Induction cooking is becoming popular due to magnetic burners as a direct source of heat instead of the electric heating coil but does cast iron work on induction cooktops? The answer is yes; you can use cast iron on an induction cooktop. The solid construction makes cast iron perfectly magnetic to increase its compatibility with induction cooktops.
Even though there is a clear, positive validation, you must consider some essential things when dealing with cast iron on an induction cooktop to avoid scratching the shiny glass surface. In this guide, we have discussed everything that can help you safely use cast iron by induction technology with some additional tips.
Does Cast Iron Work On Induction Cooktops?
Induction cooktops rely on magnetic fields to provide heat to cookware, and cookware must have conductive properties with ferrous metals to ensure proper heat transfer. Therefore, cast iron is the best option that works on induction cooktops.
But you must do it safely to avoid any risk of thermal shock caused by overheating cast iron. Before using, preheat your cast iron cookware slowly and then put it on the induction stove.
For cast iron cookware to be compatible with induction technology, it must have the features such as a flat and smooth surface that can attract magnets. Other cookware such as enamel cast iron, stainless steel, and carbon steel also work on induction cooktops.
How Does Induction Cooktop Work?
Induction cooktops have a copper wire coil underneath the glass-ceramic plates where cookware is placed. After turning on the stove, alternating current passes through the coil to create a strong magnetic field.
Above this field, when you put a cast iron pan, many smaller electric currents start to build to heat the cookware. The magnetic heating technology in induction cooktops ensures equal heat distribution without leaving any hotspots.
Due to their magnetic field, cookware without ferrous metal will not be compatible. That’s why cast iron and stainless steel work best on induction stoves, while copper or aluminum don’t work.
How to Use Cast Iron On Induction Cooktop
There isn’t much difference between cooking in cast iron on an induction cooktop and other stovetops. But there are some necessary instructions you must consider for safety reasons.
- Due to quick heat distribution by the induction method, your cast iron pan gets exposed to thermal shock. It is highly recommended to preheat your pan or cookware before exposing it to too high a temperature.
- The heat causes iron to expand and contract upon cooling, leading to cracking and warping.
- Get a burner similar to your pan’s width to avoid leaving hotspots. Also, it is important to provide heat on the pan’s entire surface equally.
The Downsides of Using Cast Iron on Induction Cooktops?
There is no doubt about the benefit of using cast iron on induction stovetops, but you must look at a few of its downsides. The most common bad impact of induction cooktops is they scratch cast iron’s shiny and smooth surface.
Cast iron doesn’t heat up quickly, so you must let it heat slowly. Increasing heat levels for moving faster will leave many hotspots on the pan. This will lead to uneven cooking.
The small induction burners also lead to uneven cooking because the heat remains at the center of cast iron, taking too long to distribute all over the surface.
Another downside of using cast iron on an induction stove is the quick heat shut-off, which happens when you turn off the magnetic current. Your food gets cool too quickly.
Tips to Avoid Cast Iron Scratching Induction Cooktops
Follow these tips to prevent induction cooktops from getting scratched by cast iron.
Use Parchment Paper
Does it seem surprising because of the fear of fire reaching paper? But this is different from how induction stoves work. The heat transfers from the induction stove to the cast iron pan but not to the stovetop. The stovetop will stay cool during cooking.
The transfer of heat will be towards ferrous metal from the magnetic field. So a paper towel or parchment paper will not burn by this trick.
This is another helpful way to keep the glass surface safe from damage.
Avoid Sliding Cast Iron
Place the pan on the induction stove safely when cooking food in cast iron. Make sure to avoid any movement because it will leave scratches. It is essential to put cookware smoothly and firmly on the induction cooktop to minimize the risk of unwanted scratches on the glass-ceramic surface.
Compared to other pans, cast iron pans are sturdy and quite heavy to allow mixing food without moving.
Make The Bottom of Cast Iron Smooth
You may know cast iron surfaces are not smooth, but they are rugged and heavy-duty. Their construction doesn’t leave them smooth for longer. Also, cast iron on other stovetops during campfires or grills makes the surface even rougher.
You will feel bumps and scratches when touching the surface, which isn’t ideal for use on an induction cooktop.
To avoid this, regularly make the bottom surface smooth to prevent it from damaging your induction stove glass.
Cleaning is the most significant part of reducing the risk of scratches. So clean the inside and outer surface of cast iron thoroughly before placing it on an induction cooktop. Sometimes the food spills make the bottom dirty, which can stick on the stove, and if you try to clean it, your induction stove will definitely get scratched.
As cast iron requires manual cleaning, it can be tough to clean, but it is worth the effort.
Prefer Enameled Cast Iron
Does Enamel Cast Iron Work on Induction Cooktops? For more safety and the best results, you should prefer enameled cast iron cookware that is sleek in design and have a smoother surface. They work best on induction cooktops.
Though this cookware is equally conductive as standard cast iron, the enamel layer makes it slow to reach heat at the surface. However, these skillets are ideal for slow cooking.
What Materials Do Not Work On Induction Cooktops
Pans or cookware without iron coating or magnetic properties isn’t compatible with induction cooktops. Sometimes aluminum and copper cookware work on induction stoves if there is some magnetic base. But stainless steel and cast iron are ideal to meet the requirements.
If you want to find out that your cookware is induction-safe, look at the bottom of a cast iron pan or pot to see an induction symbol added by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you can run a magnet test for further confirmation.
So, does cast iron work on induction cooktops? Of course, yes, cast iron cookware is safe to use on induction cooktops. But you can avoid some risks by following the tips we mentioned. Also, season your cast iron to protect the coating and avoid sudden temperature changes leading to thermal shock.
We hope the instruction will help you prepare your favorite meals in cast iron on induction cooktops.