Last Updated on July 26, 2022 by Ankit Kumar
Cast iron is known to be very heavy, and it can cause scratches because of its rough edges, uneven bottom, and also the high heat capacity a cast iron pan can handle.
Please note that I have been using a 3 burner glass top gas stove from Prestige with German Schott glass (stronger than toughened glass) from the last 7 years, and my kitchen has a combo of different heavy cast iron pans, skillets, etc. Till date, my gas stove is in top notch condition, the food cooks well, the stove works and the pans are intact.
Is It Safe to Use Cast Iron on Glass Top Gas Stove? (Some Drawbacks)
Is it really safe to use cast iron on glass top gas stoves? The short answer is Yes, but the caveat is you have to be a bit watchful on how you cook with cast iron on glass stoves.
With a few simple tips on how to use cast iron on glass top gas stoves, you can avoid all these problems which can happen while using cast iron on glass stoves.
1). Weight of Cast Iron
Cast iron pans, skillets are extremely heavy unlike other cookware such as nonstick, aluminium, stainless steel, etc. Moreover, when you add water or food to these pans, the weight increases even more. All this weight is rested on the glass top, which means, if you accidentally drop the cookware on the glass surface, there is a huge chance that the surface of the cookware will crack.
2). Uneven Bottom of Cast Iron
If you notice the bottom of tri ply stainless steel, hard anodized or aluminium cookware, you will see a flat bottom which goes very well with all types of stoves. However, this is not the case with cast iron as cast iron pans have an uneven bottom with rough edges. This can easily leave scratches or dent on the surface of the glass top stove.
3). Size of Cast Iron Pans
Some cast iron pans can be huge, especially the dosa tawas made from cast iron material or vintage cast iron skillets. You can spot one of these cast iron pans in a nearby South Indian restaurant. This means, the size of the cast iron pan will be higher than the size of the burner on the glass stove. With a glass top gas stove, if the size of the pan is too much, heat will not be distributed evenly and this will lead to a longer cooking time.
4). Sides and Edges of Cast Iron Pans
It is not just the bottom which is uneven for a cast iron pan, the edges and sides are extremely rough too. If you are not careful, these edges can easily leave a scratch on your favourite glass top gas stove, which is why, you should be extremely careful. For this reason, you can consider buying enameled cast iron pan, which is a lot more refined as compared to uncoated cast iron.
5). High Heat Capacity
Cast iron cookware is excellent for slow cooking and its ability to handle cooking at higher temperatures for a longer period of time. Now, some advanced gas cooktops have a safety feature where the burners will automatically switch off, once the temperature goes over a prescribed safety limit. This can lead to a halt in the cooking process, even though there is no real risk. If you are worried about the smoke from cast iron pans on high heat, you need to see why do cast iron pans smoke and how to get rid of the smoke?
Simple Tips on How to Use Cast Iron on Glass Top Gas Stoves
Glass top gas stoves are elegant and honestly speaking, even though stainless steel gas stoves are more durable in the long run, they don’t have those kind of looks as glass stoves do. Similarly, cast iron is inexpensive, extremely durable and is the best choice for dishes that require slow cooking.
So, what do you do when you have a cast iron pan and a glass top stove, fortunately, there are some simple tips you can follow to protect glass top gas stoves from cast iron.
1). Never Slide Cast Iron
Even though this sounds obvious, but the majority of the scratches on the surface of the glass top stoves are caused by sliding or improper handling of the cast iron cookware.
There is no doubt cast iron is heavy and it may have rough edges, uneven bottom, so, when you slide a cookware like this on surface of glass cooktop (even if it is accidental), scratches and dents are bound to appear.
When you are choosing cast iron for your kitchen, ensure it comes with handles so the lifting process becomes much easier.
2). If there are Pinholes
The majority of the cast iron cookware will have pinholes or burrs at the bottom of the surface. This leads to an uneven bottom, which often is the cause of scratches on the surface of the glass top gas stove.
One thing you should know is these pinholes are an integral part of the production process and not a defect that will compromise the cooking experience, unless the hole is very big.
But since these holes are capable of leaving a dent on the glass surface, you can go to a local welder and they will fill the holes with nickel. If the hole is natural and too small, regular seasoning with fats will also fill the holes over a period of time.
3). Cast Iron Cookware with Flat Bottom
If you notice the bottom of the cast iron pan, there is a good chance the name of the brand is etched on the bottom, while this may look good in reality, but it can be lethal especially when you have an electric or induction cooktop.
For glass top gas stoves, the name of the brand means an uneven bottom, and this will fairly leave scratches on the surface of the gas stove. The best idea here is to find a cookware which does not have the brand name stamped to the bottom, or invest in enameled cast iron cookware.
Enameled cast iron pans have smooth edges, flat bottom and a superior coating, which negates any chances of scratches on glass top gas stoves.
4). Clean Cast Iron & Stove
Regular cleaning of the cast iron cookware goes a long way for the safety of your glass top gas stove. Sometimes, food residues get stuck on the bottom of the cast iron pan, and the built up carbon resulting from the heat can stain the paint of the burners of the gas stove.
In order to avoid this, clean the cast iron cookware as soon as you can, and don’t let the food get stuck to the bottom. Similarly, clean the glass top gas stove from time to time. Detach the burners and wash them separately every now and then.
5). Choose a Proper Size of the Cast Iron Cookware
Depending on the size of the burners of the glass top gas stove, choose the cast iron pan accordingly. For safety and best practice, do not buy a cast iron pan which has a 1 inch larger bottom than the burner size.
If the size of the cast iron pan is a bit too high than the burners, it can cause uneven heating. Overheating can damage the surface of the glass top gas stove, since cast iron can get incredibly hot beyond a certain temperature.
Even if the cast iron pan is larger than the size of the burners, just make sure to move the pan around to heat the edges evenly.
6). Buy a Heat Diffuser
One of the best ways to protect a glass top gas stove from cast iron cookware is to buy a heat diffuser. A heat diffuser is a small piece of cast iron which is placed between the cast iron pan and the burners of the glass top gas stove.
By placing a heat diffuser between cast iron pan and the burners, the heat distribution gets much better. A heat diffuser can also avoid hot and cold spots, and most importantly, food residues will not get stuck to the bottom of the cast iron pan.
While you invest in a heat diffuser, be mindful of the fact that heat diffuser cannot be slided on the gas stove to avoid scratches. You will also need to increase the cooking temperature since there is a diffuser between the gas stove burner and the cast iron pan.
Cast Iron Alternative for Glass Top Gas Stoves
You can use cast iron pans on a glass top gas stove as long as you are careful. However, for people who are looking for cast iron alternatives to be used on glass top gas stoves, the best option is to go for a carbon steel pan.
Carbon steel is a lightweight version of cast iron, since it is formed by spinning and stamping. In comparison to cast iron, carbon steel heats up and cools down faster. Similar to cast iron, you can season a carbon steel pan for a nonstick surface.
In terms of how carbon steel and cast iron differ, carbon steel is made of 99% iron to 1% carbon, whereas cast iron usually contains 2 to 3% carbon and 97 to 98% iron. As far as the weight is concerned, carbon steel is almost 40-50% lighter than cast iron.
To know more about carbon steel, check the pros and cons of carbon steel cookware.
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