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Many people love their glass top stove. They are a handy appliance that provides more even heating than electric coil stoves, and they don’t have the grooves and gaps that make cleaning up spills and boil-overs a pain.
Now, if you didn’t pick your glass top stove, maybe it came with your new house or apartment, and you want to keep using your cast iron cookware, you might be worried that your new stove won’t handle your favorite pans.
Fortunately for you, cast iron can definitely be used on your glass cooktop, with a few considerations.
1. Take it Easy
Our first bit of advice for using your cast iron cookware on your glass top stove is to be gentle. Cast iron is really heavy; and can do some serious damage to your glass top stove. You do need to be mindful of how you manage your cast iron cookware around your glass top stove.
First thing to remember is not to drag your cast iron cookware across your glass cooktop. Cast iron doesn’t have a smooth bottom, so it can easily scratch the glass of your cooktop. The last thing you want is scratches in your cooktop. Scratches can collect food, and over time cause more substantial damage and cracking in your glass cooktop. When you move your cast iron pans across the stove, pick them up from the surface.
Second, go slow and make sure you aren’t dropping your cast iron onto the glass surface. Dropping your cast iron, or even setting it down too hard, can crack the glass of your cooktop.
2. Keep it Clean
When we say keep it clean we mean keep everything clean including your stove.
You’ll need to keep your cooktop clean. Any food residues, boil-overs or lingering crumbs need to be cleaned off of your cooktop before you start cooking with cast iron. While it doesn’t seem like a big deal, these food remnants underneath the uneven, and heavy bottom of your cast iron pans will scratch your glass cooktop. And that is the last thing that you want to do.
The other part of keeping things clean is in regard to the bottom of your cast iron pans. While you want to create a good seasoning on the whole pan, if you’re using a glass top stove, or even a regular electric stove, you don’t want to season the bottom of your cast iron cookware.
Here’s the thing, the oil you use to season your cast iron pans will cook to your glass top stove, and make a huge mess. Not to mention that as it cooks onto your glass top stove, it will burn and make a terrible smell.
3. Heat Slowly
If you really want to add some excitement to your day, set your cold cast iron skillet onto your glass cooktop, and turn the burner on to high, and watch what happens.
Oh, you’re not into exciting experiments? OK, let’s tell you what will happen. You’ll crack your glass cooktop. And then you’ve got a problem on your hands.
When you are cooking with cast iron on your glass cooktop, heat it up slowly. Start with the temperature on low, and gradually work up to higher temperatures. This will protect your glass cooktop, and it will ensure that your cast iron pan is appropriately warmed up, before you start cooking.
4. Try a Heat Diffuser
We found this handy tool to be a helpful life saver when it came to using cast iron on your glass top stove. There really is nothing fancy about this tool. It is a simple, aluminum or stainless steel “pan” that you place between the stove and your cast iron pan. There are also silicone heat diffusers that are a good option for your induction cooktop.
Besides being a helpful tool for protecting your glass cooktop from your stainless steel pan, heat diffusers can make cooking on your glass top stove a little more efficient, especially with your cast iron pans.
You see, sometimes, cast iron won’t heat evenly, because it isn’t perfectly flat on the bottom. Due to the rough nature of cast iron, it tends to heat unevenly when placed on a glass top stove. The heat diffuser will allow heat to be distributed more evenly across the pan, for a more efficient cooking process.
And, honestly, they keep your cast iron from slipping and sliding on your glass top stove, which can cause scratches and unnecessary wear on your glass cooktop.
What About Induction Cooktops?
Induction cooktops are another unique situation that we should discuss, because they are usually glass topped, and you may be wondering if your cast iron pans will work on your cooktop.
If you don’t own an induction cooktop, this question may seem strange, but they are different from the traditional glass top stove. Induction cooktops use a magnetic field to generate heat between the cooktop and cookware. In order for your induction cooktop to work, your pans need to be magnetic.
The great thing about cast iron is that it works really well on induction cooktops. Except for that part about it being not flat and can easily scratch your glass cooktop.
There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when you use cast iron on your induction cooktop.
- First, you can place cast iron directly on the induction top, however, because cast iron pans are rarely perfectly flat, you may notice that they vibrate on your induction cooktop.
- Second, like with other glass top stoves, you want to avoid seasoning the bottom of your cast iron pan. As the oils heat, they can make a mess on your cooktop.
If you’re new to cooking on a glass top stove, you’re probably happy to know that cast iron can be used on this unique, yet efficient appliance. Cast iron is a perfect companion even, for induction cooktops, with a few simple considerations.
Just remember, glass top stoves are a bit more delicate than other types of stove, so you’ll want to be kind, and thoughtful when using your cast iron cookware with your glass cooktop.
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