In order to talk about the best utensils for cast iron, we must first talk about cast iron, why it is used, what it is, and the different methods of seasoning cast iron.
Table of contents
- Why cast iron for cookware?
- What is cast iron?
- Seasoning Cast Iron
- Silicone Utensils for Seasoned Cast Iron
- Stainless Steel Utensils for Non-Seasoned Cast Iron
Why cast iron for cookware?
Cast iron pans are some of the most versatile cookware in your kitchen. Cast iron skillets, woks, Dutch ovens, and griddles are generally inexpensive; they can withstand very high temperatures, are nearly indestructible, and, through seasoning, they can be made non-stick. One disadvantage of cast iron is that it will rust.
What is cast iron?
Cast iron is an iron carbon alloy that is usually a mixture of pig iron, recycled cast iron, and recycled scrap steel that is melted and then poured into a mold made of sand. This is known as sand casting. Once the skillet or other cookware is cast, it is essentially done. The surface gets treated to remove rough edges, and the skillet is cleaned, but there are no other rolling, joining, or laminating steps that are used to make other types of cookware. Avoiding these extra assembly steps is the main reason that cast iron cookware is a great value.
Seasoning Cast Iron
The best utensils for cast iron can only be identified once you know which method will be used for seasoning the skillet.
When it comes to seasoning and maintaining cast iron, there are two schools of thought.
Seasoning Cast Iron Method 1
Some cooks formally season their cast iron when they first get the cookware and periodically thereafter. They do this by coating the pan in oil and baking the coated cast iron cookware at a moderately high temperature for an hour. This creates a polymerized layer on the cast iron pan that makes it nonstick. This layer wears off after a while, and so the seasoning process must be repeated. If this is the seasoning method that you use, then you will want to use silicone utensils for cast iron.
Seasoning Cast Iron Method 2
Some cooks prefer the “regular use” or non-seasoning seasoning method. That is, they use their pans frequently, often with high heat and enough oil, and this repeated use makes and keeps their pans non-stick. If you use this method, then you will want to use stainless steel utensils for cast iron.
Related: Spatula vs Turner
Silicone Utensils for Seasoned Cast Iron
Silicone is a modern material with excellent physical properties that make it ideal for a traditionally seasoned cast iron pan. Silicone is soft, so it won’t scratch the seasoned polymerized layer, but also durable, so your utensils won’t wear either. In addition, it can withstand very high temperatures, so it won’t get damaged when using the cast iron cookware on high heat.
Furthermore, silicone spatulas are for the most part stain resistant, generally don’t retain flavors, and are available in a variety of colors. Silicone utensils are suitable not only for cast iron, but also for all other types of cookware, be it non-stick or not. They won’t damage casserole dishes, mixing bowls, or even fine china. As a result, silicone utensils are useful all throughout your kitchen and they stay looking good.
Below is a collection of some of the best Silcone spatulas for cast iron:
Related: Fish Slice vs Spatula
UpGood Silicone Spatula Set
The UpGood SIlicone Spatual Set consists of three versatile spatulas, .
The UpGood Silicone Spatula Set is comprised of three spatulas, and a set with four spatulas is also available. I like the black three piece set, but the spatula sets are also available in teal, red, and grey. The longest spatula in the set is 11 inches in length. There are two standard shaped spatulas and one spoon shaped spatula (spoonula). These are perfect for stirring vegetables, sauces, and small chunks of meat. They also work well in mixing bowls. The edges flex so you can scrape the slides of the container. The Spoonula doubles as a spatula and also a serving spoon. If you get the four piece set, you also get a narrow spatula that is good for scraping out the inside of jars.
I like that these have one piece construction so that they will go right into the dishwasher; and you won’t have to worry about food or water being trapped in any small crevices (which might otherwise lead to mold growth). The spatulas are heat resistant up to 600° F, and they won’t scratch your seasoned cast iron skillet. They also can be used with any other cookware – including non stick cookware – in your kitchen.
GEEKHOM Silcone Spatulas and Turners
The GEEKHOM Silcone Spatulas and Turners come in a four pack set of solid and slotted spatulas / turners of varying widths and lengths. These are ideal utensils for cast iron, and can also be used with all your other cookware, including your non-stick cookware.
These turners are flexible and work well for flipping and flattening. The wide turner will fit nicely under a big fluffy pancake, and the long slotted turner is ideal for flipping burgers, bacon and fish, as well as mixing up a vegetable stir fry. The turners are flexible so that you can use them to apply pressure to bacon, burgers, and other pieces of meat so that you get even browning.
The turners are dishwasher safe.
The turner portion is made from silicone that is heat resistant up to 600° F. The handle is made from thermoplastic rubber – TPR. The handle is comfortable to grip, but it will melt if it makes extended contact with a hot skillet.
