Can Cast Iron Be Used on Induction Cooktops (How to Keep Your Cooktop Like New!)
You’ve got a great induction cooktop, and you’re wondering if you can use your cast iron pan on it. The answer is yes!
But there’s more to it than that.
Can you use cast iron on an induction cooktop?
Yes, you can use cast iron on an induction cooktop.
Cast iron is a great material for cooking. It’s thick and heavy, which means it retains heat well and distributes heat evenly across its surface. It also allows for even browning of food, and it can be used to make delicious sauces because of its ability to retain flavors.
Induction cooktops work by passing an electrical current through metal objects placed on the burner. The magnetic properties of metal, such as cast iron, allow electricity to pass through it while only getting it hot and nothing else.
This means that if you put an induction-ready pan on your stovetop, the stovetop surface won’t get hot—only the pan will heat up. So while you can use cast iron on an induction cooktop, you’ll have to be careful about the heated pan but you won’t have to worry about the cooktop.
How to use cast iron on an induction cooktop
Due to the way that the induction cooktop actually works, cast iron is a great option for an induction cooktop.
The cooktop uses magnetic fields to create heat and to heat the cookware that is placed on top of them.
This means the pan needs to have some conductive materials that are also magnetic or ferrous.
A cast iron pan is just that and is great for induction cooktops. To use an induction cooktop with cast iron, there are a few things that you need to consider.
- Do not heat your pan too quickly, this can lead to thermal shock and can lead to uneven heating of the pan.
- You can use either a heat ring to help keep the pan up off of the stovetop or you can place the pan on the burner directly.
- Cast iron can scratch glass, so if you are worried that your cast iron is going to scratch your glass cooktop, you may want to get a heat ring to keep it up off of the surface.
The benefits of using cast iron on an induction cooktop
There are some great benefits to using a cast iron pan on an induction cooktop.
As we mentioned, they are ferrous, which means that the magnetic fields of the induction top are going to help to heat up the pan fantastically.
Induction heat is also a very level and even heat and is great to help heat up the pan quickly.
The downsides of using cast iron on an induction cooktop
There are some downsides that you do need to keep in mind as well.
These pans are very heavy, and most induction cooktops are glass.
This means that you do need to make sure you are being very careful when you do use a cast iron pan on an induction cooktop.
You may need a heat ring to help make sure your cooktop is safe.
You also need to make sure you do not heat your pan up too quickly as it can cause thermal shock and can damage your pan.
Also, you need to make sure you are heating up your pan slowly so that the pan will be heated evenly and so that it will not have cold spots or overly hot spots.
Tips for induction stove cast iron cooking
There are some tips you can use to use your cast iron on an induction cooktop.
- Try not to scrape or drag your skillet across the cooktop, this can scratch the cooktop and damage it badly, even breaking it in some cases.
- Since there is no open flame on an induction cooktop, you can put a paper towel between the pan and the cooktop if you are worried about damage.
- Make sure you are heating your cast iron slowly and evenly and that you are not heating it too quickly. Heating it too quickly can cause thermal shock. You want to preheat your pan slowly on low heat.
- If you are worried about the pan, you can also use a heat ring.
- Choose a burner that is as close to the size of your pan as possible.
How does an induction burner work on cast iron pans?
Induction cooktops are a new way to cook, and they can make your life easier. But how do induction cooktops work?
Induction cooking is different than traditional cooking because it uses magnetic fields instead of heat. This means that induction cooktops don’t use flame or gas to heat the cast iron pans.
Instead, they generate an electrical current that creates a magnetic field under the pan, producing magnetic waves that interact with the ferrous metals in your pots and pans.
The cast iron then becomes heated by this magnetic field and begins to produce heat rather quickly.
This kind of cooking has several benefits:
- It’s faster than other methods because it heats the food directly rather than heating up the entire room first (like with an oven).
- It doesn’t require any fuel or much electricity at all, so you can save money on both sides of the equation!
- It’s much safer than using open flames because there’s no risk of fire or burning yourself on hot surfaces like there would be if you were cooking over an open flame like in a fireplace or campfire.
Can induction cooktops damage cast iron?
An induction cooktop does have the ability to damage your cast iron pan if you are not careful.
A process called thermal shock is the most common damage that a cast iron pan might incur if it heats up too quickly.
