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Cast iron pots are more expensive than regular cookware, but the investment is well worth the outlay. These durable cooking vessels can last for generations if cared for properly, so selecting utensils that won’t damage them is essential to keeping your cast iron surfaces in perfect condition.
The best spatula for cast iron is either stainless steel or Silicone. Some spatulas combine elements of both and include a rigid stainless steel body with a silicone head. The edge of a spatula used against a cast iron skillet surface should be deeply beveled to slide smoothly under food.
Meals cooked in cast iron seem to taste more delicious. Winter stews and pot roasts simmering in a cast iron skillet fill the home with warm aromas that are the foundation for a lifetime of memories. When choosing a spatula to use, you need to look out for some features that will make your cooking experience a pleasure.
- Best Spatula For Cast Iron
- Metal Vs. Silicone Spatulas For Use On Cast Iron Skillets
Things To Consider When Selecting Best Spatula For Cast Iron
- Best Material For A Spatula Used On Cast Iron
- Consider The Size When Selecting A Spatula For Cast Iron
- Balance As A Consideration When Selecting A Spatula
- Why A Handle Of A Spatula Is Important
- Bevel Is Important When Choosing A Spatula For Cast Iron
- Blade Flexibility Is A Consideration When Choosing A Spatula
- Be Aware Of Cleaning Instructions For Spatulas
- Will A Metal Spatula Damage Cast Iron Surfaces?
- Will A Silicone Spatula Melt On A Cast Iron Skillet?
- Are Wood Spatulas Good For Cast Iron?
- So, What’s The Best Spatula For Cast Iron?
Best Spatula For Cast Iron
When it comes to what material is best to use on the surface of your cast iron cookware while cooking, the jury is divided. Some people will only use metal, while others will never dream of rubbing steel against the surface of their cast iron cookware.
If you use your cast iron skillet a lot, investing in a solid stainless steel spatula is a good idea. With repeated use, the blade’s action will smooth out the naturally rough surface of your cast iron skillet to create a smoother cooking surface. If kept well-seasoned, the smoother surface can make your cast iron cooking surface even better than when it was new.
Silicone spatulas are a popular modern alternative to metal utensils. If you prefer a more flexible and softer feel spatula, then Silicone is the best choice. The benefit of using a silicone spatula is that it can also be used in all your other pots and pans.
If you only plan to invest in one spatula you want to use in other applications, metal may be too harsh and could damage delicate surfaces, such as those with Teflon-coatings. Silicone utensils will not cause any damage to coated cooking surfaces.
Some wooden spatulas are available that can be safely used on cast iron cookware. They tend to be quite clunky compared to the sharp precision of a stainless steel spatula or the rigid flexibility and the softer edge of silicone types. If you love wood, choose a metal spatula with a wooden handle, so you get the feel of wood in your hand, with a no-nonsense metal head.
Avoid spatulas that are made from nylon or plastic. Nylon will work well in the short term but is not durable when used repeatedly at high heat. If it is well looked after, cast iron cookware will last you a lifetime, so it makes sense to invest in a spatula that is up to the challenge of long-term use.
Plastic spatulas should never be used on cast iron cooking surfaces. Plastic utensils will begin to melt at any temperature above 220F. That may sound like a lot, but placing any plastic objects near a rapidly heating cooking surface like cast iron would be hazardous. So cross plastic off your list while shopping for a spatula.
Metal Vs. Silicone Spatulas For Use On Cast Iron Skillets
While most professional chefs recommend stainless steel spatulas for use on cast iron, they spend a lot more time cooking than ordinary people, so they need equipment to be more sturdy and durable. Metal tools can also be more multifunctional in cutting meat or cleaning flat surfaces. This feature might not be required to the same extent in an average home setting.
Although there is overwhelming support for using metal spatulas on cast iron, if you are like me, you just can’t stand the thought of metal scraping against metal while you are cooking. Although the utensil may work perfectly on the cast iron, the sensation can be uncomfortable and even result in goosebumps.
If you can’t decide which type of spatula would be right for you, here is a table listing the advantages of two excellent spatulas. Both spatulas are available on Amazon and are specifically recommended for use on cast iron. One has a metal blade, and the other is made from food-grade Silicone.
|Homi Styles |
|Di ORO Chef Series|
|The most comfortable grip on the handle||✔️|
|Deepest bevel in blade||✔️|
|Recommended more often for using on cast iron||✔️|
|It can be used as a cutting tool||✔️|
|Will smooth cast iron surfaces over time||✔️|
|Flips heavy items most comfortably||✔️|
|No metal contact on cast iron surface||✔️|
|Available in a variety of colors||✔️|
|It can be used on other cookware surfaces||✔️|
|More flexible blade||✔️|
|Will not corrode or rust||✔️|
|Better fire resistance||✔️|
From the table, it is clear that both spatula types have significant selling points. However, if you want a more solid, get-the-job-done spatula, the Homi Styles has a more rigid look and feel. It is also a more masculine-looking utensil, so it is a great gift idea for a man who does a lot of cooking on cast iron surfaces.
