The glass-ceramic range is a fascinating and attractive option for your cooktop. While different manufacturers might refer to these cooktops as either glass or ceramic, they are actually a blend of both. This yields the expandability of ceramics and the impermeability of glass. They are much easier to clean than other types of ranges. But despite being a great option for your cooktop, they also have some faults that become more troublesome when inappropriate cooking utensils are used.
Warped Pots and Pans are Less Effective on a Glass-ceramic Range
Sometimes you may find that your glass-ceramic range performs in an unpredictable way. Often your food is cooked to perfection; other times it is ruined. More often than not, this is because some of your pots and pans are flat, while others are warped or dented. This type of range is particularly sensitive to misshapen cookware. This is because it transfers heat only by conducting it from the flat surface to the cookware. Only a small part of a warped pot or pan will be in direct contact with the surface, so most of the heat will be channeled into a small area, burning one portion of the food and undercooking the rest. Additionally, water will take a long time to boil. Keep in mind that a thin and flimsy cooking utensil will likely warp in time even if it is flat now, so try to purchase thick and sturdy utensils.
To test whether your cookware is flat, set a straight edge along the bottom of your pot or pan. If you can see light between the straight edge and the cookware, or if the straight edge rocks, then your pot or pan is warped. Another way to make this determination is to fill the pot or pan with shallow water. Lightly boil it and make sure that bubbles form uniformly all across the bottom. In the end, it may be necessary to replace your pots and pans.
Cookware Fashioned from the Right Materials is More Gentle to Your Cooktop
Another disappointment that you might experience is that your cooktop’s surface can become increasingly damaged. Although they have an elegant design, glass-ceramic ranges are more vulnerable than other models. Cooking utensils, knives, or even jewelry can scratch the surface. Food that spills out of or clings to the bottom of cookware can burn the cooktop. Worse, the glass-ceramic can crack if something heavy crashes onto it, presenting an electric shock hazard, not to mention a very expensive repair. The good news is that using pots and pans comprised of the right materials will do less damage to your range.
The best material for this purpose is stainless steel. Stainless steel pots and pans distribute heat evenly and retain their flat shape well. On the other hand, stainless steel cookware takes more skill to cook with as it must be preheated to prevent food from sticking to it. Also be aware that stainless steel cookware is expensive.
A cast iron utensil with an enameled bottom is another good option that is more affordable. The trouble with cast iron is that the rough bottom can make small, unseen scratches on the glass-ceramic. These irremovable abrasions build up over time and create a cloudy, porous surface that cannot be cleaned properly. An enamel coating is necessary at the base to protect your cooktop.
Some types of cookware that distribute heat well are nevertheless questionable choices for your glass-ceramic range. For example, hard anodized cookware is made from aluminum and hardened with electricity and chemicals. While they are tough and cook consistently, they will sometimes leave dark skid marks when glided across the flat surface. Another such material to consider avoiding is porcelain enamel. Not only can it scratch your cooktop, but at very high temperatures it can actually fuse to it!
Avoid copper and glass cookware. Utensils consisting of these materials leave marks and do not heat evenly. Containers wrapped in foil deposit metallic shreds that stick to the surface. Obviously some plastic cookware will just melt all over the place.
Satisfactory performance of your glass-ceramic range is largely dependent on your knowledge of how different cookware will interact with it. Once your cooking utensils are appropriate for your cooking surface, your level of cooking expertise will seem to go up a notch or two.