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.

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #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* Instagram: @Rustyk61) #6

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

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #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:

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #9

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

(*Rusty* Instagram: @Rustyk61) #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* Instagram: @Rustyk61) #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

(#inforthelonghaul, KCKO, KCFO) #15

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