If you are new to cast iron cookware, then you are yet to experience fine cooking at its best. The beauty of cast iron cookware is its ability to retain heat, making it easy to sear meats to perfection, pan-fry fish in a near-instant, or stew your beef stew to perfection.
However, they tend to weigh a ton. This makes them durable, but it also makes them unfit for certain cooktop stoves such as glass top stoves. This is the main reason cooking directly on a glass top stove using cast iron cookware is considered a no-no.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Cast Iron on Glass-Top Stoves
For starts, cast iron is excellent at retaining heat which means all of that residual heat will get absorbed by the glass surface. And if you are cooking on high, the heat concentration may cause your glass stovetop to crack or shatter due to rapid expansion, especially if it is not made from top-notch tempered glass.
Secondly, on account of how heavy cast iron pans are, the chances of placing the cast iron pan on the glass top stove with too much force and cracking it are relatively high. We have all had moments when we are not keen in the kitchen, and a similar experience when placing your cast iron pan on your glass top can lead to an unprecedented accident.
Thirdly, cast iron pans tend to have rougher surfaces compared to stainless steel, aluminum, and copper pans. As such, the coarse particles on an unseasoned off-brand cast iron pan can scratch the surface of your glass stovetop. This will, in turn, cause the glass top to be fragile. Making it susceptible to breakage.
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Lastly, glass stovetops have a weight limit. This may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, if you are to use a cast-iron Dutch oven for cooking stew, use a different ‘burner’ with a different cast iron pan or even a skillet. The chances of exceeding the weight limit are very probable.
How to Safely Use Cast Iron on a Glass Cooktop
So what happens when you have a glass stovetop, and you are not in a position to invest in a new cooking range or cooktop? You can still use your cast iron cookware on your glass top stove, but you will need to make some adjustments.
How to keep cast iron from scratching your glass top stove
Now that we know that heat and abrasion are the two main issues when using cast iron cookware on a glass top stove, we need to find ways to diffuse the heat while protecting the glass top from scratching. You can do this by using an object that can reduce the residual heat on the top by creating a buffer.
A silicone cover for a glass top stove should be able to get the job done. Silicone has a high-temperature limit making it ideal for use on the glass cooktop even when cooking on high heat. Additionally, it will help to create the abrasion buffer, thus protecting the glass top from scratches.
Alternatively, you can look into buying protective cooking pads for glass top stoves. There is a wide range of cooktop mates designed for use on a glass top stove. They are usually made from heat-resistant materials that are not abrasive.
One of the best ways to protect your glass top when using cast iron cookware is using a heat diffuser. Not only will it protect your cooktop from excess heat, but it will also protect it from scratches. Here are the best heat diffusers for glass top stoves.
Coozyer 9.45inch Heat Diffuser Stainless Steel Induction Diffuser Plate
This heat diffuser is made of three metal layers. The upper and the bottom layers are stainless steel, whereas the middle is aluminum for excellent heat distribution. It is suitable for gas stoves, electric stoves, and induction stoves. It distributes the heat evenly across the pan or pot without overcooking or burning certain areas. Making it suitable for prolonged stew cooking.
You can use it with all types of cookware, including cast iron enamelware, copper pot, coffee pot, stainless steel pot, aluminum pot, ceramic pot, and any pans. It is also lightweight and durable while being energy efficient. Lastly, it can be used as a gas hob trivet stabilizer, no matter how small the pan.
- Three layers’ construction
- Suitable for gas stove, electric stove
- Even heat distribution
- Protects your cookware from damage
- Not ideal for an induction cooktop – poor heat transmission
King.Lj Heat Diffuser Induction Plate 9.45inch Stainless Steel
This heat diffuser can be used on any cookware, such as stainless steel, aluminum, glass cookware, and ceramics pot or pan. You can also use it on gas stoves, glass cooktops, and induction cooktops. It features a non-coated stainless steel surface that consists of three layers. The upper and bottom layers are made from stainless steel, while the middle layer is made of aluminum; for excellent heat distribution.
The diffuser can transfer heat evenly to the pot or pan rather than focusing on overheating one area. It comes with a Lifetime Replacement Warranty, and it is easy to clean and store.
