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Induction cooktops are becoming more popular as they are energy efficient, cook food quickly, and are nonpolluting. The demand for them has increased, and the prices have decreased, especially for full-size induction ranges.
However, since the cooktop surface is made of tempered glass, crystal glass, or a glass-ceramic mix, you may be wondering if induction cooktops are easily damaged. These materials are sturdy and robust but not indestructible. It shouldn’t be damaged with everyday use but can get scratched or crack if you aren’t careful.
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What Can Cause Your Induction Cooktop Surface to Break?
To prevent your induction cooktop from being damaged, a higher level of care is necessary than is needed for a coil top electric cooktop or a gas range. However, if you are careful and place cookware gently on the cooking zone, it will not break easily.
Special care should be taken when cooking with cast iron cookware since it is heavy. Even though glass-ceramic cooktops are strong, if you drop a cast iron pan on the surface, the plate can easily crack.
Sometimes people have shelves over their cooktops, and they might keep heavy items on them. The problem is that a can or filled jar, for example, can accidentally fall, and this can crack the cooktop.
If a weight load above the maximum for the induction cooktop is exceeded, the glass could crack. The user manual usually gives the load limit. For example, the Duxtop LCD P961LS, a commercial unit, can sustain a maximum of 65 pounds, while the weight limit for a residential model such as Duxtop 9600LS is 25 pounds.
The cooktop surface should be cleaned after the unit cools down. If you place cool water on the hot surface, it can crack the glass.
It’s not a good practice to set hot lids face down on glass-ceramic cooktops as the surface may crack due to a strong vacuum seal. If the glass doesn’t break immediately, it could crack when the lid is removed because air can become trapped between the lid and cooking surface as the cooktop cools.
What Causes Scratches on an Induction Cooktop?
There are a few ways in which a glass-ceramic cooktop is damaged in the form of a scratch. The most common way is if the bottom of the skillet or pot is rough or has burrs. An induction cooktop scratch protector is one way to prevent damaging your cooktop when cooking with cast iron.
It’s prudent to be mindful when removing cookware from the cooking surface. If you slide pots or other items across the unit, especially cast iron cookware, it can scratch. Lifting pots and pans and placing them gently on the surface reduces the chance of scratching a surface.
The cooktop and the bottoms of pots and pans should be kept clean. Coarse particles such as salt or sugar between the cooking vessel and cooking zone can cause scratches.
Another way you can damage your cooktop is if you try to cut something on it. You can easily scratch the glass or ceramic surface if you cut over it.
If you are cooking anything with sugar, such as syrup or candy, and it spills on your induction cooktop, it should be cleaned immediately. Sugary residue can pit the glass and may stain or damage the cooktop.
The same goes for melted plastic – whether it is the wrapper on a loaf of bread, a spatula, or a bowl, you’ll want to clean it right away because the plastic will harden if the burner cools.
One method of removing these substances is to put a mixture of baking soda and warm white vinegar (make into a paste) on a warm burner and scrub with a nylon scrubber.
If the substance is still on the cooktop, put the baking soda/vinegar mixture on it and let it sit to can break up the residue before wiping with a cloth. It might take more than one application to remove the plastic.
Using abrasive chemical cleaners such as Comet, metal pads, or abrasive sponges like Scotch-Brite Scour Pads can also scratch your cooktop. Some products are specifically formulated clean glass and ceramic cooktop and stovetop surfaces. A microfiber cloth works well for cleaning and polishing cooktop surfaces.
Invest in a scratch protector
One idea to prevent damage to your cooktop when using cast iron cookware is to invest in an Induction Cooktop Scratch Protector.
Can You Repair a Broken or Scratched Cooktop?
If your cooktop is damaged, you may wonder you can do anything to repair it. Light scratches can sometimes be repaired with products that are specifically used for this purpose. You can also try using water and baking soda for light scratches.
It is not safe to use an induction hob that has a crack. Even a tiny crack can result in an electrical shock of food or liquid spills onto the crack. Additionally, the inner parts such as the coil, fan, electronics, sensors, and connectors can be damaged.
If you purchased an extended warranty for the product and accidents are included, cracks might be covered. Manufacturers of portable induction cooktops generally don’t replace units unless there is a defect in the material and workmanship under normal use and service. If the glass cracks through no fault of your own, this may be a quality control issue. In this case, call the manufacturer’s warranty department and discuss the matter with them. They may or may not accept your claim.
If you are convinced the manufacturer is at fault, you can file a claim with the Better Business Bureau. Some companies respond to claims and are willing to resolve the complaint to the customer’s satisfaction.
For portable induction cooktops, if the manufacturer won’t replace the unit, it is more cost-effective to buy a new one.
If you need an induction range or a built-in induction hob repaired, it is critical that whoever comes to repair is familiar with induction technology. It is very different from an electric cooktop because it uses electromagnetic energy instead of electricity as a heat source. You need a repairperson who understands this technology and knows how to repair this kind of stove. As with all repairs, it’s wise to get a written quote for the assessment, materials, and labor.
Video - Pros and Cons of Induction Cooking
Is it Worth it to Get an Induction Cooktop?
Although induction cooktops can get damaged if you aren’t careful, they are worthwhile. First of all, they are precise and responsive. The heat goes directly to the pan, which means that there isn’t a lot of heat loss. You have more precise control over your cooking temperatures, and the pans heat up very quickly.
In addition, some induction cooktops have excellent control at low temperatures. Some cooktops can be set as low as 100 degrees Fahrenheit. They can also be used to keep food warm or for an extra burner.
Furthermore, induction cooktops are safer to use than gas or electric cooktops. The burners don’t get hot; it is only the pan that does. They also often come with safety features, including pot sensors, control locks, timers, and auto-shutoff. They don’t have any open flame, nor do they have fumes.
Finally, induction cooktops are energy efficient. They don’t give off any excess heat, and it is the most efficient way to cook your food. Your kitchen will stay cooler, and this will make it easier to cook in the summer.
Since the surface is made of glass or ceramic, an induction cooktop can be damaged easier than gas or coil top electric stoves.
If you take the precautions outlined and treat the cooktop with care, the risk of the glass cooktop cracking is significantly reduced. Induction cooktops might break easily if the glass used by the manufacturer is of poor quality.
Storing a portable induction cooktop in a cabinet when not in use, reduces the chances of someone accidentally putting a heavy object on it or something falling. If you don’t have the storage space, finding a secure spot is another option.