There are many claims about possible risks of with a cast iron skillet on a flat/glass top electric range:

  1. the glass top can break if one is not careful;
  2. the glass can be scratched;
  3. the glass top can melt;
  4. the skillet can be prone to hot spots, producing uneven cooking; and
  5. the hot spots can cause damage to the skillet itself.

This topic has been discussed before on cooking.sx (perhaps this question should be cross-listed over there too?), but that thread didn't cite any sources and, well, I am a skeptic. Also, that thread did not address the possibility of damage to the skillet (claim #5 above).

I think claims 1 and 2 are reasonable given the coarse texture and heavy weight of some cast iron skillets, however, this answer seems to refute them. Claim 3 seems unlikely. Claims 4 and 5 seem to be open questions.

I'm interested because I used to live in an apartment with a glass-top electric range and I sometimes used a cast iron skillet on it. I was diligent about avoiding sliding any pots/pans on the surface of the glass, not only my cast iron skillet. The glass surface did develop some minor scratches on the surface, so I am wondering if that was due to my infrequent use of a cast iron skillet.

Are there any studies that document possible risks in using a cast-iron skillet on a glass-top electric range?

  • I've focused the question, hopefully without distorting it, so we avoid mere speculation :-)
    – Sklivvz
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:04


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