Induction Cooktop: Burner & Pot Size Matching?

January 12, 2011

Seeking your help/collective wisdom about how well the "pot size recognition" feature (not just pot recognition) works on induction cooktops.

Here's the problem: many of the cooktops have two 7" burners, two 6" burners and one larger burner. BUT, the pots we use most often have 8" bottoms -- which makes those 7" burners problematic. I've always heard that it's important to match pot size to burner size (not putting a larger pot on a smaller burner). And that would seem to be especially important for induction, since only the part of the pot in contact with the induction coil will heat up.

When we cook, it's not unusual to use both 8" sauce pans + a large pasta pot or a large skillet. Thus, cooktops with 2 7", 2 6" and 1 larger (usually 11') burner won't work.

One solution: go with an induction cooktop that has three burners greater than 8" such as the Miele (pricey) or E'Lux (2 appliance sales folks said, "stay away"), assuming we can use those successfully for smaller sized pots.

Anyone with any experience with this?

Ok. I'm done now. Thanks in advance for the help.

Comments (74)

  • plllog

    Duh. Woke up and figured it out. I have a cold and things got fuzzy. I just threw in a little water and put them on high with boost. Not the way one would actually cook. That might be what happened with the finjan, too. High with boost is usually a big pot full of water. The vibration was probably from too much power for the task at hand or something.

  • plllog

    Okay. Sun came up. I love the sun. :) And I felt better enough to give in to curiosity and yucky enough to want to eat a slime ball...I mean, grilled egg sandwich. No vibration. No hum. No pulsing. I used the blini pan on the 6" element, and the crepe pan on the 8.25" element, both up to 6 or 6.5, empty, to heat. I got the crepe pan too hot. No noise. No noise when I turned each down for cooking either. It definitely was the too high setting and/or the boost that had caused the whining, vibration and pulsing.

    The blini pan, btw, made the most perfect sunny side up egg I've ever made! And the crepe pan was great for the sandwich. I wouldn't have chosen it if not for the experiment, but it worked great. I'm not really into grilling sandwiches, but the quick heating of the carbon steel, and the low sides for the turner, make it work really well. This relates more to the thread talking about the DeBuyer pans on induction, but I'm here already. :)

    Now, for the finjan, whose whole point is for boiling, I don't know how far I'd have to turn down the element to keep the whining at bay....

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  • kashmi

    plllog: I'm coming over for breakfast/lunch! If you can do all that cooking and experimenting while dealing with a miserable cold, you rock! That's also very gracious of you to post such detailed info.

    I took the advice of several posters to download and read the manuals: Bosch, Thermador & Gaggenau (because their burner size & placement best match our pots and cooking style -- Miele would have been in the mix, too, but for having all the big hobs up front). The difference seems to be in controls and a feature here and there. BUT, I get the impression from plllog's comments that the Gaggenau may be more than a Bosch or Thermador with a different set of controls.

    If it is more efficient in pan size recog and other areas (not to mention the warranty), then over a cooktop's lifetime, it may well be worth the price differential (we've had our current one 12+ years). Plus, that control knob IS cool. And Gaggenau and GE seem to be the only ones with no SS. (Can you say "rationalization"?!)

    We're foodies who enjoy cooking, so having equipment we enjoy using is part of the fun--which is why we put in a wood fired oven in our backyard. We will never make enough pizza and bread to pay back the cost, but it sure is a treat, even in NE winters!

    OK. This is getting too long. Like a lot of others on this forum, I'm looking for THE RIGHT answer, which probably doesn't exist -- and it is not fair to ask others to supply it. Any last words of wisdom?

  • herring_maven

    kashmi asks: "Any last words of wisdom?"

    Not wisdom, necessarily. We chose our present (our second induction) cooktop, an LG LCE30845, primarily because of its extremely shallow below-counter depth, but it has proven to be very competent for its primary purpose of cooking. The LG is unique in that it has a true three-element (the center one is a bridge) long griddle burner that you can select by siamesing the two left side burners. You cannot do that with most induction cooktops, and LG even throws in a specific griddle that just fits the space.

    We were fortunate that we never needed service under the LG warranty (which now has expired), because LG customer service is lower than the pits. We have needed no service on our cooktop despite more than two years of hard daily use.

    We have not found a situation yet where we fretted about whether any pan appropriate for the cooking that we were doing at the time was mismatched to the zones of the cooktop.

