Induction cooking wisdom.

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Nemo

Staff member
Global Moderators
KKF Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
7,597
Reaction score
3,977
Location
NSW (Aus)
Tapping into the KKF brains trust again.

I currently have a 5 burner 80cm gas hob, running off bottled LPG (we are not on town gas). I'm thinking of moving to induction.

I think I'm aceoss most of the pros and cons but I have a couple of specific questions:

1) Can you season a carbon pan on induction or does the temperature protection cut in before it gets hot enough? Especially with a wok, I like to get it hot enough to burn off all of the residue that I coulget off with hot water and a good scrub. Can you season the underside? My pans are mostly too big to fit in the oven.

2) How is stir fry in a flat bottomed carbon steel wok? Is there enough heat transferred to the walls of the wok? Mine (de Buyer) is quite thick steel compared to woks you buy at the asian grocer, so maybe has more thermal conductivity and residual heat than the average wok. Would it be worth considering a stainless clad aluminium wok (obviously induction compatible)? FWIW, I won't use non stick.

Any pointers on what to look out for in the specs and features would also be welcome, as would your experience with particular brands (although I gather that the brands available in the US are a litte different to here in Aus).

Thanks for your wisdom.
 
Those are some very specific questions concerning woks that I can’t answer. However, I absolutely love my Wolf brand induction cooktop. I mostly use the Demeyere Atlantis/Proline pans. I also have two Solidteknics carbon steel pans.

I use this carbon steel griddle over two elements that can be bridged together. That’s an important feature in an induction cooktop if you have any pans that will cover multiple elements. I believe my initial seasoning of this pan was in the oven, but I maintain it on the cooktop.
C8419025-F169-45E2-844B-F9AF8111B7D8.jpeg


Demeyere, LeCreuset, and Allclad cookware in action.
F491CBC6-5B99-40D3-89AA-33C7F8C7EEE5.jpeg
 
Wok just don't work that well on induction, best is to get a thick cast iron one and just stir it old style, fixed cast iron wok was pretty common in the countryside. Other solution is to get a Induction burner designed for wok, those are used in commercial settings like cruise ship where any fire is forbidden.
index.jpg
 
IME it all depends on what induction hob, quality differs big time, and on the quality of the pans....
We came from a large (and good) gas hob and had to find our way using the current Neff (=Siemens=Bosch). It was not until we bought new pans (Fissler Profi line) that I really came to terms with induction. In our new kitchen we'll have a Siemens with flexible zone's that is large enough to accomodate large pans. The current hob feels like a puppet house hob when I put the large debuyer carbon pan on it

Steel and it's quantity in the pans used matters, I have two sizes of Debuyer carbon steel and they get smoking hot before the safety kicks in, but if it does during cooking you're up **** creek as the whole thing needs to cool down for like 10 minutes, not nice in the middle of searing a nice piece of meat...(don't ask me how I know, initially I thought I had broken the hob)

Carbon may warp, even the thick Debuyer steel bulges slightly upward when very hot, depending on what hob that may impact the energy transfer. It's easy to heat a pan too high, you need to calibrate your senses in order to find the right spot. I have carbonized croutons and stuff on plenty of occasions...

Seasoning the inside is doable, but an oven works better...or an outside propane burner....which BTW works wonders for a Wok as it is messy as heck and almost no extraction fan can cope, my wok-ing happpens outside. Flat bottomed woks are like flat bottomed girls, no fun...
 
BTW; cleaning a carbon steel pan using dry salt and heating it to high temp works a treat!
 
-snip-

Seems that my low end stuff are irrelevant to this thread.

Please disregard.
 
Last edited:
I’m such a fan of gas that I can’t yet get behind induction. This is likely a very personal issue.

I’ve seen commercial wok induction cookers that don’t cost the earth in use at many malls for fried rice and the like they work a treat. For round bottom woks.

So to your specific questions: the right induction device would enable you to get full wok hei at home.
If you are limited to 80cm all in for everything, Kenji Alt Lopez latest wok cookbook recommends a flat bottomed wok in lieu of a round one if you are limited to induction cook tops to get better results.
 
I like induction in theory but most of it sucks in the real world. I would not use it with a wok unless you were using a special induction wok burner. I've heard that some commercial induction wok burners are super sick, but they're also very expensive and require special power. Cooking and seasoning a wok on a "normal" consumer induction range -- or even higher end portable 1800W burners like the Control Freak from Breville/Polyscience -- is going to be a hassle at best. Maybe you could get away with cooking, but seasoning is going to be no bueno. Get yourself an Iwatani 35FW portable butane burner for wok use instead. Portable, inexpensive, high(ish) output.
I wrote a small manifesto on the problems I have with induction over on the eGullet forum. I really like its virtues, but the technology is implemented poorly for the most part. I'm sure there are nice residential induction units out there, but I still haven't come across one that I really like.
I'd happily take a free Control Freak or two though.
 
