You can use a cast iron pan on an electric stove, or gas stove. So whatever you choose, it’s your prerequisite. Cast iron is versatile, so you can also use it over campfires or in the oven to heat or prepare other foods such as cakes.
Cast iron pans are heavier than the other non-stick cookware you can think of. And because of this, they take a bit longer to heat up. Additionally, this type of cookware will also take longer to cool as compared to the other non-stick cookware. Bearing that in mind, you will be slowed down if you are cooking on a cast iron pan.
Now, because most people will not want to wait for the cast iron pan to heat normally, they will increase the heat, so that it can heat faster. However, the challenge with this is that you will not be able to maintain such a high temperature when it reaches the maximum temperature.
It doesn’t matter whether you will reduce the heat on the cast iron pan. Once the pan is hot, it will not adjust to a lower temperature even if you reduce the heat. Because of this, most people will struggle to use the cast iron pan, or even worse, get frustrated using this cookware.
However, once you get the hang of how a cast iron works and how you can maximize its full potential, there’s no doubt you will love it. It will become part and parcel of your cooking activities in the kitchen. You will use it for cooking a variety of delicacies – from pork chops to baking cakes and bread for your loved ones.
In this post, we will walk you through how to use a cast iron, what you need to know before using a cast iron and many other things you might want to know about this precious cookware.
Table of Contents
- 1 Things to Keep in Mind When You Use a Cast Iron Pan
- 2 Can You Use Cast Iron on a Glass Cooktop?
Things to Keep in Mind When You Use a Cast Iron Pan
You can easily cook food using a cast iron pan on an electric stove. In this section, we will walk you through some of the essentials you need to know when buying and using your cast iron pan. Let’s dive right into it.
1. Don’t Purchase Many Pans
We already mentioned that cast iron pans are versatile and can be used for many purposes in the kitchen. To be precise, you can use cast iron pans for boiling food, frying your favorite fries, searing, cooking normal delicacies, or reheating food.
These pans are no doubted multi-purpose and can serve you for various purposes. However, don’t go crazy and buy too many of them just because they can do a variety of tasks. Just get one and use it until you need a replacement. Honestly, there’s no point in buying more.
This cookware features a sensitive surface like in non-stick pans, and you can, therefore, use them at high temperatures. But as we said earlier, these pans will get hot and can take much longer to cool down. Therefore, don’t get impatient and increase the heat drastically.
2. Lighter Weight Cast Iron Pans Would be Better
Cast iron pans are much heavier, and that is the reason why they take too much time to heat up. They are also too heavy to carry, and you might sprain your wrist when you lift the pan using one hand.
That said, look for a much lighter cast iron pan when you are looking forward to purchasing a new cast iron pan. It will not just be easy to carry, but it will also heat up faster, thus reducing your cooking time.
3. Use Healthy Fats On an Iron Cast Pan
Before you start to cook on your cast iron pan, you will have to season it to prevent Food from sticking to it. Once you have seasoned your cast iron pan, you need to use healthy fats to help you better cook your Food and add flavor to it.
Using healthy fats, such as coconut oil, ghee, olive oil and organic butter to help grease your cast iron pan. Either of the healthy oils you have used will prevent Food from sticking to the surface of your cast iron pan. Additionally, these fats will help you cook your food more evenly.
4. Use Metals or Wooden Utensils to Stir Food
Cast iron pans will get very hot as you cook, and they will take a longer time to cool. For this reason, it is recommended that you use metal or wooden utensils to stir Food when cooking on a cast iron pan.
You might melt your plastic utensils if you use them to stir food on your cast iron cookware. Even worse, plastic spoons can leach into your food, and this might not be good for your health.
Unlike other non-stick cookware, you can use stainless steel utensils to stir Food when cooking. And never fret about your cookware surface getting scratched.
5. Dry Your Cast Iron Pan on a Stove
Moisture will cause rusting on an iron pan, so leaving your cast iron pan wet is not a good idea. Before you store your cast iron pan, it would help if you first placed it on a stove to let it dry.
Don’t use a towel to dry your cast iron pan because you might end up staining the towel. Heating your cast iron pan doesn’t have to take too long; three to five minutes will be fine. Once it is dry, please store in a cool, dry place to prevent it from contracting cold, which could lead to rusting.
6. Don’t Wash Rigorously
It will be a good idea if you can leave a little bit of oil on the surface of your cast iron pan. It won’t be a good idea to wash your cast iron pan with soap because soap will not wash away all the oils.
