Zwilling Aurora

Hi Claus,

Sure, it’s certainly possible to warp cookware on induction – and radiant electric, coil, etc. I’ve only ever had trouble with carbon steel and thinnish SS clad pans warping on electric and induction cooktops, however. None of my bare or cast aluminum, disc-based SS, or cast iron skillets has ever shown any signs of warping. I generally heat skillets at a setting of 6-7 for 4-5 minutes before searing, as this is the minimum length of time necessary to reach the Leidenfrost point on my cooktops. Obviously YMMV, but avoiding thin clad (and carbon steel) cookware on cooktops like these is probably the best advice. Thin clad pans also don’t sear as well, so it’s a bit of a double whammy.


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Hey Andrew,

I totally agree.

Mauviel M’Cook is rather thin PLY, about the same thickness as De Buyer Affinity PLY and All Clad D3 PLY.

If I ever would consider preheating to Leidenfrost empty to see the small water bubbles roll around inside the pan, I would use my two newly bought 4,8 mm thick Demeyere Proline 7-PLY pans or my 3 mm thick Darto & De Buyer Mineral B Pro pans.

Yet I still don’t want to risk warping my pans again, so I’ve totally stopped this Leidenfrost procedure.

It means I can’t sauté mushrooms the way a professional chef taught me to (and this technique gives me the best most tasty mushrooms) - screamingly hot empty pan, no oil added, in with the dry mushrooms, jump sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add salt & pepper, jump sauté for a further 1-2 minutes, DONE.

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Compromising on good technique because you’re worried about a pan warping, getting discolored, etc. is what I’ve been preaching against on the old CH forum and now this one.

Quit buying cookware that induces you to worry more about it than you do the food.

Any piece of stainless – ply or disk-bottom that won’t make it to Leidenfrost or somewhat past it without warping (to a wobble on the hob) does not belong in your kitchen. And this sure has hell applies to carbon steel which should be somewhat concave when cold and end up less so, but still concave, when screaming hot – rock solid on a flat hob.

If you’re braising, you want a superfast and superficial sear. The protein is not supposed to get cooked to the first quarter inch of its depth when you’re just searing it off before it goes in the braising pot.


This thing’s responsible for hurting a Mauviel and Matfer Bourgeat? I don’t think I’d ever use the cooktop again.

The spirit is Zwilling, but thy flesh is weak.

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Hi Claus,

My induction has software that heats by temperature–or power. I have 100 settings for power, and when I use a power setting, it’s usually 30–which is about the same as 3 on your father’s induction.

Problem is, the induction unit tends to overshoot it’s desired level in either temperature or power mode: I can record it with my infrared gun, bit it’s pretty obvious. I defeat the overshoot by going back and forth between the two modes, allowing a slower increase in temperature for the pan–and almost no risk of warping unless the desired temperature for the pan is very high.

When I do go to higher temperatures, I tend to use my nanobond–which is built to take higher temperatures. Most other pans that can take the higher temperatures are heavy and klutzy.

I’m old and set in my ways and by no means an expert on induction equipment. That said, I doubt it’s something done well on the cheap – needs to be a four-figure investment and run on a 240V circuit (countertop models).

For most cooking tasks, I won’t heat up until leidenfrost. Actually, most of the dishes which I start with say frying an onion, I start with a cold stainless steel pan. Add onion and fats and only then put the flame on.

The reason? It’s much easier to get control of the temperature during the cooking process. Especially the Proline I found terribly annoying if I heated it to leidenfrost. Warping isn’t one of my concerns by the way.

Yes, I can also control the heat when I heat to leidenfrost, but it’s easier to control the heat upwards (from a low heat level to higher heat) versus downwards (from leidenfrost to lower temps).

