Things are pretty straightforward when using cast iron pots and pans on a gas or traditional electric stove. The burners are not on the surface, so you can use cast iron without a problem. But add a glass top to the mix, and things get trickier.
Cast iron can be used on a glass top stove, but don’t slide cookware on the surface. Instead, be very gentle, so you don’t crack the surface, and remove the pans as soon as you’re done cooking to avoid permanent scorching marks. And avoid using damaged or chipped pans.
Cast iron cookware looks rustic and can be very heavy, while glass is almost the opposite—delicate and modern. So, can cast iron damage your glass top stove? If so, how can you protect it from a cast iron pan? Are there other materials you should avoid using? Let’s take a look.
Can Cast Iron Damage Your Glass Top Stove?
You can use cast iron on your glass top stove without a problem as long as you take some precautions.
First, avoid sliding the pots and pans on the surface. Also, keep in mind that cast iron pans are heavy and have a rough exterior, so you need to be very gentle with them (so that you don’t crack the glass top) and keep them in place to prevent scratches to the glass surface.
Cast iron tends to heat up slowly, but it retains the heat for quite a while, which is why it’s ideal for slow cooking, frying, or browning. Since it retains heat, make sure you remove the cookware from the stove when you’re done.
How to Protect Your Glass Top Stove from a Cast Iron Pan
If you still think you’re going to damage your glass top by using a cast iron pan, don’t worry. Here are some tips to protect the glass while using cast iron cookware.
Upgrade Your Cookware
To have the best cooking experience, it wouldn’t hurt to modernize your cast iron pans. However, since you’ve already spent a good amount getting a glass-top stove, it’s best to spend a little more and upgrade your cookware.
And there’s a reason for that.
Compared to the smooth and sleek modern cast iron cookware, older pots and pans can be uneven. Plus, if your cookware has chips or bumps on the bottom, you should upgrade it before putting it on your new glass.
Newer cast iron pans are almost as sleek as the glass stove. And enameled cast iron cookware is a good option since it reduces the chances of scratches on the glass. Alternatively, you can get well-seasoned cast iron cookware with a smooth outer finish that’s safe to use on a glass top.
As mentioned above, ensure you never slide the cast iron pots and pans, especially older ones with uneven surfaces. Instead, firmly place them on the stove smoothly and avoid moving them around while cooking.
Make Sure You Don’t Drop Cookware
While it seems obvious, you must be mindful of this. Your glass top is fragile, and cast iron is pretty heavy.
For example, an average cast iron skillet (12-inch) weighs 8 pounds, while a similar aluminum or stainless steel pan weighs 4 pounds. Because of the higher weight, you have a higher chance of cracking the glass top. So when putting a skillet or pan on the stove, use both hands.
Don’t forget that the handle will also heat up with the pan, so you might reflexively drop the pan when you hold the hot handle. To prevent that from happening, make sure you use potholders.
Get a Heat Diffuser
You can get a heat diffuser to ensure further safety when using cast iron on a glass-top stove. As the name suggests, a heat diffuser is designed to evenly spread heat from the stove throughout the bottom of the pan.
Heat diffusers create a buffer between the pan and the delicate glass to prevent scratches. They’re also sturdy and prevent cast iron pans from damaging the surface.
Simply place the diffuser on the glass and put your kitchen equipment on top.
Thoroughly Wash the Cookware
The easiest way to use cast iron cookware with a glass stove is to clean it thoroughly after each cooking session. Scour both the outside and inside using silicone scrubbers and a mixture of hot water and soap.
You can also wash the pan before you start cooking to keep the stove top super-clean.
Regularly Clean Glass Top
There’s no point in cleaning your cast iron cookware before and after cooking if you’re not going to take care of the glass-top stove.
While a glass top looks modern and aesthetic when installed, you need to put in some effort to keep it like that in the long run. Spills and splashes from your pans, burnt food, and black residue can smear the glass.
And if you use cast iron cookware on the smeared glass, you’d definitely end up scratching the glass. So to make sure that doesn’t happen, ensure you wipe the glass before and after each session. In case of oil splatters or large spills, wipe the glass immediately before they dry out and stain the surface.
Apart from wiping down the stove daily, you should also do a deep clean once a month.
Get the Right Pan Size
A cast iron skillet nearly the same size as the burner can help prevent uneven heating. While a smaller pan is fine, ensure you don’t get something more than one inch bigger or smaller.
Also, ensure you don’t overdo the heat if you’re experiencing cold spots. Remember, cast iron can hold heat pretty well, and overheating can cause heat to rebound and damage the stove.
Be Careful When Cooling
As mentioned earlier, cast iron retains heat exceptionally well, and sometimes it can even damage the stovetop. It’s easy to move your cast iron pan from the oven to the pan and vice versa. Sometimes, people take the pan out of the oven and put it right over the stove out of habit.
However, if you have a glass-top stove, you must be extra careful. Hot cast iron can leave permanent marks on the stove, so make sure you put the pan on a trivet or cooling rack instead.
What Pans Should Not Be Used on a Glass-Top Stove?
You should avoid using ceramic, glass, and stoneware on a glass-top stove. They are typically rough and heavy and can scratch the stove, especially when you drag them across the surface.