Induction Interface Disks

Published March 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.

Does switching to an induction range mean saying goodbye to your favorite pots and pans?

Overview:

Because induction cookers use electromagnetic energy to generate heat, they work only with cookware made of iron or magnetic gauges of steel. (If a magnet sticks to its base, your pan will work on an induction stove.) For nonmagnetic cookware, the answer might be an induction interface disk, a Ping-Pong paddle–shaped device that sits under your incompatible pot and acts as a converter, transferring heat by conduction. We tested three models priced from $48.95 to $99.95, using them to boil water and make pancakes under non-induction-ready pans. One small carbon steel disk never managed to bring the 2 quarts of water to a boil or fully cook a pancake, and its metal feet scratched our cooktop’s glossy surface. We had more success with the other two models, made of smooth 18/10 stainless steel. These models reliably boiled water and cooked pancakes—albeit in twice the time it would take using straight induction and a compatible pan (or about the same time it would take on a gas burner). We strongly favored the Max Burton Induction… read more

Because induction cookers use electromagnetic energy to generate heat, they work only with cookware made of iron or magnetic gauges of steel. (If a magnet sticks to its base, your pan will work on an induction stove.) For nonmagnetic cookware, the answer might be an induction interface disk, a Ping-Pong paddle–shaped device that sits under your incompatible pot and acts as a converter, transferring heat by conduction. We tested three models priced from $48.95 to $99.95, using them to boil water and make pancakes under non-induction-ready pans. One small carbon steel disk never managed to bring the 2 quarts of water to a boil or fully cook a pancake, and its metal feet scratched our cooktop’s glossy surface. We had more success with the other two models, made of smooth 18/10 stainless steel. These models reliably boiled water and cooked pancakes—albeit in twice the time it would take using straight induction and a compatible pan (or about the same time it would take on a gas burner). We strongly favored the Max Burton Induction Interface Disk, which has an aluminum core for speedy heat distribution and a comfortable, heatproof rubber handle. At $48.95, it costs less than a new induction-ready saucepan.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Recommended - Winner

    Max Burton Induction Interface Disk

    This disk is made of stainless steel layers sandwiching an aluminum core that distributes heat evenly: It gave us perfectly browned pancakes with no hot or cool spots in 10 minutes and water that reached a rolling boil in 15 minutes. Its heatproof rubber handle made it easy to maneuver the disk. The smooth finish never scratched the induction burner’s glass surface.

    • Ease of Use ★★★
    • Cooking Speed ★★

    $48.95

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Not Recommended

    Mauviel Specialty Induction Interface Disk

    Like our winner, this smooth-bottomed stainless steel disk gave us well-browned pancakes in 10 minutes and boiling water in 15 minutes. But it weighs almost half a pound more and has a clunky, uncomfortable handle, making us less inclined to reach for it. And because it costs twice as much as the winner (as much as replacing a nonmagnetic pot with a 4-quart induction-ready saucepan, in fact) we ultimately could not recommend it.

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Cooking Speed ★★

    $99.95

  • Not Recommended

    Emile Henry Flame Top Induction Disk

    This small disk never transferred enough sustained heat to our nonmagnetic pot to allow water to boil or even to fully cook a pancake. Plus, the wire-prong handle was painful to grasp and the disk’s shallow feet scratched the glass surface of our induction burner.

    • Ease of Use
    • Cooking Speed

    $99.95

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