Seasoned cast iron is one of the most versatile pieces of cookware that you can use in your kitchen or over a campfire. It can be used for cooking various foods, ranging from fried eggs to deep-fried fries. After hundreds of years of using cast iron, people are still looking for an answer to this question – What are the best utensils for cast iron?
The best utensils for cast iron are made from heavy-duty stainless steel, wood, and silicone. Beveled edges assist with easy turning and prevent food from sticking and breaking up. Wide, flat edges help the utensil glide over the surface, preventing damage, and sturdy, long handles protect the users from burns.
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Choosing the Best Utensils for Cast-Iron Cookware?
A cast iron skillet is one of the most used kitchen utensils among professional chefs and home cooks. Cast-iron pans are popular because they can be used on high heat, unlike many other cookware types.
Seasoned cast-iron cookware has a non-stick surface that is accomplished by keeping the surface area seasoned. This seasoning keeps the cooking area non-stick and protects the cast iron skillet from rust and corrosion.
This means that selecting the correct utensils protects the cooking surface and prevents your food from sticking and burning on its surface over a longer period.
Consider these four things when choosing utensils to use on any cast-iron surface;
1. Stainless Steel vs Hardened Stainless Steel
You should always choose hardened stainless steel over stainless steel when using cast iron cookware this is why. Cast iron is not regular cookware. It is harder than stainless steel. Stainless steel is too soft to be used as an everyday tool because it will damage the surface of your iron pots and pans. The surface could lose its nonstick properties and be open to rust and corrosion, not to mention the damage the utensil will sustain.
2. Utensil Design
To avoid food sticking and a utensil damaging the surface of the iron, a beveled flat scraping edge will give you the best chance of lifting your food cleanly every time. The utensil’s flat edge will also keep your cookware’s surface smooth and level, thus helping you retain a non-stick undamaged cooking surface.
3. Ease of Use
You want a utensil that is not too flexible so you can cleanly manage your food is a must. You should also have a utensil that can be rested against the side of the hot pan if required. One made from hardened stainless steel with a quality wooden handle will achieve this for you.
Safety is important when choosing your utensil. Cast iron gets hot, so depending upon the cooking pots’ size, shape, and depth, you may require long-handled utensils. A sturdy, well-made utensil that can carry the weight of the food items being turned or stirred and a wooden handle to stop you from getting burnt is a must.
Best Utensils to Use on Cast-Iron (Seasoned)
Now that you know what to look for, here are my top choices for the best cast iron skillets and cookware utensils.
1. Best Spatula for Cast-Iron
Mercer Culinary’s Rosewood Handle Heavy Duty Turner is made of the highest quality Japanese stainless steel. Precision ground for the perfect combination of flexibility and stiffness, this turner will not break under pressure.
The handle is secured with brass compression rivets to prevent separation and provides a comfortable, natural grip. This rosewood-handled spatula protects your hands from excessive heat and has a limited lifetime warranty.
Clean this utensil with dish soap, scrub brush, and hot water to maintain the gorgeous rosewood handle.
This range is not limited to this heavy-duty spatula. Check out the large range of utensils by visiting the exclusive Mercer Culinary Store.
2. Best Heavy-Duty Spatula for Cast-Iron
The Mannkitchen spatula is made of heavy-gauge steel designed to withstand the toughest cooking tasks. The straight edge allows even cast-iron skillet surface leveling, while the precision beveled edge easily releases food! It can flip pancakes, eggs, or burgers without breaking them apart!
It is perfectly balanced and weighted for smooth scraping and easy maneuvering, so it won’t flex when scraping the bottom of a heavy cast-iron skillet or grill. Continuing the ease of use, the handle is made from heat-resistant hardwood.
After years of use, cast iron skillets can develop uneven cooking surfaces, making it difficult to get an even sear on your meat or vegetables. This heavy-duty stainless steel spatula is designed with a wide surface area and perfectly flat edge to level out these cooking surfaces so you can achieve restaurant-quality sears every time!
3. Best Tongs for Cast-Iron
Universal US Grill-A-Tongs Stainless Steel BBQ Tongs are perfect for grilling, roasting, and serving. The tongs feature unique laser-cut designs, including USMC Globe & Anchor, US Army, Police, Sherriff Department, Firefighter, and Camo Buck.
The heavy-duty, high-quality stainless steel is accentuated with hard maple handles and durable brass rivets. With the unique, fully enclosed maple handles, your hands are safe from excessive heat.
Included is a built-in bottle opener. The tongs are dishwasher safe and will not rust or peel, even after years of use.
4. Utensil Sets for Cast-Iron
The Anmarko Stainless Steel Spatula Set is a must-have for every kitchen. Whether you are a professional chef or a cooking amateur, this spatula set will become your favorite cooking utensil. They are made from sturdy stainless steel – non-reactive, hygienic, and durable. The spatula’s stainless steel blade thickness is 1/25 inch.
The Anmarko set includes a Teppanyaki spatula, hamburger turner, flat pancake flipper, fish turner, griddle scraper, great BBQ Grills, and flat-top cast iron griddles.
The sleek stainless steel blades glide easily through the food while an ergonomic and comfortable hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip and balance. The flat spatulas and stainless steel turners are very well balanced. This metal spatula set is handwash only.
These durable, long-lasting utensils make it easy to flip any pancake or grill anything and are perfect for cast iron cooking surfaces.
