Table of Contents

  • An overview of stovetop options
  • How do smooth-top cooktops work?
  • Glass stovetops care rules
  • Why do some stove manufacturers warn against cast iron?
  • Yes, you can use cast iron on glass cooktops.
  • How to choose the best cast iron skillet for a glass stovetop?
  • Why Field Skillets are perfect for glass stove tops
  • Cooking with cast iron on glass cooktops
  • Taking care of your glass stove top
  • Steps for a deep clean

Glass cooktops appeal to many homeowners—they’re sleek and easy to clean. These surfaces can often be installed on kitchen islands or are available as cooktop options on conventional stoves. But sometimes glass top stove owners hear mentions of “cast iron” and want to make a run for it. Just because you’ve opted for that shiny glass surface doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the versatility and flavor of cooking with cast iron.

But there are a few rules and facts to consider before we bust this cast iron stove top myth.

An overview of stovetop options

Whether you’re picking out a new stove or cooktop for your home, or have simply inherited a stove top in your rental, the style will fall into one of two main options for heat sources: gas or electric.

Within the electric options there are several types of cooktops including:

Electric coil
Solid disk
Smooth-top: Glass, ceramic, or ceramic-glass cooktops

On many of these types of cooktops, cooking with cast iron on electric stoves doesn’t raise any concerns. But smooth-top electric cooktops require specific care and maintenance to protect their surfaces.

How do smooth-top cooktops work?

Smooth-top stoves and cooktops use a flat surface over the heating elements made from glass, ceramic, or a combination of glass and ceramic. Below the surface are electric, metal coils which heat the glass through radiant heat. That heat is then transferred to the cooking vessel, leaving the rest of the stovetop fairly cool in comparison to traditional stoves.

Unlike the common electric coil cooktops or even the grates on a gas cooktop, smooth-tops are just that—smooth. There are no grates to remove or coils to unplug should a vegetable fall out of your pan while cooking.

Since their introduction in the 1970s they have been a popular choice for modern kitchens. But that shiny surface comes with unique care rules that can spook at home cooks.

Glass stovetops care rules

Most manuals for glass top stoves warn owners about scratching that pristine surface with rough materials or harsh cleansers. There are also warnings about dropping heavy objects onto the surface because, well, it’s made of glass.

Should you drop a stainless steel skillet or an appliance like a food processor, on the surface, the same risks apply. These warnings aren’t exclusive to cast iron cookware.

Why do some stove manufacturers warn against cast iron?

Traditionally, cast iron is heavy due to the ways modern foundries adopted manufacturing to mass-produce cast iron. In comparison to teflon or stainless steel cookware, the weight difference is usually obvious. Setting down a heavy cast iron pan roughly, is less than ideal for glass. And typically, cast iron cookware has a rough base that could cause scratches.

Also, because cast iron needs to be seasoned, sometimes excess oils can sit on the exterior of the pan which can get trapped between the base and the glass, then burn.

But many of these risks are similar to problems that could arise with other cookware.

While some may call them rebels, there are plenty of at home cooks who continue to use cast iron on their glass stovetops, but they know, not all cast iron is the perfect fit for that smooth, cooking surface. They also know the best tips and tricks to “break the rules” without worrying, which we’ll share with you here.

Yes, you can use cast iron on glass cooktops.

Just because you have a smooth, glass cooktop doesn’t mean you have to end your affinity for cast iron. So can you use cast iron on a glass top stove? Yes, but carefully.

And here’s an important distinction: Not every skillet out there will be the best cast iron cook stove pick.

The cardinal rule is to select your cast iron cookware purposefully. If that skillet was built for a campfire, or is a family hand-me-down in rough shape, it’s not the right choice for pristine surfaces prone to scratches.

How to choose the best cast iron skillet for a glass stovetop?

When shopping for a cast iron skillet to use on your glass cooktop, keep three factors in mind:
1. Weight
2. Smooth base surface
3. Size


Glass stove tops specifically require cookware to have flat bottoms for even heat distribution. And while they are not as delicate as a drinking glass by any means, dropping a heavy pot on a glass stove top could potentially crack the surface.

For any cookware used on glass stovetops, manufacturers warn against using pots and pans that are much larger than the burner. The same applies for any cast iron skillets.

Look for cast iron skillets that are lighter than heavy-duty options and without rough spots on the base surface. When trying to choose between size options, look for options that are no more than one inch larger than the burners on your stove top.

Why Field Skillets are perfect for glass stove tops

Brothers Stephen and Chris Muscarella, the creators of The Field Skillet, noticed their grandmother’s vintage cast iron pans, dating back to the 1930s, were lighter and better to cook on than modern cast iron counterparts.

So they started to research why.

That’s how they discovered a significant difference in how foundries poured iron today compared to the past. Most cast iron options were suffering from the inability to pour iron as thin as foundries could back in the ‘30s.

What did that mean for you and cast iron devotees like Stephen and Chris? At one point there were less lightweight cast iron options available for purchase.

Science and collaboration lead these innovative brothers to create their own skillets using iron castings made by hand. The result was a thinner iron pour and a lighter pan.

Their next mission: Finding the best way to smooth down the surface that didn’t sacrifice seasoning and performance. They found through many tests, that electrolysis tanks provided an impressively smooth surface. The bottom of The Field Skillet is where you can feel how the smooth texture is less likely to cause scratches, making these skillets an excellent choice for glass cooktops and induction stoves.

The Field Skillet was designed to solve the two biggest pitfalls to cast iron: the weight and the rough surface—the same main reasons glass stove tops and cast iron didn’t work well together in the past. Cast iron skillets inspired by the quality and workmanship of the past, but made for cooking today on any surface.

Within the range of sizes available from Field Company are skillets starting as small as the No.6 (8⅜”) up to the No.12 (13⅜”). Finding the right size for your element of choice should be easy.

Cooking with cast iron on glass cooktops

You’ve selected your skillet...what’s next? There are some steps and tools to consider before you turn up the heat to ensure you maintain a happy relationship between your cast iron and that glass surface.

The tools you’ll need:

For the skillet:
Paper towel Natural fiber cleaning brush or chain mail scrubber
Warm water
A gentle, eco-friendly soap free of harsh ingredients

Steps for cooking

If you’ve cooked on glass stove tops before, a lot of the steps below will be familiar. But we have included some specific tips for your cast iron cookware.


Clean the base. Make sure the base of the skillet is free of excess oils or debris. Either wipe with a paper towel or clean more thoroughly using The Field Method. Dry well.


Heat slowly. Let the cast iron warm on a lower heat, then raise the temperature.


Be patient. Are you used to cooking with gas? Remember, electric cooktops of all kinds, including glass and other smooth surfaces can take longer to reach higher temperatures.


Do NOT shuffle or slide! This is probably the most important rule. Sliding increases your chances of causing scratches on the glass surface with any cookware, but especially cast iron. If you need to adjust the cast iron skillet, lift it and set it down gently.


Cook and enjoy. Sear, sauté, roast. It’s up to you. With a little know-how, you’ll be able to use your cast iron skillet on your glass stove top without harming the surface.

Taking care of your glass stove top

Here’s what you’ll need for daily quick cleans and a thorough, monthly clean of your glass cooktop.

Cleaning tools

For a quick glass stove top clean: Non-abrasive sponge (think soft and squishy—no scrubby side)
Microfiber towel

For a deep glass stove top clean: Hot water and dish soap
Non-abrasive sponge
Baking soda
Microfiber cloth
Large bowl or a sink

Steps for a quick clean

Did you only create a few spills while cooking? These cleaning tips should keep that surface gleaming. Think of this quick clean as your daily go-to.


Let the stove cool. Have you ever tried cleaning with a melted sponge? Not a fun experience.


Wipe clean. Use a damp, non-abrasive sponge to wipe away spills. Don’t wait too long after the stove has cooled to clean, or spills can be trickier to remove (see deep clean steps below).


Buff dry. Use a microfiber cloth to remove remaining moisture and get the surface shiny.

Steps for a deep clean

This is a great way to remove stuck on messes or to just give the surface of your glass stovetop a thorough scrub and shine. Upkeep is key with glass cooktops because debris can get trapped under cookware and cause scratches. Left-on spills can also cause permanent discoloration.


Let the stove cool. Ensure every element is turned off and stove top is cool to the touch.


Fill a bowl or part of your sink with hot water. Add some dish soap and throw in a few rags—you’ll need enough rags or tea towels that when spread out the cloth can cover the surface of the stove.


Cover the stove top in baking soda. It doesn’t have to look like a snowy mountainside, but you want a nice, even coating. Baking soda is a gentle option opposed to abrasive cleaners and can help lift up messes.


Put your gloves on. Wring out excess water from the rags, you want them wet but not sopping and dripping.


Spread rags across the stove. The dampness of the rags will help the baking soda work its magic on spills and general stovetop gunk.


Let sit for at least 15 minutes. Take a minute to evaluate how much TLC your stove top needs. You can let this sit overnight but you may have to add more water to your towels, they need to stay damp to help the baking soda work on stains. For most cleanups, 15 minutes is perfect.


Remove most of the rags. Use one of the rags to wipe up all the baking soda.


Scrub. The baking soda will have done a lot of the elbow-grease for you by this point. Grab your non-abrasive sponge and get it damp, then scrub any remaining splatters or spills.


Wipe. Wet the sponge again for another wipe down, to remove any of the junk you successfully scrubbed away.


Buff and shine! Use a microfiber cloth to remove any remaining moisture and make the glass sparkle.

If you love to cook no one is going to be able to get you to break up with cast iron, not even your stove. That seasoning and patina are badges of honour that reward you and your food the more you use your skillet. With some of the tips and tricks above, you’ll know exactly what to look for when selecting a cast iron skillet for your glass cooktop and how to clean up afterward. Though the rules are a little different, once you learn them, you can still enjoy the versatility and performance of cast iron on modern cooktops.