What I like about the Silicone spatula featured on the table is that it is dishwasher safe. That means you can just pop in the dishwasher with the rest of the cooking equipment and forget about it. The natural one-piece wood handle of the Homi Styles is beautiful, but it makes the utensil less durable. It should only be hand-washed, which means that it needs special attention after each use.
There is a significant variation in cost between metal and silicone spatulas. Silicone utensils are always significantly less costly than stainless steel.
From all of this, it may seem like silicone spatulas are the way to go when it comes to cooking, and that may be true in general, but when it comes to cooking on cast iron, there is a good reason why metal spatulas are highly recommended. It turns out that all the metal on metal scraping over the surface of the cast-iron surface is doing the surface a favor improving the qualities of the cooking surface.
Provided that you keep your cast iron cookware well-seasoned, the action of the metal spatula over the rough surface smooths it out. Over time, the cast iron surface will take on a smoother appearance, making cooking on it even easier.
It can’t be stressed enough that this will only work if the skillet or pan is seasoned well. Cooking on the cast iron surface is an excellent way to season your cookware naturally. If the item is going to be stored for any length of time, it should be covered in a layer of protective oil to keep it in mint condition.
Things To Consider When Selecting Best Spatula For Cast Iron
When faced with a wall of kitchen utensils at the store, it is easy to be captivated by the colorful packaging or only consider the price as an important factor. But selecting the best spatula for your precious cast iron cookware should be done thoughtfully. After all, it is an item that you might use daily.
There are seven elements that you should consider making your choice. They are:
- The material that the spatula is made from
- The size of the spatula
- Is it balanced?
- Check the handle
- Is the blade sufficiently beveled?
- The flexibility of the blade
- Does it require special cleaning requirements?
Let’s go through these considerations so that you can find the best spatula for your cast iron surfaces.
Best Material For A Spatula Used On Cast Iron
Metal spatulas are most often recommended for use on cast iron surfaces. The reason for this is that the repeated action of the metal over the cooking surface helps seal and smooth the rough texture found on new cast iron. Metal spatulas are usually built to last.
A stainless steel spatula teams up well with the rugged cast iron material, especially if you use your cookware for a lot of heavy meat applications where you need some sturdy weight to flip or scrape caramelized food off the skillet.
A solid metal spatula won’t bend when applying downward pressure. Downward pressure is the action used when flattening burgers or creating sear lines on steaks.
If you are shopping for a heavy metal spatula that will stand the test of time, we can recommend two almost identical-looking utensils with significantly different price tags.
(Professional Grade Stainless Steel Spatula MK21680)
|Heavy-duty Metal||Wooden Handle||11.5 inches|
|New Star |
(Foodservice 36275 Stainless Steel Spatula)
|Heavy-duty metal||Wooden Handle||12.5 Inches|
Both of these options are only hand washable – however, given the simple design, hand-washing them is a snap. Despite the two spatulas being virtually identical, the significant difference in the price could be because the Mannkitchen model carries a lifetime warranty.
Consider The Size When Selecting A Spatula For Cast Iron
Once you have decided on whether you prefer a metal spatula blade or a more flexible silicone type, look at your cast iron cookware to determine what size would be most convenient. If you make a lot of pancakes or eggs, you may need a broader base that can give support to soft foods.
Spatulas suitable to use on cast iron cookware come with different shape blades. If you are only planning to purchase one multipurpose spatula, you need to consider whether you will only use it in your cast iron cookware. If the answer is yes, the best option would be to go for a sturdy metal spatula that will become a workhorse in your kitchen.
Anmarko has a reasonably priced solid stainless steel spatula that is the perfect size for most kitchen tasks. If you go for Silicone, you could select a set of two different sized spatulas for a similar price. Geekhom has a set that is perfect to use on cast iron. They may be a little too flexible to exert a lot of downward pressure, but they are sturdy, no-fuss, and dishwasher safe.
Balance As A Consideration When Selecting A Spatula
We have all had cooking utensils that tip over when we put them down between cooking. It can be downright annoying to need to continually balance the item to avoid it falling over when you put it down. Spatulas are most likely to have this problem because the handle might weigh more than the blade. This can cause them to tip backward when you set them down.
While selecting a spatula to use on your cast iron cookware, look at where you will place your utensils while cooking. If it is on the edge of the skillet or griddle, select a properly weighted one so you won’t constantly be retrieving it off the floor each time you put it down.
Why A Handle Of A Spatula Is Important
Equally important is the heat resistance of the spatula handle. Ensure that the handle is made from a material that will stay comfortable and cool even when things heat up on your cast iron surface.
Wood or silicone-handled spatulas work well. The grip should be comfortable so that you will be able to maneuver the utensil easily and can apply pressure to surfaces of food when required.
Mercer Culinary has a ‘Hells Handle‘ range of heavy-duty metal spatulas that specifically feature heat-resistant handles.