  • plllog


    You're very kind! I should mention that I did the grill experiments months ago. In that sentence "just" meant merely; in the whining experiment it did mean "right this moment". I promise, a fried egg sandwich isn't what I'd call big time cooking. :) But useful, not just for the experiment but because I'm still developing the seasoning on the carbon steel pans, and I got out the other two crepe pans and did a layer on them too. :) And it was a very soothing sandwich. :)

    I'm not at all sure that the Gaggenau is any different from the Thermador, in the guts. It might be. They do try for some differentiation at BSH. But I doubt there are substantive differences in the cooking between any brands, not just the BSH ones, given a certain power level. It might be worth finding a showroom where you can try them side by side. Do you live in California? You can make an appointment with the distributor, Purcell Murray, and try all their toys. (Orange County and SF area.) It's the controls and features that makes the big differences, and appearance and price, of course.

    Or just go for the knob. Have you tried it out? I think it makes things much easier, especially when something too heavy to just move is trying to boil over. Much easier than touch controls. And it's fun.

    BTW, regarding air space, the GE wants 12" clear cabinet space beneath the cooktop--or at least did last year. Gaggenau and most of the Europeans just want an air channel behind the drawers. This is where your gas line would be if you had gas, so it's not a big deal. I would guess that the GE would be fine with the same configuration, but if your inspector requires you to go by the book, it might be a problem.

  • kashmi

    Thank you, herring_maven* and plllog.

    It does seem from the comments on this thread and others that most induction cooktops work -- and work well. So it comes down to power levels, hob layout, and features. Since we already have a downdraft system for our current (radiant) cooktop, we don't have drawers or shelves below anyway, so space isn't an issue for us.

    We live in RI and are having a tough time finding a showroom with working units of the type we are interested in. BUT, I may have found one up near Boston -- but even then, it's just one. I had expected to find more. Weather permitting, we'll try to make the trip this week before school gets underway again.

    Again, we very much appreciate everyone's input.

    * herring_maven: if you are into herring, do you know about the silver herring bracelets and rings made by an artisan in Dennis, MA?

  • patrick_808

    I have to make some corrections in my earlier post here. I complained about the inability of using smaller pans on the front heating zones of the Electrolux Induction Range. I had been using Induction Compliant Stoneware Cookware. This cookware has a metal plate on the bottom which makes it useable for induction. However, after buying a nice set of T-Fal Stainless Steel cookware, I have discovered that it works much better on this range than what I had been using. I have found that I can use even a 1 quart stainless steel pan on the eight inch left side front element. The bottom of this pan measures only five and a quarter inches. The only element that will not accommodate this small pan is the largest one on the right front. My 2 quart SS pan will work on any of the zones, even the largest. So with good stainless steel cookware, the range is much more "forgiving" when it comes to pan size than I thought.

    Apparently the Stoneware while it will work, just doesn't have enough magnetic material in it for best efficiency on induction. The Stoneware works OK if closely matched to the size of the element. However, good Stainless works much better.

    I apologize if I my earlier post was misleading. My major complaint about this range seems to have been resolved now that I have good cookware.

  • enmnm (6b)

    WHEN will the zoneless technology (AEG, Broan, De Dietrich) be available stateside? WHEN?

    BTW, the people I spoke with at Electrolux has no knowledge of it.

    I wish I could import it here, but I am told that if I hook up a non-UL cert appliance and there is a problem, it will void the warranty on everything else in the house. Not to mention piss off the local zoning inspector.

  • kaseki

    There are two issues with significant size mismatch. First, a pan much smaller than the induction zone but still capable of actuating the pan sensor will not intercept all of the field lines, reducing the effective hob power transfer. Not a big deal in my view as it effectively makes the hob a smaller, lower power unit. Efficiency may be lower, although part of any lost power will be reactive and not affect the power meter.

    Second, and more important, if a large pan gets very hot, and the flat part extends over the control area or perhaps some other area outside an outer ring that is sensitive, damage to the electronics may occur. I have only heard of problems with control overlap, so possible sensitivity in other areas is theoretical.


  • attofarad

    Miele has the minimum/maximum recommended size for each burner in their user manuals, as well as the normal and boost power for each element. It would be nice if the other vendors would do that.

