Can You Use Cast Iron on a Glass Top Stove?

Cooking with cast-iron cookware on a stovetop is one of the popular ways in traditional American gastronomy. If you’re a cooking enthusiast who cooks at home, you should own a good quality cast iron skillet. It’s widely used because it distributes heat evenly on its seasoned surface.

Can You Use Cast Iron on a Glass Top Stove

However, if you’re wondering- Can You Use Cast Iron on a Glass Top Stove? The simple and straight answer is- “Yes”; you can but be sure to take certain precautions when doing so. Since these stoves are shiny and appealing, they need more care than coil stovetops.

If you drag a cast-iron skillet over a glass stovetop, it can leave scratches. Even you can damage the entire top stove accidentally. Though it’s a risky venture, it’s OK to use. If you want to use your cast-iron skillet on a glass top stove, you must take precautions and care for the stovetop.

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What Is a Glass Top Stove?

In the United States, almost every resident has a gas stovetop. These stovetops are the most common kitchen items in rental apartments. They’re considered as the most desirable for serious home cooks. When you’re cooking something, your gas top stove gives you the ability to control the heat levels.

 Glass Top Stove

But, electrical stovetops have become more popular for the last 10 to 15 years. There are several electric stovetops, and one of them is the glass top stove. It features a flat cooking surface made of glass. It also has burners that make the specific areas of the top stove hot.

However, glass top stoves have some difficulties. They sometimes don’t allow specific cooking tools due to their design. But, those who own these stovetops prefer their sleek look. They don’t mind that these stovetops conduct significantly less heat than a traditional gas stove.

What is Cast Iron?

Cast iron is a relatively hard alloy of carbon and iron that can be easily formed in a mold. It usually contains a higher proportion of carbon than steel. In the kitchenware industry, you’ll find cast iron pans, pots, skillets, kettles, and dutch ovens.

Cast Iron

Cast iron skillets have recently become more popular, although they have been around from generation to generation. People used to cook in nonstick Teflon pans in the years of 80s and 90s due to their ease of cleaning stove top, but they’re now out of favor.

Besides, cast iron skillets conduct heat better. They’re sturdy enough and don’t have any harmful chemicals that so many nonstick pans have. They’re also a bit difficult to clean. It’s because cast iron shouldn’t be used with soap. But, once you season it successfully, it will become easier to clean.

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Is It OK to Use a Cast Iron Skillet on a Glass-Top Stove?

Modern cast iron skillets are lighter, sleeker, and smoother than traditional cast iron cookware. These enamel-coated or well-seasoned cast iron cookware with smooth outer finish are suitable with electric glass top stoves.

Therefore, if you place your iron skillet firmly without sliding and with a smooth move, there is no chance of scratching the top of the glass stove. Also, you need to be careful about picking up hot pans and managing the handles of the iron skillets. Furthermore, using a heat diffuser between your iron skillet and glass top also spreads the heat and protects the glass top.

Can You Use Cast Iron on a Glass Top Stove?

You can use cast iron on a glass top stove by keeping a few things in mind. A glass top stove is more sensitive than a gas stovetop. If you slide your skillet over the burners while cooking, you have to give up this habit. Sliding your cast iron skillet over the burners can damage the glass top stove.

Also, you need to care for your glass stovetop when heating your skillet. You shouldn’t raise the temperature too suddenly. Start with a lower temperature and gradually increase it until the skillet gets hot enough. After each use, clean the bottom exterior of the pan with soap and water to avoid further damage to the stovetop.

Dos and Don’ts for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet on a Glass Top Stove

Now you know you can use a cast iron skillet on an electric glass-top stove. But that doesn’t mean you can just put it on and use it. Here are a few things you need to know before putting cast iron pans on a glass-top stove.

Cast Iron on Glass Top Stoves

Don’t Drop It

It’s essential to care about this when using cast iron pans with a glass-top stove. Cast iron pots and pans are heavier and more sturdy than regular ones, whereas glass top stoves are fragile.

The weight of a cast iron skillet ranges from 4 to 12 pounds, with an average 12-inch skillet weighing 8 pounds. On the other hand, a 12-inch stainless steel and aluminum pan only weighs about 4 pounds. So don’t drop pots and pans made of cast iron on them.

To avoid dropping them, hold them by the handle with both hands. Hence the handle gets hot when cooking with a cast iron skillet; you’ll want to keep an extra pair of hands handy to help you lift and remove the pan from the heat. If you don’t, you might accidentally touch the handle and cause an accident.

Don’t Drag It

Several manufacturers discourage using a cast iron skillet on an electric stove. Because if you drag a pan onto a glass or ceramic stove top, you will almost certainly damage the surface.

Cast iron pans aren’t just hard; they’re also prone to developing sharp burrs and rough edges. These burrs and rough edges can scratch your cooktop. So, if you need to move the pan, lift it directly up, then put it down carefully.

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How to Use Cast Iron Skillet on a Glass Top Stove

Cast Iron on Glass Top Stoves

Select Cookware with a Smooth Bottom

Cast iron skil­lets usually come with brand names or patterns stamped onto the bottoms. It may look good, but it won’t help you cook and could damage your electric glass-top stove.

