Hi! Recently (maybe a month or two ago?) I bought a Max Burton 1800 watt induction hot plate, which now sits atop my rather expensive electronic (no knobs) radiant glass electric cook top with an ugly heavy duty extension cord connecting it to one of the two kitchen power outlets that are strong enough to serve it. Not exactly the look I had in mind when I redid my kitchen several years ago, BUT... I live in an all electric house with an impossible power company that seems to have eating up my discretionary monthly income in as big bites as it can manage as one of it's primary goals! So I plan on using the induction hot plate for most of my stove top cooking for some time to come. With my utility company, induction is an energy saving tool!
One of the first things I noticed with my hot plate is that the percent of ferrous metal in the pan makes a HUGE difference in the pan's responsiveness, as well as what temperature setting works well with it for the purpose I have at hand. In other words, my cast iron pans will smoke at a power setting of 3, whereas my induction friendly stainless steel pots and pans take about a 6 or 7 power setting to get the same result. Is this standard across the board with ALL induction cooking, whether hot plate or built in?
I recently bought a new 12" flat bottom wok to use with the induction burner. My old 14 inch round bottom wok with wok ring is just too dangerous to try to use on the induction hot plate, even though I do use the wok ring small side down on electric cooktops. When I tried to cure the wok on the induction hot plate, I got an exellent cure on the BOTTOM, but the curved sides were impossible, so I had to end up curing it in the oven, which did work great. I got the directions from wokshop.com, the Grant Avenue, San Francisco (Chinatown) wok shop. Hey, they sent me some fun free goodies with the wok too! This new wok is carbon steel, just like my old one, but I don't THINK it gets as hot as my cast iron, which may be associated with the quality and density of the ferrous metals in it. So... Has anyone used one of those rather costly (made in China) cast iron traditional woks with induction? (No. I will NOT use ANY teflon or ceramic coated woks. That's just ridiculous!) It seems plausible to me that I MIGHT get real "breath of the wok" stir fry on an induction cook top with a cast iron traditional wok. Anyone have any experience with this kind of wok on their induction?
And finally a question for those of you who cook on induction built-ins or full blown stoves. Do you have "blank spots" from the shape of your induction coils? This has ONLY been a problem for me when I was trying to cure the new wok on the induction hot plate. I got a small uncured spot exactly in the center of the wok after the hot plate cure that I could only reduce a bit by moving the pan around to try to cure that coin sized spot in the center of the pan. I'm sure there is probably a variance in how the induction coils are set up and aligned, depending on the manufacturer. Do any of you have "no cold spots" induction burners on your cooktops, and if you do, what brand is yours?
And now for a final drool over technology not yet available. Both Gagganeau and Thermador are in the process of unveiling new "full surface" cooktops that allow you to set a pan anywhere and use it. I assume there is probably some sort of limit on how many pans, but hey, a full roast pan with drippings in the bottom that will receive full heat in every part of it? I'm there! Now, if someone will just combine full surface induction with the new Japanese all metal induction in one big beautiful cook top, I'll be sooooo ready to throw my induction hot plate out the window! Assuming I can afford it.... Ah well. When you no longer have a dream, you know you're dead. '-)
Thanks for your input.