One of the most useful utensils in the kitchen is also one of the simplest and most often overlooked is the spatula. Its basic design belies its versatility and importance, from flipping items in a pan to scraping a bowl to preserve ingredients. A spatula needs to be available in a kitchen at all times.
Construction and size influence the best uses of a spatula, and often it’s worth having more than one for various tasks. We recommend this set of three from Di Oro that offers comprehensive coverage, but it’s worth considering all your needs before buying and our guide is here to help.
What to know before you buy a spatula
There are a few different kinds of spatula, each designed for specific tasks.
- Scraper: This popular spatula is for scraping the sides of bowls and other containers, diminishing waste by ensuring all ingredients are used and enjoyed. The rubber is flexible to follow easily along the sides of any object to clean it properly. The material prevents scratching or ruining cookware or bakeware, which is especially useful for nonstick pots and pans.
- Turner: Also known as a flipper, these typically metal spatulas are a little larger and often used in high heat. Frequently used on a grill, they may also serve well when flipping or transferring some delicate items, like eggs or pancakes.
- Frosting: This tool for bakers offers precision and delicacy when it comes to frosting treats. These come in various sizes and flexibility; frequent bakers may want to have more than one available.
- Fish spatula: This less common and specialized spatula is thin in design, meant to handle delicate, flaky fish in particular. That said, You can use it for anything that is flimsy and needs careful handling.
Depending on what your spatula is interacting with, some materials are better than others. For high heat, including grilling, opt for stainless steel or some select silicone models. Wooden spatulas are helpful for nonstick pans, especially durable and renewable bamboo spatulas. Nylon and plastic are budget-friendly options, but they lack durability and may cause items to stick.
Spatulas come in various sizes with options for both the length of the handle and the surface area of the head. While you can choose to pick a mid-range size to accommodate most tasks, it’s recommended to invest in a set so that you have options available. In some cases, you may even be using more than one spatula when cooking a meal.
What to look for in a quality spatula
Slotted utensils, including spatulas, feature perforations or slots in the blade. This allows for moisture to escape and liquid to drain when handling items. While they prove helpful for some things, the slots don’t typically hinder use either, making them highly versatile.
Some spatula designs can withstand high heat, and most have a temperature limit that should be adhered to, or else the spatula may break down. If you don’t use a spatula for grilling, most heat limits will be higher than everyday use.
Spatulas, particularly those made of plastic or silicone, come in a variety of color options. These are mainly cosmetic, though they may help to maintain organization in the kitchen. You can choose to match your utensils to your kitchen décor or use a color-coded system to determine which spatulas should be used on what items or by which person.
How much you can expect to spend on a spatula
A quality spatula is relatively inexpensive, with most costing $5-$10, with sets running up to $20.
How long does a quality spatula last?
A. Depending on the materials, usage and care, a quality spatula may last a year or more. Regularly inspect your spatulas for any sign of wear, including loose components, cracks, scratches or dents. Tiny pieces may begin to fall off, contaminating your food, while those with a crack in them can foster bacteria growth. When they show signs of wear, it’s time to toss them.
What’s the most versatile spatula?
A. A heat-resistant, silicone spatula offers plenty of uses in the kitchen across a variety of cookware. It should have a firm center with flexible edges to provide support for flipping while adaptability for scraping. Typically these feature thin edges so they can get under more delicate items as well. If you only will purchase one, look for one of these.
What is the best spatula?
What you need to know: This is a quality, versatile spatula set with a range of sizes for a variety of kitchen needs.
What you’ll love: The seamless design resists high heat and avoids melting. It has a comfortable hold, is nonstick cookware and dishwasher safe. It’s also available in various colors.
What you should consider: This option may be too durable for some, causing scraping.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top spatula for the money
What you need to know: This is a budget-friendly and durable metal spatula for grilling and high-heat needs.
What you’ll love: The long handle and broad head offer easy, versatile usage when flipping and turning, while the thin edges get under most items.
What you should consider: It is not useful for scraping, and you should avoid nonstick surfaces.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: A sizable flipper option that’s compatible with nonstick cookware and can handle delicate items and some scraping jobs.
What you’ll love: Its thin, tapered edges handle most items in a pan easily. Plus, the handles are comfortable and resist slipping and it’s dishwasher safe.
What you should consider: The handle is not heat resistant and may melt.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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