Last edited:
This :Iagree:

I use induction a lot when catering. It's good for providing a heating element where there's not one. Not particularly fast, doesn't cool as quickly as would be expected. Better in theory than in practice in my experience.

Definitely would not use one with a wok, Will and do use an aux burner (Iwanti) with one.

I hope the technology evolves to live up to the promise but again IME it has not done so yet.
 
I have an Iwatani I used to roast coffee on, it does not come close to what i need for a Wok @15.000BTU
Wokking IMO requirs proper heat in excess of 10KW

Our current induction hob stops heating when you toss a pan but does not shut off, I'd probably smash the glass if it would ;-) I do get crazy when spillage messes up the controls,

Fast? I've never seen 6 liters of water starting to cook faster for me to start boiling pasta than on this induction plate....pans do matter, I have a pot in which it takes 6 min to get to a boil, using a same size Fissler Pro it takes 3 min.

Mind you, my experience is as a home cook, quantities for commercial use are vastly different, so do power requirements of course.
 
I like induction in theory but most of it sucks in the real world. I would not use it with a wok unless you were using a special induction wok burner. I've heard that some commercial induction wok burners are super sick, but they're also very expensive and require special power. Cooking and seasoning a wok on a "normal" consumer induction range -- or even higher end portable 1800W burners like the Control Freak from Breville/Polyscience -- is going to be a hassle at best. Maybe you could get away with cooking, but seasoning is going to be no bueno. Get yourself an Iwatani 35FW portable butane burner for wok use instead. Portable, inexpensive, high(ish) output.
I wrote a small manifesto on the problems I have with induction over on the eGullet forum. I really like its virtues, but the technology is implemented poorly for the most part. I'm sure there are nice residential induction units out there, but I still haven't come across one that I really like.
I'd happily take a free Control Freak or two though.
Next time you’re in northern Wisconsin, I’ll let you play with my Wolf induction cooktop. For home use it works great. It handles low simmer very well and has a spill detector that shuts down for boil overs.
 
I like induction in theory but most of it sucks in the real world. I would not use it with a wok unless you were using a special induction wok burner. I've heard that some commercial induction wok burners are super sick, but they're also very expensive and require special power. Cooking and seasoning a wok on a "normal" consumer induction range -- or even higher end portable 1800W burners like the Control Freak from Breville/Polyscience -- is going to be a hassle at best. Maybe you could get away with cooking, but seasoning is going to be no bueno. Get yourself an Iwatani 35FW portable butane burner for wok use instead. Portable, inexpensive, high(ish) output.
I wrote a small manifesto on the problems I have with induction over on the eGullet forum. I really like its virtues, but the technology is implemented poorly for the most part. I'm sure there are nice residential induction units out there, but I still haven't come across one that I really like.
I'd happily take a free Control Freak or two though.
Thanks for the interesting link.

Our domestic electricity supply is 240V and power outlets are fused at 15A. Appliances are only supposed to draw 10A, so the most powerful domestic appliances are usually 2400W. There are a few that draw up to 15A but you need a special electrical socket (and presumably heavy duty wiring supplying it). I'm pretty sure Control Freak is 2400W in Aus.

It sounds like many think that induction is still not quite as versatile as gas. Maybe I should consider keeping the gas hob and possibly dabbling with some stuff on a portable induction.

I gather that the commercial portable units (is Control Freak in this category?) are much more expensive but more robust and offer more precise control than the 100 buck consumer models, especially at lower power levels. I have seen a few brands in the $4-10K range. The only options I have seen in the $1-2K are Control Freak and Dipo, who appear to be a South Korean mob who specialise in induction.

I'd be interested in peoples' experiences with these or any other relitavely affordable commercial units.
 
I have an Iwatani I used to roast coffee on, it does not come close to what i need for a Wok @15.000BTU
Wokking IMO requirs proper heat in excess of 10KW

Our current induction hob stops heating when you toss a pan but does not shut off, I'd probably smash the glass if it would ;-) I do get crazy when spillage messes up the controls,

Fast? I've never seen 6 liters of water starting to cook faster for me to start boiling pasta than on this induction plate....pans do matter, I have a pot in which it takes 6 min to get to a boil, using a same size Fissler Pro it takes 3 min.

Mind you, my experience is as a home cook, quantities for commercial use are vastly different, so do power requirements of course.
Our 2 ring wok burner is pretty hot for a domestic unit (we are on lpg, which burns a bit hotter than natural gas) but I doubt it is anything like 15KBTU. So I guess that my stir frying is a pale imitation of genuine wok work. Not to mention my thick, heavy, flat bottomed wok which completely precludes tossing. I sometimes toy with the idea of getting an outdoor 3 or 4 ring burner.
 
