Picture this: You've just installed a gleaming, shiny new electric stovetop. Or, you've recently moved into a place that has one. Your new appliance comes complete with integrated heating, which is more efficient than gas and provides an even temperature, so you're beyond excited to start using it. But then you remember that you just invested in a beloved set of Le Creuset pans — and anyone who is familiar with the brand's offerings knows that these pieces are pretty heavy. Needless to say, that revelation leads you to the important question: Can I use cast iron on an electric stovetop?
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The Answer Is: Yes, You Can — With Lots of Care
Believe it or not, that hefty cast iron cookware can be used on gas and electric stoves alike. Since the coils on an electric stove can get very toasty, cast iron is a good fit because it excels at holding heat.
But be forewarned that you'll need to bring some extra TLC to your cooking if you're combining cast iron cookware and an electric stove.
Tips and Tricks For Using Cast Iron On an Electric Stove
To avoid damaging your spanking-new electric cooktop, here are some helpful do's and don'ts.
- Don't shake your pan around to sauté the food — this is pretty much a guaranteed way to scratch your stovetop.
- Do pick up the pan instead of sliding or shaking it.
- Do put it down gently when you need to move it.
- Do look over the bottoms of your cast iron pots and pans regularly to make sure they're totally flat — little nicks and dents can develop over time and are sure ways to harm your cooktop.
- Do wash the bottom of each pan vigorously after use to remove oils or any stuck-on residue — if you leave it, the next time you use it, it could damage your stove. In fact, one sure way to confirm that the bottom is clean is to always wash it before using, which further guarantees that every bit of residue has been removed.
It's generally thought that flat-bottom cookware ranging from copper to stainless steel to aluminum is best for electric stovetops, but oftentimes, cast iron on an electric stove is also included in that list. Even though it'll take some additional thought and care, cast iron pans do come with many benefits — they are tough and durable, retain heat amazingly well, and when seasoned regularly, the natural finish is nonstick.
If you have an electric stovetop and you want to keep using your treasured cast iron pans, we say go for it.