The curve in the handle should also feel comfortable for your height while cooking. Some spatulas have a larger handle to blade angle, and some, especially some of the wooden types, are almost completely straight. That can be a challenge when using a cast iron skillet with high sides.
The area where the handle attaches to the blade needs to be strong. Metal spatulas with wooden handles usually have a single, strong metalcore that runs all the way through. You can lean confidently on those while cooking.
Spatulas made with softer materials may have a metal or wooden handle with a blade made from Silicone or nylon. Check that the connecting join will be durable enough to endure daily wear and tear.
Bevel Is Important When Choosing A Spatula For Cast Iron
Choosing a spatula with a deep beveled edge is one of the most vital aspects when selecting one to use on a cast iron surface. The larger the bevel, the sharper the edge, so the blade will slip under food easily.
Also, check if the spatula you are looking at is only beveled at the bottom or on all three sides. If you use a griddle or grill frequently, you may want to cut your meat and other items using the side of your spatula, so choosing one that is beveled all around is ideal.
The bevel is not only important to be able to lift or flip food; it is also the surface that makes contact with your cast iron. In the case of metal spatulas, a sharper bevel will level out the surface of the metal while you are cooking. Over time the cooking surface will become smoother.
Blade Flexibility Is A Consideration When Choosing A Spatula
Some spatulas, especially the metal types, are firm, non-flexible cooking utensils. They can be confidently rubbed over the surface of your seasoned cast iron surface. These spatulas do not have any ‘give’ and are perfect if you like the feel of a solid utensil.
Less rigid spatulas are available that will work perfectly on cast iron but won’t smooth your surface while you cook.
Homearda has a sturdy and thin silicone spatula with a super flexible head that is guaranteed not to warp. This will be a perfect spatula if you need to also use it on other cooking surfaces, besides just your cast iron.
Be Aware Of Cleaning Instructions For Spatulas
Unless you always wash dishes by hand, keep in mind that some spatulas may not be dishwasher safe. If you usually pop everything into the dishwasher after a meal, it is a good idea to purchase one that indicates that it is safe to put in the dishwasher.
Most silicone spatulas can be safely washed in the dishwasher. However, as soon as there is a wood component, they might only be hand washable. Fortunately, spatulas are usually really easy to clean as there are no fiddly bits, but it is a good idea to check the care instructions before buying a spatula.
Will A Metal Spatula Damage Cast Iron Surfaces?
A myth abounds that metal utensils should never be used on cast iron surfaces. The opposite is true, and it has become evident that cast iron surfaces benefit from the repeated smoothing action of flat metal utensils like the spatula.
The surface of a cast iron cooking surface is not an added layer like the case of a Teflon pan. It is simply a thick cast iron layer that can quickly develop rust if it is not seasoned. When a cast iron surface is new, it can often appear visually quite rough — the grainy texture of new cast iron results from sand that was used to form the product.
Some people love the grainy appeal of cast iron cooking surfaces, while others make every effort to smooth it out. One of the best ways to smooth out a textured cast iron surface is to do so gradually using a solid metal spatula. Each time you cook on cast iron, run the spatula firmly over any rough areas of the surface.
The combination of the heat, seasoning, and friction of a metal spatula will reduce the graininess of the cast iron surface. All cast iron cookware must be seasoned well after each use.
Will A Silicone Spatula Melt On A Cast Iron Skillet?
Silicone utensils, like spatulas, only start to wear down when they reach a heat of 600F. It is therefore highly unlikely to melt on the surface of cast iron.
Some reviewers have noted that the thinner beveled edge of some silicone spatulas tends to wear down faster than a more durable material like metal. However, it is unlikely that the utensil would melt entirely unless it is dropped directly into the flames of your barbeque. Even then, the Silicone would not ignite.
Are Wood Spatulas Good For Cast Iron?
Some people love the idea of cooking with wood utensils
The combination of cast iron and wood is a natural combination that can make food feel healthier. Like stirring with a wooden spoon — nothing can replace the solid feeling and connection to the food that one feels through wood.
Wooden spatulas are available but are not recommended for long-term use on cast iron as they simply lack the durability of stainless steel or Silicone. However, the eco-friendly aspect of using wooden utensils is appealing. If selecting a wood spatula, like this one from FAAY Store, to use on your cast iron surfaces, be aware that you cannot use the same amount of force as you would with a metal model.
So, What’s The Best Spatula For Cast Iron?
Choosing a versatile spatula that can be used every day but won’t damage your precious cast iron surfaces is essential. Spatulas are available that are made from a variety of materials, including nylon, wood, and even plastic. However, the only two types that should be considered for use on cast iron cookware are metal and Silicone.
Metal spatulas are generally rigid and heavy-duty. Over time they also smooth the rough surface of cast iron cookware to render a more desirable smooth finish. Overall, metal spatulas are considered the best for cast iron surfaces. Silicone spatulas also have their place and usually have more flexible blades, which won’t change the characteristic graininess of the cast iron.
In the end, the type of spatula you choose comes down to how it feels when you hold it and what delicious meals you prepare with it on your cast iron surface.