Induction and Copper - adapter or new cookware?

I am going to replace my beloved gas Berta with either a new gas model or induction. Induction would be a no-brainer were it not for my collection of Mauviel copper that I assembled over a few years. I have really grown to love the beauty, quality, comfort, and ease of cleaning the stainless interiors of these pots (and the handles are quite comfortable, in contrast to the All-Clad they replaced).

Mauviel makes an adapter disc and they have also introduced a line engineered for induction (and there are plenty of others out there as well). Thoughts? The disk approach reduces the responsiveness of the induction reaction, doesn’t it? Am I nuts to sell all of this copper? (Most of these pots have the original cast-iron handles.) Also I’m, ahem, not getting younger and at some point the weight of the copper/cast iron is going to be problematic (which has already surfaced due to an injury that required my SO to be a pot butler for a few weeks).

I suggest you contact Mauviel about their adapter discs, and how well they work. A big advantage of induction is responsiveness. My SS and CI work well, and I have a couple of aluminum non-stick pans that also work well due to an induction compatible ring that is fused to the bottom…

IMHO, if they are not a well integrated part of the pan your results may be less than ideal.

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If you’re going for induction, go for induction-compatible pans. Full stop.

Induction plates are generally quite inefficient and can also put unnecessary stress on your induction cooktop. If a manufacturer makes an adapter disc for existing pans, it might be a little more optimized–but unless it’s bonded to the pan itself it’s extremely unlikely to be efficient. While the adapter discs let you use non-induction-compatible cookware, the experience is more likely to feel like using an electric cooktop (slow heat-up, hot stovetop) than an induction cooktop (instant heat, heat transferred directly into pan).

For reference, this pan preheats so quickly that I often preheat by accident–rather than intentionally–simply because it takes me a few seconds to go from turning on the induction cooktop to getting ingredients into the bowl. Larger pans (or pans which retain more heat) of course take longer to preheat.

A lot of different induction-compatible pans can cook well on an induction cooktop. I strongly prefer highly-responsive pans that can also recover quickly (for searing, etc.) so I went the copper route. But as you can see in the photo above I also have some aluminum disc-bottom pans for when I am optimizing for heat retention rather than responsiveness.

One related (but slightly off-topic) warning: if you buy an induction stovetop, pay close attention to the size of the induction coils (and also the wattage of each coil). Ideally pans should be placed over large-enough coils, like with a gas stovetop. And if you’re looking to boil water quickly or you want to sear with pans that don’t retain as much heat, higher wattage is your friend.

I recommend getting a converter plate and a PIC and determining for yourself whether you need to abandon all your beloved copper.

IMO, the only reason not to employ a converter is the possible damage to the appliance, and that would be far more likely in long cooks and on appliances with deficient fans/venting.

The converters I use are triply, and have about 3mm aluminum cores. They mitigate the inherent unevenness of induction somewhat.

IMO the aspects of responsiveness and efficiency are mostly red herrings. Lifting or moving the pan–epecially a copper pan–will always shed heat faster than lowering a power setting under a pan atop glass. Upward responsiveness isn’t a problem on any hob with even middling power. So unless you can’t/won’t habituate to moving pans, lack of downward responsiveness isn’t a reason to avoid disks.

There is a kernel of truth to the claim that unless you have perfect thermal contact, the efficiency drops. As in SOME. But, bear in mind that the energy savings of that is truly minuscule–the break even point of junking your Mauviel and replacing it with Falk Coer or Prima Matera would be far longer than you have left to live.

I’d like to hear from anyone here who has actually wrecked a fullsize appliance by using a converter plate. I’m not claiming it hasn’t happened, but neither have I read of anyone’s direct experience.

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You make some good points, @kaleokahu

Do you have a link to the tri-ply induction converters you use? I’d love to order some in and test them out. There are two or three pans I’d like to use with my induction cooktops (most notably a small pressure cooker that only comes in aluminum, but also an unlined copper pot).

Walmart sells an inexpensive aluminum induction pressure cooker.
Its on my “wish list” after I get my income tax refund.
Aluminum Induction Pressure Cooker

Thanks Dan, that’s a good tip! :slight_smile:

I apologize. I meant to say “pressure canner,” not “pressure cooker.”

I want to use an All-American 10 quart pressure canner specifically (for food safety reasons, for the gauges they use, etc.), but their equipment is all-aluminum. :frowning:

(NOTE: any affiliate commissions go to our forum’s host, Hungry Onion, if I tagged this right)

No problem… Yes, all I need is a pressure cooker that will prepare meals for two.
And the more I use my induction hob/burner, the more I like it. In the last month or so, I’ve only used my older style electric stove top for my old (jiggler style) pressure cooker. I imagine I’ll phase that out (and put it in the garage) when I purchase the induction pressure cooker.

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so sorry - but induction is absolutely not “more responsive” than gas.
if you like using your copper, stay with gas.

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Gas sure does feel responsive, you make a good point there. These comparisons start to get complicated quickly for a lot of reasons.

In my experience (and just doing some back of the napkin physics calculations), equally-powerful gas and induction stovetops (as measured in therms or watts) should both be very responsive.

I would expect an equally-powerful induction stovetop to win the efficiency race–and to be a good competitor (and maybe even win) in the responsiveness challenge–simply because it’s transferring more heat directly into the pan and less waste heat into the room. But confounding factors include the construction/design of both the pans and the cooktops.