  • kashmi

    Patrick_808: Thank you for posting the follow-up. In continuing to read about induction cooktops, pans do seem to make a difference. It's good to get your real world experience -- and to confirm your liking of the E'lux choice.

    enemnm: Ah, yes. Soooo frustrating to look at European sites and see all the very cool cooking options that don't seem to make it here, or that do so belatedly. It is just that Americans are unwilling to pay for something new? We found all sorts of interesting pop-up downdraft vents that were practically sculptural (with prices in the stratosphere, of course!).

    If I'm going to whine, I'd best go get some wine to make it worthwhile......

  • herring_maven

    kashimi asks: "herring_maven: if you are into herring, do you know about the silver herring bracelets and rings made by an artisan in Dennis, MA?"

    kashimi, I missed your now month-ago question when you poated. The moniker is an homage to a series of radio commercials that ran on New York City's WNEW (and probably other radio stations) in the 1960s, featuring "The Beloved Herring Maven." Always having wanted to be beloved, I appropriated the title for my posts on GardenWeb. Unfortunately, I can offer no information about artisanal silver bracelets originating in Dennis, MA.

  • auntieA

    I have spoken with both Bosch and Miele customer service reps. The Miele rep said that you could use a 12" pan on the 6.25" burner and it would work fine, though perhaps a little less efficiently. The customer service person at Bosch recommended keeping pots within an inch of the hob size, but I wonder if I'd get a different answer if I were to call again. Was told that both the Bosch and the Miele will allow you to span two burners so that you can use an oval pan or griddle - there may initially be some cool spots, but eventually the heat will spread. I think the layout of the hobs is as important as the sizes...if you put two large pans on the Miele, it's not clear that there would be room for a third, despite having one 11" and two 8" burners

  • attofarad

    Interesting about the spanning of two hobs. Did they say that they should be on the same "zone," or not be, or does it not matter?

    A couple of makers have bridges painted on the surface -- that makes me wonder whether there is really any element between the hobs.

  • auntieA

    attofarad, I don't think it matters where the two hobs being spanned are located - same as using two pots on two burners. (though it does matter when using the boost.) I believe that with the bridge element you would prevent the occurrence of cool spots.

    Wondering if anyone could share their experience with the Miele 30". I can't get a 36" and am trying to decide between Miele and Bosch...worried about difficulty using Miele's controls/displays & wondering about layout of the hobs...which provides more options for using larger pans?

  • plllog

    AuntiA, I'm concerned about the information you're getting from the reps. Either things have changed a lot in the last two years, or they're not the full story. It is true that you can put a significantly bigger pan on a small element, but unless there's some new tech that I totally haven't heard about, you're going to have a hot spot in the middle where the element is that reacts fast to your changes in temperature. The rest will heat by transfer from the part that's in contact with the element. On some well designed clad pans, that might be pretty fast, or might not. On cast iron it'll be quite slow. I'm not entirely sure on carbon steel. That is, it'll work, but not exactly how you might want it too.

    Same as bridging two elements. The rest of the pan will eventually reach the temperature of the hot spots, but you'll have those two responsive circles and the rest will be coming along for the ride. Most of the top quality units will allow you to do this with paired elements. I don't know why they want them to be paired. Maybe it's just to keep you from overdoing it. Maybe Miele is more confident in their unit that they don't care. :) Also, be aware that most companies caution against using a two sided griddle/grill because of the lip edge around the sides. They want full contact of the bottom of the pan with the unit. I only have educated inference to say why. You might want to check that out, if using one of those is important to you. They also make single sided ones of both, and round ones too, to fit the large element on induction.

    I very nearly chose the Miele 30" a couple of years ago (before I got crazy and imported a 24" Gaggenau myself--love it, btw). The Miele at that time (again, don't know if there are any changes) was lovely. It was very quiet, very responsive. The layout worked well for me, but I wasn't all that hot on the controls. They were the kind where you have to tap tap tap to get them to respond, and in the Miele gallery I had a hard time working them quickly. Also, I had to show the Miele rep how to change them from 9 power levels to 17 (that is, including half steps). It's in the manual!

    Is there a Miele gallery anywhere near you? Or an appliance store that has a 30" one on display? If so, I'd pack up the pans and take them there to try out! That's the best way to get a feel for your cooking style and the controls.

    The Miele really is a great unit. If you don't get more responses you might try starting another thread. Some of the Miele owners might not be looking at this thread because of the title or age.

