What Is a Glass Top Stove?
Glass stoves are known for their flat and esthetic cooking surface that makes a perfect addition to modern kitchen decor. The cooking surface is made of a blend of glass and ceramic. The mixture is thermally treated to be stronger and withstand rapid changes in temperature.
Glass-ceramic stoves have a smooth cooking surface that is very easy to keep clean. Unfortunately, this surface is fragile and can be susceptible to scratches. You need to be careful and use appropriate cookware to avoid scratching or damaging the glass surface.
To prolong the life and preserve the brand-new look of your glass cooktop you need to learn what cookware is compatible with it and what cookware pieces can be potentially harmful to your stylish but also fragile appliance.
The following is a list of 5 cookware types that can be potentially harmful when you use them for cooking on ceramic cooktops.
1. Heavy Cookware Pieces
Heavy utensils won’t necessarily damage the surface of glass ceramic cooktops. However, weight combined with other factors will increase the possibility of cracking. A heavy pot is more likely to be dropped than a light one, so its weight can potentially damage the delicate glass surface. When an already heavy pot is filled with food, its weight is multiplied, and the glass surface can crack if you drop a pot full of food. When moving heavy pans, you should lift them instead of dragging them across the cooktop. To stay on the safe side you should avoid using excessively heavy cookware for cooking on a glass-top stove.
Heavy cookware is typically made of cast iron, stoneware, glass, or 100% ceramic.
2. Cookware with Rough Surface
Utensils that have a rough bottom can easily scratch the glass surface. This happens when you slide such cookware pieces back and forth across the glass instead of picking them up. Drugging rough cookware pieces can leave permanent scratches on the surface. This kind of damage typically occurs if you use stoneware and 100% ceramic cookware. You should be extremely cautious when moving such cookware or totally avoid using cookware with rough bottoms on glass cooktops.
3. Cheap Pans with Uneven Bottom
For glass and ceramic stoves, it is extremely important that the cookware you use have a completely flat bottom. When cookware isn’t perfectly flat, it won’t make full contact with the glass surface and your meal may take longer to cook. This cookware is also less energy-efficient than flat-bottomed utensils.
For the same reason, avoid using old pans that have curved or warped bottoms as those will make the cooking process less efficient. Your efforts to place the pan correctly can even increase the chances of damaging the glass surface.
There is a simple test to check the flatness of your cookware. Turn the pan upside down and place a line gauge flat against the bottom. Your pan has a perfectly flat bottom if there is no empty space between the surface area of the pan and the ruler.
4. Pans with Soiled Bottom
The cookware you use on the glass stove should be dry and clean. Food debris from the outer surface of the bottom leaves stains on the stovetop surface. Baked dirt can also prevent the cookware from making full contact with the burner. To keep your cooktop clean, avoid placing cooking utensils, hot lids, and hot bakeware on the glass surface.
5. Cookware with a Bottom Diameter that Doesn’t Match the Burner
Use only cookware that has appropriate dimensions that match the burner. The diameter of the cookware shouldn’t be either smaller or larger than the diameter of the burner. If the pot is larger than the burner, food won’t cook evenly. The meal also takes more time to cook, and you have to stir it all the time. If there is a difference in dimensions in favor of the pot, make sure that it is not more than one inch. Using small pans on large burners results in energy waste.
How Different Cookware Materials Perform on a Glass Top Stove
Will Cast Iron Damage a Glass Cooktop?
Cast iron cookware is often considered too heavy for glass-top stoves, so you should use it with extra caution. Use only high-quality cast iron cookware pieces and make sure to gently put them on the burner. Never drag the pan across the surface when you want to move it.
Clean your cast iron pan regularly to prevent dirt from collecting on the glass. When seasoning the pan, be careful not to leave excess oil on the outside as it can burn on the stove. Pay special attention to the bottom area that makes direct contact with the glass surface.
Enameled cast iron is a better option than bare cast iron cookware as enamel coating makes the surface smoother and less prone to scratching. However, like regular cast iron, an enameled cast iron pan can be fairly heavy, so take care not to drag it and gently put it on the burner.
Can You Use a Carbon Steel Pan on Glass Top Stove?
Compared to cast iron, carbon steel pans are much lighter, so their weight is not a problem for glass cooktops. However, make sure that the pan has a clean, flat, and smooth bottom. Old carbon steel pans can attract rust or can have a warped bottom.
Unlike regular pans, carbon steel woks have a round or small flat bottom, which is meant for use on gas or electric stoves. When used on a glass top stove, the bottom has little direct contact with the burner and although it gets very hot the heat is not well distributed across the edges. Additionally, moving the wok increases the chances of scratching the glass surface.
Is It Safe to Use Ceramic Cookware on Glass Cooktop?
Cookware that is made of 100% ceramic usually has a rough bottom that is not an ideal option for a glass stove. Unfinished ceramic bases can leave tiny scratches on the glass. In addition, ceramic pots are heavy, which also makes them inappropriate for cooking on a glass cooktop.
Stoneware pans can also cause scratches, so you need to be extra careful when using those types of cookware on your glass cooktop.
What Is the Best Cookware for Glass Top Stoves?
Stainless steel has optimal weight and a smooth surface that won’t scratch the glass. Stainless steel cookware is stylish and complements the glass cooktop’s modern design. The only downside is that stainless steel is not a great heat conductor.
Enameled stainless steel is also a great option for glass-ceramic stoves. Enameled stainless steel is not as heavy as enamel cast iron making it a perfect option for a glass cooking surface.
Anodized aluminum cookware is an excellent choice for glass-top stoves. In addition to excellent heat conductivity, this cookware is gentle on the delicate glass surface. The ability to conduct heat well and flat-bottomed construction make the cooking process very energy efficient.
Nonstick ceramic-coated cookware is another good option for glass stoves. Ceramic cookware with an aluminum core distributes heat well, making the cooking process fast and energy efficient. Additionally, this type of cookware prevents food from sticking and is very easy to clean.