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Cast Iron Cooking on Induction: A Symphony of Tradition and Innovation

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chicken grilled on a cast iron pan and induction cooktop

In the realm of culinary artistry, the fusion of classic and contemporary techniques often yields exceptional results. Cooking with cast iron on an induction cooktop is a testament to this synergy, harmonizing the rustic charm of cast iron with the precise control of induction technology. The even heat distribution of cast iron ensures consistent cooking results, while the induction cooktop’s ability to quickly adjust temperatures empowers you to fine-tune your dishes effortlessly. As a Chef, I have found this culinary duo to be a source of inspiration, enabling me to create recipes that honor my heritage while embracing culinary innovation.

Can You Use Cast Iron Cookware on an Induction Cooktop?

Cast iron cookware is a versatile and durable option that can be used on various cooking surfaces, including gas stoves, electric stoves, and even campfires. But can you use cast iron cookware on an induction cooktop?

The answer is yes! Cast iron cookware is compatible with induction cooktops. In fact, it is one of the best materials to use on an induction cooktop.

Induction cooktops work by creating a magnetic field that heats up the ferromagnetic material in the cookware. Cast iron is ferromagnetic therfore magnetic, so it heats up quickly and evenly when used on an induction cooktop.

If you are looking for a versatile and durable cookware option that is compatible with induction cooktops, cast iron is a great choice.

Keeping your Induction Cooktop Scratch Free: A Chef Anthony Pro Tip Video

One of the greatest cooking hacks when using an induction cooktop and cast iron is as simple as it is genius. Place a high-quality oven-safe silicone mat or Silpat on the area of the induction cooktop you will use. Then, place the cast iron cookware on the silicone mat. The silicone mat will not be damaged because of the science behind induction cooking technology. It will also not affect the heat produced by the magic of the cast iron working with the induction cooktop. This cooking hack will help you keep your induction cooktop scratch-free while cooking your favorite recipes. 

cast iron on a silicone mat

Cast Iron and Induction: A Magical Culinary Match

Cast iron, known for its exceptional heat retention and even heat distribution, complements the rapid heating and precise temperature control of induction cooktops. This harmonious combination allows for optimal cooking, resulting in tender, flavorful, and perfectly cooked dishes. Whether you are searing succulent steaks, crafting rich stews, or crafting delicate desserts, the cast iron and induction duo promises to elevate your culinary experience.

grilled chicken held by tongs in front of Chef Anthony Serrano

Selecting the Right Cast Iron Pan: Try the Magnet Test

The majority of cast iron pans should be induction comptaible but it’s possible that lowerend cast iron pan may not work properly. If in doubt try the induction cookware magnet test on all your cookware not just the cast iron pieces. It is a simple way to check if your cookware is induction compatible. To do the magnet test, simply hold a magnet to the bottom of the pan. If the magnet sticks, the pan is induction compatible. If the magnet does not stick or falls off easily, the cookware is not induction compatible.

This is because induction cooktops work by creating a magnetic field that heats up the ferromagnetic material in the cookware. If the cookware is not ferromagnetic, it will not heat up when placed on an induction cooktop.

Choosing a cast iron pan with a smooth bottom surface is also essential to ensure optimal performance on an induction cooktop. This provides maximum contact with the cooktop, facilitating efficient heat transfer. Made In, Smithey Ironware, Le Creuset, and Finex make some of my favorite high-quality cast iron.

The Importance of Seasoning:

Proper seasoning is the key to unlocking the full potential of cast iron. Seasoning creates a protective layer that prevents food from sticking and enhances the pan’s natural non-stick properties. Over time, this layer develops a rich patina, adding depth of flavor to your dishes. To season your cast iron pan, coat it with a thin layer of oil and bake it in a preheated oven.

grilled bread on a cast iron pan

Mastering the Art of Heat Control:

Induction cooktops offer unparalleled precision in temperature control, allowing you to adjust heat levels instantly. This feature is particularly advantageous when cooking with cast iron, as it will enable you to gently warm the pan, sear at high temperatures, or gently simmer. With careful attention to heat control, you can achieve exceptional cooking results, ensuring your food is cooked evenly and perfectly every time.

Caring for Your Cast Iron:

After your culinary masterpiece is complete, proper cast iron care is essential. Allow the pan to cool before cleaning it with a soft brush or cloth. Avoid using harsh detergents, as they can strip away the precious seasoning. Instead, use gentle cleaning methods like salt scrubbing or a scrub brush designed to clean cast iron.

Green chiles cooked on cast iron

Chef Anthony’s Final Thoughts:

Cooking with cast iron on an induction cooktop opens up a world of possibilities for culinary exploration. I invite you to embrace this dynamic duo in your kitchen. The marriage of time-honored cast iron with the modern convenience of induction cooking offers a symphony of flavors and techniques that will elevate your cooking prowess. So, don your chef’s hat and embark on a culinary journey celebrating tradition and innovation in every delectable bite.

By on September 13th, 2023

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