Will Cast Iron Scratch an Induction Cooktop?

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There are a variety of materials that are suitable for use on your induction cooker and choosing the right type of pan for your cooking needs is important. Cast iron is one of the most popular materials used in professional and residential kitchens.

Although cast iron is heavy and large, their all-iron build guarantees that they are suitable for magnetic induction cooking.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to using cast iron which is that it is easy to scratch the surface of your induction cooker as it is made from glass. So is there a solution?

In this post, we'll take a look at the following:

  • How to Prevent Cast Iron from Scratching Your Induction Cooktop
  • What's Great About Induction Cooktops
  • What Cookware is Suitable for Induction Cooking?

How to Prevent Cast Iron from Scratching Your Induction Cooktop

It is possible to keep the surface of your induction cooktop looking smooth and pristine when using a cast iron pan and pot.

Carefully place cast iron skillet on cooktop

Place the cast iron pot or pan on the burner gently.  For those of us who are used to using electric stoves with raised burners, this will be an adjustment.

Do not slide the skillet on the cooktop or move it around when you are cooking as this increases chances of it being scratched.

Smooth the base of the cast iron skillet

If you have an older cast iron skillet, the bottom can be rough or damaged. Sanding your pan could be used to smooth the base. An electric hand sander could be used or if you don't have access to one, hand sanding is just fine.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Use a 60 or 8 grit sandpaper.
  2. Sand the skillet in a circular motion following the shape of the pan.
  3. Examine the skillet frequently so as not to make the pan too thin.
  4. When the skillet is smooth, wash it with mild dish detergent to remove any particles.
  5. Dry the skillet thoroughly.
  6. Season the inside and outside of the skillet. Here is our guide on how to clean and season your cast iron skillet.

Can I use a silicone baking mat?

I was interested to know if it is safe to use a silicone baking mat such as Silpat™. I emailed their customer service that question and received the following response.

"We do not recommend that you use your Silpat for this purpose as Silpat should never be in contact with a direct heat source. The heat cannot be equally distributed throughout the mat and if the temperature were to exceed 500°F it could cause damage to the Silpat."

Invest in a scratch protector

Another idea on preventing damage to your cooktop when using cast iron cookware is to invest in an Induction Cooktop Scratch Protector

Caring for your cast-iron skillet 

Keeping skillet clean and dry inside and out protects your cooktop surface. 

Routine Cleaning

  1. Scrub the skillet with a nylon bristle brush when the pan is warm.
  2. Rinse with hot water.
  3. Dry thoroughly with a dish towel or paper towel to prevent rust.

Removing bits of food stuck on the pan

  1. Sprinkle coarse kosher salt into a warm skillet. 
  2. Rub the salt into the pan with a kitchen towel.
  3. Discard the salt and food and rinse with hot water.
  4. Dry thoroughly with a kitchen towel or heat the skillet over low heat to remove the moisture.
  5. Let the pan cool. Do not store with the lid on the pan.  

If you are interested in a high-quality induction cooktop, check out our review of the Duxtop 9600LS Induction Cooktop.

What's Great About Induction Cooktops

There are many reasons why you should use an induction cooker in your home, including:

  • The surface of the cooker doesn't get hot.
  • Your kitchen doesn't get hot as there is minimal extra heat created from the burner.
  • Liquids don’t burn to the cooker as it is not magnetic. This makes it easier to clean.
  • It is unlikely that you will burn a surrounding item as the cooktop doesn't get hot.
  • Induction is a highly efficient cooking option.
  • Induction cookers cook your food very quickly due to the direct heat.
  • Due to this faster cooking rate, you save more energy, time and money.
  • Induction cooktops are sensitive to temperature adjustments, allowing you to cook your food with more precise control.
  • Once you remove the cookware item from the burner, the source of heat is gone. This means the burner can't be left on, so the risk of an accidental fire is eliminated.

What Cookware is Suitable for Induction Cooking?

Induction stoves need specific cookware in order to work. This is because this type of cooker relies on electromagnetic fields to heat the base of your pot or pan. Therefore, the base of your cookware must have magnetic properties.

Skillets, saute pans, and other cooking vessels that have bases made with steel, cast iron, enameled cast iron, and certain stainless steels are induction compatible.

Stainless steel needs to have iron in the base and be essentially nickel-free to work with induction. We reviewed induction cookware sets (both stainless steel and nonstick) that can also be used on conventional stoves. 

Aluminum, glass, and copper are not suitable for induction stoves. However, if there is a layer of magnetic materials in the base, the pot or pan can then be used on the induction cooker.

The simplest way to check if a pot or pan is induction compatible is to place a magnet on its base. If it sticks firmly, it will work; however, if it sticks weakly or it doesn't stick at all, it is not suitable for your induction hob.

Conclusion

Although using cast iron on your induction cooker bears the risk of scratching the glass, if you take the proper precautions, you can reap the benefits of using durable cast iron cookware with your induction stove without worrying. The ability to use cast iron cookware is one of the many benefits of using an induction cooker.