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I recently bought a Max Burton 6400 induction cooktop. I used it a few times with some pans I already own and had to problem. Today I wanted to heat some milk up quickly, and I used a cheap Ikea sauce pan. The milk heated up fine, but when I tried to remove the pot, it had become stuck to the surface. I turned the cooktop off, but it was still stuck. I finally was able to slide it to the edge and pull it off, throwing hot milk all over my kitchen.

Has anyone experienced this with an induction cooktop before? Is it considered a malfunction? And should I blame the pot or the cooktop?

  • Hmmmm, looks like a physics question... =D – Ching Chong Mar 5 '15 at 23:15
  • Did you notice if the pot was sticking before you used it on the induction top? – Catija Mar 5 '15 at 23:38
  • It slid, but you couldn't lift it? Was the pot wet before it went down, because that's sounding like it could've been the issue when you get a really thin layer of liquid between two objects, and air pressure holds them together. – Joe Mar 6 '15 at 0:09
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    @Joe a good conjecture. I've been thinking about this from a magnetic standpoint, which would similarly be overcome by sliding. I like the idea of suction, though. – Catija Mar 6 '15 at 0:11
  • @Catija : oh, right ... induction uses magnets. Another good point. That one can be fixed by turning off the stove before trying to lift the pan. Let me go try to test it. – Joe Mar 6 '15 at 13:24
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I am guessing you had a bit of fluid either on the bottom of the pan or on the top of your stove. It could have been almost any fluid including water. Even though your pans can get really hot, water trapped under a pan doesn't seem to boil away very quickly, and the longer the pot sits on top of the fluid, the thinner it is pressed, thus turning into a suction problem because there is no effective fluid surface (thickness) for air to slurp in under the pot.

I cook mostly with cast iron, so the irregularity of the surface minimizes this effect a great deal.

Make sure your pot bottoms and stove surface are dry and clean. Obviously they'll still get greasy, especially during heavy cooking sessions, but try to keep the grease level to a minimum, and wipe down the stove between the burners as you go.

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It is entirely possible that your pan melted a bit.

Many materials will just not warm up if you put them on an induction stove. But if you have aluminium which is thin enough, it can melt. There are people who melt alu foil on induction cooktops as a prank. I suspect that, if your pot was thin enough, or if it was layered with aluminium as the contact surface (and layered/sandwich bottoms are common in cookware), it could have heated too, and melted and fused with the cooktop.

Another way to fuse would in principle be bad enamel, if the pot itself heated enough to soften a thin layer of enamel. But this is very unlikely, since enamel has a much higher melting point than aluminium. I have used enameled pots, including cheap ones, without any problem.

This is not the only possibility, of course. As Escoce said, a burnt-on liquid can also make it stick somewhat. But if this is the case, you should be able to separate it without damaging the glass by simply pushing harder on the pot. If they are completely fused, a melted bottom is more likely.

If this is what happened, you should blame the pot, and only use pots with a "ready for induction" sign on the bottom. The only exception should be cookware for which you are sure that its bottom layer is either steel or iron. Check steel with a magnet for conductivity.

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    This is a well formatted answer with some obvious effort applied, but the scientific half of my brain is having some issues. Take a propane torch and try to melt solder onto a room temperature piece of glass. It will flake off with little effort. The fact that he had liquid in the pan makes melting the pan astronomically unlikely. Ever tried soldering a copper pipe with a tiny bit of water in it? Best regards. – Derpy Mar 8 '15 at 2:58
  • Interesting point about the liquid. I haven't tried the soldering you describe. If it is comparable, than you are probably right. On the other hand, induction heating works differently than soldering - the heat is concentrated in a much smaller portion of the metal (skin effect). I know it is sufficient to melt a sheet of foil, I don't know if the water will be sufficient cooling to prevent the melting. I'd love to see more definitive info, but there is no way I'm sacrificing my cooktop for this experiment! – rumtscho Mar 8 '15 at 21:38
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I used to work in a foundry that used induction oven to melt aluminum,zinc, and brass. I would say it was liquid suction

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