Induction cooktop and warping.

Hi all.

We had an induction cooktop for a bit over a year now. Before we got it, I did some research. And back then, aswell as today. The web is overfloaded with warnings that induction will warp your cookware :blush:

Those “warnings” did make me focus on buying better and higher quality cookware, mostly pans, then I did before.

And maybe that’s the reason I haven’t had any problems so far. But what do you guys think. Is the hole “induction will warp you cookware” a myth? Or is it true?


You can warp a pan on any cooktop by doing something stupid. I warped a 12" Lodge CI skillet by leaving it empty on high heat and forgetting about it for too long.


I picked up a cheap “induction ready” skillet at Goodwill for just a couple of bucks. My idea was… I would learn how to cook on induction and if I made a mistake and warped this skillet, I only lost a couple of bucks. After a month or so, I learned which setting to use for each food item and “completed” my learning curve without warping my Goodwill skillet, so I started using my “better” cookware. No incidents to date and nothing is warped.


Sure you can ruin everything with abuse. But it seems to me there is an understanding that induction will ruin cookware even if used normal/moderate

I use my Cast Iron, Enameled Cast Iron and Granite Stone pans on my induction hob/burner. When I turn on the hob/burner, the default is number 5 (it goes from 1 to 10). Most items I cook on 4, 5, or 6 setting.
I will turn it up when searing steaks in my Lodge Cast Iron, then finish them in the oven. Again, no warping or problems.

dunno anybody that subscribes to that “understanding”. But since pans heat faster on induction, perhaps those creating that understanding just don’t get they are overheating their pan.

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I cook on gas at home, but 3-4 times a month I visit my father and make dinner at his home for us.

He has a rather mediocre Bosch induction cooktop and I have so far managed to warp 2 pans on his stovetop - a Matfer Bourgeat 28 cm carbon steel frying pan and a Mauviel M’Cook 5-ply 28 cm frying pan.

But this was back in 2017/2018 I warped them, and I only really started to cook with a passion in 2016 and also from then on started my interest in high end cookware and how to use cookware in general - and get cookware to work FOR you and not AGAINST you.

For instance - the Mauviel M’Cook frying pan warped, because I followed a professional chefs advice on how to make the best most juicy sauteed mushrooms.
The chef, a friend of mine, adviced me to heat the pan up empty until screamingly hot, then add the dry mushrooms without any fat - and sear the heack out of them for 1-2 minutes, then add a bit of oil and butter, then keep the heat high for further 2 minutes until the mushrooms starts to get some dark colour, then add salt and pepper as the final touch.
This gives you the best most juicy mushrooms. Only problem is that a chef uses pans from a professional kitchen or a thick heavy cast iron pan for this. I used a rather thin 5-ply Mauviel M’Cook pan and it warped immediately.

I’ll never use that method again, even though it gives you the best most juicy mushrooms.
I now add a bit of oil to the pan, heat the pan up until it’s pretty hot, then add the mushrooms - done this way I minimise the chances of getting a warped pan.
You live and learn, right.

The Matfer carbon steel pan warped because I heated it up empty until leidenfrost to sear 3 Rib-eye steaks in it. Matfer carbon steel has a tendency to warp on induction more easily than De Buyer and Darte carbon steel pans, because Matfer pans are a bit thinner. The neweer Matfer carbon steel pans should address this problem with a more concavely shaped bottom.

I have also hear from a couple of my friends, that their induction stovetops tend to warp pans more easily than gas stovetops will.

My conclusion is, that induction will warp pans more easily than other type stovetops - but if you take the proper precautions, you can minimise the chances of warped pans on induction stovetops.

I never heat my pans up empty until screamingly hot any longer - not even on gas, i’ll add a tiny bit of oil first or only heat the pan up until it’s hot, not screamingly hot.

If I worked in a restaurant, I would heat the pans up until screamingly hot empty since I don’t cry over a warped pan, that I haven’t paid for with my own money.

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I’ve had an induction range for 4+ years now. I have uses disc- bottom and clad cookware, and carbon steel, and ECI on the cooktop. Nothing has warped.


It’s not a complete myth. Yes, it’s possible to warp pans on any cooktop, but induction makes it easier to do. Gradual changes in upping the heat settings are pretty much guanteed to prevent it.

Besides that, induction gets a bum rap because even a tiny bit of warpage is too much on flat glass. It will still cook fine, but the rocking, spinning and/or moating is enough for many cooks to say the pan is ruined.


It is easier to warp a cookware on an induction cooktop. Obviously, you can warp cookware on any stovetop, and also induction cooktops do not guarantee warping. In general, thicker cookware are better in this regard.


I did see some video about the older matfer without the concave bottom. And how it was more delicate when used on induction.

I don’t have any knowledge about the mauviel 5 ply. But ain’t that also a pan on the thin side?

Thanks for a thorough reply. Yours and others comments seem to back up that induction is more prone to warp cookware if used wrong. :blush:

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Warping a decently made pan on induction IMO is a user error in most cases like on any cooktop. It is easier to make the error on induction, because the heat is coming directly to the pan bottom in a more discreet heat pattern, which is typically smaller than the bottom of the pan on round induction. That is of course more true the larger the pan is compared to the element.

I have warped a pan on induction. It was a 24cm de Buyer Milady disk based pan and I preheated it on power boil empty. I was not sober, though I was still fully aware it was not the best idea. I heated it up quickly for extra couple small steaks. It got the job done :).

