A spatula should feel like an extension of your arm, nimbly stirring, scraping, and folding any food you put in its path. Why is a good one so hard to find?
Last Updated Nov. 14, 2022. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 21: Simple and Elegant Dinner
We recently tested two additional silicone spatulas. While we highly recommend both of them, the Di Oro Living Seamless Silicone Spatula remains our winner. We’ve named the OXO Good Grips Everyday Silicone Spatula “Also Great”; it performed nearly as well as our favorite but is just a touch stiffer and smaller.
Whether we’re baking or cooking, scrambling or sautéing, flipping or folding, a heatproof silicone spatula is one of the busiest tools in our kitchen. Nine years ago, we gave top honors to a heatproof model that is ubiquitous in restaurant kitchens but can sometimes feel too big and unwieldy at home. So we selected a lineup from the dizzying array available, including our previous winner and a retooled version of our old runner-up. We subjected each to a slew of recipe tests, as well as evaluations of cut resistance, stain and odor resistance, heat resistance, and durability to see which stood out from the pack. With some products, comfort was an issue. Performance was also an issue, with some spatulas failing to reach into the edges of saucepans or leaving pockets of unmixed food. Others left streaks of batter on the sides of bowls.
To understand the differences, we first looked at the spatulas’ heads. Models with smaller heads moved less food with each pass, so it took more work to mix cookie dough or stir risotto. But larger heads weren’t necessarily better. Two models barely fit inside a food processor bowl or a 1-cup dry measuring cup. In general we found that midsize heads (roughly 4 by 2½ inches) were fast and effective at almost every task.
The shape of the head proved very important, too. Models with sharply angled top edges lacked breadth, so we struggled to empty measuring cups and efficiently stir scrambled eggs. Those with handles that were inserted into the head, much like a Popsicle stick, created annoying ridges on the blade where food got stuck, which prevented thorough mixing and made it difficult to wipe the blade clean.
Thickness and rigidity also mattered. One chubby, stiff-headed model skidded over bowl sides, cut too-wide swaths through food, and threatened to deflate fluffy whipped cream and egg whites. Meanwhile, the flimsy heads on two other models curled up when we gently pushed them against a skillet or bowl. The best options had a fairly straight top edge and one gently curved corner that matched the contours of bowls, and they struck the right balance between rigidity and flexibility.
Handles were also key. Narrow handles were uncomfortable to grip. One chunky handle was comfortable only when we gripped it with a fist, which forced us to stir inefficiently and awkwardly. Others were slick and slid around in our hands. A couple of spatulas with short, fatter handles were impossible to grip effectively; another had holes that made for awkward grasping.
Our favorite handles boasted a fairly even width and were neither too hefty nor too narrow. We liked textured silicone hand...
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Kate is a deputy editor for ATK Reviews. She's a culinary school graduate and former line cook and cheesemonger.
Sarah is an assistant editor for ATK Reviews who is deeply passionate about anchovies and sourdough bread.