I use 1800 watt induction medium-coil-sized induction burners for almost all my cooking. They are extremely responsive on the 16-24cm pans I use on a regular basis. But they’re not really appropriate (nor spec’d for) cooking with a wok or using a 28cm-32cm pan. For those applications I would expect to need a 3600+ watt (perhaps more) induction burner with a larger coil size.

For those who have already incurred the cost of installing a gas line, an inexpensive gas cooktop will probably deliver more performance per dollar than an induction cooktop. For new construction, induction starts to look pretty darn attractive.

If you love your existing copper pans and cast iron handles, there’s also an argument to be made about keeping them just because you love them :slight_smile:

@kaleokahu recommended picking up an adapter plate to test out. That’s probably a good first move. If you can find someone who has an induction stove with similar coil size and wattage to what you’d be looking at, that would give you a fairly inexpensive way to test out your pans (which you’ve already paid for and enjoy using) on induction.

If you decide to go for induction and you want new pans, then the decision tree gets a little more interesting. You might end up going with fully-clad aluminum pans again–with different handles. Or you might end up going for induction-compatible copper (or aluminum-and-copper-clad pans). Or taking another route entirely.

If I were wearing your kitchen shoes, I’d probably start with the induction disc adapter plate and find a friend who’s willing to let me test out my pans in exchange for cooking up a nice dinner.

BTW, I noticed that Bon Appétit uses an induction adapter plate from time to time in their videos, with certain pans. Starting out with your existing pans and then strategically supplementing them or replacing a few with specific induction-compatible pans in the future isn’t a bad strategy either.

All American is to pressure cookers what Kirbys are to vacuum cleaners–excellent and historically the best. No gaskets, extra strong, adjustable (and higher) pressure settings, many sizes, etc. AAs are the only vessels I would use for pressure canning meat and fish.

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Had gas on a crappy range at my last apartment and used some Mauviel and Bourgeat copper pans and loved them. Bought a house 5 years ago and gas wasn’t possible so I put in a Cafe induction range.

I love it. Honestly. It has knobs so it’s like cooking with invisible gas flames. Reacts immediately to a turn of the knob and is very precise. It’s so fast too. I can’t recommend induction to someone who wants it enough. Especially if gas isn’t an option or is too expensive.

That said, I’m moving in June and we’ve already bought a GE Monogram gas range for the new house. After 5 years of induction a few things got tiring.

For one, owning 4 pieces of copper and not being able to use them obviously kinda sucked. But whatever. I have beautiful pots and pans that do work on induction. If you own many pieces of copper it may hurt even more to have it sit in storage or give away.

Induction is inherently an uneven heat source. Heats directly above the coils. Therefore matching pan size to coil is very important. The rings on the stovetop are NOT the size of the coils underneath. Because of that I can’t really use to large pans at the same time. I have to plan and juggle how I’m going to accommodate them for the dish I’m making. People will tell you that thick disk based pots and pans from Paderno and Fissler will fix the uneven aspect of induction, which they’ll help a ton, but they won’t react nearly quick enough so you need to be very aware of that while cooking. Demeyere’s disk based saucepans and saute I find are a perfect mix of very even heating but still not too thick so the pan reacts quickly to changes in temperature. Clad cookware is going give you the real experience of uneven heating. Think bacon that’s cooked to a crisp in the middle and floppy on the ends. Even my 4mm thick Demeyere Teppanyaki spread over two burns basically acts as just two pans as the middle of the Teppanyaki doesn’t get hot enough to do much. You can deal with that by moving the food around, but still something to be aware of.

For me the switch back to gas came down to being able to use my copper again, buy more copper, use my other pots and pans to their potential, having the flexibility to use larger pans, and the even heating of gas.

You honestly can’t go wrong, but I think in your situation I’d stick with gas.


Thank you all for your thoughtful answers!

I am leaning towards keeping gas. I really don’t have any complaints about the stovetop on my Berta and I expect that my issues with the oven will be resolved with a new model.

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Some good insights on induction there, Robert. Thank you.

BTW, have you seen the new induction ranges which use dozens of smaller coils (so that one can put pans of just about anysize, in any location on the surface)? This one has 56 small induction coils, in an attempt to act as one huge continuous cooking surface–but with distinct user-settable power intensity levels under each pan.

I’m not a fan of the all-touchscreen controls, as I really like physical knobs on things that get hot or wet. I do really like how the cooktop is smart enough to follow pans around when moved (either to transfer heat where the pan has moved, or to use the movement as a trigger to raise/lower the intensity for that pan).

I haven’t tried the Freedom Induction range. And I know it’s pricey. If I were looking for a built-in range and didn’t need precise pan temperature control, this is the one I’d probably save up for. Hopefully someone figures out how to combine that concept with knobs and pan temperature control in the future as well :slight_smile:

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I have! I’ve actually used them in a store before as well. Touch screen controls were always a turn off with how messy things can get, not sure how many pans at once it can do, but the price is the biggest thing for me. Can’t make that happen, but it’s great this technology is out there. Make it compatible with copper, up to 6 pans, knobs, and no more than $5k and I’m in :laughing:


This sounds like the correct answer for you, unless you and/or a spouse/partner values the modernity, “convenience” or aesthetic aspects of induction highly.

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Try searching for VonChef plates. Recently there has been a plate offered that has perforations, too.

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Thanks for your input!

It’s been 10 days. Did you buy something?