tastings and testings

Spat Fight!

There are lots of great spatulas, but everyone has a favorite. The Tastings and Testings team fights it out below.

Published Sept. 19, 2019.

The members of the Tastings and Testings team have strong opinions about everything. This week, we’re arguing about spatulas. There are so many different kinds: Metal Spatulas, Nonstick-Safe Spatulas, Compact Spatulas, Grill Spatulas, and Offset Turners. And that’s without even getting into the silicone spatulas we use to mix cake batters or scramble eggs! 

Which spatula should rule them all? Here’s what we said.

Lisa McManus, Executive Editor, Tastings and Testings


Compact Spatula. OK, for me it's a tie between my beloved Wüsthof metal fish spat (elegant! sharp! durable! agile!) and the admittedly dumb-looking Oxo cookie spat. I find that I use both a lot, but that little cookie spat is my go-to when I'm doing things like scrambled eggs or pan sauces. It scrapes the sides and bottom of a pan as well as–maybe better than–the best silicone spat, and blends pan sauces almost as well as our favorite flat nonstick whisk. I especially like that I can make pan sauce with it, then swoop around and remove the sauce; I don't need to switch tools after whisking. It's good for small sauté and stir-fry jobs. And I love it for for flipping and lifting jobs like a single fried egg, pancakes, or cookies from a hot baking sheet. But I can do heavier burgers with it, too. It's way more useful than the name "cookie spatula" implies. And its handle is short. Too many tools have you practically standing in the next room when you're using them, the handles are that long. If I could use my hand, I would, and this is the next best thing. Very agile, and easy to use. I have two because I use them so much . . .

Hannah Crowley, Executive Editor, Tastings and Testings


Offset Turner. Picking a favorite spatula feels like picking a favorite child, but I am obsessed with my offset turner right now, so I'm gonna go with that one. I roast baking sheets of food all the time and it's the perfect tool for flipping large swaths of veggies and removing them tidily when they're done. I use my stovetop griddle a lot, too, and a turner is my favorite utensil to use on it because the straight-sided head gets under foods at an angle that feels natural on the flat surface. Also, I'm a sandwich freak, and offset turners are bigger, so they can fully support a grilled cheese or a panini–I hate losing half my fixins mid-flip!

Lauren Savoie, Senior Editor, Tastings and Testings


Nonstick-Safe Spatula. I'd have to go with a fish spat. We have four in our home–two metal and two nonstick-safe and they are in constant rotation. They're the perfect shape for getting under food, turning, stir-frying, flipping, etc. If I had to choose a material, I think it would be Exoglass, since it’s nonstick-safe and ergo can be used with more pans.

Kate Shannon, Senior Editor, Tastings and Testings


Nonstick-Safe Spatula. Want to extend the life of your nonstick skillet? Put down the metal spatula and use this instead. Made of a resin/fiberglass composite, which is softer and gentler than metal utensils, it won't scratch or gouge the nonstick surface. And, unlike most other nonstick-safe spatulas, you won't sacrifice performance for safety. It's still thin enough to slip underneath delicate, fragile foods like fried eggs and fish fillets.

Miye Bromberg, Associate Editor, Tastings and Testings 


Metal Spatula. Over the years, I’ve reviewed a whole bunch of spatulas. But the one I will go to bat for is our metal spatula Best Buy, the MIU France Flexible Fish Turner. If you’ve never used a fish spatula before, prepare to have your life changed. It’s thin but sturdy, flexible, nimble, and can pick up pretty much any food, large or small–not just fish. It’s nearly identical to our winning metal spatula, the Wüsthof Gourmet 12” Fish Spatula, but the head is flat where the Wüsthof’s curves up at the edge; as a result, the test cooks say it provides a little less leverage for getting under foods. Frankly, I have never missed that leverage, and I am certainly not willing to pay $30 more for it. I use this spat more than any other tool besides my chopsticks. In fact, I own three, because I can’t bear to be far from one at any given time. I take it on vacations. I buy it as a gift for friends with new homes/kitchens/babies/iguanas. It’s my favorite.

Emily Phares, Assistant Editor, Tastings and Testings


Compact Spatula. The KitchenAid Cookie/Pastry Lifter is pretty much the only spatula I use. It's great for flipping eggs, transporting cookies, and the head is narrow enough to easily lift brownies–one of its best design features. And because it's plastic, I can use it on metal surfaces without getting that nails-on-a-chalkboard feeling.

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm, Assistant Editor, Tastings and Testings 


Metal Spatula. I balked at the price of our favorite fish spatula and bought our Best Buy instead. And I couldn't be happier with it (I actually own two). I use them for absolutely everything—whether that be flipping delicate fish fillets, transferring cookies from a baking sheet to a cooling rack, or tossing roasted vegetables. In fact, I should probably just buy a third . . . just because.


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