Cast iron is a favorite among cooks because it has a high heat capacity, is naturally non-stick, and makes food taste great. Another cook favorite is glass top stoves. Their appearance is sleek, cleaning is easy, and heat distribution is even.
Unfortunately, these two favorites are challenging to mix.
If you are looking for cast iron cookware you can use on a glass top stove, I recommend enameled cast iron like the Le Creuset Skillet. Use with care, especially when placing it on the stove due to its weight.
If you already have a set of cast-iron cookware and a glass top stove, you need to be cautious about how you use them in tandem. Never fear. You won’t need to toss your cast iron to keep your glass top or vice versa–you can have the best of both.
My two key recommendations are:
- Have a protective pad or parchment paper between stove and cast iron to prevent scratches
- Place the, heavy, cast iron on the stove carefully
Read on for more tips and ideas about:
- How to protect glass top stove from cast iron
- Cookware alternatives
- Fixing for glass top scratches
Before we get to the main course, let’s sit down with an appetizer featuring why glass top stoves and cast iron are tricky companions.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Cast Iron On A Glass Top Stove
Cast iron is heavy. Then, add in the weight of cooking ingredients, especially pots filled with soups and stews, and that’s a lot of weight resting on your glass top stove. While resting on the stovetop isn’t generally an issue, it’s when it’s time to move the pot, stir, or even an accidental nudge.
Glass top stoves can endure the weight of cast iron sitting on an element, but a short drop or a sudden jerk can cause damage. On the other hand, coming in too fast can cause scratches or cracks, permanently ruining your stove.
Even if you’re cautious and gentle when placing your cast iron cookware on the glass stovetop, the bottoms of cast iron cookware can be uneven, with rough spots. A slight stir or flip with a utensil might nudge the cookware enough to slide and scratch. You might be unaware of the movement and discover discoloration or indentation later.
How to Protect Glass Top Stove from Cast Iron
Now that we’ve answered why you shouldn’t, let’s answer another question: can you use cast iron on a glass top stove?
Yes, but with precautions. Cast iron cookware can deliver similar, tasty, and satisfying results on any stove, glass or not. The trouble is damage to the glass top, not the cast iron.
The most straightforward method is careful handling. But, unfortunately, while it might make your cooking experience more like a game, it may also cause anxiety.
The aim is to be aware of how you position your cookware. You also need to know how heavy it is, with or without ingredients. Set your cast iron cookware down slowly and directly on the glass top. Lift cookware off smoothly and never slide.
Besides playing a game of Operation with your cast iron, what other kitchen tricks can you use to prevent mishaps? Here are three ideas that add something to make your cooking experience easier.
Heat Diffuser for Glass Top Stove
A heat diffuser, as the name implies, improves heat distribution. It also creates a barrier between the bottom of your cookware and the stovetop. Typically, manufacturers make heat diffusers with durable metal perfectly capable of holding heavy cast iron.
With a layer between your cast iron and the glass top, you lessen the risk of movement or dropping, causing cracks. However, it would be best if you practiced how to use a heat diffuser. While it does add a sturdy protective layer, you’ll still need to set down your heavy cookware with some care.
Notably, most heat diffusers are for simmering or lower temperatures. While you can turn up the heat, know how much the manufacturer recommends for your heat diffuser. Also, never leave a heat diffuser on an active heating element.
Protective Cooking Pads for Glass Top Stoves
Cooking pads or silicone mats are sometimes used as cooling stations to prevent heat from damaging counter surfaces. But, you can also use cooking pads during cooking. For glass top stoves, they can soften the blow of heavy cast iron cookware.
The best part of using a protective pad is that it allows more room for error. Even if you slip or let your cast iron cookware land a little rougher than intended, the cooking pad is a thicker layer of protection.
While we don’t recommend dropping from great heights or hitting as hard as you can, adding a pad can let you relax and enjoy the cooking experience.
On the other hand, as the layer is thicker, how your cookware responds to your eating element changes. The heat distribution remains even, but it can take longer to warm up your cookware. However, check the heat rating. Otherwise, it might melt.
Additionally, cooking pads are reusable and easy to wash.
