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I'm happy with my GE portable induction cooktop (single burner). I have two 8" pans (one cast iron, one induction-certified Oxo) and one induction-certified 12" pan (Nuwave) that work great. I've tried three induction-certified 10" pans and none work! Oxo, Sensarte, and Green Pan brands. Is it possible that my induction cooktop is incompatible with 10" pans???

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    Have you confirmed the 10" pans are actually induction ready? Feb 15, 2023 at 7:58
  • Only ferrous metals will work on induction, have you tested these pans using a magnet?
    – GdD
    Feb 15, 2023 at 8:42
  • What are your 10" pans made of? Brand does not matter, materials and construction very much does.
    – Mołot
    Feb 15, 2023 at 15:43
  • I checked the Sensarte and Green Pan skillets. Magnets stick to the bottoms of both. All of the pans are induction certified. Feb 15, 2023 at 20:21

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Induction cookers are tricky. They heat with a donut-shaped antenna under the glass top. You have likely noticed a circular "hot spot" in your pans. This is the size and shape of the underlying antenna. Consumer induction cooktops all have single-donut antennae. Commercial units, which can cost more than 10X as much, usually have two concentric "donuts" for better coverage.

The circular graphic on the stovetop is not necessarily centered over the donut antenna. My Frigidaire induction has one graphic a full inch off-axis. You can tell by putting 1/8" of water in a large cast iron frying pan and putting the burner on "hi". The circle of bubbles will identify the center of the antenna. Center your pot there, not over the graphic.

The burners have sensors to determine if a magnetic pot is correctly located above the antenna. That's why they "know" to turn off if you lift the pot. And why burners will sometimes refuse to heat small pans, especially cheapies.

Your misbehaving pans may be "induction compatible", not "induction optimal". Laminated pans which are optimized for induction are more expensive to manufacture.

I suspect it is this "safety" sensor which is causing mischief. If a cheapie pan is off-center from the antenna, the cooktop may interpret that as "no pot present".

The magnet test is helpful, but not foolproof. Trust in cast iron. All other pots must prove themselves.

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  • I'm sure it is the pan sensor failing to detect the pan, as otherwise it would try to heat and you'd see some effect. But it does seem odd that the sensor can pick up 8" pans and not 12". Of course the sensor may be off-centre too, so systematically offsetting a 10" pan might be of some use.
    – Chris H
    Feb 17, 2023 at 8:51
  • Looking at the bubbles boiling water in the 8" cast iron skillet, It looks like the indiction ring is about 5" in diameter. When I checked the 10" skillets with a magnet I didn't check all over to see if the bottoms were all ferrous or if there was just a ferrous ring. Maybe the non-compatible pans had a ferrous ring more than 6" in diameter? My compatible 12" saute pan has a full ferrous bottom, as do my 8" Oxo skillet and my 8" cast iron skillet. Feb 18, 2023 at 18:11

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