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!
the only probelm that I have read is that the pots need to be smooth and
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
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!
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
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
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.
We have a solid surface, old JennAire. I hate it. Also hate the
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.
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.....
I use all my same pots, too, including cast iron frypans and unenameled Le
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.
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.
Remove the crap from my email address before using.
A copy from Amana,
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:
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,
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
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
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
Glass, Ceramic or Glass-Ceramic are slow heat conductors. Easy to
clean. Some types may only be used in the oven. Not recommended on
Appliance Repair Aid
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
Big on natural foods?? 82.38% of people die of "natural" causes.
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).
I have used stainless steel (my old pots) and heavy aluminum. By far,
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.
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.
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).
On 18 May 2004 06:36:42 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (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
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 Shafer Retired aerospace research engineer
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. :-)
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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