Due to the sturdy and versatile nature of cast iron skillets, they are found in most kitchens. These skillets are heavier than stainless steel, non-stick, and aluminum skillets. Their heavy and robust construction enhances their appeal. However, if you have a glass cooktop, you may wonder if it is safe to use cast iron skillets on this delicate kitchen equipment. So, can cast iron skillets be used on glass cooktops?
Yes, cast iron skillets can be used on glass cooktops. Glass cooktops are not designed for rough use and cannot carry much weight. They are also delicate and prone to scratching and cracking, So, you need to be very gentle and exercise caution while using cast iron skillets on a glass cooktop.
Let’s talk about this in detail now…
Why Is It Risky To Use Cast Iron Skillets On Glass Cooktops?
With its sleek appearance and fancy finish, a glass cooktop is a beautiful addition to a kitchen. It looks sophisticated and smart. However, this sophisticated and smart look comes at a price.
As the name suggests, glass cooktops are made of glass and have a smooth, glossy finish. It is more vulnerable to scratches and cracks than metallic hobs. You will have to use these cooktops very carefully if you wish to keep them looking new and shiny.
So, glass cooktop manufacturers do not usually recommend cooking with rough or heavy vessels. Heavy cookware or utensils with rough edges can cause marks or even cracks on the delicate surface.
Cast iron skillets are not an ideal choice for cooking on glass cooktops for various reasons, including the following:
Glass Cooktops Are Not Designed For Rough Use
When cooking with cast iron skillets, it is a common practice to toss the contents and drag the skillets on the stove for uniform and faster cooking. However, glass cooktops are not designed for such rough use.
Dragging the skillet on the cooktop can create scratches and ruin its appearance.
Rough handling and mechanical strain to the surface may even break the surface or damage the coil.
Glass Cooktops Cannot Take As Much Weight As Metal Cooktops
Although glass cooktops can handle heavy kitchenware, they are not as strong as metal cooktops. Cast iron is very heavy. When you add ingredients into the skillet, the weight of this pan increases further.
If you use it carefully, it should not create a problem. However, in case the skillet slips or you accidentally drop it, it can severely damage the cooktop.
The Size And Finish Of Cast Iron Skillets Can Be A Problem
Glass cooktops do not have very big burners. However, most types of cast iron skillets are large. If the burner size is not big enough, cooking food will take forever.
For efficient cooking on glass cooktops, the utensil should have a flat base. Since cast iron skillets do not usually have a very flat base, you can end up wasting time and fuel when using it.
It may also trap heat under the base, which will adversely affect the efficiency of the cooktop in the long run.
Now, coming to the finish, cast iron skillets do not always have smooth surfaces. The rough surface can cause the skillet to scratch the glass cooktop and reduce its operating efficiency.
Related Further Reading:
- Can You Use Pans On Induction Hobs? (Making Pans Induction-Safe)
- Can Pans Go In The Fridge? (How Pans In Fridge Affect Food)
- Can Woks Go In The Oven? (Which Woks Are Oven-Safe?)
Important Factors To Consider When Using Iron Skillets On Glass Cooktops
The good news is that you can use your iron skillet on a glass cooktop with suitable precautions.
Firstly, choose lightweight cast iron skillets for glass cooktops. It should not be too heavy. You should be able to comfortably lift and handle it. Additionally, the skillet should have a smooth base. Cast iron skillets with enamel coatings are the best choice.
Before cooking with a cast-iron skillet on a glass stovetop, make sure that the base is clean. Remember that any hard residue at the bottom can become crusted when exposed to heat. It can cause scratches on the glass surface.
When using the cast iron skillet, be gentle with it. Do not drag it across the stovetop or place it suddenly. Be very careful not to drop it or let it slip from your hands.
Can Cast Iron Skillets Be Used On Electric Stoves?
You can cook with cast iron skillets on an electric stove. However, there are a few points to keep in mind.
Cast iron is thicker than aluminum, stainless steel, and non-stick pans. So, these skillets take more time to heat up. This is an important factor to consider when using an electric stove. With a gas stove, you can quickly reduce the temperature if the pan becomes too hot. However, you cannot do this with an electric stove. If you crank up the heat, you will find it difficult to reduce the temperature later. The skillet can become too hot, and you will find it difficult to control the heat. When it happens, there is a greater chance of burning the food.
So, allow the cast iron skillet to gradually heat up to the desired temperature. It will make it easier to control the cooking temperature. Cast iron pans retain heat. So, once your skillet reaches the required temperature, you can slowly reduce the temperature of the stove.
Another factor to remember is that you should not shake your cast iron skillet during use. Rubbing it against the stove surface can scratch it and disturb the inner coils. It will compromise the efficiency and may even ruin the cooking grate. So, handle your cast iron pan gently on an electric stove.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Can Skillets Go In The Dishwasher? (Which Can And Which Cannot)
- Can Pans Go In The Dishwasher? (12 Types Of Pans Compared)
- Do Woks Rust? (Which Woks Rust And Which Don’t?)
- Do Woks Work On Electric Stoves? (Best Wok For Electric Stove)
Can Cast Iron Skillets Be Used On Induction Cooktops?
There are two main requirements for a pan or skillet to be induction friendly. Firstly, the cookware should be made of magnetic material. The second requirement is that induction cookware should have a flat base to maintain contact with the hob.
Since cast iron is magnetic, it is suitable for induction cooking. However, to use a cast-iron skillet on an induction stovetop, it should also have a flat base.
During the induction cooking process, the magnetic coil within the induction cooktop will create a magnetic current in the cast iron skillet. The magnetic current produces heat that causes the food to cook within the skillet.
Although you can use a cast-iron skillet on an induction cooktop, you should exercise the same care as you would when using it on a glass or electric hob. Unless the skillet has a protective enamel covering, it will have a rough base. It can scratch the induction cooktop. So, you should be careful about handling it gently.
Additionally, induction cooktops can be damaged when subjected to rough movements. So, avoid dragging your cast iron cookware on the hob and applying sudden force to the surface by tossing ingredients. Such actions can cause the surface to become damaged and the heating element to break.
To prevent any damage to your induction cooktop, choose lighter cast iron skillets with a flat base. The flat base will create proper contact with the base and enable efficient heat transfer. You should also inspect the skillet before using it each time to check if there are any cracks or food residue on the base. If the base is deformed, avoid using it. If it has any burnt food residue, get rid of it before using the skillet on the induction stovetop.