Do you love to cook new recipes? Have you finally found the cooktop of your dreams? Don’t turn those burners on just yet — you need the right cookware first!
Whether you’re a cooking pro or are always on task cooking the family meals, having the right cookware makes all the difference. And deciding which pots and pans are best comes down to which type of cooktop you have: a smooth top cooktop, an induction cooktop, or a gas cooktop.
Smooth, Like Glass
An electric smooth-top cooktop contains radiant elements underneath a glass or ceramic surface. Since glass and ceramic are delicate materials, you have to be careful about which cookware to use.
Now, if you’re a cast-iron lover, you’re in for some not-so-good news. Cast iron is incredibly heavy and can easily crack and scratch your cooktop surface. And because cast-iron pans aren’t perfectly flat, your skillet will take longer to heat and can shorten the life of your burner due to the trapped heat underneath.
So, what cookware can you use?
- Lighter cookware is ideal
- Flat-bottomed pots and pans for even heat distribution.
- Non-stick ceramic or stainless-steel cookware will work great!
- Porcelain enamel-coated cast iron (make sure to keep bottom clean of oil & avoid sliding it around your cooktop!).
Pro Tip: To get the best cooking results, make sure your pot or pan isn’t bigger than your selected burner by more than an inch. And make sure to keep the bottoms of your pots and pans clean from grease to prevent stains on your cooktop!
An induction cooktop is very similar to a smooth top — they both have glass surfaces. But what makes induction different is the heating source: electromagnetic coils.
What does that mean for you? You have to use magnetic cookware for your cooktop to heat up. Induction cooktops only heat up when compatible cookware is in use, so you need to find pots and pans with ferrous metals (i.e., metals with iron).
Cookware that is compatible with induction cooktops includes:
- Cast iron (be careful of scratching the surface!)
- Enameled cast iron,
- Magnetic stainless steel, or
- Black iron
- Ferrous metals with porcelain enamel coating
- Fully-clad cookware
Pro Tip: Try the magnet test to determine if your cookware will work. If you hold a magnet to the bottom of your cookware and it clings, it’s compatible! But if it only grabs softly, it won’t be a right fit.
Get Cooking with Gas
Gas cooktops use either natural gas or liquid propane to heat and have grates (either continuous or segmented) to place your cookware on. These grates make it easy to find compatible cookware — all you need is cookware that distributes heat evenly and responds quickly to temperature changes.
Ideal cookware includes:
- Stainless steel with aluminum or copper layers
- Enameled induction cookware
The cookware you should not use is ones with a thin base steel layer or ones with a magnetic or non-stick coating on the outside of the pans. These may produce harmful and toxic fumes so double-check your cookware! Also, keep in mind that ceramic can crack with high heat, making the heating process less efficient.
Pro Tip: Check the cookware instructions or materials before you buy! Some will tell you if they are compatible with gas stoves.
Are You Ready for an Upgrade?
There are so many things to consider when cooking your favorite meals, from the right cookware to which ingredients to buy. But the one thing you shouldn’t have to sweat is your cooktop!
So, if you’re burners keep quitting on you, or if it keeps making weird noises, it’s more than time for an upgrade — just don’t forget to keep your cookware in mind! At Doug's Maytag Home Appliance Center, you’ll find the cooktop, rangetop, or range that’ll satisfy all your cooking dreams. Have any questions? Give us a call! Our knowledgeable staff will help with what you need.