  • cwbarrett_yahoo_com

    Maybe its just electrolux but I would never purchase an induction cooktop again. Who ever heard of a maximum pan size? Add that to not being able to cook on high on the two largest burners (8.5" oh boy) at the same time and you are very limited. I learned the hard way when using my large (10") dutch oven for stew and then boiled noodles. POP went the cooktop. The first thing the repairman said is "were you using a big pan?" I cook a lot. I have a 13" saute, the usual collection of LeCruset, Clam steamer and stock pots. Not to mention how are you expected to take your roast pan and deglaze it? Just cooking for a family of four is a real challenge on this. I was going to just eat the $1700 and get a gas cooktop but the minimum cutout for this unit in the granite is just a hair larger than the maximum allowed for a gas range. I'm stuck with this. I was able to crank out more food with my $275 four burner electric coil. Too many shills posting rave reviews without telling people what the limitations are. The 30" cooktop with 8" elements is only great when its dinner for 2. Just get gas and you don't have to deal with this nonsense.

  • Seattlelandlord

    I have a Whirlpool induction range on order. I received a VEV Vigano espresso maker for Christmas. The bottom is 4" diameter. My Whirlpool range has a 6" cooking element.

    Will the 4" espresso maker work on that 6" element?

    I'm wondering because during this transition phase (my kitchen is under remodel) I ordered a portable induction cooktop to use. The instructions say clearly that the minimum pot size that can be used is 4.7"! The burner looks like it's 5" on the inner ring. So my 4" pot theoretically won't work there, and now I'm wondering about the Whirlpool range when it arrives.

    I'm new at all this, so appreciate any comments!

  • Seattlelandlord

    I am considering buying the EI30/IF40/LS induction range. I would like to use a stovetop espresso pot on the 5 inch burner. The pot bottom is 3-3/4" in diameter.

    Will it work on the 5" burner? Is the 1000 watts strong enough to make espresso?

  • herring_maven

    Seattlelandlord: "I received a VEV Vigano espresso maker for Christmas. The bottom is 4" diameter. My Whirlpool range has a 6" cooking element. ... Will the 4" espresso maker work on that 6" element?'

    As a lifelong 49ers fan, I cannot believe that I am responding to a Seattleite this week, and I do not even have an answer to your question. However, I have long considered getting a Vev Vignano (Kontessa Nuova) moka pot specifically because it is one of the very few moka pots that is induction-compatible.

    Based on other small pots that we have used on 6" "burners" on two different induction cooktops over 14 years' use, I strongly suspect that your Vev Vignano will do just fine -- but I do not know for certain. After your Whirlpool induction range is installed, I hope that you will post here your success (or lack thereof) with the Vev Vignano. Inquiring minds want to know.

  • renov8r

    I think you are the first person to give me an answer to my doubting mind. I have to decide on a new range - induction or gas? Pot size seems to be a major problem with these cook tops. I think I will buy gas and hope that this problem with induction will be solved by the next time I buy a new range. From what I understand that should be in about 10 years.

  • kashmi

    renov8r: Hi. I haven't been on this forum in a while, but the system sent a copy of your email to my inbox and I had to respond! We've now had our 36" Bosch induction cooktop for 2 years and have NOT had a problem with the pot size issue at all -- either a smaller pot on a larger hob or a larger pot on a smaller hob.

    Nor have we had CBinCT's experience. The largest hob on our cooktop is 11" and the next largest is 9". This summer we were making a Jasper White lobster dish that starts the lobsters on the cooktop in a skillet, then moves the skillet to a very hot oven for a while, and then finishes back on the cooktop. Because of the number of people, we had two 12" skillets going at the same time, one on each of the large hobs (both pre- and post-oven). Nary a problem.

  • sjhockeyfan325

    I also have a Bosch - but 30". Just tonight I made chicken breasts in a 10" (top measurement - the bottom is no more than 9")) skillet on the 11" hob. No problem at all.

  • Ed-C

    My old model Kenmore Elite induction cooktop (made by Elextrolux) had 5 burners. The largest burner had more than one coil so it was capable of accommodating a smaller pan. The smallest pot we have would only work on the two smallest burners. The bigger pots would only work on the larger of the three burners. The performance of the cookware would be best if it was on a burner that was most closely sized to the bottom of the pan.

    After repeated maintenance issues with the Kenmore/Elux unit, I replaced it with a Gaggenau ci491. The smallest pot will work on the biggest burner and big pots will work on small burners, though it is still true that the performance is improved by more closely matching hob to pot.

