Induction experience

My data and methodology was made widely available on Chowhound. I’m not going to reinvent it here for someone who’s only played with someone else’s induction cooktop.

You say you “actually measured it”. How so?

With a Milwaukee 2267-20, with oil in the pan. But I think we are done here as it seems you’re more interested in arguing this than anything else.

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Nope, not arguing. But I have spent hundreds of hours carefully testing hobs and pans of all sorts.

Your method of shooting an oiled pan with an IR gun is a problem. The differences in emissivity alone would explain your “results”, but there’s also the distance, angle and spot radius to throw things off. If you really want to quantify readings and have meaningful comparisons, you really have to use contact probes.

Anyway, if you haven’t already seen it, here’s an example of what induction appliances’ fields “look” like translated up though a pan. These “scorchprints” are of limited utility as well, but you can at least visualize the donut hole pattern of temperature discontinuities that typifies induction appliances.

It’s not “completely untrue”.

The statement doesn’t say anything about a comparison with gas for example, it just states that it is possible to have even heating cookware on an induction cooktop.

Which is easily achieved if one uses a thick aluminum disc bottom pan, as you have alluded to yourself.

One can argue about its disadvantages, e.g. lack of responsiveness of such a thick disc pan, but even heating this is. More even heating than if I were to use a cheap clad pan on my excellent gas stove.

I personally would never voluntarily move from gas to induction, but that is mostly because of other reasons than not having the option to have even heating cookware.

I hesitate to comment on this thread since all of my studies on induction versus gas are awaiting peer review before publication, but here goes.

I’ve had a Wolf 2 “burner” induction cooktop for about 12 years now and also have a 1940s/50s Wedgwood gas oven. The induction did require an electrician to install a 220 volt outlet. I love the induction for how quickly it boils water (keep in mind that’s in comparison to a very old stove), but mostly for the ease of clean up. No matter what I do the grated stovetop is a pain in the ass to clean with all the grooves and nooks and crannies. When I finally get around to renovating my kitchen (hopefully soon), I’ll probably go all in with induction for the oven.

FYI in 2020 San Francisco banned natural gas for all new construction.


No, it categorically says the PIC evenly cooks food, making no mention of mitigating unevenness by choosing radically thick cookware. It doesn’t say even heating is “possible”.

Anyone using this PIC under cast iron in an application where evenness matters would be sorely disappointed, more so than on electric or gas hobs.

Nothing to dissent from here. Just as the #1 reason consumers buy nonstick pans is easy cleanup, that and other convenience features sell most induction appliances. Reasonable minds can differ on how to value and weigh those features when choosing appliances…

Bullshit! I know the spot radius of my IR therm, and the emissivity of olive oil is 90+%.

Yeah, I like my gas stove/oven as well. And I hate to even mention it because I haven’t read any of the studies, but there is buzz that gas stoves can emit carbon monoxide at unhealthy levels for some people. I imagine my old stove emits more than newer models.

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It’s a matter of personal preference.

I’ve done the math. Induction would heat a pot of water for pasta about two minutes faster than the Garland restaurant range I have.

I would give up the ability to roast vegetables directly on the flame and the ability to use most of my pots and pans. I would especially miss cooking in earthenware.

Where I live, Los Angeles, CA electricity is much more expensive than natural gas.

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LOL, you can also know the emissivity of beef stew, but it won’t tell you how even the pot is. The effective emissivity through a skim of oil is going to differ between pans with different “dry” emissivities. Were all the pans in thermal equilibrium at the same temperature before oiling and measuring?

Unless you measure the emissivities beforehand (and adjust accordingly), even different surface polishes on the same pan will result in different readings. In my client’s lab, they have a FLIR camera used on spacecraft and deep submersibles that costs more than my house–yet the physicists will only use wire probes when comparing, assessing and modeling something like cookware Deltas. Thermoworks puts it this way:

" The accuracy of the following figures is almost impossible to guarantee as the emissivity of a surface will not only alter with regard to texture and colour but also with its actual temperature at the time of measurement. We would recommend, in the first instance, comparing measurements, found with an accurate surface probe or wire probe, and then the Infrared thermometer can be adjusted to match the correct emissivity and used for subsequent measurements."

Your Milwaukee is probably a 12:1 spot ratio. Did you calibrate it with a black body? Did you hold a certain steady distance and perpendicular angle for every shot? Did the display reflect the ups and downs of the induction coil cycling? Did you see what happens to the averaged readings when the spot hit the pan’s shoulders or rims? Did you try any other thermal “patch” with a known emissivity, like the 3M electrical tape or black paint?

The oil itself is undoubtedly skewing the results as well. It’s conductive and adds convection and its own radiation. Did you use the same volume of oil for everything you tested? Were the pans holding the same depth of oil?

There aren’t many people in the culinary world who would agree with you that induction hobs are the most even. Some will say they are even enough for them, but that’s about it.

Hi maccrogenoff,

We’ve had radically different experiences with gas and electric in SOCAL.

I live in South Pasadena, about 12 mi. from downtown LA, and my gas bills have quadrupled over the last decade. Even with my increased reliance on electric power, my electric bills have been stable–and about 1/2 my gas bills–or less.

What is it that makes your electric bills so high and gas so low?


When I built my house in 2000, propane was 80 cents/gallon. Now it is 3 to 4 dollars.

I have switched out everything but heat to electric and prices have come down. Wished I installed wood stoves in the original build, but they’re inconvenient at best, and at the time propane seemed the better option.

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I, too, live in Socal, and my experience is completely opposite from yours.

Gas, low. Electricity, high.

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What authority do you have for your claim that induction is 200% more efficient than gas?

Last time I checked even DoE has withdrawn its claim that induction is ten percent more efficient. It’s not easy to directly compare, since the cost of electricity varies so much by area, and the efficiencies and environmental costs of generating the electricity rarely get factored in.

There really isn’t any practical speed advantage, either. It may appear so, if only because 3600W induction is so much higher energy than 2400W electrics and middle grade gas appliances. Orthogonal heat transfer and cookware being what they are, the response difference between a 3500F flame under the pan and 1500F within the pan isn’t large. Good gas units also come with simmer burners that can go as low as most cooks ever want or need. Are you making yoghurt or starting wine yeasts on induction?

Yeah, you read every day about gas users succumbing to CO poisoning. It’s the silent killer, apparently.

Then there’s the issue of what to cook on when there’s no power…


Please explain.

The actual costs we face on a monthly basis will vary, but both our electricity and gas costs have been increasing over the past decade or so, and gas is increasing more than electric–for both of us

You may use more electric than ever before, so it might appear to cost more.

Of course, if you have solar, electricity would cost you nothing . . .

It’s the opposite for me.

I have SCE and SoCal Gas, and for me electricity has been increasing more even though our usage has not changed.

No solar.

Although I am about to install an EV charger, but have not done so yet. Can’t imagine what my electricity bills will look like after that.

If that charger is for an electric or hybrid car, that electric increase will certainly beat what you paid at the gas station for your guzzler.

I could switch my cooking to gas any time–I’ve got the hookup.

but I won’t.

I enjoy my induction solution.

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I don’t own one, but I have used it several times at restaurants and at friends’ place. Thanks for sharing your experience.

"However, at least as mostly all induction hobs are currently configured, any such claim made by others is also misleadingly false.

So let’s make it both."

You were the one lumping all induction units together, so your statement goes beyond just the PIC.

It is categorically untrue that induction stoves are not able to provide even heating in a pan. You just need to buy better cookware. Not so different from gas, electric or what have you.