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Jul 9, 2014 08:26 AM

Using oblong enameled cast iron on smoothtop range

Apologies in advance for yet ANOTHER kitchen remodel-related question!

I have an oblong enameled cast iron Staub cocotte (my first piece of ECI, so we share a special bond). Its dimensions are ~12 inches (major axis) and 9.5 inches (minor axis). What sort of burner size would I use for this? I typically employ this for braises that finish in the oven (first seared on the stovetop), but it does sometimes get used for stovetop soups, vegetable dishes, etc. I'm curious, because some time in the next 8-8 weeks, I'd like to make my initial appliance decisions. Thus, I'm gathering my data and information.

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  1. Don't quote me on this BUT, I don't think heavy CI and smooth-top cooking surface are compatible??

    1. Hi,

      CI is fine to use on a smooth-top, just be sure to place it down carefully.

      Our GE Electric range has a "bridge" burner that works perfect for my oval shaped Le Creuset. I believe most newer stove models will have this feature. Ours turns on the front left burner and then the space between the front left and back left burners creating an oval(ish) shape.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jjubinvi

        Manufactures say not to use, too heavy I think. I have used that size on the largest burner and while you don't get the whole pan equally hot it kind of works.
        Besides weight restrictions ci is not recommended because of fear of scratching and shaking your pan is not a good technique here. Boiling large pots seems to take a little longer (check btu rating) and if you have a built in surface exhaust fan it doesn't seem to work as well as a hood. It is much easier to clean but you have to keep it clean to maintain the surface. There is considerable carry over heat after turning off. I can bring rice to a boil, turn off and it will finish cooking.

      2. The problem with manufacturer's warnings is that they simply say "don't" use CI on glass tops. They never say "why". All people do is speculate.

        Unless you drop a heavy pan on the top, I don't think there will be a safety issue.

        As for the oblong pot, maybe get a cooktop with a bridge element?

        1. The more I read, the more I think I'm just going to stick with a coil top.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nofunlatte

            Hi nfl,

            Look at the underside of your Staub pot. Is it smooth or rough? Does it have a rim to sit on, or sides it sit flat?

            Smooth pans are no problem. Check out some Youtube vids on cooking with cast iron. A lot of those home cooks are using glass cooktops.

            There are only two issues. First is weight. Have you dropped the pot on your coil stove and chipped the pot or the stove's enamel? I didn't think so. you're not likely to drop it at all.

            The other concern is scratching and this is a problem with rough cast iron, as a lot of bare skillets are made. Most enameled pots are pretty smooth and not likely to scratch.

            If you can cook with it on a coil top, it will fit the same size burner on a smoothtop. There's really no practical difference when it comes to heating area.


          2. I have a Kitchenaid Architect slide in smoothtop range. The back left burner is an oval/round that fits my oval LC dutch oven perfectly.
            I can all summer, and use enameled cast iron on my cooktop. Never had a problem, but I match the size of the pan to the size of the burner - too large a pan can overheat the coil, apparently.