Finding the best cookware for glass top stoves is a relatively new concept for the home cook; In fact, the first glass top stoves only appeared in the 1970s.
So why move to the glass top electric range?
In a word: efficiency.
Glass top stoves not only transfer heat more effectively than gas, they also make for easy clean-up and space saving.
I tested out five sets of highly-rated glass top cookware sets, and here’s a brief look at what I found:
|T-fal E765SC Ultimate Hard Anodized||$||Hard Anodized Aluminum||12||400°||X|
|Duxtop Whole-Clad (Editor's Choice)||$$||Stainless Steel||11||550°|
|Circulon Infinite Hard Anodized||$$||Hard Anodized Aluminum + Stainless Steel||10||500°||X|
|Anolon Advanced Bronze Hard Anodized||$$$||Hard Anodized Aluminum||11||400°||X|
|Cooks Standard 00391||$||Stainless Steel||11 ||500°|
Now let’s dig a little deeper into why and when you should have a glass top cookware set…
Because glass top stoves do require a certain type of pots and pans (which I’ll discuss shortly), you might be wondering why people choose this option at all?
I’ve already mentioned that they are very efficient kitchen pieces, so now I’ll explain why:
- Even heat distributionThe electric burners that sit under a glass top are flat, so as long as the base of the pan with which it comes into contact is also flat, the majority of the heat it conducts is directly transferred.
- Visually sleek, smooth designThe smooth, glassy finish of a glass top is visually appealing for the modern kitchen.
- Flat surface is easy to cleanJust like any other glass surface, clean up is a breeze; there are no coils or burners to manoeuvre underneath
- Flat surface can also be used as counter spaceAs long as the items don’t carry risk of cracking or scratching the glass, you’re in business in a pinch!
Precautions with Glass Top Stoves
In considering the best pots and pans for glass top stoves, there are a couple precautions you should take into consideration:
Glass tops can be scratched, stained, or melted onto by enamels and paints
It’s important to purchase pots and pans with completely smooth bases. Glass, porcelain, ceramic, copper, and cast iron are cookware sets that I’ve decided to avoid for these reasons. Furthermore, you’ll have to take precaution not to move pans around often on the stovetop during cooking in order to avoid scratching.
Because heat transfers directly from the flat surface of the glass top range, the bottoms of the pans must be specifically flat. It’s also important to purchase medium to heavy grade pans so that they will maintain their shape over time. Flimsy, cheap, or light pans could warp with heat over time.
Glass tops can crack and break
While it is advisable to purchase medium to heavy weight pots and pans, also bear in mind that accidentally dropping one on the cooktop could necessitate a very expensive repair. Luckily cast iron, which tends to be the heaviest, is not something you’ll be using on the range.
Considerations for the Best Pots and Pans for Glass Top Stoves
Since most of the cookware necessitated by a glass top stove is also functional on any other stove top (with the possible exception of induction stoves), I find it easy to say that it’s worth it to find the best pots and pans for glass top stoves for general use in your kitchen. Since these pots and pans are made for a newer type of stove top, they too tend to look sleek and newer in design.
Additionally, the best glass top cookware is specifically made to never warp or scratch on the exterior, so who can argue with that?
With all that being said, there are several factors to consider before you find the best pots and pans for glass top stoves. Let’s have a look at what I’ve found to be the most important:
- AppearanceIt’s important to enjoy the appearance of your cookware set since they are often on display in the kitchen. As a general rule, I find it’s best to avoid external paint as it can melt or scratch the glass top surface
- MaterialAs mentioned, it’s important to find durable, medium-to-heavy pans that conduct heat evenly and well and will not warp. My favorites are stainless steel and hard anodized aluminum because of price and durability. I’ve mentioned certain materials that don’t work well with the glass top, so here are some that work best:➢ Stainless Steel➢ Heavy-Weight Aluminum (anodized)➢ Carbon Steel➢ Porcelain-Coated Heavy Cookware (but high heat could melt porcelain)➢ Titanium
- Lid ConstructionConsider transparency, oven-safety, and pot/pan compatibility
- How Many PiecesTake stock of your current inventory and consider what you’ll be cooking to evaluate what you actually need and want in a new cookware set
- Nonstick: To Be or Not To Be?There are advantages and disadvantages of both. Stainless steel tends to be the main contender as the nonstick option. Hard anodized aluminum is nonstick through an oxidation process, so it doesn’t have quite the resistance of chemically-coated nonstick cookware. The latter, however, is less resistant to high oven temperatures than stainless steel.
