Cast iron skillet/spatula epiphany

(Jeff Logullo) #1

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…

A spatula.

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.

I need words of wisdom!
(Linda Culbreth) #2

Awesome! I love my cast iron skillets, etc. Besides, it gives me just enough iron in my diet, not too much and not too little.

(Always take time to stop and eat the bacon) #3

Silly! You’re supposed to eat the food, not the skillet! :smiley::laughing::grin:

(Linda Culbreth) #4

Silly me! So that’s why all I eat is hard to chew!!!

(Ernest) #5

I’m a cast iron junkie. There’s no Teflon in my house.

(Rusty) #6

I just purchased a new 10" to go with my 12".

(Always take time to stop and eat the bacon) #7

Any woman will tell you size doesn’t matter. :joy:

(Terri) #8

They are lying. Not only does size matter, but having options also matters. Having a 10" and a 12" creates options. “Variety is the spice of life”… so they say… :wink:

(Always take time to stop and eat the bacon) #9

Alas, I have long since come to suspect that. [sigh]

(Rusty) #10

My new toy!!!

(Terri) #11

I think I need to obtain a new one. I’m actually thinking of getting two 10". Options!

(Linda Culbreth) #12

They are BEAUTIFUL!!!

(Rusty) #13

My new 10” is awesome…cooks to perfection. I prefer to bust my egg yokes after I turn them in the pan and have hard fried eggs.

(Ernest) #14

Always a good idea to have an 8" two 10" and a 12"

That should satisfy @Primalgigi


Jumping in to give some love to stainless steel pans and saying how much I love my metal spatula. My tri-plys don’t stick unless I mess up and keep them at too high a temp. and even then they clean up just beautifully with soap and hot water.

The metal spatula is one of those things I was kicking myself in the ass for not buying sooner. I love it. And I can even use it on my Slider pans, with its nonstick coating, just have to pay attention to what I am doing. It is called fish spatula, but I use it for everything, it is a wonderful thing.

I do have an older cast iron skillet I use to prepare steaks for the broiler when I can’t grill them outside. I grew up in a home where cast iron was the only kind of skillet. The pre 1960 ones were produced differently, so I cling to my older but small cast iron skillet. The newer ones are produced differently and they are much harder to get a clean seasoning surface.

(Ernest) #16

There are a few companies now that have gone back to the smooth surface of the classics.
BUT you pay an arm and a leg since the polishing process is quite expensive. That’s why Lodge is as cheap as it is. They stopped polishing the surface.
Finex, built like a tank and Stargazer (lighter) have smooth polished surface.

(Damon Chance) #17

I wonder if the polishing would be something you could do as DIY project…

(Ernest) #18

I have 10 plus lodge skillets that I smoothed out using a polishing disk attached to a drill.
Takes a while but worth the effort.

(Damon Chance) #19

Exactly what I was thinking. Can you recommend a polishing disk? I have the drill(s).

(Ernest) #20

@d_to_the_c I used a Diablo demon steel 40 grit, 4.5 inch disk. And this thing called Avanti PRO quick strip disk.
Both available at Home Depot