More and more people are learning about the superior cooking technology of induction burners. The burners use magnetic currents to heat pots and pans, rather than an electric heating coil. So does cast iron work on an induction cooktop?
Cast iron works on induction cooktops, its solid construction of iron makes cast iron cookware highly magnetic, which means it works with induction technology. Using enameled cookware with smooth finishes like Le Creuset, Staub or Chasseur will help prevent the surface of the induction cooker from sustaining damage.
Advantages of this type of cooking include faster heating, easier cleanup, and precise control. You may wonder if you can use a cast iron pan on induction stovetops because of the different heavy materials from other pots and pans.
With the answer being yes that you can use cast iron on an induction hob, you do have some things that you need to understand. We’re going to cover that and how to make the most out of this technology with cast iron, so you may want to keep reading.
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Beware of It Scratching the Surface
Before you put cast iron skillets on an induction burner, you should understand how it can scratch the surface of your cooktop because of its grittier, rougher surface on the bottom of the pan.
To protect the glass sounds unnatural, but some people put down a paper towel or parchment paper to keep the cast iron from scratching the glass.
You could also gently move the cast iron pot onto the induction burners with care. Don’t let it slide.
For those who don’t want to do that, they could check the bottom of the cast iron to make sure that it has no roughness to scratch the glass.
You do risk scratching the glass if you use cast iron on induction burners, but the right precautions lower the risk.
Aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and glass materials won’t work well with induction burners unless you have a magnetic material at the base. These materials work seamlessly on gas stoves and electric cooktops.
What Cookware Can You Use on Induction Cooktops?
Along with cast-iron cookware like skillets and Dutch ovens, you can use iron pans and any type of black metal such as carbon steel.
You have three criteria to judge if it will work on induction burners.
- First, check to see that the pan has a flat surface.
- Second, does it have a smooth surface?
- Finally, will the material used work with magnetic currents? Glass, for example, won’t work because of its lack of strong magnetic properties.
You need a magnetic base with materials that don’t conduct magnetism, or it won’t work.
As soon as induction cooking loses connection with its magnetic current, it cools off. Interestingly enough, the cookware turns into a heat source as the glass remains cool.
A pan with a flat bottom allows for a strong magnetic connection. If you have an uneven or rounded bottom, the cooking top starts to vibrate and make noises on the glass surface.
How Does Induction Cooktops Affect Cast Iron?
As a cooking tool, people like cast iron because it retains its heat for longer and can withstand high temperatures.
That becomes the perfect pot or pan for foods that require slow cooking like soups and beef ribs. Keep in mind, that you need to season cast iron to eliminate the risk of rusting.
Anemics with iron deficiencies can benefit from cast iron pots. One study from the American Dietetic Association learned how cooking in cast iron pots causes some of the iron to leach into the food to give anemics their daily iron intake. Be aware, however, of how enameled cast iron limits the iron leached into your food.
This article deep dives into the types of cookware that work well with induction ranges: Induction Compatible Cookware
Cast Iron and Its Downsides of Use on Induction Cooktop
You should understand the negatives of cast iron and induction burners to get the most from them. For example, cast iron doesn’t heat quickly. Heating cast iron too quickly can lead to hot spots. Having hot spots on the pan will lead to uneven cooking.
Small induction burners could lead to uneven cooking as one study learned. In the beginning, heat travels from the center of the cast iron to the edges, and it can take up to 10 minutes to preheat the pan evenly.
The other downside comes from how cast iron doesn’t respond to immediate heat shutoff like how magnetic currents cook food. As soon as the current gets disrupted, it begins to cool off.
Don’t expect cast iron to respond that way even on induction burners, or you might burn yourself.
Good Maintenance of Cast Iron Required
Maintenance of induction burners can be as simple as wiping down the glass.
Cast iron, on the other hand, requires good maintenance for it to last. You will have to wash the cast iron after each cooking session. Don’t add soap. Just turn on the hot water and scrape away at leftover foods and burnt food residue.
It may not affect the food right away, but if this residue builds up, it can hurt the cooking flavor. Don’t use a metal scouring pad because this can remove the seasoned layer, which keeps the rust away from your pan.
After you have washed your pan, you want to dry it to ensure that rust doesn’t have the chance to form. When well maintained, cast iron pans can last for between 75 to 100 years.
Does Enameled Cast Iron Work on an Induction Cooktop?
Previously, we had mentioned enamel cast iron, which is a porcelain coating over bare cast iron, and how it doesn’t put as much iron in your food. To sum it up, yes, enameled cast iron works equally as well on induction burners.
