Can You Use Metal Utensils On Cast Iron?

Ah, cast iron cookware. Trusted members of many a kitchen arsenal, these pans are durable, versatile, excellent at distributing and retaining heat, and are perfectly suited to cooking both on the stovetop and in the oven. Cast iron seems to excel at almost every kitchen task it's given, from searing steak to toasting spices to frying eggs. Happily, it's quite affordable, too, with popular manufacturer Lodge's nine-inch skillet retailing for less than $20.

But whether you've parted with just a few dollars or invested in pricier cast iron cookware from makers such as Butter Pat Industries, one thing's for certain: You're going to want to take good care of your pan in order to keep it rust-free, clean, and naturally nonstick for years to come. And although cast iron can get a bad rap for being somewhat finicky — it has to be "seasoned" with fat before use, for example (via Taste of Home) — it's actually pretty easy to care for. As pointed out by Lodge, myths abound when it comes to cast iron maintenance, and one of those persistent myths is that using metal utensils on such pans will scratch them.

Well-seasoned cast iron pans can stand up to metal

If you've been babying your cast iron skillet, you can probably tone things down, according to Field Company. Treating your skillet well involves maintaining the naturally nonstick coating achieved by heating the pan with fat, cleaning it well, and drying it fully to prevent rusting (via Lodge). Cast-iron enthusiasts refer to this as "seasoning." On its website, the maker of cast iron cookware points out that as long as you've maintained the seasoning on your pan, your skillet is more resilient than you might think. "Any tiny scrapes or scratches left behind" by a utensil "aren't a long-term concern: seasoning that scuffs away is relatively weak, and will quickly be replaced as you continue cooking," Field Company writes.

On its page describing the myths surrounding cast iron cookware, popular maker Lodge points out that cast iron is incredibly durable. So the next time you need to flip a grilled cheese using a metal spatula, or run a butter knife around a cornbread in order to loosen it from the pan, have no fear. Regular maintenance of your cast iron will keep everything shipshape.