Home Hero Silicone Kitchen Utensil Set with Acacia Wood
The 8 piece Home Hero Silicone Kitchen Utensil Set with Acacia Wood is a real bargain! You get a full range of silicone utensils that you can use for cooking and serving, and they are beautiful besides.
The handles are made from Acacia wood, which is a durable, water- and rot-resistant, hardwood. The wood handles won’t get hot if you rest them on the side of your pan.
The spatula ends are made from grey-colored silicone which is heat resistant up to 392° F, which is more than 200° less than the other silicone spatulas I have reviewed. This is certainly enough heat resistance for low to medium heat cooking, but you may have issues if you use them when your cast iron skillet is extremely hot.
The Home Hero Set includes the following 8 pieces: Round-edge spatula, Straight edge spatula, Slotted turner, silicone brush, solid spoon, slotted spoon, ladle, and pasta server.
As far as caring for the utensils, using the dishwasher is possible, but hand washing is recommended. Acacia wood is water resistant and is, in fact, used in outdoor furniture. However, it is not particularly tolerant of regular exposure to high heat, and high temperatures can cause it to warp. And so if you regularly leave the utensils in your hot pan for an extended period, you may find that they eventually may splinter or break at the seam between the handle and the silicone attachment.
DI ORO Seamless Series 3 Pieces Silicone Spatula Set
The DO ORO 3 Piece silicone spatula set contains an award winning design. The standard sized spatula from this set won the 2017 Cook’s Illustrated / Cook’s Country / America’s Test Kitchen award for the best All Purpose Spatula. The Test Kitchen testers commented that the DI ORO mode was “firm enough for scraping and scooping but also neatly fit into tight corners.”
The spatulas in the DI ORO set all have a seamless design, meaning no trapped food and no trapped dish water after cleaning.
The spatulas are heat resistant to 600° F.
Additionally, the silicone that this set is made from is LFGB certified, which is a German standard, more strict than the US FDA. Silicone that passes this standard is not only food-safe, but it is more durable and much less likely to have any undesirable odors or flavors.
Furthermore, the set is available in eight different colors, and best of all, come with a lifetime warranty.
The DI ORO Spatula set is our top choice for silicone spatulas.
Miusco Non-Stick Silicone Kitchen Utensils Set with Natural Acacia Hard Wood Handle
The 5 piece Miusco Non-Stick Silicone Kitchen Utensils Set is a sharp looking utensil set that contains a spatula, a spoonula, a slotted turner, a spoon, and a slotted spoon.
The silicone is the color grey and heat resistant up to 464° F. The Handles are made from Acacia wood with holes for hanging.
The range of Utensils in this set make it a complete set for cooking with seasoned cast iron. The turner will work on pancakes, hamburgers, bacon, and large cuts of meat. The Spatula and Spoonula are good for stirring vegetables, and smaller cubes of meat, and sauces; and the two spoons complete the set as serving spoons.
The set can be used with your cast iron skillet and all your other cookware as well. Acacia wood is beautiful, and the handles stay cool. In order to care for your set so that it lasts a long time, you will need to handwash the utensils. Acacia wood does not do well with heat exposure, so you wouldn’t want to store them above the stove. Use them while cooking but don’t let them sit in hot cookware for an extended period of time.
The tool parts of the utensils are made from solid silicone. There is no metal core as in some spatulas, which results in the utensils being especially flexible.
Stainless Steel Utensils for Non-Seasoned Cast Iron
Stainless steel utensils should not be used on most non-stick cookware. However, cast iron cookware is almost indestructible, so stainless steel won’t hurt it. In fact, when stainless steel utensils are used repeatedly on cast iron, over time, the surface of the cast iron wears and smooths, which enhances the non-stick properties of the cast iron.
If you are a member of the camp that thinks that the best way to season cast iron is to use it a lot, then the following selection of stainless steel utensils is for you.
Mercer Culinary Hell’s Handle Turner/Spatula
Channel your inner celebrity professional chef! The Hell’s Handle Spatula is a spectacular utensil for three main reasons: 1. It’s length and shape. 2. Flexibility and Stiffness. 3. The amazing slip and heat resistant handle that won’t slip.
- Length and Shape.
Mercer Culinary has a variety of different Hell’s Handle products, and I like the 8 inch x 3 inch Turner/Spatula the best. It slides easily under burgers and steaks, however, because of the long length, it is just as useful for sliding under fish or bacon. With 24 inches of surface area, you can turn over a whole pan of fast cooking stir fry in just a few seconds. It works just as well on the grill as on your cast iron skillet.
- Flexibility and Stiffness
The turner has the ideal combination of stiffness and flexibility. It is stiff enough to wrestle a good sized steak, and has just the right amount of flexibility to create a spectacular smash burger.
