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Sunday, August 1, 2010

What about cast iron on glass cooktops?

Ever since I started using cast iron, I've read warnings against using it on smooth top electric stoves (glass or ceramic cooktops).

In fact, a proposed benefit of enameled cast iron is being safe for smooth top stoves. But then it says in small print that you should still be careful.

In any case, I just figured that I'd never own a smooth top; I'm not giving up my cast iron.

But I came across this blog, and noticed that in the pictures, they were cooking on a smooth top stove. So I decided to ask them about it.

In particular, I asked them about the possibility of the burner turning itself off due to excessive heat, which I'd read about. Their answer was, "I've never heard of that. I don't know how it could turn off, since burners are controlled by the knobs on the range. Further, the only greater conducive metal than cast iron is copper, and our copper-bottomed pans don't have a problem either."

They directed me to this article, which offers tips for using your cast iron safely on a smooth top.

I can't really comment since I've never used a smooth top stove, but it's a good article, not to mention a great blog!

I was once told that "after I move past this cast iron phase", I'll want a smooth top electric stove. I don't think so-- this is no "phase!"


  1. I've cooked with cast iron on my flat-top electric stove for years and have never had a problem. However, I don't slide the cast iron utensil across the surface but make a point of lifting it.

  2. I recently moved into anew place with a glass top stove. At first i was horrified. I am a Gas and Cast Iron guy all the way. But being stuck with it, Until I can bully the landlord, I tried it.
    the natural warping of my pans as they heat is VERY evident on the flat top. Pans that sit level, suddenly wobble. But they Do go back to form as they cool.
    I prefer gas, but I will survive as best I can fo rnow.
    (btw. Awesome blog, I've been reading for over an hour. you can NEVER have to much cast iron ( except when you move)
    -Brandon, Avalon, PA

  3. I have an electric stove, not glass top, but electric nonetheless. And like you, I'm renting so I don't have much choice.

    It's OK, but I hope my next place has a gas stove.

    What ticks me off is, the burners aren't level so my skillets/griddles are also not level and food always travels to one side.

  4. My mother and I have used cast iron on a flat top for years. A cousin of mine that worked for Sears had a flat top years before that. She said the biggest two problems with iron in a flat top was dropage and size. You have to be careful to not bang the skillets on the stove top and crack the glass. Size was the other problem. On electer eyes or gas, you can use a skillet bigger than the eye without a problem. On a flat top, you will dis-color the area around the eye if the skillet is too big.

    I have also had a problem with the grease cooking through the skillet and charing the unit.