    Also, there are a couple of "full surface" induction units on the market, both made by the Bosch company under the Thermador & Gaggenau brands. These have over 40 small induction coils. So, according to the mfg.'s marketing, any size pot would work (nearly) anywhere on the unit.

  • Plasticguy

    I just purchased the 36" zone free Thermador Freedom series cooktop and have high hopes for it. I saw it demonstrated at two different places and was impressed. I look forward to putting a large griddle on it as well as being able to use two or maybe three large pans at once. one thing i failed to have demonstrated is the power with a small pan. but my understanding is that 4" will not be a problem which is small enough for me (i think). I was since told that the "zone less" technology is actually many 4" elements together that cannot be seen.

  • jebrooks

    I have been researching induction ranges for a while now. I'm looking on the low end (GE Profile, Electrolux, Frigidaire, Kenmore) 30 inch freestanding ranges. My smallest pan is a All-Clad stainless 1/2 quart butter warmer, which has a 3.75 inch bottom diameter. I find it useful for other tasks in addition to melting butter.

    Display models are hard to find in my area, and working display models are even harder to find. One store had an Electrolux plugged in a few months ago and I was able to try my butter warmer on its 5 inch element and it worked fine. My question is if it would work on the 6 inch hobs that are the smallest on most of the other ranges I am considering.

    Do any of you have experience with these small pans on 6 or 7 inch hobs?

    Several of the posts in this thread lead me to believe that the "minimum" pan sizes specified by the manufacturers leave a lot of wiggle room, but before I spend the money I hope to have some real data from you fine folks.

  • jwvideo

    There is wiggle room of a sort but it is hard to predict without hands on experience with a particular stove and your particular pan.

    One good thing for your price range, though, is that the relatively inexpensive Fridgidaire/Kenmore induction ranges have a 5-inch diameter burner on the back right that supposedly is fine with 3.5 inch pans. Not Seattlelandlord's posts above, as well.

    This post was edited by JWVideo on Thu, May 8, 14 at 22:59

  • Seattlelandlord

    I ended up purchasing the Electrolux induction range, and have had it in for a month now. Love it!! The right rear hob is 5" and can handle down to 3.5" pan size according to the manufacturer. My smallest is my 3.75 espresso pot and it works perfectly. I don't have a 6-inch hob so I can't test that. My next smallest is 7". I'll try that and repost here. (the Electrolux has 2 7" burners which also have bridge feature for a griddle, one 10" and one 5")

  • jebrooks

    JWVideo, thanks for pointing out that the Frigidaire/Kenmore ranges have 5" burners. I've read the specs many times and somehow always came away thinking the smallest burners were 6".

    From other posts in this thread it is pretty clear to me that there can be a lot of wiggle room. I only need to warm things up in the butter warmer so the heating doesn't need to be very efficient, it just needs to happen.

    Seattlelandlord, I'm looking forward to hearing how your test on the 7" hob goes.

    The Elux is high on my list. Have you tried cooking in a 12" skillet(9" base) on one of the 7" burners? It's not uncommon for me to cook with a saute pan or dutch oven on one burner and a 12" fry pan on another.

    I was reading the Electrolux owners manual and there is a section about cooking on a griddle that makes it sound like the range comes with a griddle. Did yours come with a griddle? Cast iron?

    Did you consider the GE PHB920? If so why did you choose the Elux?

  • jwvideo

    For some recent discussion on using 12" frying pans on the Elux/Frigidaire/Kenomore 7" burner, have a look at recent thread I've linked below. Look for the later posts by aamassther who (I believe) also has the Elux version of this ranges. Seattlelandlord may have a different take or additional comments.

    Oh, and one other thing. The problem with small pots on induction burners is not so much efficiency but whether they get detected at all. The sensors in the burners have to detect a minimum amount of magnetic mass or the burner does not come on at all. If there's enough mass for the burner to detect your butter warmer, then it will heat as hot as you need. Heck, you might even be able to melt lead in your A/C pan it if that kind of thing turns your crank. :>)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Which Induction range?

    This post was edited by JWVideo on Fri, May 9, 14 at 15:12

  • pmailkeey

    Hi All,

    An interesting read ! Just thought I'd post my quick trial on my Belling FSE60i - tried a 5" (bottom) pan on the biggest (9" -marked) heating zone and it worked. Oversized pans shouldn't be a problem.

  • pmailkeey

    Yes, definitely tempting to try to melt something - aluminium, for instance. I do have a 5" pan that no longer has a flat base! I have found it has difficulty transferring heat from the pan to water in the pan. Turn the heat off and water still boils for some considerable time indicating the pan's quite a bit hotter than the BP of water.