- Non-coated stainless steel surface
- Three-layer construction
- Diameter: 9.45 inch/24 cm
- Thickness: 0.13 inch/3.4 mm
- Hand shank: 7.5 inch/19 cm
- Even heat distribution
- Lifetime Replacement Warranty
- It is not rust-proof
What is the Best Cookware to Use on a Glass Top Stove?
If you are not willing to risk damaging your glass top stove, you need to invest in cookware suitable for use in the fragile cooktop. These are some of the best cookware compatible with glass top stoves.
Tramontina 80116/249DS Gourmet Stainless Steel Induction-Ready Tri-Ply Clad 12-Piece Cookware Set
This set includes 8″ and 10″ fry pans, 5 quarts covered deep sauté pan, 1.5 quarts, 2 quarts, 3 quarts covered saucepans, and 8 quarts covered stockpot. It is made using premium Tri-Ply clad construction. That provides heat from all sides, not just the bottom.
The three-ply metal layer consists of 18/10 stainless steel, an aluminum core, and magnetic stainless steel.
The pots and pans have a precision cast riveted handle and mirror-polished stainless-steel lids.
They are all compatible with all cooktops, including induction stovetops. And they are oven safe up to 500°F. Not to forget they are dishwasher safe as well. They also come with a Lifetime Warranty.
- Material: stainless steel
- Finish type: stainless steel
- Tri-ply clad construction
- Aluminum core
- Cast riveted handle
- Mirror-polished finish
- Oven safe up to 500°F
- Lifetime Warranty
- Dishwasher safe
- The pans become heat scorched when used in high heat.
Calphalon (1767727) Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 8-Quart Stock Pot with Cover
This stockpot features an aluminum core between two stainless steel layers that provides even heating for excellent browning and control of the cooking process. It is made from non-porous stainless steel that delivers a cooking surface that is safe for use with all utensils.
It has an elegant brushed stainless steel exterior that makes it usable for serving straight from the cooktop. Additionally, the pot comes with a clear tempered-glass lid of a soup pot that lets you see food while it’s cooking. The lid is also oven-safe.
The pot’s high sides and narrow opening help to minimize evaporation during the slow process of making stocks, stews, and soups. Lastly, its heavy-gauge bottom provides even heating.
- Material: Non-porous stainless steel
- Capacity: 7.57 Liters
- Aluminum core between 2 stainless steel layers
- Brushed stainless steel exterior
- Reflective cook surface
- Tempered-glass lid
- Heavy-gauge bottom
- Calphalon’s full lifetime warranty
- Sturdy cast stainless steel loop handles
- Oven and broiler safe
- The pot handles are not cool to touch.
Calphalon 10 Piece Tri-Ply Cookware Set, Medium, Stainless Steel
This ten-piece set comes with a 10-inch omelet pan with cover, a 1.5-quart saucepan with a lid, 2.5-quart a saute pan with a cover and a 5-quart Dutch oven with a cover. The pots and pans are made using the tri-ply construction featuring an aluminum core between 2 stainless steel layers.
This provides even heating for better cooking results. It also reduces cooking time, saving energy in the process. The cookware’s elegant brushed stainless steel exterior makes them table ready right off the fire, and the clear lids make it easy to monitor the food as it cooks.
They also come with Calphalon’s full lifetime warranty. They are also oven safe, dishwasher safe, and broiler safe.
- Non-porous stainless steel
- Stylish and durable cookware set
- Heavy-gauge aluminum core for even heating
- Polished stainless steel exterior and satin interior
- See-Through Tempered Glass Lid
- Tri-Ply construction
- Sturdy cast stainless steel handles
- Oven and broiler safe
- Dishwasher safe
- Calphalon’s Full Lifetime warranty
- The stainless steel is not stain-proof.
While cast iron cookware is awesome, it does come with its set of challenges on top of the cumbersome maintenance. But the fact that good cast iron cookware is considered family heirlooms makes them worth your while. So if the extra precaution does not faze you, then you should give them a try. Throwing out a perfect set of durable cast iron cookware is not the way to go.