Glass cook tops

Cookware Manufacturers Association


I certainly understand the popularity of glass cook tops.  My mother spent countless hours cleaning her beloved range (in a chocolate brown color no less) and wrapping the drip trays with aluminum foil.  She would have loved a smooth glass cook top had she lived long enough to see them on the market.  As it was she pulled out a perfectly fine gas cook stove (stainless no less) when my parents moved into the last house they lived in to put her brown stove into use.

That said, I get a lot of questions from consumers asking about cookware for use on glass cook tops.  What happens is this:  a new cook top is either purchased, or the consumer moves to a new home with a glass top already installed.  They put their traditional cookware on top of the perfectly flat glass surface and find that it is unstable…i.e. the pan is either convex or concave such that it spins.  This is obviously disconcerting and sometimes leads to a consumer blaming the cookware for the problem.

That’s really unfair to the manufacturer.  In fact some cookware is designed so that when it expands it flattens out, so that in a  “cold state” is appears to be somehow warped or mal-designed.

While I can’t argue with the advantages of cleaning a smooth cook top, or its sleek appearance in a modern kitchen,  there are some disadvantages to their use.  First, one may need new cookware in order to get a stable pan that doesn’t wobble on the surface. Finding  inexpensive, yet absolutely flat pans which will stay that way throughout their life, can be a challenge.   In light colors, the tops can stain, particularly by tomato-based sauces.  If you (oops) accidentally boil dry a pan that has a colored bottom it can fuse with the cook top requiring a non-warranty replacement costing several hundred dollars. While durable and sturdy, the glass tops can break. (Be careful in using heavy cast iron pieces over the top).

Here’s a link to additional information about cookware and glass cook tops: