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I have a glass ceramic stove surface. I need to buy some cookware, but I'm not sure what kind I need to buy.

The manual has the following opinions about what cookware I should use (paraphrased):

  • Aluminum: Care must be taken when using aluminum because it can break, fuse to, or mark the stove surface
  • Copper: May leave metal marks on stove surface.
  • Stainless Steel: Uneven cooking results.
  • Cast Iron: Not recommended.
  • Porcelain-Enamel on Metal: Heating characteristics vary based on core material. Coating must be smooth or it will scratch the stove surface.
  • Glass: Not recommended.

Based on that information, it seems stainless steel or porcelain-enamel on metal are the only two types that aren't going to ruin the stove surface, and that I'll get the best results while cooking if I choose porcelain-enamel.

However, I see mixed opinions all over the net about what is suitable for the glass ceramic stove surface. One article I found was here: http://www.ehow.com/how_4499460_buy-cookware-ceramic-glass-cooktop.html. Contrary to what my manual says, this person says I should include cast iron cookware in sets.

What kind of cookware can I buy that will not damage my glass ceramic stove surface?

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So basically the manufacturer is saying "No cookware will work with our stove." Sounds like a CYA move by the legal department. Use what you want. –  Chris Cudmore Apr 27 '12 at 20:19
    
Carbon steel is fine on glass ceramic. It has a smooth flat bottom which I think is a requirement for this type of cook top. –  Ryan Anderson Nov 28 '12 at 14:16
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I wouldn't pay much attention to this list. I would just get my cookware based on what functionality I need, not based on what my stove manufacturer says.

The idea of not using cast iron on glass to protect the glass from scratches is as perverse as keeping a sunhat in the closet and going to the beach bareheaded to protect the sunhat from color fading. Your stove's purpose isn't to gleam, it is to cook. The manufacturer probably tries to shield himself from customer complaints: "your stove got scratches" "nothing we can do, you treated it against our recommendation". This would explain the overly cautious list.

I have an induction stove with a glass plate myself. I don't have cast iron cookware from the type common in the US (Lodge pans and similar), but I have a wrought iron pan, not seasoned on the outside (it developed black rust during seasoning the inside, as well as something which I suspect must be ferrous sulfide). It is smoother than cast iron, but rougher than a typical stainless steel pan. I regularly use it on my stove. Also, I regularly clean the stove with a mild abrasive (equivalent to Unilever's brand Cif) and once or twice, I had a baked-on spill which wouldn't go away with this cleaner, so I used a steel wool scouring pad instead. I worked gently, but still applied enough force to remove the residues. After cleaning and polishing with a glass-ceramic cleaner, my stove literally mirrors the ceiling. I bet it has less scratches than my phone screen. So, I think that all the stories about iron cookware damaging the stovetop are greatly exaggerated. But if you are really scared, you can sand and season the bottom.

The other claims are also dubious. Alu melts at 660°C, you probably won't reach it even if you forget an empty pan on high for hours. Nobody uses pure copper pans anyway, and if it is an inner layer of a sandwich bottom, there is no way it will leave marks. And so on. Only the glass warning is good - not because it would damage the stove, but because you risk the glass vessel itself to shatter.

Bottomline: Buy based on what material is best for cooking whatever you plan to cook. The stove should be able to take it. And if you are rough and it does get a scratch or two, then I don't see why it should bother you - it is a tool, not a fashion statement.

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I'm not concerned with scratching, but I don't want to destroy the stove top (say by metal fusing to it as the list mentioned AL might do). The manual says a lot about spills. It says that sugar spills will cause the cook top to crack. The manual had me thinking that everything has the potential to destroy it. Thanks for the help! –  Kappers Apr 16 '12 at 14:52
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I have a Ceramic Glass Top, and it was top of the line that heats up quicker than the others. So from my experience here are my suggestions.

Stainless steel; stay away from All Clad; it warps the heck out of the pots and pans. I have returned so many, even the cast aluminum. You need to purchase a stainless steel pan that has a heavy visible clad on the bottom. It prevents the pot/pan from warping.

Cast iron; The newer ones claims it can be used on Ceramic Top. I personally wouldn't try it since I violently split my father 20 year old griddle in half that took all of 1 minute to do. Scared the mess out of my and I am lucky it didn't break the ceramic top.

Aluminum; Will warp without the heavy clad on the bottom. So never heat the pan up on high and don't go above med high. But they are cheap enough to replace.

Non Stick; Will gunk up faster on a ceramic top due to the higher temp it gives off. Keep the heat low.

Enamel is fine; Never had a problem. Think about self-cleaning ovens, they generate high temps to burn off the grease and the sides are enamel. When I clean my oven, I put my enamel roasting pans in, leaning on one side. They come out so clean. Generally enameled pans are molded with additional ridges on the bottom or pressed in a way that re-enforces the strength of the pan or pot. But the bottoms are not smooth are scratch easier. I use the big pots for corned beef and lobster that you really don't move once it is on the burner. I do pick them directly up and not slide.

Tempered Glass; Is fine too. Just keep in mind, they are more temperamental. Don't put on high, and you CANNOT add anything cold. It will crack in half in an instant.

With this said, all of the above can scratch your ceramic top. But ceramic is tougher than just glass. It can take a beating and not show much ware. I have had mine for 10 + years, and there are scratches, but not like you would think. Just be smart, don't rub the pan and shake back a forth or slide. Becareful of the salt water when cooking, clean off boil overs immed. It not only will increase the temp of the ceramic top, but will bake on quickly to a hard burnt mess. Try not to use a razor, it will scratch. Before using it, try soaking a paper towel with Windex, then cover the paper towel with plastic wrap and put a med weighted pot on top. Leave overnight, the baked on salt, grease or whatever it is should wipe off. Tip; You can also use this method for baked on spill overs in your oven, but just use water. Invest into some really good Microfiber towels, such as Don Aslet on QVC. You only have to use water on the towels no Windex all the time and no streaks.

Also, ceramic does not cool off as quickly as turning off a gas flame. If you leave a pan or pot on it, it will bake the food on, especially non-stick. And you can't put it in the sink and expose it to cold water. Solution: I always keep a tea kettle on the stove filled with water. The water always remains at room temp. When I am finished cooking I throw a little water in the pot or pan to stop the cooking process. It's an adjustment like anything new. But I LOVED my stove and it really did improve my cooking. Good luck to you!

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I have had a variety of glass top stoves. The first one was purchased on 1975. I have used cast iron (grandmother's) stainless steel waterless cookware, spilled hot sugar, hot grease, and every mess you can imagine. I have not had one break and if it isn't perfect, just clean, I don't care. It is made to be used and I cook a lot. I love the ease of cleaning.

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