made from it and are therefore not really suited for use with an induction oven.


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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:57 am 
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lepelaar wrote:
So it's actually just a glass-topped electric (halogen) and not induction, which I'm kind of disappointed about. It's going to be an adjustment from cooking on gas my whole life. Any tips from anyone who has gone from gas to electric?

I did end up getting rid of my tefal non-stick frying pan and sauté pan because they were both a bit warped and not flat on the bottom anymore. Mom gave me a gift-certificate to a fancy-schmancy kitchen store and I splurged on some mid-range stainless steel replacements. I understand there's a learning curve to using them, but I'm excited to try them out! If anyone has used stainless steel frying/sauté pans, I'd love any tips on that too!


I have used both but have the most experience with cooking on an electric stove. The biggest difference (obviously) is the reaction time for any changes to the temperature you make and it is something you can use to your advantage:

- Switch on the heat while you are still chopping stuff (like onions) so the pan has enough time to heat up
- When you cook pasta or similar you can switch the heat off a couple of minutes before the pasta is done because the heat stays for a while
- If you have a pressure cooker this is really energy-saving because I can almost switch the stove off right after the pot has come to pressure (or after very few minutes) and the remaining heat will be enough to finish the cooking

Other than that it really isn't that different. You'll get used to it!

About the stainless steel pans... well, to be honest, I did not have a very positive experience. I was not able to season it like you can with cast iron and because of that many things stick awfully. It does work well for anything that does not have a tendency to stick, like flatbreads or hard vegetables (e.g. green beans). Scrambled tofu or very starchy stuff like potatoes was just a huge mess and ended in the bottom of the pan being crusted and burned and almost uncleanable.
Sorry not be able to tell you more positive stuff! Maybe my pan just sucks or something.

I usually use nonstick and as soon as my current set is done I'll get some of those with ceramic coating. I've heard nothing but good things and this is a nonstick coating that is fine with high temperatures and then I'll finally be able to saute with high heat and not be afraid of my pan to die.


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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:12 am 
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Thanks for the tips, Lily! It would never occur to me to use the slower reaction time to my advantage like that! I'll have to experiment.

RE: the stainless steel pans, the shop where I bought them had an info sheet about cooking with them and the advice they gave to avoid sticking was: 1) get the pan really hot before putting oil/food in (they suggest testing it with a drop of water and if the water "bounces" rather than sizzles it's hot enough to add the oil), and 2) if you put a protein in that tends to stick (their advice was for meat/fish, but I assume the same goes for tofu/tempeh) resist the urge to stir/pry it off the pan right away; the suggestion was that the food will "relax" and let go of the pan when it's ready to be stirred/flipped. Even with those tips, though, the salesman said it took him about 10 tries before he had the hang of it. I'll just have to try and see, but I'm determined to do it till I get it right.

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:46 pm 
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Lily wrote:
I have used both but have the most experience with cooking on an electric stove. The biggest difference (obviously) is the reaction time for any changes to the temperature you make and it is something you can use to your advantage:

- Switch on the heat while you are still chopping stuff (like onions) so the pan has enough time to heat up
- When you cook pasta or similar you can switch the heat off a couple of minutes before the pasta is done because the heat stays for a while
- If you have a pressure cooker this is really energy-saving because I can almost switch the stove off right after the pot has come to pressure (or after very few minutes) and the remaining heat will be enough to finish the cooking

This :-) I learned to cook on my mom's electric stove and at I really hated cooking on gas when I first moved out (I later learned to love it though). It is very easy to keep your cooked food warm on an electric stove, which is ideal if you're not good at timing when different menu items will be ready. Depending on how low the electric goes, slow cooking a stew or seitan on a very low simmer is also way easier on electric.

