Ceramic (glass) cooktops--Which pots can be used?

We are considering installing a GE electric ceramic cooktop range, but some of the useage instructions have us worried. Our favorite pots are enameled cast iron European pots (Creuset) that work very well on our old electric coil elements stove. We also have some cast iron pots that are not enameled on the bottom but are reasonable smooth.
The instructions say not to use either of these. The ones without enamel bottoms could scratch, and even the enameled ones could heat up too much and trip the heat-control mechanism in the cooktop.
Does anyone have experience with this situation, or advice on whether these pots can be used safely?
I'd hate to have to buy all new pots!
TIA.
Lew
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the only probelm that I have read is that the pots need to be smooth and flat. Smooth is easy to tell flat all you need to do is to take a metal ruler and put it on it's edge many pans will go up in the middle causing poor heat transfer!
This is what it says
What kind of cookware should be used with a ceramic glass smoothtop cooktop? Medium or heavy weight metal cookware; such as stainless steel, aluminum or copper-bottomed pots, are recommended for use with a smoothtop cooktop. Pans with flat, smooth bottom surfaces create the best contact with the glass, and provide the most efficient heating. For best operation, glass, ceramic and cast iron cookware are not recommended.
I am not sure why the cast iron is not recommended? I would contact GE and ask them!
Wayne '

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When we moved to a new house and installed a GE ceramic top range we ran into exactly the same problem. I had looked around for someplace that could glaze the old pots, but was unsuccesful
Our daughter was the beneficiary of the cast iron bottom Creuset pots and we replaced those with the equivalent styles with an enameled bottom. These have been in use for 5 plus years and there are no problems. The Creuset web site says not to slide either style on the top. Easier said than done-some of those pots are pretty heavy especially when filled and you are trying to reach a back burner. The major problem is avoiding scratching the cooktop. A scratch will set up a stress point that may crack the top and those tops are not cheap.
I would think that the smaller lighter pots that you can put down on the surface without sliding would be OK. The biggest feature of a pot on a ceramic top is that the bottom is flat. I think that any of the Creuset pots would meet that requirement.
Charlie
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sandwiched stainless/copper cookware. Most of our cookware is getting old, and none perfectly flat on bottom any longer. A pan with the slightest bulge will give hot spots, to the extent that stuff boiling in water will "sizzle" when the water is drained off. Just recently had a pan lose it's copper layer - came off on the stove :o) I'll take anodyzed aluminum and gas any day :o) Absorbs heat and conducts far better than what I am using now.
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snipped-for-privacy@att.net (Lew) wrote:

I use all the same pots on mine that I did before... Cast iron is the one I use the most, and I've not had any problems. I just make sure that the pot fits the burner. ;-)
And I don't slide my pans.....
K.
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"Katra" wrote in message

Creuset. I've pitched pots which have warped, since the bottoms need to be flush with the burners. I don't slide my pans either, and match the size of the pot to the burner as much as possible. Just use common-sense care and don't crash the pots around.
Dora
Dora
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Exactly... :-)
I tossed most of my warped pots as well, any that were convex on the bottom.
K.
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I have a Dacor smoothtop and have successfully used cast iron and le Creuset for years. I have some scratches but so what? It's a stove, not a museum piece. If the heat control mechanism is tripped, again - so what? It just cycles the element off briefly to keep it from being damaged. The only problems I have had is with pots whose bottoms are way off flat. You do not need perfectly flat bottoms on your pots, but if it is too far off it does not work well.
GE may be different, although I doubt it.
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Peter Aitken

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On 16 May 2004 15:40:25 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@att.net (Lew) wrote:

