Have you discovered the wonders of a cast iron pan and immediately fell in love with its versatility?
With its help, you’ve made several of the most delectable meals that your family and friends still compliment you to this day.
But now that your kitchen has upgraded to an induction cooktop, you wonder: is cast iron good for induction cooking?
While a cast iron pan consists of materials built to last, you’re not sure if it’s compatible with heating up on an induction cooktop.
So how well does cast iron work on induction cooktops if you try to use it? To find out more about its usability, read more below.
What is cast iron cookware?
A cast iron pan is a mixture of melted steel and iron that’s molded into one of the most durable skillets in the world. It’s known for retaining heat well, so it’s excellent for searing and pan-roasting meat and vegetables.
When seasoned correctly, a cast iron pan turns into a non-stick surface, so you can saute, fry, or bake even the most delicate ingredients, and they’ll still come out perfectly.
With proper care and maintenance, a single pan will last you years. That’s why it found its way back into people’s kitchens.
But the greatest thing about these pans is you don’t need to buy one that’s expensive, as long as it comes from a reputable brand.
If you can’t get ahold of a brand new piece, you can even scour yard sales or thrift stores to see if they have vintage versions available.
Does cast iron work on an induction stove?
As you know, an induction cooktop works by using electromagnetic energy to heat your pans and cook your food.
It does this through a copper coil that’s hidden underneath its surface, so you’ll need induction-compatible cookware for it to work properly.
So can cast iron be used on an induction cooktop?
The short answer is yes. Since cast iron pans contain magnetic iron, they’re perfect to use on an induction cooktop.
Since it’s a great heat retainer, cooking will be more efficient compared to using other types of pans. You just need to preheat your cast iron skillet beforehand to prevent any cold spots.
Does enameled cast iron work on induction?
An enameled cast iron is a modern version of a cast iron skillet as it has a glass-like enamel coating that serves as additional protection against corrosion. It makes its surface smoother and allows the cookware to come in various colors.
Since its core material is cast iron, it’s also great to use on an induction cooktop.
A Dutch oven is one example of an enameled cast iron, and home cooks love to use them for slow cooking dishes as they retain heat well.
The only downside to using an enamel cast iron is it doesn’t have a non-stick surface, so you’ll need to add a moderate amount of fat or oil when frying.
Will cast iron scratch an induction cooktop?
A disadvantage of using cast iron cookware on induction cooktops is it has a high chance of scratching its glass surface because of the pan’s rough and porous exterior.
So if you tend to slide your pots and pans around when cooking, cast iron can leave scrapes that won’t look good on your cooktop.
You may still be able to remove lighter scratches, but deeper marks are permanent, so you need to be careful when using them.
Breaking the glass can also be a possibility since cast iron consists of heavy-duty materials, so you need to be cautious when placing your pans to avoid any accidents.
How to protect induction cooktop from cast iron?
One way to protect your induction cooktop from scratches is to avoid sliding your cast iron pans around when cooking. This will eliminate the risk of creating any marks, so make sure to keep it in place as much as possible.
If you need to transfer the pan to another burner, remember to lift it and gently put it down to avoid any mishaps.
Laying a cloth or paper towel over the glass surface can also add an extra layer of protection against any scratches. Catching spills and splatters while cooking is also a bonus, so you’ll have less to clean up later.
You don’t have to worry about the cloth or paper towel as a fire hazard since they won’t absorb the heat, and your induction cooktop doesn’t use any exposed flames.
If you want, you can also invest in an induction cooktop mat, so you don’t have to replace the paper towels every time you cook.
How to use cast iron on induction cooktop
Now that you know what you should look out for when using a cast iron pan on an induction cooktop, how should you start cooking with it?
After laying a paper towel or induction mat over your cooktop, it’s essential to let your cast iron pan pre-heat for a few minutes before you start cooking. Since it’s notorious for absorbing heat unevenly, this will prevent any cold spots so your food can cook at a consistent temperature.
But since an induction cooktop tends to heat up faster than a regular stovetop, you need to make sure your cast iron doesn’t get too hot to prevent it from ruining its seasoning.
Once your skillet is suitably hot, that’s when you start cooking.
Lastly, don’t forget to put a pot holder nearby since its handle also gets hot as it’s made of metal.
Is Le Creuset cast iron induction-ready?
Le Creuset is a cookware brand that’s known for its brightly colored enameled cast iron pans and Dutch ovens that revolutionized kitchenware in 1925.
Since then, they’ve expanded to bakeware, dinnerware, and cutlery while still maintaining their high standards of quality and iconic colors.
A Le Creuset enameled cast iron can be pricey, so some seasoned home cooks may consider it a badge of honor if you have the chance to get one.
Their cast iron cookware is suitable to use on several cooktops, including an induction. So the same rules of cooking will apply if you plan to get a Le Creuset cast iron.
Does Lodge cast iron work on induction cooktop?
Lodge is another big-name brand when it comes to durable cookware. They’re known for their cast iron pans since they’ve been manufacturing them since 1896.
Now, they have an extensive selection of Dutch ovens, griddles, casseroles, kitchen accessories, and cookbooks, so you can have a complete cooking experience in one brand.
Since Lodge allows you the option of choosing between seasoned or enameled cast iron cookware, you can decide which one you’ll need for your kitchen.
Both cast irons are induction-compatible, so considering that they’re more affordable, you can even get one of each if you want to give yourself a little treat.
The bottom line
Cast iron pans may have gone out of the kitchen’s spotlight for a while. But now that more people have rediscovered their durability and versatility, they have slowly found their way back into their cupboards.
But if you have an induction cooktop, using a cast iron will require some extra care to prevent any scratches.
Laying on a paper towel or an induction mat over its glass surface will be enough to keep it from damage.
But if you want to go the extra mile, you can also smoothen the bottom of your cast iron skillet with an iron file to get rid of its gritty texture.