Can You Use Cast Iron on a Flat Top Stove?

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There are of course many types of cookware and even several types of stoves to use them on. One of the most popular cookware in many homes and professional kitchens alike is cast iron. This style of cookware is a heavy iron that is durable and offers many benefits like even heat distribution and natural non-stick capabilities. It is easy to see with just two of the benefits laid out why cast-iron cookware is so popular. But can it be used on every type of stove —even stoves like a flat top stove? Let’s dive into that question and see what we can find out.

Isn’t that Just an Induction Stove?

When you say ‘flat top stove,’ you must be clear on what you mean. Do you mean the old-school wood stove that for years has been called a flat top? Or are you talking about the modern wave of flat top ranges that include induction and ceramic as well as some electrical units? For the purpose of this article, we are going to assume the question is about the modern style as it is quite evident that with the old-school wood stove cast iron would be the go-to cookware.

Here are the different type of modern flat top stoves:

Ceramic

This stove uses electric to heat coils under a tempered piece of ceramic glass.

Electric

There are some newer models of electric stoves that place the coils under a flat top made of tempered glass.

Induction

These stoves use electromagnets to heat pans leaving the stove top cool.

These are the different style of flat top and as we move on in this article we will be solely focusing on the ceramic or glass flat top stove.

Things to Consider When Using Cast Iron on a Flat Top Stove

These stove tops are sharp looking and can add a lot of pizzazz to your kitchen, but they do require extra care. Many experts strongly suggest not to use cast iron with these stove types though there are things you can do to ensure that you keep your stovetop undamaged. For those that want to risk using cast iron on one of the stove tops here are a few things that you should consider:

Weight

Cast iron is heavier than almost all other types of cookware. Then if you add food to it you are adding extra weight. Too much weight can crack your stove top, so, think about the overall heft of that skillet when you are considering using cast iron with your flat top stove.

Bottom

For even heat distributions you want pots and pans that have a flat bottom. The problem is a lot of cast iron cookware does not have a flat bottom. This means that it will take longer to heat and may result in uneven cooking.

Size

Ideally your pot or pan is only about an inch bigger than the burner. Many cast iron skillets are much larger than that. This could cause some uneven heating and excessive on and off cycling of the burner which could shorten its life cycle.

Finish

Cast iron does not have a smooth finish. The pores are one of the great things about cast iron, but it also means that it is much easier to scratch or damage the surface of your flat top stove. You need a smooth finish to be 100% sure not to leave scratches or grooves on your stovetop.

These are just a few things to consider when thinking about utilizing your cast iron with your flat top stove. If you do decide that the risk is worth it then there are ways you can minimize the risk.

Ways to Prevent Damage

Cast iron is great and even if you have a flat top or even an induction stove you may be concerned about damaging the stovetop. Here are a few ways that you can decrease the chance of scratching up that pristine stovetop:

No Scratches, Please!

Though you may have a flat bottom cast iron cookware which is perfect for a flat top stove, there may still be issues. To keep from leaving scratches, avoid dragging it across the stovetop lifting straight up with both hands instead. This lessens the chance of scratches as well as dropping heavy cookware on the stovetop.

Take Good Care of Those Cast Iron Pans

Being sure to thoroughly clean your cast iron will help ensure there are no leftover food particles that could end up scorching your burners the next time you use your skillet.

Keep an Eye on Those Burners

Your cast iron holds heat and that can be transferred back to the burners very easily. This will cause the burners to shut off and on excessively, which can shorten the life of those burners.

Final Thoughts

So can you use cast iron on a flat top stove? Though many experts recommend that using cast iron on your flat top stove is not advisable, with some care you can get both the benefits from the flat top stove and cast-iron cookware.

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