From the blog November 27, 2012 Judy

Our Guide to Picking the Perfect Pan

Are you looking for a new set of pans this holiday season? Scott Heimendinger, our Director of Applied Research, explains the science behind heat diffusion in stove-top cooking on MDRN KTCHN on The end result: Thickness is more important than material, no matter how shiny and expensive those copper pans may be. He also gives you a few work-arounds for uneven stoves.


  1. laura @ hip pressure cooking November 28, 2012 Reply

    Great video as always.. only disturbing thing is the image in the video still (before it plays which shows a skillet with really dirty mounting screws.

    Please send instructions to CHOW on how to clean their studio cookware.



  2. Bob November 28, 2012 Reply

    Dirty mounting screws. Dirty, dirty, dirty.

    I can’t get it off my mind. The horror…..the horror……

  3. laura @ hip pressure cooking November 28, 2012 Reply

    P.S. I use an aluminum flame tamer I got from the Euro Shop (dollar store) when low and even heat is necessary – all my burners have one HUGE flame sticking out the side that is really a pain.



  4. Pedro November 28, 2012 Reply

    Does the same principle apply to induction and other non-gas burning heat sources?

  5. Dan November 28, 2012 Reply

    How do induction cooktops / “burners” impact the heat profile of a pan? I assume that the size of the hob also doesn’t matter in that case?


  6. Kristyn Edwards November 29, 2012 Reply

    Two results from this video:

    Look into Swiss Diamond skillets – they rivet the handles to bolsters cast as one piece with the body of the pans. That means no disgusting rivets to clean around, without sacrificing the strength and stability of riveted handles. Ranked #1 nonstick this year by Consumer Reports, with nice thick bodies and great heat distribution (even on small burners).

    Look into Swiss Diamond induction cookware. Instead of fusing a single small magnet into the core of the pan, like most induction cookware, they actually coat the entire bottom with magnetic material. That means better heat distribution and eliminates the possibility of that annoying buzzing and jumping that occurs with some induction cookware over time.

  7. J-DuB December 3, 2012 Reply

    One of my favorite pans for not only induction but also gas is the Centurion Line from Volrath. Really well made stuff and cooks beautifully. Has a HUGE disc of aluminum coated with magnetic steel.

    Mind you, I still also have my grandmother’s Descoware and a few Griswold Cast Irons as well.

  8. Noel January 3, 2013 Reply

    Nice cast iron works…heavy for some though

  9. maryhoch January 28, 2013 Reply

    Scan pan!!!

  10. Jean Claude March 27, 2013 Reply


    I couldn’t understand the thickness of the aluminum plate.

    is that 1/2 inch or 1 and a 1/2 inch.


    Jean Claude

    • Scott March 29, 2013 Reply

      Hi Jean Claude,

      0.5-inch will still help with even heating, but thicker is better, so 1.5-inch if you can find it.


  11. Paulustrious May 25, 2013 Reply

    I like my copper pans – although hey don’t gleam. I wonder if you can use a slab of magnetic steel/iron between an induction cooktop and a non-magnetic pan – or even a large cast iron skillet.
    I use the pan-in-a-skillet method when cooking “sous-videy” as it lowers the ultimate water temperature. Using the right combination I can get a fixed temperature +/- 2 degrees.

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