Finding a cast iron skillet with a smooth surface may be challenging, but you should look for one with no other ridges or marks. It’s so smooth that you don’t have to worry as much about scratching your stove’s surface.

Removes Leftover Residue

If leftovers or cooking residue get stuck between the pan and the cooktop, it can scratch the cooktop’s glass surface, and if there’s too much carbon from heat, it can stain the paint around the burners.

If you want to avoid having to wash out your skillet between uses, be sure to clean it after every use thoroughly. Dry it completely, and then coat the inside with shortening or oil.

Cleaning the stovetop before cooking is essential because small food particles or pieces of salt can cause severe damage if they get stuck between the burner elements and the pan.

Using a Heat Diffuser

A great way to prepare food on a glass-top stove is to use a heat diffuser. What is a heat diffuser exactly? A heat diffuser is a tool used to heat the bottom of a pan evenly.

Heat diffusers manufactured from heavy-duty steel can withstand the weight of heavier cast iron pans without scratching or damaging the glass stovetop. In addition to protecting your glass stovetop, heat diffusers can help prevent hot spots where the heat may burn the bottom of your pan.

Heat diffusers work by absorbing heat and distributing it evenly across the entire bottom of a pan. Think of them as a buffer between a skillet’s bottom surface and the stove’s surface.

If you’re looking to buy a heat diffuser, you can usually get one for cheap at most stores. Place the diffuser on top of your glass stove over an electric element, then place your cast iron skillet over the top. Be sure not to move the diffuser away from where the element is located.

Now you can cook without worrying about scratching the surface of your stove. If you put the diffuser on a stove with a glass top, notice how hot it gets. Heat it to a high setting before putting any cookware on top.

Heat the Pan Firmly

To avoid uneven heating, use an oven thermometer to ensure the temperature is even across the entire cooking surface. If there is a difference between the top and bottom of the pan, adjust accordingly.

Don’t overcook your cast iron skillet; if you’re experiencing hot or cold spots on your pan, don’t use too much heat. A cast iron skillet holds heat exceptionally well, so heating your pan could cause the heat to bounce back and burn you.

Choose the Right Size Skillet

To avoid uneven heating, use a pan that is the same diameter as your burner or one that is closer to it than farther away from it. Don’t go any bigger than one inch too large or too small. A small electric stove burner isn’t big enough for a large cast iron skillet.

Overheating cast iron skillets can lead to them retaining too much heat, which could cause them to burn out. When cooking, you should always use the correct size pan. You might have to buy a new electric glass-top stove if you don’t.

Choose Enameled Cast Iron

As I’ve already mentioned, a cast iron pan without rough edges is your best choice for an electric stove. If you want to go one step further, choose cast iron cookware with an enamel coating instead. It makes the pan nonsticky and easy to clean without scratching the enamel.

The coating also helps prevent your pans from rusting. It’s an excellent way to ensure that your pans last for years.

Inspect Your Cast Iron Before Use

If you’re using cast iron cookware, check it for scratches or nicks after each use. They may be harmless but could scratch your stovetop if left there too long.

First, always perform a visual inspection. Hold the pan so that the light from the room illuminates the bottom, and slowly turn it back and forth. It will help you see any shadows cast by damaged parts.

Once you’ve confirmed that the surface feels smooth, slowly and carefully run your fingers across its surface. You shouldn’t use too much force; you don’t want to hurt yourself by accidentally cutting into the material. Feel for any rough spots or imperfections.

Why Experts Don’t Use Cast Iron on Glass Top Stoves

There are a variety of reasons why you cannot use cast iron on glass top stoves. Here we’re going to talk about some of them below. (Before that, read also: How to Protect Glass Top Stove from Cast Iron)

Cast Iron on Glass Top Stoves

Weight and Size

Cast iron usually comes with a heavy weight. When you’re cooking with a cast-iron skillet, it contains its own weight with a variety of ingredients and puts pressure on the glass cooktop. So, if you drop the skillet while lifting it, it can easily damage the stovetop.

On the other side, a cast-iron skillet shouldn’t be more than an inch larger than the stovetop. But, most cast-iron pans are much larger than the burners of glass-top stoves. As a result, the skillet cannot distribute heat evenly across its surface.

Flat Bottoms

Skillets with flat bottoms are essential when you’re cooking on a glass stovetop. If your cookware doesn’t come with a flat bottom, it can scratch the upper surface of your glass top stove. Since many cast-iron skillets are not perfectly flat, they don’t sit flat and cause uneven heating.


You may have a seasoned cast-iron skillet, and a bit of seasoning oil can leave grime on the exterior of your cookware. When you’re going to cook something with your cast-iron skillet on a glass top stove, the stovetop can get that stain on the glass.


If you switch your stovetop from a gas range to a glass cooktop willingly or unwillingly, you shouldn’t cook with cast iron on your glass top stove. Chances are you damage your stovetop. If you still want to use it, then it’s entirely up to you. Follow safety precautions when you use your cast iron cookware on a glass top stove.