Question (stupid) re temp control

I know that one advantage to gas (while i love) is that one can quickly change the temp. But isn’t that somewhat mitigated when the grates are extremely heavy cast iron? Don’t they HOLD the heat, keeping the pan and food from reducing temp quickly? (You may feel free to laugh at this question.)

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I think you are correct. I always wonder when cast iron cookware are advertised as “even cooking”, they mean even temperature across time, not across the cooking surface. It is said long ago that gas stove didn’t used to be this consistent. With a heat source that flicker (gas or otherwise), a heavy capacity cookware will stabilize the temperature.

I have burned my fingers and knuckles on those d@mn grates more than once.

But yes. Though you get used to adjusting temp keeping that in mind (and also move things off the hot burner grate if something is going to burn just from the retained heat of the grates).

It depends on the surface area and thickness… the less of each, the more responsive it will be.

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Yours isn’t a silly question. Yes, of course, a portion of the heat left in the grates can move into the pan and slow the pan’s/food’s cooling. But there isn’t a lot of surface area in contact with the pan; a high % of the pan’s bottom area is exposed to ambient air., which cools quickly.

Contrast this with a pan left atop a Ceran sheet or a resistance coil. On induction, not only is the pan bottom effectively sitting on an insulating layer, but that glass has stored its own heat from the pan (How much depends on how high, how long, how much mass, etc.). Calrod coils get much hotter, but expose more of the pan bottom to the air.

One thing I plan to do with (to?) Meekah’s G5 skillet is to test its downward response time on induction and compare it to the time on gas, leaving the pan on the deadned hobs. Any bets what the difference will be and how great it is?

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Not a dumb question at all. You bring up a valid point. Never really thought much about it.

Lots of good points here–thanks! It hasn’t been a problem, but I just seek to understand how stuff works–to a point. i did pull out of the Edx Chemistry of cooking course. This old pianist didn’t even have the requisite knowledge base 50 years ago when I graduate from high school!

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Not a stupid question at all, and it’s something I’ve experienced firsthand when using the same cookware on both gas and induction cooktops. I have definitely found for dishes that are temperature sensitive, such as scrambled eggs, there’s more holdover heat on gas cooktops – likely in part because the cast iron grates retain so much more heat (and get far hotter than the glass on induction). On induction cooktops, when I kill the heat completely the eggs simply stop cooking. On gas, the eggs continue to cook for another 20-30 seconds, which can often make the difference between creamy/custardy and tough/rubbery.

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If you look at below picture you’ll see only a minor part of the cast iron grates coming into contact with the flame. This is a medium size burner - one I’d use for temperature sensitive dishes - and its setting is on max (and yes, I should clean my stove today…).

Larger burners on my stove have thicker grates, and also a larger part of the grates being exposed to the flame. But these burners won’t typically be used for say egg-based sauces.

So, for all practical purposes, imho hot grates will not really be a detriment. And you can always just move your pan to a cold burner if needed.


Now, Andrew… I don’t want to be argumentative, but this isn’t true. Just yesterday, I started testing Meekah’s little G5 skillet on induction. After slowly preheating the pan to Liedenfrost, I killed the power and removed the pan. The Ceran remained hot enough to burn skin for 2 minutes and remained hot enough that the “Hot Surface” light stayed illuminated for several more minutes. Any pan left on that hob will get carryover heat from the glass, and for more than 30 seconds.

If what you really mean is you think there’s more heat contributed by an open gas grate compared to a continuously flat Ceran sheet, that’s debatable–and testable. We’ll see.

It occurs to me that this is this problem/question is the intersection of physics and experience. If one knows one’s stove, one knows when to turn off the heat source and/or move the pan so that the food continues to cook off heat for the optimum time.

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Yes it is, because it’s based on repeat firsthand experience.

I’ve been going back to the same rental house for three summers in a row, and the Miele gas cooktop there has far more carryover heat than any induction cooktop I’ve ever used, period. I’ve been bringing my own 10" nonstick pan to cook scrambled eggs, and over time have discovered that I either need to kill the heat far earlier than on induction, or better yet move the pan to a cold burner.

Two other things to add:

First, on an induction cooktop the pan is the hottest thing. It’s hotter than the glass beneath, not vice versa. This relationship is often inverted on a gas cooktop, where the grates are often far hotter than the pan itself.

Second, it’s not just the grates that get hot on a gas cooktop. There’s also the burner cap, surrounding steel surface, plus nozzles, etc. That’s a decent amount of mass to radiate heat after the flame is cut.

Of course, there are many variables, physical and empirically verifiable, and also experiential and subjective.

That may be your experience. But it’s objectively false to contend either that there is no carryover heat from induction or that your eggs instantly stop cooking when you kill the power. I think we’re headed to a point where you trade on the word ‘more’, so I’m out. At least until I have actual comparative data on carryover.

My geriatric Viking doesn’t have burner caps or nozzles. It does have heavy steel grates.

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Right, obviously open burners are designed differently. Would you mind posting a photo of your burner grates? Would be nice to compare with damiano’s. And I’ll take a photo of the ones on the Miele in a few weeks, when I return there.

Will do when I get home.

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I never contended that there is no carryover heat on induction. But as I wrote in my previous post, the glass surface is always going to be cooler than the pan itself, while on gas cooktops the inverse is likely the case.

Once the power is cut on induction, does some of the pan’s heat flow into the glass rather than into the contents? I’m not sure, but my understanding is that heat flows from an area with more heat to an area with less heat, as I believe you’ve described yourself over the years. Meanwhile, where does the residual heat in the gas cooktop go? Stands to reason that some of the extra would flow into the pan.

NB: this also could be a consequence of sidewall heat flowing back into the base of the pan on gas cooktops. As you know the sidewalls get hotter on gas than induction.

I’ll be curious to see the results of your experiments with the G5. It’s a small & light enough pan that you should be able to discern any carryover heat from the cooktop and its effects on the contents.

Unlike Damian’s, my gratings are uniform/same for small and large burners. On the smaller burners on high flame, 5 of the grating fingers extend about 1.5 inches into the flame. On the larger burners, a bit over 2.5 inches extend into the high flame. My caps are also pretty heavy and definitely pick up a lot of heat, so, to OP’s question, my gas stove definitely has a lot of carryover heat. I can’t speak to induction, having never used it. I can say that I don’t think the gas stove has all that much more carryover than my former ceramic-topped electric stove (especially on longer cook jobs, the ceramic would be hot several inches out from the edge of the coil area).

I cook eggs for my son’s breakfast each weekday and my remedy (if not immediately ready to plate) is simply to slide the pan off the burner as others have mentioned. Or if making over-easy, flip them, turn off burner on a “when” judgment call, then butter the toast while the eggs are coasting down to over-easy, then plate.

It’s impressive that you can return to the same rental home annually. Our most common destination is South FL and the Keys. Houses in those markets turn over so quickly that I’ve not yet been able to find a prior rental still on offer at Homeaway/VRBO/AirBnB in a subsequent year. And I search by the map function (because I want ocean/beach-front), so if a new owner had it with a new listing, I’d still find it.

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I recall older gas stoves that had lighter grates and separation between them. Most now have heavier grates that are designed so that pans may be moved around without lifting. A great feature for heavy pots full of things that need to be taken off the heat quickly.