TL;DR: cast iron skillet + animal fats + metal spatula = nirvana
Years ago I tried using cast iron. Nothing but trouble. Sticky coating that didn’t seem to behave as I expected. Things stuck. I gave up.
Years later, I’m keto. And I’m laughing at the folly of seasoning a cast-iron skillet WITH VEGETABLE OIL as the instructions said, o so many years ago. In retrospect it should have been obvious. Our grandparents cooked real foods – animal fats – in their cast iron. And that’s why they were so wonderful! In the past two years I’ve fallen in love with my old cast iron treasures, each of which has a nice dark sheen from bacon, butter, beef fat, etc.
Which brings me to my next phase of kitchen nirvana. Okay, play along. Close your eyes and imagine…
What did you see? A white nylon spatula, browning with age? or maybe a newer model, made from some sort of black plastic? I’m guessing so. Why? Because we grew up with teflon pans, and everyone knows you don’t dare use a metal spatula on a teflon pan.
Well guess what. You CAN’T SCRATCH A CAST IRON SKILLET. And you also can’t flip a fried egg with a stupid thick nylon spatula! (Well, you can, if you’re careful, most of the time.) But why struggle? One day I was trying to make a nice breakfast and I kept breaking yolks. And then I remembered… tucked way back in the back of a drawer… there it is… a good old thin-bladed flexible METAL SPATULA! It must be 20 years old. My goodness it’s wonderful. So glad I didn’t toss it out.
Armed with a nice metal spatula, your cast iron skillet will sing like never before. When I cook the bacon a little too fast, and it’s left a little crust on the pan, I just turn the spatula over and s-c-r-a-p-e the gunky bacon crust off to the side and lift it out. Nothing left but happy bacon nectar, ready for a few eggs.
Eggs in, and as they begin to set, the thin spatula lets me move the eggs around if need be. It’s reassuring to lift them a little and move them – make room for the next one, and yes they’re not sticking! Then (if you’re making 'em Over Easy) the spatula slides right underneath for the flip. A thing of beauty.