- Handle ConstructionConsider handle length, oven safety, grip, and heat safety
- Induction CapableIf you own or foresee owning an induction stove, ensure that your pans are compatible
- Dishwasher SafeWhile not a necessity for all cooks, this is an important factor for some. All pots and pans should be treated with care when washing even if they are dishwasher safe. Nonstick tends to be easiest to clean.
- Oven SafeThis can be an important factor for many cooks, so handles, lids, and overall construction is important. Most nonstick pans tend to be less oven-safe than stainless steel.
Reviewing Five Top Glass Top Cookware Sets
The T-fal E765SC is a 12-piece set that has the lowest price of all the sets I reviewed and taking that into consideration, this is a great set for the economically-minded.
It is reinforced with anti-warp base technology, so while it it lighter weight, it should stand up to the needs to a glass top range. T-fal actually invented nonstick, and these pans really show it. Plus, the nonstick makes them a breeze to clean up—I didn’t even bother with a dishwasher!
Technically it is twelve pieces, but the plastic spoon and spatula seem flimsy, so I would hardly count these as additions. Another “addition” that I found lacking were the heat indicators that are supposed to turn red on the bottom of the pans to indicate heating readiness. These only seem to function at very high temperatures and in my opinion are an insubstantial marketing claim, especially because the company suggests not heating these pans above medium heat!
Going along with that setback, these pans are only oven-safe up to 400, which really knocks out a lot of high-roasting and broiling options in my opinion. I found that the handles got warm when cooking on the stovetop, so I worry about their performance in the oven, too.
As a basic, low-priced cookware set, I think it does get the job done, but if you can afford it, I’d go for one of the other sets I’ve reviewed that have higher oven tolerance.
DUXTOP WHOLE-CLAD (Editor’s Choice)
While Duxtop Whole-Clad doesn’t feel quite as sturdy as All-Clad, these pans seem heavy, well-built, and are about a sixth of the price. These are tri-ply stainless steel throughout, so I feel confident in evenly heating throughout the bottom and sides.
I also like the fact that stainless steel is oven, freezer, and dishwasher safe, although I found these pans to get scratched if I wasn’t careful with their placement in the dishwasher. Furthermore, my wiry dish sponge created microscratches in these pans, so I’ll have to be careful with that and use Barkeeper’s Friend for upkeep.
The main disadvantage with stainless steel, in my opinion, is that it is not nonstick.
Because these pots and pans scratch easily, it looks like clean up is bound to be a bit of a hassle with these if I am not careful. Lots of soaking foreseen! One other downfall of this set is that while the handles stay quite cool, the lids get very hot. It’s a double-edged sword: on one hand, they are stainless steel and durable, but on the other, I’ll have to be very careful about using oven mitts.
All in all, this was a great set. I think the main thing to consider is whether you prefer stainless to nonstick, and if so, go for it!
I was excited about the Circulon Infinite because on top of being made primarily of anodized aluminum, which is mostly nonstick, it is reinforced in the base with stainless steel. I think the added steel probably makes this pan more ovenproof (up to 500°) than the other anodized pans, which I’m a big fan of. The handles and lids are also stainless steel, but unlike the Duxtop set, these handles get very hot (so do the lids!).
The stainless steel reinforcement is great for ensuring that the bottom of the pan stays flat for the future, but the problem is that it doesn’t extend into the sides. This might have something to do with the sides seeming thinner than the bottom—which we know is not great for even heat distribution.
