How To Protect a Glass Top Stove From Cast Iron (6 Tips)

Image Credit: Kai Hendry via Flickr

I love cooking with cast iron cookware. I also love how easy to clean a glass stove top is. A cast iron skillet holds heat so well and cooks so evenly compared to some other types of pots and pans. Its biggest downside, though, is that it’s so heavy. Because of its weight, cast iron on glass top stoves can scratch the surface of your cooktop. These tiny scratches can build up over time and make the cooktop look awful.

In addition to scratching, you need to protect the glass top stove from cast iron falling or dropping on it. A cast iron skillet can weigh quite a bit and can easily crack or shatter a glass top stove.

Can you use a cast iron skillet on a glass top stove?

It’s generally not recommended, but it can be done. It’s best to use enameled cast iron and use a heat diffuser or grill mat as a protective shield between the cast iron and glass.

Using a heat diffuser or grill mat will help, but care must still be used since cast iron is very heavy. It can easily crack or shatter the glass cooktop if you aren’t gentle. A wiser choice is to use lighter cookware, but I understand the appeal of cast iron. Just be cautious, and you should be fine.

One last point is to avoid extreme temperatures when using cast iron. The extra weight and the excessive heat can put undue stress on the glass and cause it to crack or shatter. Lower and medium temperatures shouldn’t pose any additional risk as long as you are careful not to bang the cast iron on the glass top.

How To Protect a Glass Top Stove from Cast Iron

  • Avoid sliding cast iron cookware on a glass cooktop surface
  • Keep the glass cooktop clean
  • Keep the bottom of your cast iron clean
  • Consider buying enameled smooth-bottomed cast iron cookware
  • Use a heat diffuser between the cooktop and cast iron pans
  • Lay a grill mat between your glass cooktop and cast iron pans

How To Protect a Glass Top Stove from Scratching

Avoid sliding cast iron cookware on a glass cooktop surface

Cast iron is very heavy, and the exterior of cast iron is not usually very smooth. This makes it very easy for the cast iron cookware to scratch the glass cooktop when it’s moved around. Some sliding is inevitable but try to minimize it as much as you can.

Keep the glass cooktop surface clean

Anything gritty that is between the heavy cast iron and the glass cooktop can cause scratches. It’s common for food to spill out of pots and pans and end up hardening. When this sits under heavy cast iron, it can easily scratch the glass as the cookware shifts or slides around.

Keep the bottom of your cast iron clean

Just like with food on the cooktop, food on the bottom of pots and pans from spills can bake on and harden. Be sure to wash your cast iron cookware clean to prevent it from more easily scratching the glass.

Consider buying enameled smooth-bottomed cast iron cookware

The smoother your heavy cast iron cookware is, the more distributed the weight will be across the bottom of the pot or pan. Rough surfaces are much more likely to cause scratches than smooth ones. It’s like having permanent grit adhered to the bottom of your cookware. Smooth-bottomed cookware will be far less likely to cause scratches assuming both surfaces are clean and free of hard contaminants.

Use a heat diffuser pad between the glass top stove and cast iron

Heat diffusers are typically used on traditional electric or gas cooktops, but they can also be used on glass or ceramic electric or induction cooktops. This will protect your glass cooktop from scratches since it will not be moving, but the pot or pan on top of it will. If anything is going to get scratched, it’ll be the diffuser and not the glass cooktop.

Lay a grill mat between your glass top stove and cast iron

Just like a heat diffuser, a grill pad will protect your cooktop since it stays still while it gets scratched by the pan or pot on top of it moving.

Grill mats aren’t designed to be used with cooktops, but there’s no reason they can’t be used with them. They’re meant to be laid on top of a grill grate. This keeps food from falling in between the grill bars. The mat will also keep soot and burnt bits off of your food. Grill mats can withstand 600º, so they will be able to handle even the more extreme temperatures on your cooktop. 

Avoid cooking at a very high temperature when using cast iron on a glass top stove. The extreme heat and the weight of the cast iron the glass surface make it more prone to cracking or even shattering.

Use a silicone cooktop mat to protect the glass top stove

During cooking isn’t the only time you might want to protect glass top stoves. After you’re done cooking you can reclaim that valuable counter space. The best way is to use a silicone pad or other heat-resistant covering. Silicone mats are ideal for protecting your cooktop before or after cooking. Silicone is excellent since it can withstand extremely high temperatures and can be placed on your cooktop immediately when you’re done. The grippy nature of silicone also helps keep cookware in place. Silicone is quite soft as well and can help protect the cooktop from a heavy cast iron skillet dropping a bit too quickly.

What Pans Should Not Be Used on a Glass Top Stove?

Heavier cookware is generally not recommended due to the glass being more susceptible to scratches and the possibility of cracking or shattering.

Cast iron is obviously hefty and generally not recommended. Heavy glass cookware is also less than ideal. Glass cookware is usually lighter than cast iron. Still, both are more likely to cause scratches and have a higher potential for accidentally cracking or shattering glass cooktops.