  • Seattlelandlord

    So I tested the espresso pot with a 3-3/4" base on my 7" hob and it worked great! In fact, it boiled even faster. I thought it was fast before on the 5" burner (compared to my old electric range) but on the 7" it's lightning fast. The difference in watts apparently is a big difference.

    Regarding the 12" skillet (9" base) on the 7" hob, I haven't tried that. But I can experiment tomorrow when I'm preparing Mothers Day brunch and update you. So far, I've used my Le Creuset braiser (9" base) on the 10" burner and it's great. I'm thinking on the 7" burner it would probably work, but possibly not be as even on heating the outer rim. With the Le Creuset being cast iron, it probably would spread the heat well enough anyway, but it will be interesting to see what happens if I put an All Clad saute pan on it (also 9" base). I'll update after I do that.

    The reason I picked E'lux was three reasons: a) after reading many reviews it seemed that there was a majority of recent reviews were really good; b) it's more widely used in Europe and they have been using induction for a long time; and c) when I called their customer service with questions, they were excellent (I called several times).

  • Seattlelandlord

    Forgot to answer the question about the griddle. There was a form in the package of paperwork that came with the range that I needed to mail in to get my griddle. It hasn't shown up yet, but I'll post when it does. I don't know if it's cast iron, and I'm not sure I would want it to be unless it was coated like Le Creuset because I've read that regular cast iron can scratch the glass top fairly easily.

  • dodge59

    I posted a video on Utube, using a small pan on the largest hob and it worked well. At first I saw a ring of circles in the bottom of the large pan that matched the surface of the small hob, but it quickly spread to the rest of the pan, (emerilware~~~a "cheaper knockoff version of the Allclad, but still very good pan).

    We've had the Elux Icon Induction Cooktop for about 5 years now, and it could care less what size pan we put on what size hob, alto as mentioned, boiling water with the correct sized pan "Might be a bit faster"~~~~I haven't timed that, as it is "Lightning Fast" anyway, matched pan or not!


  • Seattlelandlord

    So today I used my All Clad saute pan (9" base) on the 7" hob. Works just fine. IT distributed the heat evenly. When I used it later on the 10" hob it worked well also, just cooked slightly faster. But everything is fast now, so it was a minimal difference.

  • jebrooks

    Thanks for the info about small pans on larger hobs, and especially the results using the 9" pan on a 7" hob. It makes a certain amount of sense when you consider that the large burner on my coil top range is only 8".

    I am looking real hard at the Electrolux freestanding range. I think the idea of bridging burners for a griddle or roasting pan might be a deciding feature for me. That points me to the GE or Elux(I've read too many negative reviews of the Samsung). Yesterday I was looking at top views of the ranges on their web sites. and I noticed that the rear hobs on the GE range are extremely close to the backsplash. In fact the back edges of the circles were hidden by the control panel. I'm not sure if a 12" fry pan would even fit on the left rear burner.

  • Seattlelandlord

    Interesting about the GE rear jobs. Mine don't seem like they are too close to the rear panel. Although I did my test of the larger pan size on the front 7" hob. another thing I like is the warming zone. I've used that already as well as the warming drawer below. It was great to serve everything hot without a major juggling act. GE is a good brand too though. My last range was GE and I never had a problem

    BTW I have the freestanding as well. If you go that way, it's good to double check the placement of the 220 outlet in your wall. Make sure it's in the space Electrolux specifies and best if the plug goes in sideways not up and down
    then the cord fits snugly into the rear and your range will go back tight to the wall

  • jebrooks

    Yes, the top view of the Elux shows the rear hobs farther from the rear panel than the GE.

    I agree that GE is a good brand. The only significant negative review I have read was a complaint about the oven racks being hard to adjust due to interference between the rack and the oven walls.

    It is fairly routine for me to have a large saute pan and a 12" skillet going at the same time. I want to be able to fit the 12" on the left rear to make sure I have enough space for both pans. From the photo it looks like I might not be able to center a skillet or a decent sized stock pot on the left rear hob of the GE.

    My outlet is in the correct zone for the Elux but not the GE. I think the chord goes up from the plug. Hopefully I can rotate the receptacle to a better orientation.

  • jebrooks

    I just got back from a trip to compare the GE PHB920 and Electrolux freestanding ranges using my most demanding cookware set (from a space standpoint). I tried a 13" saute pan, 12" skillet and 3 quart saucepan.