5. Wooden Utensils for Cast-Iron
Wooden spoons or spatulas – These won’t hurt the surface of your iron, and provided they are sturdy enough, you will be able to use them to cook with as well as scrape the surface of your pan and in the groves of your cast-iron skillet.
That being said, the Earlywood 10-inch handmade multi-purpose wood scraper/turner glides easily over the toughest cookware brands like Griswald and Wagner cast iron cookware. The smooth finish of the four types of sustainable wood harvested responsibly right here in the USA will have eggs sliding off it.
This wooden cooking utensil is perfect for all your cooking requirements, from cast iron griddles and skillets to Dutch ovens, as the design is easy to handle. Feel safe before purchasing, knowing that this Montana company offers a lifetime warranty on their wooden utensil.
6. Vintage Cast Iron Utensils
These are the traditional hand-made spatula and ladles made from iron. Moderate length and weight, size:16.5”/0.5lb for the spatula and 16.5”/0.54lb for the ladle. The spatula and ladle’s manageable size make turning and flipping easy.
The iron is made with a combination of nitrogen and metal that produces a dense nitride layer, which is rust-proof, wear-resistant, and does not produce toxic substances at high temperatures.
It has a rosewood handle fixed at the end of the hollow iron handle by copper nails. It prevents liquid from entering the hollow iron handle for easier cleaning and better protection against rust.
Must read before purchasing accessories you do not require – Ultimate Guide to Cast-Iron Accessories.
Can You Use Metal Utensils With Enameled Cast Iron?
You can use metal utensils with enameled cast iron. In doing so, you will scratch or chip the surface of the enamel, making it less nonstick. Potentially, the surface could leach metal into food or a cookware surface that corrodes and rusts.
Avoid using stainless steel utensils such as steel whisks and sharp knives. Even a metal spoon can easily damage your pan’s surface, compromising the protective enamel layer.
Wooden spoons and silicone spatulas are gentle on the enamel surface of the cookware and will keep your cookware surface nonstick for a long time.
In the image above, I am applying great pressure to my large Le Creuset Silicone spatula, which barely bends. These kitchen utensils are top quality and will stand up to any cast iron pan.
Best Utensils for Enameled Cast Iron Cookware
Premium enameled cast iron cookware brands like Le Creuset and Staub provide a range of specifically designed utensils for their cookware. These tools are made from materials that won’t cause any damage to the interior enamel layer and will last you for years.
7. Le Creuset Wooden Spoon
8. Le Creuset Silicone Spatula
9. Staub Olivewood Spatula
10. Staub Silicone Spatula
Tip: Beware plastic spatulas may be described as “heatproof or heat resistant’; it is doubtful that they can withstand the high temperature of a cast iron frying pan.
Common questions about the best utensils to use on cast iron cookware.
What kind of spatula should you use on cast iron?
Stainless steel spatulas glide easily across seasoned cast iron. They are lightweight and durable, and a good wooden handle protects hands from heat.
Can I use a steel spatula on cast iron?
One of the most common questions I get, above all others, is whether I can use a steel spatula on my cast-iron pan. According to Lodge Cast Iron, which is among the world’s top manufacturers of cast-iron products, you can use metal utensils, among others, on cast-iron cookware.
Can you use a metal scraper on cast iron?
We are told that cast iron is durable and tough! So, can you use steel wool or a metal scrubber to clean your cast iron pan?
No, do not! We should use a pan scraper, scrub brush, or chainmail scrubber (Lodge Chainmail Scrubber) to remove any stuck-on residue.
Steel wool and other abrasive materials will compromise the non-stick surface of the iron and should only be used on “unseasoned” pans, which need rust removed before re-seasoning.
Cast-iron and RUST removal – learn more about it in this OvenSpot article.
Can you use plastic utensils on cast iron?
Avoid using plastic utensils on cast iron because even cast iron heated at a very low temperature will melt the plastic. Apart from the potential dangers, you will ruin the non-stick properties of the cookware.
Cast iron is a porous material, so the plastic will melt into the pores and potentially partially or fully dry; hence, a massive cleanup job and a full pre-season. These cooking utensils should be avoided when using cast iron.
Can I use rubber or silicone utensils for cast-iron cooking?
The closest rubber or silicone/rubber blend utensil I have found that can withstand temperatures anywhere near 700° Fahrenheit is this 600 F heat-resistant rubber silicone spatula (Amazon).
The best utensils are wooden utensils or stainless utensils.
What is the best oil to season cast iron?
A good question! Many cooking oils and fats can be used for seasoning; the best one is one with a very high smoke point. Two oils that offer the best smoking point are vegetable oil, Grapeseed Oil, and Flaxseed oil. These oils can be expensive, so you should always consider the affordability, availability, and effectiveness of the fat or cooking oil you choose.
MUST-READ – my article with a complete breakdown of the best oil seasoning cast iron. Another great read is “What should not be cooked in cast iron.” Practicing the tips in this article saves your cast iron’s “Patina” or non-stick surface.
Wrapping Up – What Utensils Can Be Used on Cast Iron?
The best option is not to use anything abrasive or sharp when it comes in contact with the surface of your cookware because this will scratch the finish and may also damage its nonstick coating over time. Remember these pointers next time you’re preparing dinner!
One-Pot Cooking Rocks