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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

7 Answers 7

up vote 9 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

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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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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Don't use enamelware pots (that is a glass coating over metal) on your glass top stove. The glass coating will melt onto the glass top stove surface when you set the pot down on the hot surface and you can't get it off as it melds with the stove surface permanently. It happened to my mother in law. Flat bottomed stainless steel or flat bottomed ceramic over metal pans work best. : )

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I have used Le Creuset enameled cookware on my glass top stove and it has never caused a problem. The trick is not to get it crazy hot. I never heat it to above 6. Never use high heat. I also use Revere solid copper cookware lined with stainless and have never seen it leave a mark. I wouldn't enjoy cooking without the copper pots. I have one French copper omelet pan, works great too.

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Cast iron is the best cookware to use on a glass top stove. Let me say that glasstops are the most ill-'designed' things that I have ever seen. The 'burners' heat at a rate of over 500 degrees, which is why they cycle on and off.

You MUST NOT use the true antique (thin and light) cast iron on a cooktop. Use the modern Lodge cookware (obtainable at local grocery stores or online). The 'cooktop' heats cast iron UNEVENLY and can cause quality iron to warp. I accidentally warped a 1950's Griswold griddle yesterday. I realized it a day later when using another griddle and realized that, while the griddle was not hot at all, the 'burner' was smoking and overly hot. I used a laser temperature detecting device that I have, and realized that the BURNER ITSELF was over 500 degrees. If you get cast iron that hot, warping is inevitible. I finally did the cooking that I needed to do by heating the griddle a bit, putting the pancake batter on the griddle and then removing it from the heat to let the pancake cook. THAT was a pain in the neck, let me tell you. It's worth it to save the antique pans.

I detest cooktops. They are designed far worse than the old woodburning stoves. They are less useful than water-soluable fishing boats.

This one is in a rental, I will NEVER deliberately buy one!!!

thanks

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I have a GE 5 burner glass to with convection oven. I have tried just about every type of cookware except cast iron. What works best on my ceramic/glass cook top is the Rachael Ray Hard Anodized II Nonstick cookware,orange handle, They heat up quick & evenly. My stove has 2 power boiler burners with that cookware it boils water very QUICK. I have a few all aluminum pots & they work great too, same goes for stainless steel. The absolute worst cookware for m stove is anything with copper & glass cookware, I have a couple of old stainless steel copper clad bottom frying pans & pots. It takes times as long to heat up & boil water & are useless for my stove. I don't work for nor am I trying to promote the RR Hard Anodized II cookware or any other of her products, but I can't say anything bad about the set I have. They say they are dishwasher safe & oven safe to degrees but I have never done either, always hand wash then. Had them about a year and a half, skillet & pots still look brand new, the frying pans show wear but the non stick surface ISN'T peeling off. For around $115-160 bucks depending on the set size won't break the bank & can't go wrong.

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