I’ll only heat to leidenfrost when I want to do a quick protein sear on high heat. The two pans in my collection that are exceptional for this are the De Buyer carbone plus and the Mauviel 2.3mm copper with stainless steel lining. But even here some like to cook proteins low and slow. See Raymond Blanc:

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It’s certainly not required for every product and every task (cooking to completion in the same pan, etc.), but when it is you can’t be scared to mess up the cookware. The cookware has to be able to stand that much heat, and more actually, without warping. Full stop. This is especially so in a home kitchen where high heat would only be on the pan for a short time. In a restaurant, that much heat could be on a pan almost continuously for hours on end, depending on how well the kitchen is equipped and the kind of menu being offered.

If five minutes or so or hard searing is warping your cookware, you need to get rid of it regardless of how expensive it was or the brand. It saddens me to hear people saying their Matfer carbon steel pans are warping. Mine are still perfect after years of use and a whole, whole lot of heat.

My time to respond for the rest of the day is going to be limited. It might be that we’re talking past each other with regard to technique, appropriate cooking methods, and when they’re applied. It’s important to have all that sorted and we can pick it all up on another day.


I agree. I am notoriously hard wearing on my cookware - from high heat searing if needed, to rhythmically tapping on the sides of a pan with a metal spoon if I become impatient. I solely use metal utensils in my stainless (including copper) pans.

Hi Charles,

You’re partly right. My unit retails for $800, but it doesn’t require 240V. Neither does the $1800 Control Freak:


Sorry, can’t find a chef endorsement or other types of marketing buzz for this one. I don’t think they carry this one at Williams-Sonoma, either, but I could be wrong.

It’s certainly easy enough to find excellent induction cooktops for <€1K in Europe, and probably Asia, but my overall sense is that the U.S. has far fewer (and mostly much more expensive) options. I wouldn’t ever consider using a countertop PIC for most of my cooking, but we visited a few restaurants in Italy that used a bunch of them exclusively. Definitely helped keep the kitchen much cooler than a gas range, especially during the current heatwave.

Here are the specs on the one I somewhat chose arbitrarily for my post:

It’s a two-burner model with supposedly an equivalent of 31K BTUs per burner, which might be overkill in a home kitchen, but maybe not given the gas hobs people put in home kitchens these days.

Don’t think we’re going to see this one in Better Homes and Gardens.

I’ve done work on a Hatco cold slab and you see their salamanders fairly often. They make lots of stuff for commercial kitchens.

Easy to find for sale at commercial sites. Many reviews.

I just posted an example by an up and coming Chef in the video.


What does “is a BGH” mean?

I bought two of these 2-pan sets yesterday afternoon, one for her and one for me (figured it’s a decent entry price point and I need to learn new things). I took the free shipping which said it could be about a week. Got notice today that they’ve shipped already and the tracking page claims they’ll be here tomorrow. Cool!

I’ve got an old Griswold #8 CI hinged set (so one can act as lid, if you wished to do it that way) [edit- see correction below] that I still use for searing steaks if I’m only making 2; also they’re my go-to pans for cornbread. Otherwise I don’t use them as much as I used to. For frying I’m usually using a wok or non-stick (lower temp than I’d used for searing, obvs) and I’m starting to get fair results from a carbon steel skillet that I bought recently (my first). It’ll do eggs over-easy but I still get at least one or two places (out of 4 eggs) that stick a bit.

I started thinking about this hinged set and why they’d sell anything like that. Turns out they didn’t, or not quite. What I’ve got is the pan from a 2508 Griswold set, in which the pan has the hasp side of a hinge, which originally came with a moderately domed lid (that I don’t have) having the tongue side of the hinge.

Then I’ve got an 800 Griswold pan, which has a tongue side of the hinge, and which was the lid - but for a much deeper pan that was billed as a chicken fry pan.

So the fact that these two pans fit together neatly is just accidental (well, that and mold similarities).

Hi Charles,

The secret to induction is software control–not voltage–and the unit you posted lacks much of the latest software intelligence to take advantage of what software can do. The Control Freak has external and internal sensors that provide much more sensitive information than the Hatco. The Hatco became dated when Vollrath began to come out with its models. That’s when I bought mine.

The Control Freak is the next software control level beyond the Vollrath units–and the price is coming down–as I supposed it would. Maybe it will drop to my range.