Because induction burners work through magnetic currents, anything that will have a strong magnetic pull will work well with induction burners. A ferromagnetic material is required to form an electromagnetic field so any ferrous metal that conducts magnetism will work well with induction burners.
Ferrous metal means that it has a significant iron composition. Examples of enameled cast iron include Le Creuset and Chasseur.
When Should You Use Induction Cooking?
We have spoken a lot about cast iron and its use in induction cooking, but when should you make use of induction cooking?
The possible foods that you might cook on an induction stove include:
- Grilled sandwiches
- Tomato soup
One of the best things about induction cooking comes from its fast preparation. Put a pot of water on an induction stove, and the water will start boiling within 20 seconds.
Fully boiling water on an induction stove takes four minutes, which shaves three minutes off the boil time from an electric coil at seven minutes. Don’t walk away from your food.
Induction burners win when it comes to speed, but that doesn’t always equate to a good thing with cast iron because it requires time.
Cast iron works well on induction burners, but you have to understand how to use it.
How to Control the Heat on Induction Cooktops with Cast Iron
As we said before, cast iron doesn’t do well with fast heating because it can lead to heat spots.
What do you do when induction burners automatically cook foods fast? To appease the cast iron’s dislike for fast heating, put the induction burners on low as the pan heats up.
Some people report cooking spaghetti in under five minutes. The cooking time on an electric coil can take anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes for spaghetti.
What Cast Iron Pots and Pans Work Well on Induction Cooktops?
You can use almost any cast iron pot and pan on an induction burner.
The cast-iron pots and pans mentioned here especially work well because they have a flat bottom and can conduct a strong magnetic current:
Le Creuset LS2024-164P – Signature Iron Handle Skillet
Cuisinart CI45-30CR – Red Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron
Lodge L8SKG3 – Cast Iron Skillet
Staub – Cast Iron 11-Inch Traditional Skillet
Calphalon Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron – 12-Inch Skillet
Advantages and Disadvantages of Induction Cooktops
To get the most from induction burners, you should understand how an induction cooktop works including what they do well and what they don’t do well. The chief advantage comes from the speed of the cooking.
In some cases, induction burners cook up to 50 percent faster. Induction burners look attractive in the home, and you can use them as a conversation starter at dinner parties.
Unlike regular cooking methods, induction burners don’t cause a mess, and because the glass top remains relatively cool, foods that spill on it will rarely stick. You can wipe down an induction burner and keep it clean easily.
In terms of negatives, the burners will sometimes make an unpleasant rattling noise on the high setting. The noise depends on the material because lighter stainless steel pans make more noise than heavier cast iron pans.
The other downside is that you need special cookware, or it won’t work. Stainless steel, for example, would require a base with a stronger magnetic pull.
Learn about Induction Compatible Cookware.
Will cast iron scratch an induction cooktop?
Yes, if the base of the pan is not smooth, it can scratch the cooktop. Also, if you slide the pan across the cooktop, it can scratch the surface. Another reason scratches may occur is if the cast iron is not properly seasoned.
Does enamel cast iron work on induction?
Yes, enamel cast iron works on induction. Raw cast iron is the core of porcelain-coated cookware. It is a good conductor of heat and will work well with an induction cooktop.
Can you use ceramic or cast iron on induction?
Cookware needs to have iron in its makeup to work on an induction cooktop this makes ceramic, copper, glass, and aluminum cookware ineffective on induction.
What pans do not work with induction?
Any pan that will not hold a magnet on its base is not compatible with induction cookers. These include aluminum, copper, ceramic, glass, and stainless steel without enough ferrous metal.
What type of pan is best for induction?
Any cookware that contains enough ferrous metal to form an electromagnetic field will work on induction. Cast iron will always work and some brands make clad stainless steel that will ignite induction cooktops. These include Zwilling, Demeyere, All-Clad, Calphalon, Staub, and Le Creuset.
To Finish – Does Cast Iron Work on an Induction Cooktop?
Hopefully, this clarifies cast iron and induction burners and how to get the most out of them. You can use cast iron, and in fact, with the electromagnetic field it provides, it works well.
However, you need to take precautions to ensure that you get the most from the cooking. Induction burners scratch easily, and you need to either put down something to protect the glass, or you have to put the cast iron down gently and don’t let it slide.
One-Pot Cooking Rocks
Recommended reading: How to tell if a pan is made of cast iron?