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Disk saucepan heats faster than cladded saucier

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I put three cups of water in my Cuisinart 3 quart saucepan and three cups of water in my Demeyere 3.5 quart saucier.  The former has a disk bottom; the latter is 7-ply cladded up to to rim.  Both have nearly identical diameter bottoms.

 

On an electric range both on larger burners, they started producing bubbles about the same time, but the Cuisinart came to a full boil about thirty seconds before the Demeyere.  Both pots had lids on except when I checked for the boil, at which point I pulled the lids off and on in unison.

 

I let things cool down and repeated with the pots on opposite burners.  Same result, except this time the Cuisinart was about 15 second faster.

 

I have read that cladded pots pipe the heat from the bottom of the pot to the sides, where heat is then lost to the room.  Heat conducts through temperature differential, and once the liquid in the pot is hotter than the ambient air temperature then the heat in the side of the pot is lost to the cooler air.  So the results of my little experiment tended to prove that hypothesis. Disk bottom saucepans heat faster than cladded saucepans.  But the difference is not large.  Total time to boil for the Cuisinart was a little over three minutes.

 

I agree it would have been better if both pots were saucepans, so I invite others with the right pans to conduct the same experiment and report back.

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

FWIW, the Cuisinart's bottom disk is thicker than the bottom of the Demeyer saucier.  OTOH, the total mass of the Demeyer is larger because it's a larger pot.  This is perhaps why it would be better to have equally sized and weighted pots to conduct the experiment.  The Demeyer has more mass to absorb heat.  Then again, I think that's the case even for equally sized saucepans, as the cladded version has the mass on the sides which the disk pots don't.  And, in effect, the SS on the side of the disk pot acts like an insulator to keep the heat in the pot.
 

post #3 of 4

There are a lot of variables that would be hard to control for in home experimentation.

 

You really need to have a monitor system on the burners to be sure they're getting the same power for the whole time. You would need to put thermocouples up the sides of the pans to measure temperatures and see if that really gets hotter. You would need to have a system to measure temps close by the pan to see if one is radiating more heat out the sides than the other.  Because the water in the pan is a much better conductor of heat and also with a larger heat capacity than the air outside the pan, there should be little heat lost from the pan walls. At least until the water reaches room temp at which point the heat conducted to the air should start to increase.

 

Not to mention drafts, water temp differences from start. The water out of the tap at first will have more of a house ambient temp until you run enough water through the pipes to be drawing  ground temp water from your supply. The pot you filled second could have cooler water.

 

It would be interesting to see which pan has more aluminum as that is the primary heat conductor. I suspect this, rather than clad or disk issues, is the primary factor.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

"You really need to have a monitor system on the burners to be sure they're getting the same power for the whole time."

 

But I reversed burners to eliminate that variable.

 

"The water out of the tap at first will have more of a house ambient temp until you run enough water through the pipes to be drawing  ground temp water from your supply. The pot you filled second could have cooler water." 

 

I ran the water first to get to the coldest temperature, and then alternated cups when filling the pots.

 

"It would be interesting to see which pan has more aluminum as that is the primary heat conductor. I suspect this, rather than clad or disk issues, is the primary factor."

 

I agree mass is a factor.  Larger and heavier pots of the same material take longer to heat up.  Since cladded pots have more mass on the side, they may take longer to heat up. But then the disk pots have more thickness on the bottom, so I think it's a net wash. 

 

The cladded pots certainly have hotter sides while waiting for the boil as you can feel the difference by hand.  So clearly there is heat being lost on the sides of the cladded pots to the air.

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