When it comes to choosing the best spatula for your cast iron skillet, you need to think about the kind of cast iron cook you are.
If your priority is to maintain – at all costs – the perfect seasoning surface, then you’ll want to work with softer utensils. Think materials like bamboo or silicone here.
The other approach is to invest in a high-quality flat edged stainless steel spatula. It’s more effective at lifting and scraping, but there’s great risk of damaging the surface.
If you’re using your cast iron skillet regularly though, at high heats and with appropriate oils, you’ll be maintaining the seasoning well enough to withstand this extra pressure.
Really it comes down to frequency of use:
- Occasional skillet cook? Protect that surface and stick with a silicone spatula.
- Part of your daily cooking routine? Go for a stronger, flat-edged spatula made of high quality stainless steel.
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The Best Stainless Steel Skillet Spatulas
Let’s say you’re in the skillet fanatic camp. What exactly do you need to get the best results?
Before I move onto my own recommendations, keep the following in mind when you’re shopping around.
Toughened Stainless Steel
You don’t want to cut costs on the basic material of your cast iron skillet spatula.
If the steel hasn’t been especially hardened, it will eventually degrade over a prolonged period of use.
It’ll be less effective over time, and you’ll be mixing the material in with your food too!
A Well-Crafted Beveled Edge
If the end of the stainless steel spatula hasn’t been sharpened with precision, you’ll end up chipping bits of your meal into the pan.
If you’re breaking up meat as a basic ingredient, that’s obviously not a problem. When you’re working with things like burgers though, this will definitely cause you a headache.
This edge also needs to be truly flat. If it’s not, you’ll struggle to apply force evenly. That will increase the risk of damage to your seasoning, and be frustrating to use as well.
Let’s move onto a couple of the most popular options in this category. Each one has earned its own army of fans, and I’ll explain why in greater detail.
MANNKITCHEN Professional Grade Stainless Steel Spatula
MANNKITCHEN is the preferred brand when it comes to high quality, stainless steel skillet spatulas.
Its signature MK21680 spatula is made of heavy gauge stainless steel, which all but eliminates flexing when you’re pressing meat into the pan.
- Hardened Stainless Steel For Even Cast Iron Skillet Surface Leveling
- Precision Beveled Straight Edge for Optimal Food Release
- Comfortable Heat Resistant Single Piece Hardwood Handle
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The edge of the spatula is precision beveled as well, which is useful for turning delicate foods or giving other ingredients a gentle chop.
The hardwood handle is designed to support that hard work, and is riveted to ensure a longer life.
Riveted handles also provide more stability when you want to apply force with absolute precision.
The handle is tapered for a comfortable grip, and is designed to resist heat when it’s close to the skillet edge too.
The only flipside to the MANNKITCHEN (no pun intended) is that you can’t put it through the dishwasher. It needs a hand wash, but I think this utensil is worth the extra TLC.
Sabatier Triple Rivet Stainless Steel Wide Turner
Sabatier is another popular name in the world of kitchen utensils.
It offers a number of variations on this spatula, but I think the Wide Turner is the best all-purpose choice from this brand.
The extra size makes it suitable for flipping big or small items in the skillet. The extra width also makes scraping more efficient, and makes serving items from the pan to the plate easier.
- PERFECT FOR TURNING: The Sabatier Wide Turner features a narrow head that is perfect for picking up and...
- SUPPORTIVE HANDLE: The handle is made of durable POM and includes stainless steel rivets for added...
- STAINLESS STEEL: Both the handle and head are crafted from durable and sturdy stainless steel
Like the MANNKITCHEN spatula, Sabatier’s tool is made from hard-wearing stainless steel. The handle is likewise riveted for extra strength.
Unlike its competitor, however, the handle on the Sabatier is made from a material called Polyoxymethylene (or POM, for short).
This stuff can take a lot of heat punishment, but it doesn’t look quite as stylish as the MANNKITCHEN utensil.
It is dishwasher safe though. If this sort of convenience is important to you, you may feel this gives the Sabatier the edge.
The Best Silicone Skillet Spatulas
If you’re only going to be using your skillet occasionally, there are some excellent soft silicone options to choose from.
Both of the options I’ve included here are cost-effective, and have proven more than up to the tasks of flipping skillet food!
Unlike a stainless steel spatula, you want more flexibility in your silicone utensil.
This will help you ease the spatula beneath the food, minimizing the amount of pressure you need to apply to get the job done.
This goes hand in hand with flexibility, but a thinner spatula is always a better spatula. That’s true whether you opt for stainless steel or silicone as a base material.
The thinner the head of your silicone spatula, the easier it will be to slip beneath food without damaging your burger in the process!
Let’s move on to two of the most popular options in this category.
Unicook 2 Pack Flexible Silicone Spatula
Silicone utensils are almost always cheaper to make than their stainless steel counterparts. For this reason you’ll often find them supplied as part of a set.
This Unicook pair of spatulas covers large and small cooking tasks. If you need to flip an egg, use the small one. For larger tasks – or serving up them meal – the larger spatula is useful to have on hand.
- 2 Pack-including Large and Small spatula. Sturdy, durable construction with a comfortable nonslip handle...
- Thin, flexible silicone head with an angled edge that glides easily beneath food without damaging it.
- Spatula head is made of supreme silicone, heat resistant to 600°F.
The head on each spatula is angled slightly, which makes it easier to slip beneath food. That angling is less helpful when you want to do a little light chopping though.
Although the silicone surrounds a stainless steel core, these spatulas are designed to be extremely flexible.
The head of each spatula is also designed to withstand temperatures up to 600F / 315C. That’s more than enough for typical stovetop cooking at home.
DI ORO Chef Series 2 Piece Spatula Set
This is another two-piece silicone spatula set, and is a good option if you’re going to be preparing folded food like omelets.
This is where the rounded spatula shines, but you also get a more traditional spatula for turning foods like burgers.
- PREMIUM DESIGN - We have combined our wildly popular Chef Series Round and Standard Turner Spatulas into...
- A VARIETY OF APPLICATIONS - Whether carefully folding a ham and cheese omelet or sauteing a colorful...
- GIFT GIVING MADE EASY– DI ORO products make wonderful gifts for women and men whether for Christmas,...
In both cases, a reinforced stainless steel core is surrounded by a softer silicone wrapping. This makes them suitable for delicate cast iron skillet work, or use on other non-stick surfaces.
The blades remain thin, however, and easy to slide beneath food without breaking anything up.
The handle is likewise constructed of stainless steel with a silicone cover. To make it easier to handle, a little thumb placement dip has been built into the handle.
Both spatulas also have a built-in hanging loop, so you can keep them close at hand with your hanging pots and pans.
All of the spatulas I’ve highlighted in this article have proved popular for a reason.
They get the job done really well, with minimum interference to the food and the seasoning on your skillet.
If you’re going down the stainless steel route, then I’d recommend the MANNKITCHEN spatula. A spatula isn’t the hardest thing in the world to wash by hand, and this will likely last for years with careful use.
Alternatively, I think the DI ORO 2 Piece Set is the best all-round option if you’re more comfortable working with silicone-coated spatulas.