- rozz01 Aug 12, 2010 07:45 AM
I recently bought my first house. Even though i prayed for a gas stove, the house won out over the stove. Does anyone have any advice on the use and the care of a glass top stove... I've never had one and I don't want to do anything that might screw t up. Thanks in advance.
I'd be careful if using cast iron to avoid potential scratches and oh, cracking the glass if you dropped it. Apart from that, there are ceramic cleaners so just be prepared to scrub. You can always pop it out in favor of induction later on.
When I did over our kitchen I was going to get the gas range but DW moaned about having the tank outside so I opted for the glass top. It has disadvantages but advantages as well. While the main disadvantage is the instant heat control, you can easily reduce temp quickly if you need to by sliding the pan off or to the side of the burner since there is one large, clean piece of glass.
The glass top is very easy to keep clean; I keep a bottle of windex on the counter next to the stove, and give it a spritz and a wipe to keep it really nice. It is very efficient. You use the burner that is the size of the pan, and much less heat is lost into the room than gas. Also because of the varying burner sizes, it is easier to maintain a large (12-14") pan on low heat for a long time. I guess you would need a diffuser to do that with gas.
In the last couple of years we have put gas in, first for the fireplaces and then for a whole-house generator. So I started rethinking the range, but if I'm thinking when I do it over I think I'll probably go induction -- a lot of pans to replace but a lot more efficient still.
One other caveat: if you, eg, have been boiling a pot of water and take the lid off, take care that you do not take the lid off and set it flat down onto the galss top. As it cools it will start to form a seal on the glass and become difficult to move. I've caught this in a minute or two and still had trouble sliding it off, but don't know if the suction would have eventually been enough to cause any damage to the glass.
One time several years ago I did have a can fall out of a cabinet and chip the edge of the cooktop. When I turned on the adjacent burner the next time, the glass cracked. GE replaced it under warranty fortunately.
Somewhere in the user manual of my glass top unit says don't let sugar melt and turn back to solid before attempting to clean it out, as it may pit the surface.
And I was being told to not use bleach and/or stuff that contains ammonia to clean as these cleaners will ruin the protective finish, although you may have a different kind which can withstand these chemicals.
cutipie721: "And I was being told to not use bleach and/or stuff that contains ammonia to clean as these cleaners will ruin the protective finish, although you may have a different kind which can withstand these chemicals."
Every single "glass" top in the world is made by Schott, and is fashioned of a ceramic substance called Ceran, on which Schott holds numerous worldwide patents. There is no competitor.
Ceran is very resistant to chemical attack I doubt that either bleach or ammonia would have any effect at all on a Ceran surface, but have never felt the need to try either to confirm my strong suspicion. I am unaware of any other common household chemical that is capable of reacting with Ceran, but admittedly have not engaged in extensive testing of exotic combinations.
Ceran also is very hard. Cast iron can scratch Ceran, but only if the user is very careless. Some very simple precautions (lift, don't slide) with cast iron will suffice to keep the scratches away.
Like junescook, we keep a spray bottle of Windex (window, Vinegar variety, not "all surface") next to the cooktop, and we use it whenever we feel that we need to, and wipe the Windex off with a plain paper towel. Every couple of weeks, we use the standard Weiman's cream cooktop cleaner (works better if you pour the Weiman's on a folded paper towel and wipe it on than it does of you pour the Weiman's directly onto the cooktop and wipe it off) for a more thorough cleaning.
That's it. That is all we have done for eleven years, and the Ceran looks exactly as it did when brand new.
"Every single "glass" top in the world is made by Schott, and is fashioned of a ceramic substance called Ceran, on which Schott holds numerous worldwide patents. There is no competitor."
If all glass top units must bear the "Schott Ceran" brand on the surface, then I'm pretty sure I've seen many of them without. As a matter of fact, Electrolux mentions nothing about Schott nor Ceran for their EW30EC55GS. I've also heard of a few incidents in Asia where the glass top just cracks or shatters during cooking - possibly made in China - but let's just put our focus on North America for now.