Watch the turner in action:
- The handle
The handle of the Mercer Culinary Hell’s Handle Turner/Spatula is heat resistant and comfortable. It stays cool to the touch even when you are working at high temperatures. Best of all, the handle is bonded to the stainless steel turner. It won’t slip off and harbor mold and bacteria. This is because the spatula is NSF Certified . It is a commercial grade utensil, and easy to clean in your dishwasher.
Mercer Culinary Hell’s Handle spatulas are also available in other shapes and sizes that you can review with this LINK:
- Grill Scraper 4.5 in x 4 in
- Heavy Duty Turner 5 in x 3 in
- Heavy Duty Turner 5 in x 4 in
- Bench Scraper 5.875 in x 3.5 in
- Fish Turner 6 in x 3 in
- Left Handed Fish Turner 6 in x 3 in
- Turmer 6 in x 3 in
- Two Prong Fork 8 in
- Long Turner 8 in x 3 in with a long handle
- Perforated Turner 8 in x 3 in
Note that Hell’s Handle turners are not suitable for other non-stick cookware.
Anmarko Stainless Steel Metal Griddle 4 x 8 inch Spatula
The Anmarko stainless steel griddle spatula has 33% more surface area than the Mercer Culinary tool. Its three sides are beveled to an edge so that you can use the spatula as a food chopper right in your skillet or on your griddle.
The turner will just as easily maneuver large pieces of meat as it will giant pancakes, and its large surface area will also make it easy to rapidly turn over large skillets full of scrambled eggs or stir-fries so that you get uniform cooking throughout. The turner would also work well on a grill.
The handle is riveted wood, which gives it a traditional look and feel. As a result, however, this spatula must be hand washed only.
Note that this spatula is not suitable for other non-stick cookware.
MANNKITCHEN Professional Grade Stainless Steel Spatula
Of all the utensils that I am reviewing, the MANNKITCHEN Professional Grade Stainless Steel spatula is the only one that was created exclusively for use on cast iron. Cleve Oines founder of MANNKITCHEN, is a big believer in the non-seasoning method of cast iron skillet care, and this spatula was designed so that it would “improve cast iron over time by leveling the surface.”
The MANNKITCHEN turner is under 3” wide, but it is hefty. The spatula is made from heavy gauge 420 stainless steel. It has a beveled edge all the way around and is weighted towards the front. When you set it down it will rest on its blade rather than toppling over. The beveled edge combined with the weight make this the perfect tool for sliding under food, prying away any stuck pieces, chopping food as it cooks, and smashing burgers.
While the wooden handle is good looking comfortable, it still means that this utensil requires handwashing.
Note that this spatula is not suitable for other non-stick cookware.
Anmarko Professional Spatula Set – Stainless Steel
Cast Iron Skillets come in different sizes, and so it makes sense to have spatulas in different sizes also. Anmarko, in addition to selling the single spatula that we discussed previously, has put together three professional grade spatulas into a set that is reasonably priced.
The Professional Grade set includes
- 4in x 8in spatula that I reviewed above
- 3in x 8in spatula with that has a rounded and beveled front edge
- 3 in x 5 in spatula, with beveled edges on three sides
The spatula with the rounded edge is recommended for pancakes, and the smaller turner is marketed as a grill scraper. I think that all three are useful as turners, depending on the size of the pan that you are using and what you are cooking. I like the feel of the wooden handle, the fact that it doesn’t get hot, and that it is riveted in place. The presence of a wooden handle, however, makes the spatula not suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher.
Although the set with the wooden handle is our favorite, you may prefer one of Anmarkos other variations of their set:
Consumer grade spatulas with plastic handles. These are the same size spatulas as the professional grade but with plastic handles that are not heat resistant. This set is dishwasher safe. However, it is not NSF certified, so the plastic handles are not bonded to the spatula. I wonder how long they will stay attached.
Consumer grade set with plastic handles, that comes with kitchen tongs, hooks for hanging, and two squeeze bottles that could be used for dressings and marinades. The spatulas are dishwasher safe.
Spatula set with ABS handles that are riveted to the spatulas. This set also comes with kitchen tongs, hooks for hanging, and two squeeze bottles. The handles of these spatulas offer some heat resistance, and the spatulas are dishwasher safe.
Note that this spatula is not suitable for other non-stick cookware.
Cast iron makes great cookware. It can have a non-stick surface with the right care. If you choose the traditional seasoning method to season your skillet, then you will want to opt for silicone utensils. If you decide to do the heavy-use non-season seasoning method, then you will enjoy using stainless steel utensils on your cast iron. Either way, I have presented a selection of some of the finest utensils for cast iron which will enhance your cooking experience so that you can focus on the main ingredient – the food!
Last update on 2022-09-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API