Cast iron cookware is a staple in many kitchens and glass top stoves are becoming a common fixture in new kitchens as well as kitchen renovations. If common sense were to prevail you would assume that the two materials should not be used together. In fact, some people say that it’s possible, while others say there are safety risks. So can you use cast iron on a glass top stove?
You can use cast iron cookware on a glass stovetop. The cast iron should have a smooth base and should not be dragged, scraped, or dropped onto the cooktop. The best-cast iron cookware choice is enameled over seasoned for its smooth underside. To avoid thermal shock heat the stovetop and cast iron up simultaneously.
Read this blog post to learn more about how to safely use cast-iron pots and pans on your glass top stove!
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Glass and Ceramic Top Stoves
What is the difference between glass and ceramic top stoves? Ceramic-glass blend cooktops are 50%-95% crystalline and made of a glass-ceramic mix, not just all one or the other. Although they may be called by different brand names, all flat-top cookstoves are made of a glass-ceramic blend rather than being all ceramic or all glass. The trademarked name for each brand is different and they may be called by various names as well!
What is the right kind of cookware to use on a glass or ceramic stovetop? Stainless steel cookware is the best kind to use with a glass stovetop because it will not scratch or break through the surface and stainless steel offers just enough weight so that nothing slides around when you’re cooking.
The heating elements of glass stove tops can have a reduced lifespan if excessive heat is pushed down from an oversized or overheated cooking pot. This element may be replaced but it costs money and it should be considered before using any pot or pan.
Cast Iron Cookware (Seasoned)
When most people think of cast iron cookware I am certain they are imagining seasoned cast iron Dutch ovens, skillets, griddles, fry pans, and the many other shapes that are heavy, sturdy, rugged cookware we use on a campfire, BBQ, or gas cooktop.
Depending upon the manufacturer seasoned cast iron can have bases that are not smooth even slightly warped basically rough around the edges, so to speak… This type of pot or pan will usually be on the cheaper end of the price scale and is absolutely not suitable for a glass stovetop as it will scratch the stovetop and if warped will not sit straight.
Never fear if you want to cook with seasoned cast iron cookware on your glass top stove there are brands of cookware, probably cost more, out there that offer a smooth base for cooking. Before buying run your hands over the base of the piece…
Cast Iron Cookware (Enameled)
When I think of cooking with cast iron on a glass stovetop, images of gorgeous brightly colored cast-iron cookware coated in smooth porcelain enamel. Much like the ones you would be able to purchase from Staub, Le Creuset, Lodge, Bruntmor even Crock-Pot.
Cast iron enamel cookware although similar to its brother seasoned cast iron cookware is specially designed for use in a kitchen. The pieces are smoother, lighter, and more manageable than seasoned cast iron so the coating offers an extra layer of protection for your glass or ceramic.
Using a Glass Top Stove with Cast Iron Cookware
One of the great perks of a glass top stove is its smooth surface that makes it easy for you to clean up. The flat surface means there are no spaces between coils or gas hobs where food can spill, making cleanup even easier!
The downside of glass stovetops is the obvious extra care that needs to be taken to keep the glass or ceramic stovetop from damage and looking new. For this reason, it is recommended that the best type of cookware for glass stovetops is heavy-bottomed pans that are made out of stainless steel, copper, or aluminum. Make no mistake any cookware will damage your glass stovetop if you do not take care.
Avoiding Damage When Cooking With Cast Iron on Your Ceramic or Glass Top Stove
Choosing the right cast iron pot or pan for your glass stovetop; regardless of seasoned or enamel cast iron apply the following list to both choices.
A flat base absorbs the heat correctly and will stop the pot from moving around the glass surface. A base with a smooth surface without roughness or sharp edges also helps with heat retention and not damaging the glass.
Dual handles; regardless of whether it is a pot, skillet or pan ensure that it has a handle on either side. This allows you to place and lift the pot directly up off the surface and not pull or drag it across the glass.
Always use thick oven mitts and have a heat-proof cutting board or metal trivet on hand for placing your hot cooking pan on.
Size and Shape of cast iron cookware; to maintain the best heat distribution for cooking your pot or pan it should be no more than 1-inch in diameter larger than the burner. If pots are too large for the burner the cooking time will be longer, this could also damage the element.
Clean cookware and stovetop; always ensure sure that your cookware (seasoned cast iron) is clean and free of food particles and oil. Cast iron and oil work together to form a nonstick protective barrier, which is great for its intended use. But when using an oily cast iron base on the glass you are asking for burning and stains on the surface of the glass cooker.
The same goes with the glass top stove it should always be cleaned of debris before heating it up for use. The best way to keep it clean is to attend to it following the manufacturer’s instructions as soon as it has cooled after use.