I checked the bottom of it now and I notice that it has a bit of bulging outwards at about where the induction “donut” heats it most discreetly. Essentially the high spots where in donut shape it appeared, with some concavity (low) in the middle still compared to the high spots. So the edge areas of the bottom were a bit lower than the high spots - In effect it’s a bit of a spinner now. Still usable, but I think I might be able to fix it.

If one gets enough oil splatter on the induction cooktop, and from there under a pan, it can lubricate the pans so they move more easily. It can then also seem like something may have warped when it hasn’t.

Gradual heat increments indeed and you should not warp a pan.

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Certainly it’s not the case. If someone is ruining pans on induction with “normal/moderate” use, their use of heat is probably actually off, or they are cooking on crappy/defective pans. Basically using their pans incorrectly or using them for something they were not the best pick for.

I know some people are sort of, how should I say, warp sensitive/aware. They seem to look and follow their cookware like crazy if they “warp” and notice something that probably isn’t even there. It “warps”, “unwarps”, “not sure if its warped”, etc.

One can use a bit of higher settings for a time once the pan has been preheated gradually and there is food on the pan. But if heat is blasted for too long, I suppose a especially a thinner pan can warp even then like that. More likely again if its oversized.

When I use my clad, I might use a setting of about 12 /14, maybe 13/14, for a while if the food challenges the heat retention and I want to keep it going on high heat. Then I turn it down once I have achieved what I wanted. I might do this for a pile of ground beef for example if I want to put some sear on it. My pans have been fine, but I would not recommend high heat settings to be used much, instead its wiser to use a pan with more with a larger heat reservoir for “high heat” cooking.

So when wanting to actually Sear, a thicker pan makes more sense, there is more heat retention in the first place after its preheated and its not as prone to warping. Thinner pans are more suited to lighter tasks.

Edits + So don’t buy e.g a Mauviel M Cook and use it for actual high heat searing on induction. It would be more for lighter general day to day cooking.


I’ve not used induction myself but have read/heard a good deal about this issue.

The advice about proceeding with moderation in heat-levels with induction seems well founded. I will also suggest the matter of pan size in relation to the actual size of the induction component must be meaningful. The YouTube chef/cook Helen Rennie has a video that goes into how relatively small the induction element is on all but the quite pricey models (one note: don’t believe that any circle shape on the burner describes the actual size of the induction element):

Basic physics suggests that heating something like a large carbon steel skillet with induction could create pretty severe metal stressing. One would have to let the induction burner work slowly on the contacted metal and then wait for that metal to radiate its heat outward gradually, with the outside metal getting zero direct assistance from induction.

Yes, Mauviel M’Cook is rather thin 5-ply cookware.

Back in 2016/2017 where I bought all my Mauviel M’Cook cookware I thought it was the worlds best cookware at any task you could find.

It isn’t. But it’s still very solid cookware and used in 1000’s of professional restaurants worldwide, including several 3-star Michelin places. But you still have to use common sense when cooking with it.

Heating a M’Cook frying pan up empty to more than Leidenfrost temperature on a rather mediocre induction cooktop to speed sear some mushrooms is asking for trouble. I know that now. I didn’t know that 6-7 years ago.

So it was user error on my side.

However - when I warped the Matfer carbon steel pans it wasn’t user error. Matfer pans were simply prone to warping on induction back then.

Look up ‘Uncle Scott’s kitchen’ on YouTube for more information on warped carbon steel pans, if you’re interested.

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The missing element in this discussion is stress relief. Most pans, especially spun and pressed ones, contain within them unreleived stresses. How much and how easily these forces move depends on how the pan is treated afterward.

I’d be shocked if ANY manufacurer makes any pan eithout at least trying to relieve some stress before the pan is boxed. And their designers try very hard to manage what happens to the forces in use. The design solutions usually involve slapping on a disc, thickening the wall, using a compensating floor geometry, or some combination of those.

If induction worked with aluminum, a very easy method would be to cast the pans.


[ETA - I recall now we’ve talked about this before… I’ve quit caffeine again and my brain’s not used to that yet.]

Interesting. When I’ve been in a mood to re-season my CI skillets, or gotten an old one at a rummage sale, I’ve put them through the oven burn-out cycle, which supposedly runs at 900°F.

But I guess it’s possible to get a pan quite a bit hotter than that if you just let `er rip on high flame on the stovetop. And the oven would be uniform heating while the flame wouldn’t be quite so even.

This is why I hated my old electric ceramic-top stove. I had some heavy pans that, as manufactured, had just a tiny crown to them (viewed upside down). Maybe 500 microns in height, not even noticeable when looking into the pan right side up, but enough to cause spinning on the glass.

I wonder, does anyone make an induction hob or cooktop with exposed elements, rather than glass/ceramic encased? Sort of in the fashion of the original exposed coil-element electric burners?

If so, minor warpage would be less an issue there.

Great video with good info.

I can’t quite recognise her experience with too small induction coils.

I have a 28 cm De Buyer sautepan with strait walls. It is a bit too big for my 210 mm Voss/Electrolux hub. But it does heat the 22 cm of the bottom quite even.

My normal 28 cm pans also heat to the edges, and judging by how the butter melts/browns. The heat is also pretty even.

I guess induction cooktops can be very different.