    I was able to fit all three pans with reasonable centering over the hobs; the 3 quart saucepan was pushed slightly off center of the left rear hob by the 12" skillet. The GE range was ever so little more spacious than the Elux.

    I am attracted by the larger hobs on the GE, as well as the temp probe in the oven. The big question now is, will my 3.75" butter warmer work on the 6" hob of the GE? Reading through this thread it seems to be somewhat manufacturer-dependent whether the hob is really sensitive to pan size, or if the "Minimum pan size" is really more of a guideline.

    If anybody reading this thread has experience with small pans on GE ranges, or has a GE range and can do a test, I would love to hear about it.

    BTW, I also saw a GE PHS920 slide in induction range. It is a good looking range with the same burner layout as the freestanding version, but in my test it was much more cramped. Because the cooktop is smaller than the free standing range and the control panel on the front and oven vent in the back are so high, I could barely fit my 12" skillet and 3 quart saucepan on the left burners.

  • sjhockeyfan325

    For future reference, I just did a little test on my Bosch 30" induction cooktop using a pot that measures 4-1/2" across the bottom, and it worked on ALL the hobs.

  • jebrooks

    My new GE PHB920 was delivered last Friday. So far I am delighted. The even heating and quick response is everything I was hoping for. Hopefully I'll feel the same way in a couple of months.

    In keeping with this thread title, I checked compatibility of various sized pots on the hobs. The GE range has four hobs; 1-11", 2-8" and one 6".

    I was able to use my 1/2 qt All-Clad butter warmer (3.75" base) on the Right Rear 6" hob and the Left Rear 8" hob, but not the Left Front 8" hob, or the 11" hob.

    My second smallest pan is a 1 qt Farberware saucepan, with a 5" base. This pan worked on all three of the smaller hobs but not the 11" hob.

    My two quart All-Clad Saucier, with a 5.75" base, worked on all of the hobs.

    According to the Owner's Manual, the minimum pan sizes are 4.75" for the 6" hob, 5.75" for the 8" hobs and 8" for the 11" hob. On my range at least they appear to have given themselves a good size margin for error.

    My smallest pan appears to be right at the bottom end of the range for this stove top. When I first turn on the hob the power LED blinks a couple of times while it looks for a pan. With all larger pans the LED starts out solid, indicating it sees the pan right away.

    As more of these ranges get reviewed it will be interesting to see if there is any variability in the actual minimum pan sizes the hobs can accept.

  • yumilee

    The magnetic fields generated by the coil within the induction cooktop interacted with magnetic material of the pot making its cntent. Therefore, not every cookware is compatible with induction cooktops and you need different set cookware. The diameter of my burner is 7inches, but the that of the cookware is smaller leading to my induction cooktop doesnot work. My advice is you can buy induction a bigger cooktop set ( 8inch and 10 inch Fry Pan) , or try another option induction disc , which will be attached at the bottom of your cookware and it will heat the content in a similar manner as that of induction compatible cookware. You can consult the followings

    Here is a link that might be useful: induction disc

  • AndyRika

    We just received our new Samsung Induction Range.
    It has one small circle, one large circle, and 2 square ones which can be joined. We read in the instructions that the small circle (hob) must have pans with a minimum of 5" bottom, the large one a min of 7", and the two square ones min. 6"
    After trying it out we found 2 issues:
    Trying out the 2 square hobs, we found that a 5-7/8" bottomed pan is not recognized on either.
    then trying a 6-1/4" bottom pan on the rear hob works, but not on the front one.
    We're mostly with the 2 of us and have small pans, the smallest is a 4" bottom pan for boiling eggs, making sauces, etc, but now it's useless, as it's not recognized.
    I don't know about others, buy a 7" bottomed pan we normally don't use other than for soup or such.
    Which means that the large hob is useless.

    What are others experiences with this?

  • jebrooks

    I don't think induction hobs have pan size sensors per se, but rather sense the magnetic field interaction between the coils and the mass of magnetic steel in the pan. I do know that different cookware, even though "induction compatible", has different magnetic iron content.

    What brand and style pans are you using to try out your range?

    If you look two or three posts up from this one you will find the results I posted from my new range last year. My range is not a Samsung so it's not exactly apples to apples but I did include the details of the pans I used for comparison.

