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Electric and induction cooktops are becoming increasingly popular. Not only are they better for the environment—induction stoves are about twice as efficient as gas—and don't release toxic methane into your home, but they're also so much easier to clean. Yet, you do have to be more careful with glass stovetops than gas: Some pots and pans can scratch or even break the glass top, and you have to pay attention to how pots and pans heat up so you aren't left with hot and cold spots throughout your dish.
With those considerations in mind, I chose the Simply Calphalon Hard-Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set as the best choice for cooking on glass cooktops, due to its classic design, sturdy construction, and affordability.
Here's my list of the best cookware for glass stovetops, as well as information on what you need to consider when buying and how to protect your cookware and cooktop.
Best Overall: Calphalon Simply Hard-Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
What We Love: Easy cleanup, integrated pouring spouts and straining slides
What We Don't Love: Some users say the stay-cool handles can get hot
With a timeless look, these durable Calphalon stainless steel pots and pans are the best option for glass cooktops—and it's affordable, too. The set includes: an 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, 1.5-quart saucepan and cover, 2.5-quart saucepan and cover, 3-quart sauté pan and cover, and 6-quart stockpot and cover. Between the ease of cleaning, integrated pouring spouts and straining slides, and interior measuring marks, this is a set you buy for a first apartment and then keep for decades to come.
One potential downside to this set is that, as some reviewers reported, the stay-cool handles get pretty hot, although I haven't experienced that problem. Dishwasher-safe means easy cleanup, and pouring spouts and straining slides will have you always saying yes to pasta night.
Material: Nonstick hard-anodized aluminum, silicone handle, tempered glass lids | Design: Flat bottom | Induction-Compatible: Yes | Oven-Safe: Yes, up to 450 degrees F
Best Budget: Cuisinart SmartNest Stainless Steel 11-Piece Set
What We Love: Clean and modern design, nests for easy storage, measuring lines inside, includes a lid organizer
What We Don't Love: Unavailable to purchase as individual pots or pans, not induction-friendly
From Cuisinart, this clean and modern stainless steel set comes with basically every pot and pan you need. Plus, it looks great in any kitchen and everything nests for easy storage. A 1.5-quart saucepan and cover, 3-quart saucepan and cover, 3.5 quarts sauté pan with helper handle and cover, 6-quart stockpot with cover, 8-inch open skillet, 10-inch open skillet, and a lid organizer rack.
With thick, flat bottoms, the pots and pans distribute heat evenly, and the handy measuring lines inside make it easy to add water without needing a measuring cup.
This is an excellent option if you need a whole set of cookware. That said, unfortunately, this Cuisinart line is currently unavailable to purchase as individual pots or pans, and it's a bit disappointing that the line is not induction-friendly.
Material: Stainless steel core | Design: Thick, flat bottom | Induction-Compatible: No | Oven-Safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees F
Best Copper: de Buyer Prima Matera Induction Copper Cookware Collection
What We Love: One of the only lines of copper cookware that work on induction stoves
What We Don't Love: Pricey, even for copper cookware
French cookware brand de Buyer is known for its exquisite copper pots and pans, and its induction line, exclusive at Food52, is one of the few copper cookware sets that work on induction cooktops. The eight-piece set comes complete with two fry pans (a 9-inch and an 11-inch), two saucepans with lids (a 1.2-quart and a 2.5-quart), and a stockpot. Available as a set or individually, it's a versatile option for consumers interested in copper cookware.
The only thing that makes us dock a point: the price. Even for copper cookware, which is traditionally one of the most expensive materials, this set is expensive. To keep it in good shape, Food52 advises to hand wash only and polish with a cleaner dedicated to copper.
Material: Stainless steel and cast iron interior, copper exterior | Design: Flat, ferromagnetic bottom | Induction-Compatible: Yes | Oven-Safe: Yes, up to 400 degrees F
Related: The Best Copper Cookware
Best Stainless Steel: KitchenAid 5-Ply Clad Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set
What We Love: Heats evenly, holds heat exceptionally well, measuring marks inside stockpot and saucepans
What We Don't Love: Handle and lid design look and feel a bit clunky
This versatile stainless steel set includes: a 1.5-quart saucepan with a lid, a 3-quart saucepan with a lid, an 8-quart stockpot with a lid, a 5-quart sauté pan with a helper handle and lid, an 8.25-inch frying pan, and a 10-inch frying pan. The interior measuring marks on the stockpot and saucepans make adding ingredients a breeze, and the stainless steel construction heats up nicely and evenly and retains heat well. Careful, though; you will need oven mitts for the handles.
On top of its heat retention capacity, I also love that this cookware set is dishwasher-safe. My only qualm is that the handle and lid design look and feel a bit clunkier than other options.
Material: Five-ply clad stainless steel | Design: Flat bottom | Induction-Compatible: Yes | Oven-Safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees F
Best Ceramic: Caraway Cookware Set
What We Love: Available as a set that includes cookware storage, available as individual pieces, scratch-resistant, heats evenly, versatile
What We Don't Love: Some reviews say that the nonstick quality only lasts a few months
Available in various Instagram-worthy shades, the Caraway Ceramic Cookware is scratch-resistant, heats up evenly, and performs well with electric and induction glass cooktops. The ceramic interior means you don't need to use oil sprays or cooking aerosols for greasing pans, but you shouldn't place this cookware in the dishwasher.
