New Glass Cooktops Require Extra Vigilance to Avoid Damage!

August 2, 2012

Smooth glass cook tops are becoming popular.  The have a sleek look.  Food spills don’t have to be excavated from a drip pan or from around a gas burner port.  Many consumers are very happy with their choice.
However, there are disadvantages to their use.  A standard gas cooking surface makes noise when the gas is on.  An old-fashioned electric stove eye, when it is on high, glows with enough intensity to get one’s attention.  The new glass cook tops however are silent and even though they may glow red through the cook top’s glass, this visual indication can be hidden by a large pan.

The picture below shows the result of what was most likely a boil dry situation where the pan, without food or water in it, absorbed all the heat it could before the porcelain enamel melted into the glass of the cook top.

Porcelain debris merged with glass cooktop

How can this happen?  Kitchens are sources of distraction. We now have telephones, televisions and other entertainment devices close to where we cook.  It’s easy to forget what we are doing when a pan is pre-heating or is being dried by being placed on stove top.  More than once I’ve left a cast iron pan (too heavy to dry by hand!) on a cook top and ruined its seasoning by overheating it.

While this sort of event rarely results in problems with conventional cook tops, the result on a glass smooth top is more devastating.  Often, the porcelain fuses with the glass and results in the glass being broken or pitted when the pan is removed.  Such damage is not covered by warranties and can result in a several hundred dollar repair bill.

Here’s a shot after the loose porcelain was apparently cleared away. You can clearly see the top is no longer smooth, but pitted and damaged.

Damaged glass cooktop

So, be extra vigilant when using a glass cook top, and particularly cookware with porcelain on steel or porcelain on cast iron coatings. You could save yourself a substantial repair bill!