Cast iron cookware and glass top stoves do not sound like two things that should ever be going anywhere near each other in the kitchen! You'd be mistaken, though, because the truth is that modern cast iron cookware is well and truly suited to cooking on a sleek and shiny glass top stove (just be careful!).
We know, we know. Even saying the words glass top stove and cast iron in the same sentence sounds utterly foolish and verging on the point of being dangerous. And yes, the traditional outlook on these two popular cooking appliances is that they should never be combined!
It seems simple enough. A cast iron skillet can be very heavy, but a glass cooktop looks incredibly delicate (it's made of glass, after all). Iron is usually seen as somewhat rustic, a cooking implement from the past, rather than a modern appliance. Glass cooking stoves are at the other end of the spectrum - they look just about as modern a kitchen appliance as you could have installed!
Our experts and chefs want you to know that they are always using their iron cookware on their glass cooktops.
So, we'll say it.
You can use cast iron on a glass top stove!
We see the potential dangers, but we're confident that by the end of this article, you'll be ready to use your cast iron pans on your shiny glass top electric stoves.
Right, you've made the switch from an old electric burner or a gas stove to a sleek glass cooktop. But you aren't ready to leave behind your love of cast iron cooking, and there's no reason to either.
It's simple enough to use iron cookware on a traditional electric stove or a gas stovetop because the burners are raised off the surface. With a glass top, it's completely different. The glass surface is where the iron needs to rest when you're cooking, and that's where things start to look dangerous.
Use your heavy iron cooking implements with due care and consideration, and you won't actually have any problems. In fact, here are our favorite tips and tricks to help ease you into the iron-glass cooking combination without fear.
You'll want to start by modernizing your cast iron skillet set for the best cooking experience. You've gone to the considerable expense of replacing an old electric or gas stovetop with a new glass top stove, so it will pay in the long run to spend a bit more on upgrading your cookware too.
Older cast iron cookware can be uneven compared to the smoother, sleeker finishes of modern cast iron cooking tools. If your iron cookware has been damaged or has rough bumps or larger chips on the bottom, then you might want to consider upgrading before you start cooking on new glass.
Newer iron cookware is just as sleek as the glass your cooking on. Investing in a new enameled cast iron dutch oven to replace the older version you've had in your cupboard for a few decades, will instantly cut down on the potential to scratch the surface of the glass stove.
We can't stress this point enough. Don't slide your iron!
It's particularly important if you're using older iron skillets or pans because these will have much more of an uneven surface (that's why we already recommended upgrading!).
When you're using cast iron cooking equipment, place it firmly on the glass stove in one smooth motion. Don't start moving it around once you start cooking, as you'll increase the chance of scratching the surface of the glass.
It seems simple enough, but not sliding iron on the glass cooking top is the best way to stop any damage.
If you want to be super-safe when cooking with cast iron, you could consider investing in a heat diffuser to use on your glass tops.
Heat diffusers are specifically designed to be used as a way to spread out the heat from the stove evenly across the bottom of a pan. If you're cooking up sauces or enjoy slow cooking, then heat diffusers are perfect in this respect.
The fact that a heat diffuser creates a buffer between your pan or skillet and the glass itself is an additional benefit that helps when you're cooking on delicate glass stovetops. Place the heat diffuser firmly on the glass, to avoid any scratching. Then, place your kitchen implement of choice on top.
Heat diffusers are sturdy, and they will stop your iron cookware from damaging the surface of the glass stove.
Of course, one of the simplest ways to use a cast iron skillet or pan safely with a glass top electric stove is to keep it thoroughly cleaned. We don't just mean giving it a rinse every time you cook with it, but a good clean!
If you use cast iron cooking equipment, then you need to scour the inside and outside of it. A metal scourer, some soap, and hot water usually do the trick. But be meticulous. Get into the seams and right into any dents or cracks, because food that sticks or burns to the underside can have a habit of causing scratches or burn marks on the surface of the glass if it's left there.
It's also a good idea to give your cast iron skillet a good wash before you start cooking with it, as well as after. That way, your glass top electric stove should be kept extra clean too!
There's no use thoroughly cleaning and scouring your cast iron before and after you start cooking every day if you're going to neglect the glass top stove you're actually cooking on.
A glass top stove looks fantastic and modern when it's first installed, but you need to be aware that you have to put in some thorough upkeep to keep it that way in the long run. Burnt food, black residue, and all manner of splashes and spills from your pots and pans can quickly smear your glass top stove.
If residue starts building up and you're using cast iron cooking equipment, this combination can lead to scratching. To stop this, you need to wipe down and clean the glass top stove before and after every cooking session.
If there's a large spillage or lots of oil starts getting splattered around, you'll want to try and wipe this up as soon as it happens before it starts to dry and stain the glass surface.
In addition to your daily wipe downs, you'll want to be putting in a deeper clean at least once a month, or if you have a particularly hectic or sloppy cooking session one weekend!
So, can you use cast iron on glass top stove? The answer from our experts is a resounding yes (just be careful)! With all our handy tips and tricks, you might find it's time to invest not only in a shiny new glass cooktop but in more cast iron cookware for your kitchen as well!