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Old 02-24-2008, 11:20 PM
 
11,836 posts, read 24,967,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escapetacoma View Post
We've got the standard Calphalon anodized aluminum cookwear and the Calphalon One and they do *not* play well with the damned smooth top range.
Thank you for your post. My wife has a lot of Calphalon & we have been debating about a smooth top for awhile. Thanks for saving us from an expensive mistake.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraAZ View Post
It's amazing how opinions differ so much... Some people like the smooth tops (still minority it seems), some hate them. Wonder if it depends on the brand, too... Mine is GE.
Well, to be honest, I prefer cooking with gas simply because it's so much easier to control the heat. However our house came with the smooth top & it works fine, so I'm choosing to live with it & spend our money on other improvements (like a new roof!).

The house we rented before we bought this house also had a smooth top range & I wasn't terribly fond of it because it took forever to heat up (sorry, can't remember the brand), but the range at this house is much more responsive & I like it much better. It's made by Whirlpool, oddly enough. The only time I ever put it on "10" is if I'm boiling water. Otherwise it's just too hot.

My pots are all pretty expensive, so I don't know if I can help you in that department. Most everything I have is Le Creuset or All Clad. My one cheaper pan is nonstick Wearever. All of them work fine on the stove. The one difference with a heavy-bottomed pot like the Le Creuset is that it retains the heat longer. This means that (1) it can take longer to heat up and (2) it doesn't cool down very fast. That's good for some things & not so good for others. Which works better often depends upon personal preference.

As for making sure you have a pan on the burner? I think that's just one of those safety measures that's good no matter what type of stove you have, so don't get worried about that. And I wouldn't worry about using heavy pots, either. As I said, I use Le Creuset. I have a big, heavy, Le Creuset french oven that I use on the stove to boil pasta, simmer a roast, you name it. No problem. Now, would I fill up that same pot with water, hold it a foot above my cooktop and casually drop it onto the top of my stove? Of course not! But I wouldn't do that on any kind of stove top. That, again, is common sense. Just place the pot down on the surface like you normaly would and you'll be fine.
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
5,082 posts, read 12,579,535 times
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I have used a smooth top range for about ten years. We just built a new house and the thought of using anything other than a smooth top never even crossed our minds.

I only cook with heavy tri-clad cookware or cast iron for frying.

The tri-clad is heavy aluminum sandwiched between stainless steel so your food never touches the aluminum. I have never had any problems with food sticking to it. Even if I burn the bottom into a thick crust, and I have, it comes right off with no problem.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 77,111,830 times
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Thank you, everybody. That's odd - if I'm not mistaken, I believe I read cast iron doesn't work. I don't like it anyway. I can put up with some heavier cookwear need be, but I just don't like too heavy ones. My ex and I had his and hers cookware. His was cast iron and using it felt like weight-lifting to me.

Guess I'll figure something out. Stainless steel appears to be safe. Not a big fan, but may have to get it.

It totally amazes me, though, how contradicting the reviews on these stoves are... I've had gas and liked it, but have nothing against the electric stove I've got right now. To me it heats and cools just as fast. Perhaps my standards in this department are lower. Then I remember having an electric stove many years ago at my parents' place that was taking forever to warm up. Really hope these smooth tops are not that bad.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 77,111,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSteel View Post
As for making sure you have a pan on the burner? I think that's just one of those safety measures that's good no matter what type of stove you have, so don't get worried about that. And I wouldn't worry about using heavy pots, either. As I said, I use Le Creuset. I have a big, heavy, Le Creuset french oven that I use on the stove to boil pasta, simmer a roast, you name it. No problem. Now, would I fill up that same pot with water, hold it a foot above my cooktop and casually drop it onto the top of my stove? Of course not! But I wouldn't do that on any kind of stove top. That, again, is common sense. Just place the pot down on the surface like you normaly would and you'll be fine.
You're right. A lot of the problems might be caused by lack of common sense.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
5,082 posts, read 12,579,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraAZ View Post

...I believe I read cast iron doesn't work...
Luckily, I never read that, so my cast iron skillets work as well on my glass and ceramic top ranges as they ever did on any gas, electric, or wood stoves I used them on.

You are certainly right about the weight though. The older I get the heavier they seem to get.

I read about a new kind of smooth top range that use some kind of high-tech heating like invisible rays or something. Maybe those are the ones that don't work with cast iron.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Waupun, Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraAZ View Post
Thank you, everybody. That's odd - if I'm not mistaken, I believe I read cast iron doesn't work.
The instructions for our range specifically say not to use uncoated cast iron as it can scratch the surface.

Quote:
It totally amazes me, though, how contradicting the reviews on these stoves are...
It turns out there are different types of these cooktops. I think the two most common use either an electric resistance coil element and or an halogen element. I think I could have lived with the former, though it wouldn't heat quite as quickly. At least the halogen elements on our Frigidaire, though, only have two settings - high and off (it's right there in the manual - just amazing what they think people will put up with.) They "modulate" the temperature by cycling between these. This might work fine for cookware that's designed to not heat well (e.g. cast iron) but for anything with high thermal conductivity it's terrible. A sauce can go from not even simmering to a rapid boil in a couple of seconds when the element kicks back on. Or maybe I'm just too used to having good heat control
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Waupun, Wisconsin
323 posts, read 1,784,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Freddy View Post
I read about a new kind of smooth top range that use some kind of high-tech heating like invisible rays or something. Maybe those are the ones that don't work with cast iron.
Maybe induction? Doesn't heat anything but the pan? This should work very well with cast iron (or any other farromagnetic pan.)
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:32 PM
 
Location: St. Augustine FL
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I use Calpholon Professional Non-stick on my Dacor cooktop, and have never had any problem at all with cooking or with scratching. Cleanup is a breeze. The razor blade is also great. If you've ever had crud stuck on a mirror, you use a razor blade to get it off. They don't scratch the mirrors. It really helps getting off sugar burned foods. That, plus the cream cleaners that are made for smooth tops.
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 77,111,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escapetacoma View Post
It turns out there are different types of these cooktops. I think the two most common use either an electric resistance coil element and or an halogen element.
Good God... more differences... I'll go there tomorrow. Will see if the manual is left somewhere in the kitchen.

Quote:
I think I could have lived with the former, though it wouldn't heat quite as quickly. At least the halogen elements on our Frigidaire, though, only have two settings - high and off (it's right there in the manual - just amazing what they think people will put up with.) They "modulate" the temperature by cycling between these. This might work fine for cookware that's designed to not heat well (e.g. cast iron) but for anything with high thermal conductivity it's terrible. A sauce can go from not even simmering to a rapid boil in a couple of seconds when the element kicks back on. Or maybe I'm just too used to having good heat control
High and Off only?! It doesn't sound like you're kiddin'... How could that be?! I think I saw more than two settings on the knobs, for cryin' out loud! I'm not looking forward to this...
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