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What is the purpose of the raised center area that some pans have?

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What is the purpose of the raised center area that some pans have?

MaximRecoil | Jan 31, 2014 10:27 AM

For example, old Saladmaster "Tri-Clad" saucepans and skillets had a raised center, like so:

http://imageshack.com/a/img560/9853/p...

I've even seen a cast iron skillet with a raised center:

http://imageshack.com/a/img811/7941/x...

It is usually seen on older cookware, but it can also be seen on the thin aluminum pot that comes with a Whirley Pop:

http://www.sweetmarias.com/sweetmaria...

Was this done for structural reasons, i.e., to make it more resistant to warpage?

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