2) How is stir fry in a flat bottomed carbon steel wok? Is there enough heat transferred to the walls of the wok? Mine (de Buyer) is quite thick steel compared to woks you buy at the asian grocer, so maybe has more thermal conductivity and residual heat than the average wok. Would it be worth considering a stainless clad aluminium wok (obviously induction compatible)? FWIW, I won't use non stick.
It works.

I have an induction field that goes up to 2.4 kW and a river light flat bootomed wok.
For me it works totally fine. In fact I usually goe only to to level 7 out of 9 (plus a 10th level which is called booster).
I am pretty shure though that doing a stir fry on an induction stovetop fells different compared to a gas stove.

If the differences would matter for you I can not tell.
Therefore trying a portable induction stovetop first seems like a good idea to see for yourself if a switch to induction is acceptable for you.
When doing so may want to considere the following aspects:
- If you need the power of the gas for stir fryes exlusively you could considere a portable gas burner.
- Compared to a cheap portable induction stove a stationary high quality stove will provide a steady power output. Compared to this the cheap fields switch on and of at lower to medium power settings. This will provide a more uneven heat if you are using thin pots.
- The quality of pots for induction matters if you are using non stick aluminium pots with an additional induction ready core. Cheap models have a much lower efficiency then good quality ones.
 
Isn't it easier to just use a flat frying pan? I'm by no means a wok wizard but I always found those to work better than a proper wok on whatever consumer grade crap I've been cooking on, whether it was electric or gas. Probably still not going to give you the real thing, but at least more of the pan makes contact and gets heated properly.
 
It works.

I have an induction field that goes up to 2.4 kW and a river light flat bootomed wok.
For me it works totally fine. In fact I usually goe only to to level 7 out of 9 (plus a 10th level which is called booster).
I am pretty shure though that doing a stir fry on an induction stovetop fells different compared to a gas stove.

If the differences would matter for you I can not tell.
Therefore trying a portable induction stovetop first seems like a good idea to see for yourself if a switch to induction is acceptable for you.
When doing so may want to considere the following aspects:
- If you need the power of the gas for stir fryes exlusively you could considere a portable gas burner.
- Compared to a cheap portable induction stove a stationary high quality stove will provide a steady power output. Compared to this the cheap fields switch on and of at lower to medium power settings. This will provide a more uneven heat if you are using thin pots.
- The quality of pots for induction matters if you are using non stick aluminium pots with an additional induction ready core. Cheap models have a much lower efficiency then good quality ones.
I have some decent pots and pans- a Fissler stockpot and a couple of Demeyere proline frypans, as well as some carbon steel frypans/ woks and ECI casseroles. My smaller saucepans are stainless clad aluminum but not induction compatible, so would need to be replaced.
 
we replaced some pots immediately, as they did not heat ( or rather very slow), and the rest later on....we should have changed them from the get go. Your pots ought to work properly on induction, I can recommend the Debuyer copper clad induction sauce pan :)
 
yeah do not play with the idea to get a hugh BTU burner for outside wokking, get one ...it's a difference of day and night.
I use mine BOTH day and night... 200k BTU converts to a regular burner for large, flat pans (paella, chili, etc).
:cool: 🌛
I also have a 5000W induction, great for large pasta pots.

127350-IMG-6875.jpg
127352-IMG-6872.jpg
IMG_7687.jpg
 
My short amount of experience with induction (in a commercial setting) is this:

Pro's:
Way less heat radiating
Once you figure out power to temp levels, it's not much different from gas
BOILING WATER IS FAST!!
Way easier to clean
No pilot to worry about

Cons:
No cool flames
More complicated to fix
Need to be somewhat careful of the top
 
It sounds like many think that induction is still not quite as versatile as gas. Maybe I should consider keeping the gas hob and possibly dabbling with some stuff on a portable induction.

This is what I would do.

Actually one of my new neighbors has this kind of setup. Around here we have big/powerful ranges compared to the usual home fare, my own has an 18k burner. He got a Control Freak and just sets it on the counter. I am jealous. The Control Freak is really precise and for a home appliance built like a tank. Well worth the money IMO.
 
Our 2 ring wok burner is pretty hot for a domestic unit (we are on lpg, which burns a bit hotter than natural gas) but I doubt it is anything like 15KBTU. So I guess that my stir frying is a pale imitation of genuine wok work. Not to mention my thick, heavy, flat bottomed wok which completely precludes tossing. I sometimes toy with the idea of getting an outdoor 3 or 4 ring burner.
Fact checked myself on this.

The wok burner on our stove is listed at 4.15kW which is pretty close to 14KBTU.

Also, while propane (LPG) is much more energy dense than methane (NG), this is compensated for by the size of the gas injectors and the resulting flame is apparently only a tiny bit hotter. Not really enough to notice.
 
Back
Top