  • Rudi Van Desarzio

    I too was curious about the relationship of pot size to hob size on induction cooktops, so I did a little test using my Kenmore Elite 9991 range.

    The test was performed with 1c of water in a room temperature AllClad 4.5" butter warmer. The 4.5" pot was detected by all 4 hobs on the cooktop. The water was heated to boil using the power boost setting on each hob. Time to boil for each hob:

    6" 1:34

    7" 1:45

    8 1/4" 2:41

    10" 3:33

    So there does appear to be a relationship between the size match of the pan to the hob and how much power the hob can deliver to the pan.

  • plllog

    You don't say what the power output of each ring is. That will have a much bigger effect on boil time than the size of the ring or pot. A better test for the effect of the ring size would be to use different sized matching pots of the same construction. That wouldn't be a perfect experiment, but closer. The thing is, that boiling water isn't the best test. The deal with ring size vs. pot size has to do with the distribution of heat, not the presence of heat. If the pot is more than the normal inch bigger, there might be a major drop off in heat, at the edges because instead of reacting with the field directly, they have to have the heat spread to them through the metal.

  • kaseki

    Given the generally larger power allocated to larger hobs, the results above strongly suggest that a lot of the field lines generated in the outer part of the induction hob's flat-wound coil are not being "induced" into entering the ferritic base material of the pan when the pan is significantly undersized. This is consistent with each winding of the coil generating a circular field around it, and this field weakens with distance.

    One might imagine that hobs could be powered such that the available induction energy is proportional to the hob area. In such a case, the heating of a small pan should be about the same for every size of hob. In reality, the larger hobs are provided with larger power capability, but not necessarily in linear proportion to their area. Else, a 10-inch hob (assumed here is that the declared hob size and its flat-wound coil size are equal) would handle 100/36 times the heating power available from a 6-inch hob. (We probably should remove the central dead zone so the ratio would be closer (100-1)/(36-1), but this is minor.)

    So, while the ratio of areas is about 3X, the likely power ratio of Rudi's cooktop will be less. On my Frigidaire, the 10-inch is rated at 3400W on boost, and the 6-inch at 2000W on boost, a ratio of only 1.7X.

    Please note that interception of field lines by metals of different reluctance and bulk resistance will likely vary and the above comments are only intended to illustrate what may be happening.


  • brambleberri

    strange question: I have started occasionally making lunch for my co-workers and we have one 9-10" induction tabletop unit. I cook everything at home and just need to re-heat the food....So, I was wondering, could I use a large serving pan (think like the ones caterers use) and/or can i stack pans? Providing of course that everything is magnetic and has good contact with everything? Right now I mainly just make soup in a huge pot, but would really like to expand my choices.

    thanks so much for any help, haven't been able to find info on this anywhere.

    -Rose :)

  • jwvideo

    For searching out info in the future, it might help to know that "induction tabletop units" are often referred to as "portable induction cookers" which sometimes is abbreviated as "PIC."

    Now, on your questions about pans, are you looking for a way to heat several pans together on a single induction burner?

    If so, the caterer's serving pan idea won't work any better than it would if you used it over a small gas burner. Induction heating is not passed by magnetic contact between pans over a PIC --- well, only on such an infinitesimally small scale as to be of no perceptible use in cooking :>). Basically, the strength of induction fields falls off so rapidly that it has no heating effect on pans more than a fraction of an inch above the burner surface. For the same reason, stacking pans won't work either.

    Further complicating things for you, your PIC may claim to be a 9-10" unit, but the actual induction field on them is only 3.5" to 6" (depending on brand.) Beyond that small field, you have to rely on your pan's mass and conductive abilities to spread and transmit the heat widely.

    A stainless steel caterer's serving pan is just too thin to function that way. IOW, it won't work like an induction adapter disk (which basically converts the induction heating into a radiant electric surface.)

    In theory, something thicker might work as an adapter, such as one of Chef King's rectangular, 14" x 23" carbon steel stovetop griddles (about $70 last time I checked). My experience with this kind of thing has been that these can heat other pans but so slowly that they work better on PICs as warming trays rather than for bringing other pots to heat.

    Frankly, it might be easier to heat up each pan separately on the PIC, then put on the caterer's pan with hot water, and use the PIC to heat the water that will keep the pans warm. If there is a second electrical circuit, you also might consider buying a second PIC. IIRC, there are some Duxtop units which have pretty good reviews and now are priced in the same neighborhood as the Chef King griddle that I mentioned above.

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