The 12 Best Spatulas for Every Kitchen Task, Tested by Allrecipes
If you're stocking a kitchen from scratch, spatulas are going to be among the handful of kitchen essentials you purchase first. Though not the most alluring kitchen tool, spatulas are one of the most reached-for items in any kitchen.
But funnily enough, most of us put very little thought into purchasing a spatula. After all, you can get a highly-reviewed kitchen spatula for under $10. So how much thought should a spatula really get? Well, a bit more than you might think if you want one that's versatile and capable of years of use.
We tested a dozen top-rated spatulas in order to find the best for each kitchen task, because we think if you're going to be using a spatula daily (or at least a couple of times a week), why not purchase the best spatula you can find? Whether you need a spatula for flipping pancakes or mixing the batter, these are the best spatulas for every kitchen need.
Best Spatulas at a Glance
- Best Everyday Spatula: Cuisinart Flex and Flip Silicone Spatula
- Best for Baking: GIR Ultimate Spatula
- Best for Eggs: DI ORO Designer Series Classic Spatula
- Best for Cast Iron: Pampered Chef Stainless Steel Fish Spatula
- Best for Nonstick Pans: Anolon SureGrip Slotted Turner
- Best Offset/Icing Spatula: Wilton Angled Spatula
- Most Stylish: Material The Soft-Edge Turner
- Best Set: OXO 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set
What to Consider When Buying a Spatula
The term "spatula" is really an umbrella term for a number of kitchen utensils that perform a whole host of different tasks. Though some can perform double duty, you'll most likely want to have at least two different types of spatulas on hand for everyday use: one for mixing and stirring, and another for flipping and turning. From there, you can get even more variety depending on your needs.
Types of Spatulas
Maybe the most multipurpose of all types of spatulas, silicone spatulas are generally associated with baking, but their uses don't stop there.
Of course, a silicone spatula is going to be the best option for many baking tasks, such as mixing wet and dry ingredients together, folding chocolate chips and/or nuts into dough, or scraping batter from a mixing bowl. But they may also be used to make stir-fries, scrape food from the bottom of a large pot when making soups or stew, or wrangle that last bit of peanut butter out of the jar.
Silicone, unlike rubber, is extremely heat-resistant, meaning it can handle hot foods and/or cookware (and this also means it's usually dishwasher safe). Plus, it's very flexible so you can maneuver it to get the last bits of batter from your mixing bowl; on the flip side (pun intended), this means silicone spatulas are typically not suitable for flipping heavy foods like fish or burger patties. And finally, silicone spatulas are excellent for use on nonstick cookware because they won't scratch the coating.
You'll usually find silicone spatulas constructed one of two ways: one-piece silicone or a silicone head with a wooden handle. Although the wooden handle is attractive, in our testing we found that the one-piece silicone spatulas were more comfortable and far easier to clean (for spatulas with wooden handles, the silicone heads are often removable so you can wash them in the dishwasher, but the handle must be hand washed).
A turner, sometimes called a "flipper" or "flat spatula," has a long, flat paddle sticking out from the end of the handle for sliding under foods like eggs, fish, burgers, or even cookies on a baking sheet. They can be used to turn foods over, or simply carry them from pan to plate.
Turners can be made of metal, silicone, or nylon (sometimes the core and the exterior are made of different materials). They may also be solid or slotted, with the latter allowing liquids or fat to fall off the food.
A fish spatula is basically a slotted metal turner, but it gets its own category because its uses are slightly more niche than your standard flat turner. Fish spatulas are usually bent at an angle and have a sharp, blade-like edge that can easily slide under browned foods and pull them up in one piece. The large slots allow cooking liquids to drain and help to distribute weight so the food doesn't fall off.
For the grill master or anyone who loves to cook with cast iron, fish spatulas are a must for lifting off stuck-on foods like chicken breasts, fish filets, and more. But keep in mind that because they're made of metal, fish spatulas will result in significant scraping if used on nonstick cookware.
A must-have for any baker (or aspiring cake decorator), offset spatulas (also called "icing spatulas") are long, narrow metal spatulas most commonly used to seamlessly ice or frost cakes. They may also be used to smooth out cake batter before it goes in the oven, or to loosen baked goods like brownies, bars, and cookies from the pan.
Now that you know the spatula lingo, check out our picks for the best spatulas to buy now.
The Best Spatulas of 2021
Other Spatulas We Tested
How We Tested Each Spatula
Because there was so much variety among the spatulas we tested, Allrecipes product tester Samantha Lande tested each category of spatula based on its uses:
- For silicone spatulas: Each was used to scramble eggs and mix and scrape brownie batter and frosting from a bowl.
- For turners: Each was used for flipping pancakes and removing a fried egg from a pan.
- For fish spatulas: Each was used to lift and flip fish from a pan.
- For offset spatulas: Each was used to spread frosting.
During testing, Samantha paid special attention to the following factors:
- Ease of Use: How well does it do its intended job? Does it feel flimsy or hold up? Is it comfortable to hold/use? Does it scratch pans/bowls?
- Longevity: Is it heat-resistant? How well does it wash? Does it ding/scratch easily? Does it feel sturdy?
- Value: Is it worth the money?
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