In general, glass, stoneware, and cast iron stove top pans are not recommended for use on glass-ceramic surfaces. If you have a large collection of cast iron pans and a glass-ceramic stove top, don’t donate those pots just yet. Read on to learn how to use cast iron on a glass top stove and not scratch it.
Glass-ceramic cooktops hit the scene in the 1970s. Unlike traditional coiled electric cooktops, this glass tops offer even heat dispersion and a smooth surface that makes it easy to clean up.
Glass top stoves are either electric or induction. Both types use electricity to generate heat. Although these cooktops are easy to clean and provide an even cooking surface, they are prone to scratching. The right kind of cookware for a glass stovetop is made from a material that won’t scratch the surface and has a wide flat bottom.
Can You Use Cast Iron On a Glass Top Stove?
In short, you can safely use cast iron on glass top stoves with a few safety precautions. It is important to first understand how the cast iron can scratch the surface of your glass top stove.
Cast Iron is Heavy
Even before you add food to the pan, cast iron is heavy on its own. As you add food or liquids to the pan, it adds extra weight that will rest on the cooktop. Yes, the glass-ceramic top is designed to handle a lot of weight, but a slight slip or accidental drop of the heavy pan as you cook can crack the surface. Even a small crack on the surface affects the integrity of the cooktop and presents a safety hazard.
Cast Iron is Uneven
Cast iron cookware is made by melting blocks of iron and steel together, along with other chemicals. The molten metal is poured into a mold made of sand, water, and powdered clay. The result is slightly uneven bottom with rough spots and burrs. These rough spots can scratch the cooktop, especially as the pan slides around the surface.
Cast Iron Pans Are large
The last reason most glass-ceramic stove manufacturers discourage cast iron on a glass top stove they are generally large. Many cast iron skillets are larger than the burners on the stove. This creates a broader surface area that may lead to accidentally scratching.
How to Protect Glass Top Stove from Cast Iron
Despite all the cons of using cast iron on a glass top stove, there are still several advantages for cooking with cast iron. Cast iron cookware is inexpensive, durable, and a great heat conductor. You can still use your cast iron cookware as long as you follow these tips.
Cast iron cookware can collect oil and other food debris on the outside of pans. As the debris heats up, it carbonizes and burns, which can lead to stains on the glass cooktop and scratches. Give the pans a good scrubbing with a stiff brush to remove any debris on the outside of the pan before you place it on the glass cook surface.
Get into the habit of lifting the cast iron cookware. Sliding is what causes scratching. Every time you need to adjust the pan, you need to lift it up, move it, then gently place it onto the heating element.
Remember, the cast ion is heavy, and dropping in onto your cooktop may result in a cracked surface. Always lift with both hands and make sure your grip is secure before you lift. Take your time placing it onto the surface without sliding it.
Switch to Enameled Cast Iron
Enameled cast iron is cast iron with an enamel glaze applied to the surface. The glaze prevents rusting, eliminates the need to season the metal, and allows more thorough cleaning. It also provides a smooth surface all over the pan. This surface will not scratch a glass cooktop. However, it’s still heavy and you still run the risk of cracking the cooktop if dropped.
How Do I Prevent Scratches On My Glass Stove Top?
Whether you use cast iron cookware or not, you can still accidentally scratch your glass cooktop with any type of pan. Here are some precautions to take to prevent scratches on your glass-ceramic stovetop.
- Take care of how you move pans: no matter the type of pan you use, get out of the habit of sliding pans when cooking. Always lift the pan to move it. Any food or debris buildup on the bottom of pans can scratch the glass surface. Just remember lift, don’t slide!
- Stick with flat bottom pans: don’t use any cookware with round, bottom edges. Flat bottom pans offer more stability and are less likely to shift while cooking.
- Clean up spills immediately: clean spills immediately. Spills that are not cleaned up immediately can burn and are much harder to clean later.
- Keep cookware clean: just like with cast iron, any food deposit or debris left on the outside of pans can stain or damage your cooktop. Grease deposits can melt on to the glass surface, leaving a stubborn stain. Harden deposits can scratch the surface of the pan accidentally slides.
- Use a cooling rack: The stovetop is the first place most people place pans to cool once they pull them from the oven. The hot bakeware may leave spots on your glass top and you can ascendingly scratch the surface by shifting the pans. Instead, place a cooling rack onto the stovetop first, then place the baking pan.
- Use proper cooking utensils: Stainless steel utensils can accidentally scratch a glass top stove as well. Use wood or silicon coated utensils to minimize the risk. Or, when cooking, use a spoon rest or tray to lay the utensils. Don’t lay them on the cooktop.
- Cookware only: Never put anything that’s not cookware onto the surface of the glass cooktop. It’s not designed to withstand heavyweights. That means not standing or kneeling on it to reach a hard to reach the cupboard either.
Glass-ceramic cooktops offer even cooking and are easy to clean. They even give your kitchen a clean, streamlined look. Taking care of them isn’t hard as long as you follow a few precautions.