How is an "induction interface disc" different from a magnetic fry pan?
October 19, 2013 2:37 PM   Subscribe

I am thinking of buying a portable induction burner. (A built-in or gas unit is not an option.) Several of my cookware items are not induction-compatible, and I don't want to replace them. Must I purchase an "induction interface disc" or can I just get a cheap induction-compatible frying pan and put non-magnetic pans on top of that instead? How are these items different? Why is this a specialized product? What am I missing about cooking with induction? Nobody in my household is much of a cook, so we're not looking for incredible performance-- we just want hot food. If the burner heats the interface and the interface heats the pot, I get that there will be heat loss, but why is a special interface disc a $50 product?
posted by blnkfrnk to Shopping (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can get a and induction compatible frying pan and just use that, sure. The so-called disc is almost certainly just a stainless steel disc, possible with an aluminium core to help with even heating.

You will love a lot of heat doing it this way. Buying a regular, portable electric stovetop would be better. It will get hotter, faster and more evenly - by using a disc, you are basically trading away all the advantages that induction offers (hotter temps, lower temps, fast adjustment like gas, reasonable electricity use).
posted by smoke at 3:25 PM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Also pro-tip if you want cheap cast iron cookware, try outdoors and camping stores. Over here at least, they are much cheaper than cast iron stuff from kitchenware stores.
posted by smoke at 3:26 PM on October 19, 2013

Yeah, seconding a regular portable electric stovetop.
posted by wayland at 7:10 PM on October 19, 2013

Um that should be "lose", not "love". Damn phone; I have no opinion on your affection for the heat whatsoever.
posted by smoke at 1:25 AM on October 20, 2013

You can get a portable electric burner for around $15.

I've used them, and I've never used an induction burner. I'm under the impression that an induction burner would have the advantage of not having a hot and hazardous burner on the counter, but it seems like what you are looking to do would result in having a hot disk or cast iron pan around instead.
posted by yohko at 1:04 PM on October 21, 2013

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