First, thermal shock is a process where a cast iron pan is heated up or cooled down too quickly and the metal goes through a process of thermal expansion.
When the pan heats up it gradually expands and gets a tiny bit larger.
When the pan is shocked and heated up too quickly or cooled down too quickly, it can cause a rapid expansion of the pan or a rapid shrinking that can then cause cracks and chips.
This is the main issue with an induction cooktop and heating a pan.
For other types of ranges like a gas range, the heating process is much slower and the chances of thermal shock are a bit lower.
Will cast iron scratch an induction cooktop?
Another thing that people tend to think about with an induction stove top and any sort of cookware is that it might damage the cooktop.
An induction cooktop is made of tempered glass and is meant to help transfer the microwaves from the heating element to the pan that is placed on top of the burner.
When this happens, the pan heats up and is evenly heated so that you get a great overall result.
That being said, with a glass stovetop you do run the risk of scratches and even cracks and breaks in some cases.
If you have an induction cooktop, a cast iron pan does have the potential to damage the cooktop if you are not careful, but it is not terribly common.
How to prevent your cast iron from damaging the induction cooktop
1. Avoid sliding your cast iron on the induction surface
Cast iron is magnetic and will be heated by the induction surface, so it should not cause any damage.
However, you should avoid sliding your cast-iron pan around to avoid scratches or cracks on the cooktop. The coarse texture of cast iron has a tendency to scratch when rubbed on smooth surfaces like glass.
2. Try putting silicone baking mats between your cast iron and the induction hob
If you’re worried about scratching your induction cooktop, try placing a silicone baking mat between the cooktop and your cast-iron skillet.
Induction cooking only heats up iron, so mats will act as a barrier and prevent any damage and scratching from occurring.
Just be sure to closely monitor the cooking process so you don’t accidentally burn the mats. The maximum temperature that an induction cooktop can reach is around 665.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
The burning point of these mats is between 425 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Constant supervision is essential and highly recommended.
3. Try smoothing out the cast iron bottom
Cast iron can be rough and needs to be smoothed out.
You can smooth out the bottom of a cast iron pan with an iron file or other material designed for use with cast iron.
This will help to prevent the cast iron from damaging the induction cooktop.
4. Try using enameled cast iron instead
Enameled cast iron is a type of cast iron that has a coating of enamel on the surface.
This coating helps to prevent the iron from coming into contact with the stovetop and damaging it.
Enameled cast iron also retains heat well, making it an ideal material for cooking.
5. Keep the induction top and cast-iron pot clean
It is important to keep your induction cooktop and cast-iron pot clean.
Before each use, wipe the induction cooktop with a wet microfiber cloth. Make sure to also wipe the bottom of the pot or pan.
This will help prevent damage to the cooktop and pot.
6. Gently place the cast iron on the induction cooktop
1. Place your pan on the induction cooktop in one smooth movement.
2. Do not move the pan while cooking.
3. Cast iron cookware should be firmly placed on the induction cooktop to avoid scratches.
7. Use an induction cooktop scratch protector mats
An induction cooktop scratch protector is a great way to keep your cooktop looking new. Induction cooktop scratch protectors are meant to be used for induction stovetops only and not for regular electric cooktops.
Putting it on a regular electric stove top will cause it to burn.
Cooking mats are useful for preventing accidents while cooking. They are non-slip and can be placed between the induction stove and pot. They can be microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe.
How to control the heat on induction cooktops with cast iron
If you have an induction cooktop, you know that getting it to the right temperature can be a challenge.
Whether you’re trying to boil water or sauté vegetables, it’s important to find the right combination of settings and cookware that works for you.
If your pan is too hot, your food will burn before it cooks through; if it’s not hot enough, your food will take longer than necessary to cook.
The key is to find the perfect balance between setting and cookware. The settings on most induction cooktops range from 0–10 (with 10 being the highest). If you want to boil water quickly, crank it up to something like 6 or 7; if you want something more gentle, like a simmer, try setting it at 4 or 5 instead.
Cast iron heats up a bit slower than other pans, but they retain heat better. So, if you’re using a nonstick skillet with an induction burner, try cooking on high heat until you get to the desired temperature and then lowering it down to maintain it!
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