We've been using enameled Le Creuset and fairly smooth ordinary cast iron Griswold pans on our GE smoothtop for over five years now, with nary a scratch nor any other problem.
-- Larry
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Hi,
A copy from Amana,
Ranges What kind of cookware can I use on a glass smoothtop? Amana does not endorse any particular cookware brand for use on a smoothtop. We do not recommend using any glass, glass-ceramic, enamel-porcelain coated, or cast iron cookware. Small imperfections on the bottom of such cookware can scratch the smoothtop surface. While the surface is not "scratch-proof", it is highly scratch and impact resistant. With proper cooking utensils and care, it will continue looking good through years of use.
The cookware's bottom diameter should closely match the size of the heating element or burner area for the best cooking efficiency. Pots and pans that are too large (extending more than one inch over the sides) may cause cooking times to increase. Pots and pans that are much smaller will result in energy loss and could increase the potential for accidents.
We recommend using heavy-gauge metal cookware that has a smooth, flat bottom. The flatter the bottom surface, the better it will receive heat from the element and conduct heat to the food. Cookware that is warped or curved on the bottom will result in slow heat-up times and may not even boil water. Many brands feature cookware with an aluminum disk on the bottom, which makes good contact with the cooking surface.
To verify if a pan has an absolutely flat bottom, take a ruler with you to the store when you shop. Follow these steps: Place a ruler along the bottom of the pan. Rotate the straight edge a full 360o around the bottom of the pan. Check for flatness in all directions. If you see light or a gap between the ruler and the pan bottom, the pan will not cook efficiently
***********
A copy from Maytag,
Glass-ceramic cooking surfaces feature electric coil elements directly under translucent glass. When the element is turned on, heat is transmitted directly up (not sideways) to the pan. A red glow from the coil element can be seen through the glass. The red glow will cycle on and off as the element cycles to maintain the selected heat setting.
The elements of a glass-ceramic cooking surface will not respond to changes in heat settings as quickly as conventional coil-type elements. Start with a lower heat setting, then gradually increase the setting until the optimum temperature is reached.
The glass-ceramic cooking area retains heat for a period of time after the element has been turned off. Energy can be saved by turning off the element early and finishing the cooking on the retained heat.
For safety reasons, there are "Hot Surface" lights on the cooktop to remind users that one or more of the cooking areas is hot. The light(s) will remain on until the area(s) is cool to touch.
It's a good idea to use special cookware on glass-ceramic cooking surfaces. When the proper cookware is used, cooking times are comparable to a conventional coil cooking surface. To achieve optimum cooking performance, use heavy gauge, flat, smooth bottom, metal pans.
Correct Pan Flatness Using flat bottoms is very important, heat transfers by conduction and if the pan is not flat, heat is not transferred well.
Likewise, the surface has a protective built-in temperature limiter which senses uneven heating. The element will cycle on and off when uneven heating is detected and food will take longer to cook.
To determine if cookware is appropriate for use on a glass-ceramic cooktop, try these simple tests:
Ruler Test Place the edge of a ruler across the bottom of the pan. There should not be any space between the ruler edge and the bottom of the pan. Bubble Test Put an inch of water into the pan. Place the pan on the cooktop and turn the control to high. As the water heats, observe the bubble formation. If the bubbles are uniform across the bottom of the pan, it is suitable for a glass-ceramic cooking surface. Uneven bubble formation indicates poor pan/cooktop contact and hot spots will result. Correct Pan Size Matching the size of the cookware to the cooking area is important for even heating. Cookware should not extend more than 1-inch beyond the indicated cooking zones.
Correct Pan Material Consider the characteristics of the following pan materials:
Aluminum is an excellent heat conductor. Some food will cause it to darken or pit. Anodizing improves stain resistance and hardness. Some aluminum pans cause metal marks on glass-ceramic surfaces. These marks need to be removed promptly to prevent damage. Brand names: Calphalon, Magnalite Professional*. Stainless Steel is a slow heat conductor if used by itself. It will distribute heat very well if other metals (aluminum or copper) are sandwiched between the stainless. Brand names: Jenn-Air, Revere Pro-Line, All-Clad*. Cast Iron is Slow to heat, but cooks very evenly once temperature is reached. Heavy. Needs seasoning to make cleaning easier and to prevent sticking and rusting. Must be very smooth, if used on glass-ceramic cooking surfaces. Porcelain-Enamel is a glass-like substance fused to metal. Heating characteristics depend on base material (usually aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel or cast iron). Must be smooth. Brand name: Club Supra, LeCreuset*. Glass, Ceramic or Glass-Ceramic are slow heat conductors. Easy to clean. Some types may only be used in the oven. Not recommended on glass-ceramic cooktops.
jeff Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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snipped-for-privacy@att.net (Lew) wrote in