Leaving your cast iron pan helps it to maintain the non-stick feature and prevents it from rusting, too. Finally, don’t scrub your cast iron pan too rigorously because this can make it too sticky, causing Food to stick to the surface of your pan.
7. Clean it By Heating
It is recommended that you don’t scrub your cast iron pan to make it clean. Instead, heat it over a source of heat to remove debris. Doing this is straightforward. Start by pouring some water on your cast iron pan then heat it over a source of heat then clean the residue using a wooden spatula.
Cleaning your cast iron pan when it is warm makes it easier to remove all the debris, and prevents food from sticking on the surface of the pan when you are cooking Food next time.
Can You Use Cast Iron on a Glass Cooktop?
No, you can’t. If the cookware has a burred or rough speck, it’s likely to scratch the glass surface. In addition to damaging the glass, cast iron is a poor conductor of heat. If you’re using cast iron cookware without a porcelain enamel finish, a lot of caution is recommended, as this could damage the glass cooktop.
Glass stovetops are often appealing: they exhibit a modern design with a smooth sheen. While they seem easier to use, glass cooktops are more demanding than traditional coil tops. So to cut it to the chase, cast iron cookware aren’t ideal for glass top stoves.
Even though cast iron cookware is a reputable brand for sturdiness and reliability, it can stain, scratch, or warp the top of your oven. This is a primary concern that needs to be addressed whenever you’re using cast iron cookware on glass cooktops.
Fortunately, there are a few hacks you can try to protect your glass top stove from cast iron cookware. So, read on for more information.
Things to Keep in Mind When Using Cast Iron Pan on a Glass Top Stove
Before we dive into the particulars of protecting your glass cooktop from cast iron, let’s take a look at some of the basics of using iron cast cookware near glass stoves. These are the measures worth keeping if you intend to use iron cast cookware on a glass top stove for a lifetime.
1. Wash Before Heating
While most users tend to overlook this hack, it will help if you thoroughly wash your cast iron cookware before you start cooking. Often, residue (oil) will accumulate at the bottom of your cookware with continuous cooking and carbonize once it’s placed on heat.
As a result, black stains will be left on the glass stovetop, which is something you wouldn’t want to happen to the sheen of your glass stove.
Most importantly, remove the cookware from the glass stove once you’re done with the cooking. It will also help if you wipe off the glass surface to prevent food debris from building up.
2. Heat the Cookware for Before you Start Cooking
Since glass is a poor conductor of heat, it will take a little longer to warm up. Similarly, cast iron cookware will take longer to heat up on a glass stove than it would on a typical gas stove.
As such, you’ll have to cook for quite longer when using cast iron cookware. For this reason, you’ll need to heat the cookware on low heat before you begin cooking. You can adjust the heat to medium or medium-high once you’re ready to cook.
Doing this will ensure even distribution of heat throughout the cooking process. Not only that, but it will also allow you to cook as per your needs for the best results.
3. Take Precautions as You Use Cookware on the Stovetop
Cast iron cookware is often bulky, and as such, the material could be slightly harsh on your glass cooktop.
Therefore, it would help if you’re extra careful when handling cast iron cookware on your glass stove. Avoid banging or sliding cookware over the glass surface as it can potentially damage the glass stove.
As a rule of thumb, wear oven mitts when handling cookware that is extremely hot to avoid dropping off. This will also come in handy for cookware with rough edges that require you to be extra careful.
4. Prevent Damage By Using a Heat Diffuser
This is one of the most recommended ways when you want to avoid damage to your cast iron pan. But what is a heat diffuser?
A heat diffuser is a utensil which helps with the even distribution of heat when you place it on your stove. In other words, a heat diffuser acts as a buffer between your cast iron pan and the stove.
Heat diffusers will help protect your glass stovetop from heavy and rough items, such as your cast iron cookware. The best of all is that you can find heat diffusers in many stores.
And using a heat diffuser is pretty much straightforward. All you have to do is to place it over any element, then place your cast iron pan or any other cookware over it. The next step is to heat to a moderate temperature.
Using a higher temperature might expose you to the risk of damaging the surface of your stove, as well as the heating device.
And because a cast iron pan is usually heavy, place it on the heat diffuser carefully. Finally, please do not place a heat diffuser over a source of heat without cookware on it. Additionally, the cast iron pan must also have food in it.