One of the cookware types that I highly recommend using is cast iron pots and pans. They’re extremely versatile and definitely offer durability that lasts more than a lifetime. Cast iron is sturdy, easy to use, and can also be replenished back to its perfect condition, a feature that other types of cookware do not have. As great as it may be, there is one flaw in using cast iron that I’m particularly disappointed with.
Can you use cast iron on a glass top stove?
I really don’t recommend that you use cast iron on glass stovetops at all. One of the biggest disadvantages of using a cast iron pot or pan is that it doesn’t go well with glass tops mainly because of its rough and abrasive exterior which can damage your cooktop. But this isn’t the only reason.
Why can’t you use cast iron on a glass stovetop?
- Cast iron is rough. Cast iron is often put into a mold or forged creating a rough surface. This is abrasive against a smooth glass top. It can scratch the surface thus affecting the performance of your cooktop.
- Most cast iron cookware has an uneven base. Glass cooktops prefer flat bottom cookware because it is faster for heat to transfer onto the cookware. Forged cast iron pots or pans do not guarantee a completely flat bottom thus reducing the overall cooking efficiency of your cookware.
- Cast iron is heavy. Glass is quite sensitive and won’t be able to handle heavy cookware. Heavy cookware can cause your cooktop to break. A break or a crack will require you to replace the entire cooktop.
- Most of them are larger than your cooktop burner. Cast iron pans are considerably larger in average size than other types of pots and pans. Since glass tops recommend cookware that is about an inch wider than its burner to maximize heat efficiency.
- Cast iron finish melts. All cast iron pots and pans have a polished finish to prevent rusting but this polish has the tendency to melt and stick onto glass top cookers. It’s hard to remove and can even permanently damage your glass top.
- Slow cooking. Glass top stoves and cast iron do not mix well because they both heat slowly. Cast iron is known to have longer preheating time than other types of cookware material. And since 40% of heat is often lost using an electric glass top, it will prolong your cooking time.
- More energy consumption. The longer you cook, the more energy you consume. Since electric stoves rely on radiant energy to warm or heat your cookware, it will consume more energy thus hiking up your electric bill.
How do you use cast iron on a glass cooktop?
You can still use cast iron cookware on glass tops only with proper care. The main concern is preventing your pan from scratching or damaging your glass surface.
- Lift, don’t slide. Gently lift your pan as you cook. We have the tendency to slide our cookware and toss the food we’re cooking. When using a cast iron pan over a glass top, simply lift and toss.
- DON’T ever drop. Maximize the use of helper handles on your cookware. Most larger sized cast iron pots and pans have assist handles to provide better grip and transport.
- Use a heat diffuser. A heat diffuser is intended to disperse the heat and scatter it across a pan's bottom surface. Crafted from strong aluminum, it can also help shield the heaviness and rugged bottoms of a cast iron pan from your glass stovetop. It also serves as a barrier between the pan's bottom and the stove's surface.
- Modernize your cast iron cookware. You can replace your cast iron pot or pan with a modern cast iron cookware. They are lined using porcelain or enamel to lessen the time needed to preheat the kitchenware. But make sure that the surface should be purely covered with porcelain or enamel to improve efficiency and prevent surface damage.
- Sand and smooth your cast iron pans or pots. You can have a DIY fix by sanding the bottom of your cookware and smooth out and polish the cast iron surface. To make it more glass top friendly.
- Do not place a hot pot or pan on the glass top. Cool glass easily breaks when in contact with an extremely hot pan. Doing this may damage your cooking range requiring you to replace your entire cooking surface.
Can you use cast iron on a ceramic stovetop?
You should avoid using a cast iron cookware over your ceramic stovetop. Glass top and ceramic stovetop are actually the same. In fact, every supposed glass top range is made with a mix of ceramic and crystalline creating a glass-ceramic surface to create a tougher surface meant for cooking. Though they are more formidable, they are sensitive to buff cookware.
What pots should not be used on a ceramic cooktop?
I don’t recommend the use of cast iron, glass, porcelain, and stoneware over any glass or ceramic cooktop mainly due to the rough surface. They can easily damage your cooktop if not handled properly.
Best material to use on glass cooking ranges
Any cookware that has a flat smooth or polished base is great for ceramic-glass cooktops. However, there are some types of material that really works well with glass top stoves.
Heavy-weight aluminum is preferred
It absorbs heat and cooks uniformly quicker than other metals. Aluminum residue sometimes appears as a stain or scratch the cooker but if washed quickly, it can be avoided.
A sandwich-clad bottom is exceptionally good because it blends stainless steel's toughness and resilience with aluminum or copper's heat conduction and delivery.
As long as the base is smooth you can easily use this on any glass cooktop.
Cookware with a copper base is fine as well, but it can also leave residues that show as scratches on the cooktop. These may be avoided if quickly washed, but do not cause a dry copper-bottom pan to boil. An overheated copper pot will leave a coating that will stain the cooktop forever.
Titanium is naturally nonstick and thus offers a smooth surface. However, most titanium cookware has an aluminum or ceramic base. Opt for one with aluminum over a ceramic-titanium mix or simply get one of the best cookware sets for glass top stoves.
Porcelain or enamel cookware
Only if they have a thick, smooth base, porcelain or enamel pans provide good efficiency. As porcelain can melt and fuse to the surface, you should avoid boiling these pans dry.
Can you use cast iron on an induction stove?
Cast iron kitchenware works very well with an induction stove. Though induction stoves and glass tops both have the same smooth surface, they heat cookware differently. Since the induction stove uses electromagnetic energy, even if you scratch your cooking surface, its cooking efficiency will not be reduced.
Cast iron is magnetic making it ideal cookware for an induction stove. In fact, the process of induction heats the cookware faster than electric coil or gas ranges because induction turns the metal into a cooking element. See my in-depth guide "best cookware sets for electric coil stoves" for reviews and tips if you already have an electric coil stove.
Having a glass top stove gives our kitchen a great aesthetic touch but it is quite sensitive and easily damaged. However, no matter what type of cookware you are using as long as it has a smooth base that won’t scratch or damage the surface of your cooktop, you can definitely use it anyhow you want on your glass top range.