Induction stoves have become all the rage in the last couple of years and for good reason. But when you want to reap all the great benefits of that induction cooking method, does that mean that you are going to have to give up that cast iron skillet that you love so much?
That’s a good question. After all, that skillet or pan is a heavy rough material and you are talking about using a glass-topped induction stove. So, let’s look at if you can use that cast-iron skillet with your new induction cooktop.
But before we do that, let us take a look at why you should even get an induction oven in the first place. Isn’t the good old-fashioned gas or electric stovetop just fine? It can’t be that special, right? And what is an induction cooktop anyway? Before you go re-outfitting your kitchen, understanding how these stoves work can help you decide which cookware to replace.
What are Induction Stoves and Why are They Good?
Induction stoves are glass-topped cookers that use strong electromagnetic fields to heat up the base of your pots and pans while leaving its surface cool to the touch. Though there are some electric or gas stoves that make the same claim, induction cooktops really do have this ability.
There are many benefits to using an induction cooktop. Benefits that include things like:
- Surface remains cool so less chance of burning yourself or fires
- No extra heat in your house
- Easy to clean because liquids will not burn on the surface
- Quick meals. Direct heat means food gets cooked quicker
- Precision temperature control
- No risk of leaving your burner on as once the pan or pot is removed there is no heat conductor and therefore the burner turns off
So, there are plenty of reasons to go with the style of cooktop but let’s get to the big question at hand … Can you use cast iron with an induction cooktop?
Cast Iron and Scratches
Fundamentally the idea of using cast iron with an induction cooker is a match made in heaven. The induction stove controls temperature efficiently and cast iron distributes that heat evenly. That seems like a marriage made in heaven, but cast iron is a heavy rugged piece of kitchen equipment and you are dealing with a glass stovetop. Maybe they aren’t compatible? There is a chance that your cast iron will scratch your stovetop, but like with all problems, there are a few workarounds.
Here are a few tips that will allow you to use your cast iron cookware with your induction stovetop:
- You can use a silicone baking mat between the stove top and the bottom of the cast iron pan. This will still allow the heat induction to take place while being able to safely place you cast iron on the burner without fear of scratching it
- Another method is to just be super gentle. Taking your time to place and remove our cast iron will make sure that you avoid damaging your stovetop
- Another great thing to consider is if your cast iron pots and pans have flat smooth bottoms. This is another way to minimize the risk of damage
So yes, using cast iron with your new induction stove is completely possible. Though you will have to be extremely careful to keep from damaging it, you will still be able to benefit from the advantages of using cast iron. But there are other types of cookware that are great choices to use as well.
What Works Better with Induction Stoves?
The key to finding pots and pans that will work with the induction stove is to look for that have a magnetic property to its base. You can check this with a magnet and if it sticks then you are in business. So, any cookware that has steel, metal, or any form of cast iron are great choices. If you want to try a stainless steel option, you need to look for one with some amount of iron in its base.
You do not want cookware that has aluminum, glass or copper unless there is a layer of materials at the base that contains magnetic properties.
So, can you use cast iron on induction cooktops? Metal and magnetic induction cooking go hand in hand! So, there is no need to push that cast-iron cookware to the side or sell it on eBay. Cast Iron is, in fact, one of the best choices you can make and if you are carefully taking the precautions, we mentioned above you should have little to no worry of damaging your cooktop. So, all that’s left to do is get that perfectly seasoned cast iron skillet out, set it gently on the stove top and have yourself a perfectly seared steak.