Other heavy cookware to avoid is thick ceramic and porcelain.

Can You Use Enameled Cast Iron Cookware on Glass Top Stove?

Enameled cast iron pots and pans are a better choice than uncoated cast iron on glass top stoves. The enamel will have a smoother finish than raw cast iron and be far less likely to cause scratches.

It’s still extremely heavy compared to other cookware and has a much higher potential for cracking or shattering the cooktop. It’s still wise to use caution and be very gentle when using any heavy cookware.

What Can I Use to Protect a Glass Top Stove?

As mentioned previously, heat diffusers and grill mats can help protect your glass cooktop from scratches while cooking. Although cooking isn’t the only time you need to be concerned about protecting your cooktop, though.

The best option for protecting your glass cooktop when it isn’t being used for cooking is a silicone mat. A silicone mat is an excellent choice for a few reasons:

  • Silicone can withstand extreme temperatures and be placed on your cooktop immediately after you’re done cooking.
  • A silicone mat protects people who might accidentally touch the surface before it’s had time to cool as well as items that might accidentally get placed on the cooktop while it’s still hot.
  • Silicone is a very soft material. It can absorb shocks that will protect the glass top and help prevent cracks and shattering.
  • By keeping your cooktop covered with a silicone mat, it will be protected from scratches that can inadvertently happen when items are placed on it.

Can You Fix Scratches on a Glass Top Stove?

Scratches are hard to avoid with a glass top stove over time. Thankfully, your can get rid of them. Here’s what you’ll need to buff them out:

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • A cloth

How to Remove Scratches From a Glass Stovetop

  1. Combine the baking soda and water into a paste
  2. Apply the paste to the scratch
  3. Rub the paste in a circular motion with a cloth
  4. Regularly check the scratch to see if it is removed
  5. Continue until you’re satisfied
  6. Wipe away the paste

Can You Put a Hot Pan on a Glass Top Stove?

Putting hot pans, whether a cast iron pan, stainless steel, or any other type of pan is perfectly safe. A glass top stove is made of tempered glass and is capable of withstanding very high heat. That’s why a glass top makes an excellent stove surface.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Glass Stove Top?

The cost to install a new glass stovetop can be vary depending on the glass top size and complexity of installation. The price can be anywhere between $150-$600. The broad range is affected by a lot of factors. Generally speaking, the more expensive your stove, the more expensive it will be to replace the glass cooktop surface.

It’ll be a lot less expensive to replace the glass top on your stove but you should consider purchasing a new glass top stove if the age of your current stove is more than 10 years or you’re having other issues with it.

When Should I Replace My Glass Stove Top?

If you have any cracks in your glass stovetop, it should not be used and replaced immediately. The heating and cooling during cooking will cause the glass to expand and contract. At a minimum, this will make the crack larger. At worst, the cooktop will shatter and send glass shards flying through your kitchen.

How Much Weight Can a Glass Top Stove Hold?

40 or 50 pounds is a typical maximum that a glass stovetop can hold before failure. It’s not suggested that they carry that much, however. This is a test maximum. Consult your owner’s manual for the specifics of how much your glass top can hold.

Can You Use Vinegar on a Glass Top Stove?

It’s best to use distilled white vinegar diluted with water if you intend to use vinegar to clean your stovetop. You should always consult your owner’s manual for the best method of cleaning your glass stovetop.

Are Aluminum Pans Safe for Glass Cooktops?

Aluminum pans are a popular choice for glass cooktops, but they can scratch the glass surface like almost any type of cookware. Due to its lighter weight, it is much less prone to causing significant scratches, though.

Are Ceramic Stovetops Better Than Glass Stove Tops?

It really depends on what you are looking for. For those who want glass, glass is a smoother cooking surface and better suited to acidic foods like tomato sauce or wine sauces. However, ceramic glass cooktops have the advantage of being easier to maintain. In addition, they can be cleaned with soap and water instead of using abrasive cleaners used on glass surfaces which may scratch them over time.

Another benefit for ceramic glass stoves is that cast iron pans won’t leave rust stains since there is no metal touching the pan below (glass).

Final Thoughts

While heavy cast iron cookware may not be the best choice for use on a glass cooktop, it can still be used. If you take the proper precautions and use care you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Avoid sliding the cast iron on the glass and make sure both the glass cooktop and the bottom of the cast iron are clean. Enameled cast iron has a smooth bottom surface and is better to use than uncoated cast iron.

It’s wise to place something like a heat diffuser or grill mat between the glass surface and the cast iron if you are concerned about scratches. This will protect the glass and allow you to slide your cast iron pots and pans around a little as well.

You still need to take care due to the weight of the cookware. Cast iron is very heavy and if you’re not careful when handling it you could accidentally crack or shatter the glass cooktop. It’s better to use lighter aluminum cookware if you can but cast iron can be used if you exercise caution.

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