I feel confident in the strength and durability of these pans, but the disadvantage of that is that these feel heavier than some of the other options.
The other ergonomic issue going on here is that the handles seem curiously long. It’s almost as if this is a set made for taller people.Hard anodized aluminum is naturally nonstick, but these pans definitely don’t work well as chemically-nonstick. Personally I don’t mind a little extra work for less chemicals. It does beat a stainless steel pan in the nonstick realm, at any rate.
The price seems right for this set because of the added stainless steel benefits, but the disadvantages of this very same addition (weight, hot handles) would make me think twice about owning this set.
The Analon Bronze Anodized Aluminum cookware set looks great, but don’t let that fool you—the paint actually showed signs of chipping after just a few normal washes and stints in the sink! That’s a huge warning sign right off the bat because a main requirement for glass top pots and pans is that they shouldn’t scratch the stovetop and chipping paint will do just that.
What I liked about these pans is the non-stick properties, glass lids, and anti-warp base technology, but in my opinion the cons heavily outweigh the pros, especially considering that this is the most expensive set I reviewed.
It’s missing a few things that I consider basic in an expensive cookware set: the handles get warm and and don’t feel secure, it’s only oven safe up to 400°, and it’s not suitable for induction stove tops.
Then there is the more glaring issue like the paint, but to top that off, the pans come with stickers on the bottom that are insanely difficult to remove. What’s the point of expending all that energy when I’ve already purchased the set!?
With all that said, I definitely don’t think these pans are worth the buy.
The Cooks Standard 00391 is a stainless steel cookware set with aluminum discs in the bottom to helps distribute heat while keeping the pan lightweight. This struck me as a winning combination because it kept the properties of an effective base without adding extra weight or making the base thicker than the sides. My guess is that it also helps to keep the price low since aluminum is less expensive than steel.
The handles on this set are stand-out; they have a great ergonomic grip and they stay cool. I will mention that the rivets seem like they could come loose, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Even though handles might strike some as dismissable, most cooks actually use them a lot while cooking, so it’s one of those little things that I don’t overlook now that I’ve compared so many sets. Same thing goes for lids; I find that I really prefer glass lids so I can see what’s cooking, and luckily that’s what this set has.
Like all stainless steel, this pan is not nonstick, and it will need Barkeeper’s Friend to buff out microscratching caused by the wrong kitchen tools or rough sponges. I deal with this by trying to use the same type of plastic or wooden utensils that I use with nonstick pans.
Overall, I found this to be a high value set at quite a low price, so as long as you can deal with stainless steel, I’d definitely recommend it!
Conclusion: The Best Cookware for Glass Top Stoves
There were no gimmicky bells and whistles; it strikes me as a sturdy, wholesome set that seems to be made with an eye toward high quality at an affordable price. While I do wish it was nonstick, I prefer the higher heat-withstanding capabilities that tends to come with stainless steel.
I would have loved for it to have glass lids like the Cooks Standard 00391, but it beat out that set because it seems sturdier overall. The nonstick Circulon Infinite set comes in close second because it does have oven safety up to 500°, but it lost out because of the awkward handles, thinner sides, and overall heaviness. If you’re set on nonstick, though, I would recommend it.
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to make that sleek glass stovetop even sleeker with the best glass top cookware set for you!
- 1 Reasons for a Glass Top Stove
- 2 Precautions with Glass Top Stoves
- 3 Considerations for the Best Pots and Pans for Glass Top Stoves
- 4 Reviewing Five Top Glass Top Cookware Sets
- 5 T-FAL E765SC ULTIMATE HARD ANODIZED TITANIUM
- 6 DUXTOP WHOLE-CLAD (Editor’s Choice)
- 7 CIRCULON INFINITE HARD ANODIZED NONSTICK
- 8 ANOLON ADVANCED BRONZE HARD ANODIZED
- 9 COOKS STANDARD 00391
- 10 Conclusion: The Best Cookware for Glass Top Stoves