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Apr 22, 2013 08:48 AM

Utensils that wont scratch my cookware

After much frustration, I finally found my first tin-lined copper pan (3mm and HUGE) as well as a pre-logo Griswold #12 cast iron skillet all on the same day. Im excited to use them but I want to make sure im taking care of them properly. Apparently, metal utensils will damage the tin lining of the copper pan and the seasoning of the Griswold. So i want to invest in utensils that wont damage my pans but are just as functional as metal utensils. Any recommendations? I prefer that they not be made in China. So far im looking at the Littledeer Wooden Cooking Utensils as well as Olivewood.

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  1. metal utensils damage seasoning of CI? that's news to me.

    maybe just be gentler?

    1 Reply
    1. re: filtered

      I haven't used my pan yet as its on its way. Never used seasoned cast iron before as my parents own none (im still dependent on them). I've read some recommendations not to use metal and others saying its safe that im confused. . The pan I bought is over a 100 years old and I would like it to survive another 100 years. So im guessing its safe to use metal utensils on it? I thought it was strange reading that after seeing many chefs use metal utensils on their cast iron pans. Regardless, I would still like to limit my utensils to non-metal ones as Im building up a mostly tin-lined copper cookware collection.

    2. <metal utensils will damage the tin lining of the copper pan and the seasoning of the Griswold.>

      Yes for tin lining on copper pan. Not really for the seasoning on Griswold or whatever cast iron cookware. It does actually scratch a bit on the seasoning, but you actually want this. You want the seasoning be constantly build up and constantly removed.

      You should know that cast iron cookware can handle any utensils: wood, plastic, metal...etc. In fact, I prefer to use metal over wood for the stated reasons.

      1. I know there are folk who regularly post here who are not wild about SLT, but I love their inexpensive French wooden spatulas. I am sure you can find them other places, but we have an SLT in Austin so that is where I go. Also, if you ever come across those things that look like little brooms, a bunch of 6" birch bristles tied around a handle, they make wonderful whisks in a tin lined sauce pan. I also use a variety of wooden spoons and silicone spatulas in tin lined pans. I tried silicone tipped tongs but don't like their pincers as well as I like the ones I get at Ace. As regards CI, I abuse mine all the time to no obvious ill effect. I agree with Chem on this one. oh, welcome to the wonderful addiction heavy tin lined copper.

        1. Cast iron is like SUPERMAN!! EVen if you scrape some of the "seasoning" off... ya just get it hot on stove top and give it another dab of fat... my grandmother always used bacon grease. Unless it's JUNK cast iron... pretty much indesctrucible!

          1. For some purposes an all metal tool can't be beat, for example, a thin metal spatula, and metal tongs.

            For most other uses any number of non-metal material work fine. I use wood spoons and spatulas, melamine spoons, nylon ones (sold in bundles of half dozen), and silicone spatulas. None of these has to be expensive. Wood and nylon are cheapest. Silicone and designer wood most expensive.

            6 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              So I've caved in and decided not to abandon metal utensils all together. I have abandoned thongs, however, after hearing how Thomas Keller hates them. Though i'll continue to rely on a palette knife for turning and have also recently ordered a Wusthof fish spatula. Other than that, I decided upon Matfer Bourgeat Exoglass Utensils for the copper.

              1. re: iamreptar

                Specifically why does Keller hate them?

                1. re: iamreptar

                  <after hearing how Thomas Keller hates them>

                  Take it as a grain of salt. While Thomas Keller hates them, there are also many other people who do not hate them. At the end, it comes down to you. There is no telling that your preference will be same as his.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    quick search on the web turns up:
                    - tongs tear food (but in certain cases, almost anything else does too).
                    - he prefers fingers

                    I keep 3 pairs of tongs by my stove - an inexpensive scalloped edge one, a smooth edge oxo, and a nylon coated one. There's a 4th as well - chem lab test tube tongs, handy for reaching into deep spaces. For something like lifting out bacon bits, or chicken drum sticks from a stew, tongs are great. I wouldn't use them for fragile things like fish fillets. That's what a fish slice is for (not that I have one).

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Being that im young and teaching myself too cook, I've taken on Thomas Keller as a teacher, especially since I haven't been as fortunate as others to have someone to learn to cook from (language barrier with my grandparents and also my parents work a lot). For me, his books are more than just recipes and are more like instructional manuals or textbooks. I've learned everything from how to properly salt food and breaking down chickens to making pasta and improvising sous vide with a pot of water and ice cubes. I didn't give tongs just because he hates them but after realizing how much more control it gave me. Its actually one of the first things I've learned from him and he even goes as far to forbid them in his restaurants. I acknowledge that many others do like tongs but then again, many of us are molded by different teachers and take upon their methods of cooking. In my case, Thomas Keller was over my shoulder, guiding me in the kitchen, just as when he was younger with Jacques Pepin guiding him in the kitchen as he read La Technique.

                    2. re: iamreptar

                      Barbara Lynch hates tongs, too, I read in her cookbook, Spoon. I still use mine.