You’ve bought top of the line 5 ply pans–the European equivalent of our 8"/10". small, medium pans. The aluminum on the inside tends to even out the heat pattern–avoiding hot spots–and the response is much faster than cast iron.

I’m guessing you’re ripe for the challenge.

There are tricks to avoid sticking with eggs, but you’ll need to develop your own technique. There are already good suggestions on this thread. The only other trick is learning when the pan will release an apparently stuck piece of meat–cooking at higher temperatures.

I’ll bet you’ll graduate from home school with flying colors–and become an SS guru.

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It’s my fathers.
I can’t force him to exchange it.

And I don’t need to heat up pans empty, unless I’m searing thick protein where I’ll use a thick De buyer Mineral B carbon steel pan. Leidenfrost is overhyped in my personal experience. Unnecessary and overhyped.

But I’m just a happy amateur enthusiastic home cook.

Mushroom sautéd with a bit of oil is 99% as delicious as when made in a dry screamingly hot pan.

I still want to cook at my fathers place once a week, and it’s no big deal.

Matfer carbon steel pans tend to warp more easily on induction than de buyer mineral b carbon steel pans do
So in with de Buyer Mineral B carbon steel pans and out with the Matfer. No big deal. I prefer De Buyer Mineral B Pro anyway.

But personally I agree. I would buy a new induction cooktop.

Dear Charlie,

You have been around professional kitchens for many many years.

I’ve been to maybe 20 or so professional kitchens, and seen a few thousand videos from professional kitchens.

One thing that continues to show up in professional kitchens is warped frying pans. They are literally everywhere.

But they don’t care. It’s not their pans. They only bring their own knives. They think about the output solely, like you do. And so they should. They charge money for it. And get their salary making food day in day out.

I don’t.

I want to make excellent food, but at the same time I care about MY pans bought for my hard earned money.

Professional chefs don’t give a sh*it about the pans they use. They abuse them rather than using them.
They care about output only.

I don’t need to preheat an empty pan to Leidenfrost unless I’m searing thick protein or am sautéing mushrooms.
Mushrooms made with a bit of oil in advance is 99% as delicious and I avoid the risk if warping a pan

Only very thick PLY pans can be preheated to Leidenfrost frost empty without oil on induction without risking being warped.

I like my PLY pans and I use them for certain specific tasks that doesn’t involve having to preheat them to Leidenfrost empty. If I should need preheating to Leidenfrost I own several other thick pans I can use instead.

Less it not more for me.
I like more and I enjoy cooking with ample numbers of pans to choose from. It’s part of the fun of cooking for me.

I use my pans, I don’t abuse them, I use them and I use them to their maximum without abusing them.

Many professional chefs abuse the pans - but it’s not their pans, it’s the restaurant owners pans.

I’ve seen dozens and dozens of warped frying pans in professional restaurant kitchens. So have you.
The output is key always. To them. They don’t care. They abuse the pans to their advantage. Output output output is KEY. And so it should be. In a restaurant where you charge money for the food you make.

Output is also KEY for us amateur cooks. I’m an enthusiast like very few when it comes to cooking.
But I still care about minimising the chances of warping a pan I’ve paid for with my hard earned money.

As long as I have alternatives ready in form of other pan materials and pan thicknesses this doesn’t make me less of great home cook. In fact the opposite since I know what pans will help me improve my cooking results and what pans will not.

For example I use non stick pans for certain specific tasks that doesn’t involve preheating to Leidenfrost for obvious reasons.
I don’t abuse my non stick pans. I use them in my favour to cook better food. So I don’t sear steaks in them - again for obvious reasons. There are so many better pan materials to use for high heat searing than non stick pans.

Most professional chefs don’t give a flying fu*ck about temperature control when using non stick pans.
They simply abuse the non stick pans until they’re worn out. I prefer to use my non stick pans for delicate items that don’t need high heat since non stick pans and high heat don’t go so well together.

Your mileage may vary.

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