Some foods are better cooked in cast iron pans and you do not want to have to give it up because of an unsuitable cooktop. Imagine a stake being cooked on a steel pan. The taste would not even measure up to half of what it would have been if it was cooked in a seasoned cast iron pan.
But the concern that cast iron cookware can damage a glass surface is very reasonable. It is after all quite clunky and if you are not careful and accidentally bang it on the glass stove top, the surface may form a crack.
Moreover, glass-top stoves that do not have any grill grates and directly receive the cookware are more in danger of being cracked from a cast iron skillet that has been heating for a long time and is suddenly forced to cool down. The thermal shock is what causes the crack.
Can You Put Cast Iron on a Glass-Top Stove?
Yes, you can use Cast Iron on a Glass-top stove. But Iron cookware can at times damage the glass if not used cautiously. This is because a cast iron skillet or a pan usually heats up quite slowly but retains the heat for a long time. Prolonged heating can crack the glass top stove.
However, this may not necessarily have to happen all the time as the glass on the stove can be protected if some precautions are taken and some tips followed.
Some may even give up using cast iron cookware to protect their ceramic or glass top stove but that is wholly unnecessary, as the glass cooktop can be protected by following some simple dos and dont’s.
How To Protect Glass Top Stove From Cast Iron?
Here are a few tips on how to protect glass top stove from cast iron:
Prep the Cookware
It is a common habit among many to wash a utensil and place it directly on the heating source to dry the water up. This makes the cookware heat up more than is required. Therefore, when you are using a cast iron pan on a glass stove then make sure it is dry as well as clean.
If food from a previous cooking session clings to the bottom of your pan, it can get hardened and scratch the glass surface. Also, the built-up carbon from the heat can cause stains around the burners.
Therefore, always wash your cast iron with hot water after each use and apply a layer of oil or shortening all over it.
Slowly Heat Up The Cast Iron
It is always recommended that you preheat the cast iron cookware slowly on a glass top to prevent warping. Cast iron can warp through uneven heating or cooling or sudden increase or decrease in temperature.
The reason behind the warping of the material is thermal shock. If you suddenly hit your cast iron with a high flame, it will expand more rapidly than is okay for it to do so. This might crack the cookware as well as the delicate glass top.
But such a scenario is more common when the heat in question is very high so be mindful of not accidentally leaving your cast iron cookware on a high flame without any food cooking inside it. There will be nowhere for the cast iron to distribute the extra heat and it will warp under the sudden increase in temperature.
Lift The Cookware When It Has To Be Moved
Cast Iron cookware is very heavy. It is heavier and clunkier than most other types of cookware and that is why it can easily inflict damage upon a delicate glass surface if not handled carefully.
While placing, adjusting, or moving the cookware, be careful not to bang it on the stovetop or drag it along the surface. Always, gently place it and lift it to adjust its position.
Do Not Cool The Cookware On The Stove Top
Cast iron takes relatively longer to heat up and cool down as compared to other materials. If suddenly cooled down with force by being doused with cold water, it can immediately cause the glass stove top to form a crack because of the sudden thermal shock.
Similarly, cast iron cookware should not be left on the stove after the cooking is complete and allowed to cool down there as the altering temperature will leave a faded scorch mark on the glass surface.
Reduce Cooking Temperatures By Using Appropriate Vessels
Some cooking processes use more heat to accomplish than others and while doing so the cooking temperature may promptly increase. Therefore, avoid using cast iron vessels or cookware for boiling or simmering purposes.
Browning, sauteeing, frying, etc, are cooking processes much more suited to cast iron.
Even if you do have to use a cast iron vessel for boiling, then make sure a layer of protective pad or sheet is placed between the bottom of the vessel and the burner.
Use A Heat Diffuser
Although traditionally used for electric and gas cooktops, it can also be used for glass ones. As it is placed between the cookware and the gas, it acts as a glass stove top protector for cast iron thus preventing the possibility of any scratches or damage to the glass surface.
Heat diffusers may slow down the cooking as it controls the amount of heat that passes from the gas to the stove, but it is still worth it to protect the glass cooktop.
Use Cookware That Has A Smooth Bottom
A Cast Iron pan with a smooth bottom will ensure that the weight is uniformly distributed. Pans with an uneven bottom are more likely to cause scratches on a glass surface.
The best way to ensure that your cast iron has an even bottom is to buy one that is enameled. Assuming that the pan is free of any hard contaminants such as dried food, an enameled pan will not be scratching your glass stove top for sure.
How To Avoid Thermal Shock When Cooking With Cast Iron On A Glass Top Stove?
Thermal Shock can be prevented if you preheat your cast iron in an oven or heat it on a low flame on the stovetop before starting to cook. Gradually heating the cast iron allows it to expand slowly rather than suddenly. This helps in preventing any damage to either the cookware or the glass top.
Similarly, when you are done cooking and want to cool your cast iron down, be mindful to not pour cool water on it while it is still on the glass. This will not only affect the structural integrity of the cookware but being forced to contract suddenly will also damage the glass surface of the stove.
Therefore, after you are done cooking, remove the cast iron from the cooktop by gently lifting it and then place it somewhere to safely cool down on its own.
Can I Use A Dutch Oven On A Glass Top Stove?
Yes, you can use a Dutch Oven on a glass-top stove. But in doing so you should be mindful of using the same precautions that you use to protect glass stove top from regular cast iron cookware.
A Dutch oven has a flat bottom and straight sides and it is traditionally made of cast iron.
It is very convenient cookware for searing meat, cooking stews, etc.
Dutch ovens can safely be used on glass-top stoves by making sure that the heat is kept in a consistently medium range to avoid higher cooking temperatures. Since a Dutch oven is mostly used for stews and dishes that need simmering, it is of utmost importance that the temperature of the stove is not set at high.
This will not only damage the utensil but also the stovetop.
To avoid any chances of this happening, be sure to use a heat diffuser between the Dutch oven and the burner area. You can also use parchment, sheets, or silicate pads to rule away the chances of scratches on the glass. Although using a smooth-bottomed Dutch oven is not likely to cause a scratch in the first place.
Is A Flat-bottom Cast Iron Pan Necessary For Use On a Glass-Top Stove?
Yes, a flat-bottom cast iron pan is the most ideal and practical to be used on a glass-top stove.
There are three reasons for this. Firstly, a round-bottomed wok needs a wok ring to be used on a glass-top stove and the ring may scratch the glass surface. Secondly, round-bottomed cookware is always most suitable to be used on a gas stove with open fires as there is more risk of spills and scratches when using a wok.
Thirdly and finally, using round-bottomed cookware will jeopardize proper cooking as the heat may not be evenly distributed.
Therefore, flat-bottomed cast iron is not strictly necessary for use on a glass-top stove but rather practical and appropriate.
A Cast Iron Pan, skillet, or Dutch Oven is a must kitchen have and people who are fond of cooking can vouch for how precious these cookwares are to them. Therefore, it is natural that you should be using these in such a manner that does not inflict any damage to them.
More importantly, you do not want to damage your pricey glass stovetop because once the glass is cracked or stained, it loses the aesthetic elegance of a classy kitchen accessory.
Thus, exercise caution when you are using a heavy material such as cast iron on something as delicate as glass. The tips provided above are sure to be helpful and if you want specific instructions on safety then the manufacturer’s instructions that come with the cooktop as well the cookware can always be referred to.