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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 Cookware is Suitable for Induction Cooking?
- What's Great About Induction Cooktops
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.
Some people use a paper towel, parchment paper or a thin flexible silicone baking mat to protect the glass. 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."
Another practical suggestion is to move or 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.
The third approach is to make sure the bottom of the cast iron skillet is smooth.
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.
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 very 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.
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. There are so many benefits to using an induction cooker and being able to use cast iron skillets is one of them.
Perhaps you've decided induction cooking is not a good fit for you, then you might consider countertop toaster ovens. Cast iron pans can certainly be used with them.
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