Why do my pans keep warping?

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Brandon R
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Why do my pans keep warping?

#1 Post by Brandon R »

I have been gifted (some were bought) some very nice cookware over the years. All Clad, etc. We moved into a new home and it has an older ceramic(?) cook top for the range. They're not induction burners, so they are hot to the touch when on. I've noticed that my skillets and even our stock pots are warping. I put oil in a pan and it pools around the outside, so the middle of the pans are raised. Furthermore, the skillets don't sit flat anymore, which makes cooking really frustrating. I never take a hot pan and rinse it, and when done cooking, I slide the hot pat over to the cool side of the range until they're room temp. I bought a rubber mallet and have somewhat successfully pounded my skillets flat, but they re-warped. I can't pout stock pots flat because they're too deep to get at with a mallet. So, what gives? Is it something relating to the ceramic cooktop?
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Victor Hong
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Re: Why do my pans keep warping?

#2 Post by Victor Hong »

The core has a different metal than the exterior.
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Re: Why do my pans keep warping?

#3 Post by Victor Hong »

For stockpots, insert a wooden two-by-four, and pound on one end.
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Re: Why do my pans keep warping?

#4 Post by Brian Tuite »

Electric stove tops warp pans. All my pans have done this over the years. Calphalon pans sink in the center and All Clad raise in the center. The remedy is a gas stove top. Too expensive to run gas to my home.
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Re: Why do my pans keep warping?

#5 Post by Scott G r u n e r »

That's weird that all-clad would warp. Might be under warranty? Warping is one of the things they aren't supposed to do IIRC.

In general- my understanding (likely weak) is that warping is caused by heating and then too rapid cooling down. i.e. getting a pan hot and then putting under cold water.
I am sure there is a metallurgist on the board that would be know better. :)

If it was as simple as victor's assertion than many many pans would inherently warp? I think my all clads are stainless sandwiching aluminum- but that might just be the sides I guess.
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Re: Why do my pans keep warping?

#6 Post by David Wright »

How hot are your pans getting? I have a couple dozen all-clad pans, some of them 30+ years old, and none have warped despite years of use on electric stoves.

A friend has a large (13-inch) all-clad saute pan that warped, and she said it warped when the pan got really hot without food in it (fwiw). That pan is one of the stainless-steel exterior line, which are thinner than the MC/MC2 and LTD pans that I use.

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Re: Why do my pans keep warping?

#7 Post by Brandon R »

Thanks, All. Victor - that's a great idea. Will do that.

I think it has something to do, like Brian said, with a combination of the fact that it's an electric cook top and gets crazy hot. Also, I often preheat dry pans with nothing in them, so that could add to it. I never go from hot to cold quickly, though, as that absolutely can warp pans. Sounds like it's just something I'll have to live with until we get a new range.
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Re: Why do my pans keep warping?

#8 Post by Brian Tuite »

Brandon R wrote: November 20th, 2020, 12:32 pm Thanks, All. Victor - that's a great idea. Will do that.

I think it has something to do, like Brian said, with a combination of the fact that it's an electric cook top and gets crazy hot. Also, I often preheat dry pans with nothing in them, so that could add to it. I never go from hot to cold quickly, though, as that absolutely can warp pans. Sounds like it's just something I'll have to live with until we get a new range.
I always preheat my pans. I was taught to always warm the pan before adding oil/butter and in the case of butter wait for the froth to settle before adding onion, garlic, veggies, eggs etc.

As for my warped AllClad it’s only the non-stick pans that do that. My stainless /aluminum AllClad sauce pans and omelet pans are like new after 25+ years.
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Re: Why do my pans keep warping?

#9 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

Brandon R wrote: November 20th, 2020, 12:32 pm Thanks, All. Victor - that's a great idea. Will do that.

I think it has something to do, like Brian said, with a combination of the fact that it's an electric cook top and gets crazy hot. Also, I often preheat dry pans with nothing in them, so that could add to it. I never go from hot to cold quickly, though, as that absolutely can warp pans. Sounds like it's just something I'll have to live with until we get a new range.
Do you live in NM?

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Re: Why do my pans keep warping?

#10 Post by Victor Hong »

Brandon R wrote: November 20th, 2020, 12:32 pm Thanks, All. Victor - that's a great idea. Will do that.

I think it has something to do, like Brian said, with a combination of the fact that it's an electric cook top and gets crazy hot. Also, I often preheat dry pans with nothing in them, so that could add to it. I never go from hot to cold quickly, though, as that absolutely can warp pans. Sounds like it's just something I'll have to live with until we get a new range.
The difference in expansion gradients for two metals is more meaningful, when both metals are pushed simultaneously to very high temperatures. At much lower temperatures, the two metals will not expand so differently, in cumulative amount.

Yes, I learned that from blowing up ABS CDOs.

Note that entirely cast-iron pans never warp, even when heated above 750F.
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Re: Why do my pans keep warping?

#11 Post by Brandon R »

Tom G l a s g o w wrote: November 20th, 2020, 6:16 pm
Brandon R wrote: November 20th, 2020, 12:32 pm Thanks, All. Victor - that's a great idea. Will do that.

I think it has something to do, like Brian said, with a combination of the fact that it's an electric cook top and gets crazy hot. Also, I often preheat dry pans with nothing in them, so that could add to it. I never go from hot to cold quickly, though, as that absolutely can warp pans. Sounds like it's just something I'll have to live with until we get a new range.
Do you live in NM?
Washington State. Why do you ask?
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