It takes a little while to get used to the stove's slower reaction time, but after a while you develop a real spider sense for when to start heating your pots or when to turn them down to get them at the right temperature at the right moment. Once that happens, I find electric cooking is a lot more relaxed than cooking on gas, since it is all about anticipating, rather than split second last minute reactions. Before you get the magic electric stove spider sense, you'll probably have some dramatic overboils, so be sure to have oven mittens and a heat proof mat on hand so you can remove any out of control pots from the heat at the first sign of trouble. Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:06 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:

RE: the stainless steel pans, the shop where I bought them had an info sheet about cooking with them and the advice they gave to avoid sticking was: 1) get the pan really hot before putting oil/food in (they suggest testing it with a drop of water and if the water "bounces" rather than sizzles it's hot enough to add the oil), and 2) if you put a protein in that tends to stick (their advice was for meat/fish, but I assume the same goes for tofu/tempeh) resist the urge to stir/pry it off the pan right away; the suggestion was that the food will "relax" and let go of the pan when it's ready to be stirred/flipped. Even with those tips, though, the salesman said it took him about 10 tries before he had the hang of it. I'll just have to try and see, but I'm determined to do it till I get it right.


I use stainless steel and love them! Your salesman was right about letting stuff cook on one side without flipping it for a few minutes. It gets a nice little crusty sear and then it lets you flip it right over. I also keep a little cruet of water next to my stove for emergency sticking situations, when I don't want to add more oil.

Cornelie wrote:
It takes a little while to get used to the stove's slower reaction time, but after a while you develop a real spider sense for when to start heating your pots or when to turn them down to get them at the right temperature at the right moment. Once that happens, I find electric cooking is a lot more relaxed than cooking on gas, since it is all about anticipating, rather than split second last minute reactions. Before you get the magic electric stove spider sense, you'll probably have some dramatic overboils, so be sure to have oven mittens and a heat proof mat on hand so you can remove any out of control pots from the heat at the first sign of trouble. Good luck!


Yeah, reaction time is wayyy different on electric. I learned to cook on gas and miss it terribly, because I'm the sort of person who doesn't realize something needs turned WAY DOWN until almost too late. On an electric stove, it is too late. I burned a lot of things when I first started. And yeah, lots of overboils. You'll get used to it, though. It'll just take some time.

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:19 pm 
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I LOVE induction. It is so bloody fast! At least my parents' induction stove is. Gets super mega hot mega quickly, and cools down even quicker. Careful with the tefal non-stick though. My mum ruined their first one, because it got too hot. Their induction has nine levels(?, sorry I dont know if that is the english word), and she can only use the six lowest with the non-stick.
I would love to have an induction stove instead my own regular electric stove. Everything cooks so much faster, and water boils within a minute or two.


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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:08 am 
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Stainless steel cookware is awesome! There's a little bit of a learning curve, but if you use some tips from saute videos on Youtube, you'll get the hang of it in no time! Restaurants use stainless steel for everything. They retain heat well and clean up easy (and you can put them right into the oven).

I second the comment about letting foods relax. Once they get that crust, you'll be able to flip the more easily. You can always deglaze with a little vinegar or stock or water to loosen things up too. The real key is a hot, well-oiled pan.

Another bonus: even if you get something stuck on there real bad, just give it a soak and a scrub with chemical-free steel wool. Good to go!

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:10 pm 
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I used my stainless steel frying pans for the first time today and it went really well! I made pan-seared tofu and followed the directions I got from the store (waiting until water forms balls and bounces in the pan, lowering the heat, waiting for the oil to heat up, and leaving the tofu alone until it releases from the pan). The first side got a little browner than I would have liked, but I think once I get the hang of this, I'm going to love these pans!

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:14 pm 
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I had a glass-top electric stove like the one you describe when I was married, and even though they said not to, I used cast iron (pan and griddle), Le Creuset (enameled cast iron) nonstick and everything else and never had a problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:14 pm 
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The same here - no problems with the Creuset skillet on my smooth-top electric stove.


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 Post subject: Re: Cooking on a glass (induction) stovetop
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:19 am 
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I love stainless steel pans too! Only advice I have that hasn't been mentioned here is that you can often tell when the oil is ready without the water thing after a while because it get's really... 'wavy'? in the pan. It'll be all shimmery and rippley. Oh also, be careful with olive oil, since it doesn't love high heat like the pan does, I've had it flame up at me quite a few times when I put the food in. But, It's actually kind of fun when it does that because it's always been just really brief and I look like a super fancy chef who's purposefully flambéing something.

Oh, and though I also prefer gas, I find if I just take the pan off the coil when I'm done, put it to a cool one or on a rack nearby or something, it doesn't feel much different than using gas.

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