I have used almost all types of pots on our glass cooktop, including stainless steel, regular cast iron, Le Creuset enamelled cast (both plain and enamelled bottoms), Pyrex double-boiler,and annodized aluminum. I have avoided using regular aluminum because it is true that aluminum can mark the glass top and the marks can become permanent. The flattest bottoms are a must, houwever, for the best heat conduction.
The only damage I have ever had was not from a pot but from a pyrex casserole dish that fell onto the cooktop from an overhead cabinet. It only left a tiny chip. The chip has never developed a crack.
--
Wayne in Phoenix

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Glass is pretty hard. Pretty much the only thing you have to worry about scratching it is aluminum oxide (aka corundum, aka sapphire, 9 on the Mohs hardness scale), which forms irregularly on the surface of bare aluminum (anodized aluminum is the same, but it's usually really smooth, so as long as you're not dragging heavy pot edges across your stovetop, you should be okay).
If you do anything like stir-frying, I would highly suggest you get something that heats up and cools down quickly, like an Induction cooktop. I bought my wife a Sunpentown "Mr. Induction" (the higher-end one... SR-1881W, with a nonstick pan included), and have since bought several carbon-steel pots, a carbon-steel wok, and a small induction- compatible stainless-clad saucier I bought at Target for $14 (not Kitchenaid, but the cheaper Silverstone blue label).
That said, I've never really scratched my glasstop with any of my pots (mostly anodized aluminum, figuring the darker surface would absorb the radiant heat more efficiently).
Donald
Donald
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Lew wrote:

the heavy aluminum heats more quickly. The only problem with most heavy aluminum pots is that they are not dishwasher safe. I finally bought Analon Titanium. They are non-stick and dishwasher safe. I keep a few heavy enamel covered steel for times when I don't want non-stick.
I am a very happy camper.
Kim
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Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience on glass cooktops. They look really great, but they seem to have quite a few more problems and precautions than do the (ugly old) bare coil elements, and, especially, gas. It seems that we could adjust our cooking procedures to the glass cooktop, but I'm calling a plumber to find out how much a gas supply line to the kitchen will cost. (We have natural gas heat and hot water.)
You've given us much to chew over before we make our final plan.
Thanks again.
Lew
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Lew wrote:

I'm sure there are those who love solid surface cooktops, but I'm not one. When my Club aluminum wore out, I bought an inexpensive set of anodyzed alum. cookware. I love it. It uses less heat and nothing sticks (I didn't get the "non-stick" coating).
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On 18 May 2004 06:36:42 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@att.net (Lew) wrote:

I really prefer gas, because you can look at the flame and know whether it's right or not. Plus, any change you make is almost instant. I find cooking on electric burners very frustrating, but I'm assured by those who have changed over that it can be learned fairly quickly.
If you decide to get a gas cooktop, be sure to consider the ones that have different sized burners. The cooktop in my new house, a 36-in. gas GE cooktop with five burners, has three burner sizes. These are simmer (small), regular, and extra hot (large). I haven't unpacked the manual, so I can't tell you the BTUs of each, but I can tell you the large burner boils water for pasta very quickly and the small burners do a good job simmering the sauce.
There's one really annoying thing about the GE, though. It has the piezo pilot lights and the dial positions for using them are marked "LITE", not "LIGHT". This peeves me every time I see it, as I think it cheapens my cooktop.
Mary
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Mary Shafer Retired aerospace research engineer
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(Lew) wrote:

I wonder why they don't make a gas cooktop with burners that have more than one burner ring? If you had a couple of burners with 2-3 progressively larger concentric burner rings,you could have more flexibility as to size of pot that can be used on each position.Probably cost,although I think for a premium stove,the extra cost would not be that great.
Comments welcome,but be nice. :-)
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wrote:

We have a 3 year old Maytag with 5 burner rings, Four are regular and on is a warmer. One burner, front left, does have dual rings. While I have no specific evidence, we believe that when the burner is set to "Large" the inner burner does not get as hot as the outer one.
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