I think it's great that this is available as a set that includes cookware storage or as individual pieces—the versatility of Caraway is hard to beat. One thing to note is that some reviews report that the nonstick doesn't last more than a few months.
Material: Nonstick ceramic, with an aluminum core and stainless steel handles | Design: Flat | Induction-Compatible: Yes | Oven-Safe: Yes, up to 550 degrees F
Related: The Best Ceramic Cookware Sets
Best Nonstick: Kana 5-Piece Cast Iron Cookware Set
What We Love: Available in many pretty colors, covered by lifetime warranty, easy to clean, doesn't need seasoning, skillet available separately
What We Don't Love: If you want the corresponding lid without buying the five-piece, you'll need to buy at least the three-piece set
This is not your dad's cast iron: It's so much better. Made of 40 percent recycled cast iron, Milo by Kana Cast Iron is made of enameled cast iron that doesn't need seasoning, heats up evenly, and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Oh, and available in various gorgeous colors, you'll want to show off everything you cook on your kitchen counter (or on Instagram).
While you can purchase the skillet separately, if you want the corresponding lid, you'll need to buy at least the 3-piece set, which includes the skillet, dutch oven, and the lid that works on both.
Material: Enameled cast iron | Design: Flat | Induction-Compatible: Yes | Oven-Safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees F
Related: The Best Nonstick Cookware Sets
If you're looking for a new set of cookware for that spiffy glass cooktop, the Simply Calphalon Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set is our top choice. This modern-looking stainless steel set heats up quickly and evenly and feels durable. The Milo by Kana Cast Iron Cookware Set is an excellent option for those looking to simply add a couple of statement pieces.
How We Selected
Bridget Shirvell used her decades-long experience writing about all things food, as well as her first-hand knowledge as a busy parent and owner of a glass cooktop (electric), to kick off her research for this piece. She sorted through customer ratings and reviews online, as well information available from the top cookware manufacturers. She also tapped various cookware experts, including baker and pastry chef Claire Wells of the Baked by Claire recipe blog and YouTube channel, and Washington, D.C.-based professional chef Daniel Craig, currently writer and editor at Kitchen Deets LLC.
What to Look for in Cookware for Glass Cooktops
After you've decided on your budget and the type of pots and pans you need for your glass cooktop, a crucial thing to look at is the bottom of the cookware.
"The first thing a person needs for glass cooktop cooking is flat-bottomed cookware," said professional chef Daniel Craig.
Flat-bottomed pots and pans help to evenly distribute heat while you cook so you're not left with any hot or cold spots.
"The better the contact between the cookware and the cooking surface, the greater the efficiency of the cooktop as well as the cookware," said Craig.
Finally, remember that not all cookware is induction-compatible. Hence, if your stove is induction or you think you may eventually have an induction cooktop make sure the cookware will work on it.
What type of cookware is best for a glass cooktop?
Cookware for a glass stovetop should be heavy and flat-bottomed so that the pots and pans evenly distribute heat and stay put while you cook, which prevents scratching, according to baker Claire Wells, who recommends stainless steel.
"Ceramic is another excellent choice, but it's often more expensive and can usually only be hand-washed," said Wells. "So, for something that won't cost too much and that can potentially go in the dishwasher, you're better off with stainless steel."
Can I use cast iron on a glass cooktop?
Yes, but you'll need to be more careful and mindful of your movements than you would with stainless steel or ceramic pots and pans.
"If you drop the pan, which happens more often with a heavier cast iron skillet, you run the risk of cracking the cooktop," said Wells, adding that because cast iron has a rough finish, it's also more likely to scratch the glass than stainless steel or ceramic.
If you want to use cast iron cookware, avoid sliding it on the glass surface, which can create microscopic fractures that eventually cause the cooktop to shatter. Instead, carefully raise or set pots on the stove.
How do I protect my glass cooktop?
After acquiring the right cookware for your cooktop, thorough cleaning is the best way to protect a glass cooktop. Make sure you keep pots and pans clean, especially on the bottom, where rough surfaces could damage your cooktop. You also need to keep the cooktop itself clean.
"If you don't clean up after use and allow food to dry in place, that can lead to scratches the next time you use it," said Wells. "Even grains of salt or sugar can scratch the cooktop if you put a skillet on top and then shuffle it around."
And remember to prevent scratches by always lifting your pots and pans, rather than sliding them across the surface.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Bridget Shirvell has been writing about food and wine, parenting, and climate solutions for more than a decade. Her work has appeared on Foodprint, Martha Stewart Living, Food52, and more. Obsessively organized, Bridget is always looking for items that will reduce her household carbon footprint while making baking with her toddler easier. She's had an electric glass stovetop for as long as she can remember, although she is planning to switch to induction.
"Induction Cooking Technology Design and Assessment" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-10-20. Retrieved 2022-05-27.