Parchment Paper (Induction Only)
For uneven cast-iron bottoms, parchment paper provides a layer thin enough to protect your glass top stove without interfering with heat. Of course, as it’s thin, it can’t prevent damage caused by dropping, but you can avoid defects related to sliding.
Cleaning your cast iron cookware, including the outside base, can reduce the chance of an uneven surface. However, with parchment paper in between, it’s still wise to clean the outside to avoid build-up that may lead to a pronounced uneven surface.
Check the bottom of your cookware before you rely on parchment paper. Over time, your cookware will change with usage. If the underneath unevenness grows, parchment paper may not be enough to stop scratches.
Unfortunately, parchment paper isn’t reusable, especially when high-temperature cooking and spills are involved. It’s also a solution for induction only, as other types of heating are hazardous. Although coated, the paper can catch fire when touching an exposed element.
Cast Iron Alternatives
Here’s alternative cookware better for glass top stoves.
Enameled Cast Iron – the Best Cast Iron for Glass Top Stove
Enameled cast iron provides a smoother finish. It won’t make your pots less heavy, and drop damage is still a concern, but sliding won’t be as disastrous.
This means if you must use cast iron on your glass top stove, enameled cast iron is the best choice.
However, some coating has limited heat resistance. As a result, it can melt and fuse onto your glass top.
One significant cooking difference is that enameled cast iron has lower thermal conductivity compared to cast iron. You’ll get a similar result, but it will take longer to get there. The longer cooking time can also cause a mess, as you can’t season enameled cookware to create a non-stick surface.
However enameled cast iron, if used correctly, is not especially sticky.
The biggest con of enameled cast iron is that it tends to be among the most expensive cookware materials. In return you get high quality, safe, healthy, and very attractive cookware.
Carbon steel has many of the benefits of cast iron without the intense weight. While the material is similar, the finish is smoother, resulting in fewer accidental scratches. In addition, it can be non-stick after it’s seasoned, but you’ll need to redo the process regularly.
It’s more affordable than stainless steel but with less reliable heat distribution. Carbon steel can handle higher heat, but it requires careful aftercare to prevent rusting.
I recommend the De Buyer Mineral B as the best alternative to cast iron skillet for your glass top stove.
Check out my carbon skillet reviews for more information.
One of the top choices for glass top stoves is stainless steel. Durable, dish-washer safe, even heat distribution, it’s a material that ticks many boxes. Plus, it reacts better than cast iron to acidic-based foods.
The main disadvantage of stainless steel is that it wears over time, potentially leaching metals into your food. It can also be challenging to clean, as food tends to stick and is prone to hint tint discoloration. Additionally, stainless steel is often the most expensive option.
As well as enameled cast iron, carbon steel and stainless steel, aluminum coated in ceramic of a non-stick layer can make a good choice.
Check out my roundup of the best cookware for glass top stoves.
Fixing A Scratched Glass Top Stove
Fixing a scratched glass top stove with a few homemade remedies can tide you over until replacement. Keep in mind these are temporary solutions for minor cracks and scratches.
You can make a paste with baking soda and water to cover glass top scratches.
- Mix one tablespoon of water with two tablespoons of baking soda.
- Gently apply the paste with a cloth or soft material.
- Carefully wipe away any excess paste from the stove surface.
- Let it dry.
Toothpaste commonly uses baking soda as an ingredient, which makes this method similar to the one above. However, instead of adding a second ingredient, you can apply toothpaste directly.
Glass Repair Kit
While not homemade, buying a glass repair kit is a do-it-yourself method that can extend the life of your glass top stove. Follow the instructions of your kit. Although steps vary, generally, you will use a premade solution.
After reading through my tips, it’s clear you don’t need to change up your routine too much to protect your stovetop. For example, being aware of setting down a heavy pot or avoiding the shift of a pan is an easy, no-cost solution. You can also fill tiny scratches with simple fixes.
Whether you add a protective layer or a cookware alternative, there are plenty of options for a glass top stove.
Now you know how to protect a glass top stove from cast iron. Are you ready to start cooking with these tips? Which method made it into your kitchen? Are you still bonded with your cast iron, or are you trying alternatives for your glass top?
However, if you want to find the right cookware for your glass stove, then check out my glass stove cookware guide.