Heating up your glass stovetop and cast iron cookware; I know it is ironic when we are talking about tough heavy cast iron pots and taking great care not to damage your glass stovetop. But did you know that in certain instances the very makeup of seasoned cast iron and enameled cast iron needs to be treated like glass? Because it is susceptible to a phenomenon called “Thermal Shock” which is the fancy name for when a very hot surface meets a cold one and one is damaged.
Just like when an icy cold glass meets hot water there is a good chance it will crack. Well, the same goes for cast iron the exact same cracking or fracturing can happen if hot cast iron meets a cold surface or cold cast iron meet a hot surface.
How can you avoid Thermal Shock? Heat your stovetop element and the cast iron pan up together.
Recommended read: How hot can cast iron get before it’s dangerous
Cooking Times With Cast Iron and Glass Top Stoves
Cast iron is known to heat up slowly due to the density of the iron, on electric and gas stovetops, in conventional ovens, or over campfires. But when it is hot it is hot. You also should remember that where the heating element directly touches the iron it will be hotter. You should also amend your recipe cooking times to suit this extra time to heat the pot up.
Should I Use a Heat Diffuser?
Yes, you can it will make the cast iron more compatible with glass top stoves and less chance of damaging your cooking surface when you set a hot pan on it.
The heat diffuser is used between any two cookware/glass top stove surfaces to prevent direct contact between them so as not to cause damage through scratching or by leaving metal marks which can be seen after cooking on your glass tops for lengthy periods of time (usually 20 minutes or more).
The heat diffuser will almost look like an extra layer on top of both pans, but that’s its purpose; to allow condensation from the bottom pan not to drip onto the glass directly above too rapidly causing spotting and possible cracking, which could lead to thermal shock. High-end cooking appliances: the manufacturers may include a heat diffuser as well to protect glass tops.
All stovetops differ so you will have to research heat diffusers to suit your model – you can start with these heat diffusers I found for glass top stoves.
Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven For Glass Top Stove
Le Creuset pots are made to be durable and last a lifetime. Their shock-resistant enamel prevents any breaking, coloring the exteriors in bright colors such as red or blue while keeping their sand-colored interiors smooth so food can caramelize without sticking! With a dome-shaped lid that locks flavor efficiently by promoting continuous circulation of heat and moisture when cooking at high temperatures, on all stovetops, and in the oven. A great feature is its wide loop handles which provide a safe grip for even large hands. Extensive range of Le Creuset colors for you to peruse.
Check my deep dive into the gorgeous Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 5.5-Quart
Best Cast Iron Cocotte For Glass Top Stove
Staub cast iron is made in France. Their heavy tight-fitting lid retains moisture and the spikes on the lid drip back into the pot effectively self-basting. Oven safe up to 900F/482C without using the lid. Lids have nickel steel knobs and are oven safe up to 500F/260C. Smooth enamel bottoms work on all stovetops including gas, electric, glass, ceramic induction, and halogen. Lux interior matte enamel texture assists in browning. Dishwasher safe BUT hand wash is recommended.
I love the Staub color Grenadine pictured above, not to your taste check out the latest Staub colors I found for you.
Best Cast Iron Skillet For Glass Top Stove
Lodge’s smoothly finished porcelain enamel cast iron skillet is the perfect cooking surface for any dish and it won’t react to ingredients. The skillet’s core has a durable and heavy cast iron construction this ensures that it retains heat well, evenly spreads out warmth across the entire pan base, cooks fast without sticking or scorching anything.
It can be used on both electric ranges as well as gas cooktops while also safely handling extremely high temperatures if you’re using your oven’s broil function up to 500° F. It has two big handles that are easy to grab onto from both sides of this 11″ frying pan for safe transport.
Best Cast Iron Griddle For Glass Top Stove
Le Creuset grill pans are constructed with a high-quality enamel that is resistant to chipping and cracking. The interior surface, which has been specially formulated for higher temperatures, promotes the development of patina in order to enhance cooking performance. With signature side handles providing balance, Le Creuset pans boast deep walls that are designed to contain splatter from hot oil while still allowing you ample room to turn your dishes as they cook evenly over time without sticking – even when using very little heat!
Best Cast Iron Pan For Glass Top Stove
Bruntmor has mastered the art of cooking with cast iron, bringing you an original multi-cooker that is deep and durable. The smooth enamel coating means it can be used on your glass top stove if handled with care during use. Generous handles on both sides of the cookware and it’s 100% nonstick so cleaning up after a delicious meal will be easy as pie!
Check my in-depth article about Bruntomor’s Cast Iron Cookware
Finally! Can You Use Cast Iron on a Glass Top Stove?
You’ve learned that you can use cast iron on a glass stovetop, with extreme care and the steps outlined above. Also how to choose appropriate cast iron cookware whether it is seasoned or enameled. I’ve also given some examples of brands of enameled cast iron cookware that take extra care to ensure their surfaces are smooth and ready to use on delicate stovetops.
One-Pot Cooking Rocks
Thanks for the video music – Ben Sound