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How to Prevent Induction burner overheat when using a cast iron grill pan?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hi All;

I have begun to experiment with using an induction burner and so far, I have been extremely impressed with the performance. So far, I have two pans - a stainless steel saucepan with a steamer insert and a cast iron square grill pan. The stainless steel pan works fine with no issues and even the steamer insert works great. The cast iron square grill pan works great too but it always causes an error code on the induction burner which causes the unit to shut off. I am able to turn it back on again but after about 15 or 20 seconds, the same error and shutdown occurs. I assume this built-in overheat protection is built into many or perhaps all induction burners as I hear talk about it occuring on several brands other than mine (Aroma brand).

 

For those of you who have a single induction countertop cooktop, do you get overheat errors when using cast iron and if so, how do you prevent them ? I have the perception that I need to turn it on high to grill food but maybe that's not necessary. I have 5 heat settings and I use "5" on a scale of 1-5. I know cast iron retains heat a lot better than stainless steel - perhaps that's why my overheat protection is coming on. Any thoughts and any ideas about what I could do different to try to prevent those errors based upon your experience ?

 

Tim

post #2 of 2

Sorry for the long delay in answering your question. I didn't see this post until now.

 

The heat sensor is only polled every so often, 15 seconds, 30 seconds or so. 

 

You stainless pan has an aluminum or other high conductive core to spread the heat so that the pan is fairly evenly hot, but not too hot.

 

Cast iron is a poor heat conductor. But it has a very high thermal mass, meaning it can absorb  and hold a lot of heat.  The induction element pours heat into the cast iron. But instead of conducting it throughout  the cast iron, the heat mostly stays right above the induction coils. The heat sensor sees this high level of heat and shuts off the system for safety.

 

I once tried to blacken pork chops in a 12 inch cast iron skillet on my induction burner. The center was screaming hot, the outer 2 inches would barely boil water. The handle never got beyond warm.

 

With cast iron, it's important to have a careful size match to the induction burner size for best results. And in your case, cast iron may not be a good match at all because of the timing issue on your heat sensor.  You could try a heat diffuser to help spread the heat through your cast iron grill, but I have my doubts it would really solve your problem. A carbon steel grill is an option to consider. it conducts heat better and may be sufficient to avoid this difficulty.

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