The information about bleach and ammonia was actually given by a Miele technician when he came for servicing. Like yourself, I don't have the urge to test his theory. :-)
What I would suggest to OP though is that you should find out the model of the cooktop and read the manual. When in doubt, call up their customer service and ask.
cutipie721: "If all glass top units must bear the "Schott Ceran" brand on the surface, then I'm pretty sure I've seen many of them without."
Schott fabricated all of the tops of every "glass" top cooking surface that you have ever seen. Whether the trademark appears on every unit is a separate matter. Schott has the manufacturing process tied up with multiple patents and both the muscle and the motivation to sue anyone who should infringe the patents. It is highly probable that Schott also holds trade secrets close to its vest that may be every bit as important as the patents. If you are Whirlpool or Electrolux or Bosch or LG or Miele and you want to sell a glasstop unit, you buy the "glass" top itself from Schott.
Just for my own education, I went on and did some research myself. I just find it very difficult to accept that the entire planet must get something from only one person :-)
So I went to Schott's site and look up their history. They surely did claim themselves as the "first and only", but with conditions...
"... produced without the toxic heavy metals arsenic and antimony"
"... via the Microfloat process"
Hence I searched for "glass ceramic manufacturers" on Google and found another company called EuroKera. Based in France, seems to base their technology on Corning, and looks like they're the one who make those white glass tops and the ones with little flecks.
Now the question is whether Corning-Schott-Eurkera-blah are all one big family...
cutipie721: "I searched for 'glass ceramic manufacturers' on Google and found another company called EuroKera. Based in France, seems to base their technology on Corning, and looks like they're the one who make those white glass tops and the ones with little flecks."
We owned a Jenn-Air induction (two burners) plus radiant (two burners) hybrid cooktop for ten years, and it had what Jenn-Air called a "white" smooth "glass" top. If one was honest, its color was off-black and had the little white flecks that you refer to. In one corner of our Jenn-Air was a Ceran logo.
If you have seen a Hong Kong made Zanussi -- sighting a Zanussi is like sighting a unicorn -- you may have seen a EuroKera cooktop. You will note that the EuroKera website pages all bear a copyright notice at the bottom dated 2004 and have not been updated in the past six years.
I cooked exclusively on gas until I moved into my house seven years ago. I've had my glass cooktop since then, and I also have all kinds of cookware and cook a lot. Here is my take:
1. I use enameled cast iron on it all the time. Some of my pieces have a smooth bottom and some do not. No problem unless the bottom is not flat. Cheap pieces may not be flat. Okay to use them, avoid dragging them. Never had a problem, and I have dragged mine.
2. Ditto for cast iron. I not only use a skillet on it, but I use a large double burner grill/griddle. Works great, just be gentle. It does not scratch the glass at all.
3. Worst pans on these are aluminum. Raw exterior aluminum, which is on one cheap steamer pot that I purchased in an Asian store, is soft and it left metal filing-like scratches embedded in the cooktop. Those took a really, really long time to wash off, but they did come off. Moral of the story: avoid soft metal exteriors. These will do a number on your cooktop.
3. Second worst pans are anodized aluminum. Calphalon and All Clad LTD have never sat flat on the cooktop when they are heated, creating a hazard. I have tossed most of these and only have a few left.
4. Best pans are stainless steel with disk bottoms because they sit so flat, and almost as good are clad stainless steel pans. Copper works fine too.
5. The only other thing that scares me are ceramic pans that are okay for cooktop use, or those old Corning fry pans made of glass. Those have rough bottoms, and they seem to be a bad idea. Mine, which date back to my bridal shower decades ago, went to the garage sale.
Hope this helps. I love my cooktop now, and my only regret is the built-in downdraft ventilation. I need a big hood.
I occasionally use a cooktop cleaner to dissolve burned on residue. I hope your cooktop is black and not white, as those are much harder to keep clean.
I really like my glass cooktop (Kitchenaid-10 yrs. old, halogen). I find a single edge razor mounted in one of those holder thingies works great for removing stubborn, sugary messes from surface. The stovetop should be cool and blade held @ 20 degree angle- like knife sharpening. This has never scratched the glass. Also recommend the weimans cooktop creme and papertowel method for super shiny results. adam