Updated May 2022
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Buying guide for Best spatulas

From effortlessly flipping pancakes, burgers, and eggs to scraping bowls of icing and batter, a spatula is something that everybody should have at least one of in their kitchen.

But a good cook knows that you often need an array of spatulas to handle different tasks.

Always helming the grill? You’ll want a heat-resistant tool with a long handle for flipping burgers. More of a baker than a cook? Choose a frosting spatula for decorating cupcakes. Prefer a carb-loaded morning treat? A turner is the best option for flipping pancakes.

Indeed, it’s hard to imagine getting much done well in the kitchen without this versatile tool. To learn more, read our shopping guide, which has all the information and tips you’ll need to pick out the right spatulas for your needs. If you’re ready to buy, consider one of our recommended products.

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A rubber spatula with a wooden handle is attractive, but the two-piece design is not as durable as a single rubber unit.

Key considerations

Types of spatulas

  • Rubber spatula: We’ve all spent our time scraping bowls with our fingers to get every last bite of cookie dough while waiting for the oven to preheat. However, our fingers are terrible at getting every last bit of batter onto a baking sheet. A rubber spatula is your go-to tool for completely scraping bowls clean. The soft edge won’t damage bowls or pans, and the rubber implement can be used for mixing, too. Rubber spatulas also work well for removing omelettes and scrambled eggs from pans.

  • Turner: Metal turners are designed for taking on high-heat situations, such as cooking meat on a grill. These are also perfect for flipping eggs or pancakes and transferring foods from a cooking vessel to a serving dish. You can also find larger turners designed explicitly for transferring cakes. Turners are also available in rubber or silicone.

  • Frosting spatula: This type of spatula allows bakers to carefully and evenly apply frosting onto baked goods. They’re available in different sizes for frosting different types of confections. Flexibility varies from spatula to spatula. Smaller frosting spatulas are best for precision work, while larger ones are perfect for smoothing out icing over the entire surface of a cake.

  • Fish spatula: If fish is a staple of your diet, then you’ll need an extremely thin-edged spatula, which allows cooks to handle and carefully flip cuts of fish without everything flaking apart. Fish spatulas are also useful for flipping other delicate foods.
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Expert Tip
A spatula for grilling should be able to withstand very high temperatures. Stainless steel is your best bet.



Spatulas are available in myriad materials, ranging from wood to stainless steel.

  • Best for high heat: Stainless steel is well-suited for high-heat situations as are certain silicone options.

  • Best for nonstick pans: Wooden spatulas are less common but useful for handling foods in easily scratched nonstick pans. Wood is tougher to clean, though. If you opt for a wooden spatula, bamboo is an excellent choice. It’s eco-friendly and naturally antimicrobial.

  • Budget choice: Plastic or nylon spatulas are a perfectly acceptable low-cost option, but don’t expect them to hold up for years. Food also tends to stick to nylon.


While many spatulas are dishwasher-safe, check the fine print before sticking yours in the dishwasher — and be sure to always use the top rack. If you’re not sure, wash by hand.


Choose a metal or heat-resistant silicone spatula for handling hot foods. Metal is the best choice for cooking on a grill. Many heat-resistant models have a specific maximum temperature rating. For regular kitchen handling, a rating of at least 450ºF should be sufficient.

Perforated spatulas

Perforated turner-style spatulas are designed to allow liquids and fats to flow through to prevent your delicious dishes from getting soggy.

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Expert Tip
A scraper should be flexible, but not so floppy that it can’t thoroughly scrape off the last bits of cookie dough from a bowl.

Spatula prices

You’ll easily find a good-quality spatula for under $10, with those made of plastic and nylon being the cheapest. If you have the room, though, purchasing a spatula set is a far more economical option. Depending on the number of spatulas included, a set may cost up to $35.


  • A turner is probably one of the most commonly used kitchen utensils. Keep it within reach by sticking it and other regularly used tools in a holder on your countertop.

  • Use a spatula to ice cakes or even out brownie batter. To prevent the batter from sticking too much, apply cooking spray to your spatula.

  • A fish spatula is an excellent tool for handling delicate pieces of fish, but you still need to be careful when flipping that delicious fillet of cod or tilapia.

  • Watch out when using a fish spatula in a nonstick pan. The metal may scratch the surface.

  • Don’t use a regular turner spatula for flipping burgers. A turner for the grill requires a long handle to prevent burns.

  • A rubber or silicone spatula with an edge that’s too rigid may crack if too much pressure is applied. Be careful and avoid being too forceful with this type of spatula.

  • The edge of a spatula may be heat-resistant, but the handle is not necessarily immune from high temperatures. Check the temperature rating to find out if it applies to the entire spatula.

  • A shorter handle may help with more delicate tasks.

  • Unless you’re sure your rubber spatula is heat-resistant, avoid using it as a stirrer. If exposed to high temperatures, non-heatproof spatulas may melt.

  • For flipping, look for a turner with a slim edge. The thin portion allows for the implement to easily slide under pieces of food.

  • Icing a cake? Wait until it has cooled before whipping out your frosting spatula. Avoid making contact with the actual cake to prevent a transfer of crumbs.

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Expert Tip
Mini spatulas are great for getting kids involved in the kitchen.
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Rinse off your dishwasher-safe spatula before running it through a cycle to prevent chunks of food from sticking to it.


Q. Are a spatula and a turner the same thing?

A. Yes. A turner refers to a specific type of spatula that’s designed for flipping or moving foods.

Q. How do I clean a wooden spatula?

A. Are you concerned about the safety of cooking with wooden utensils? Liquids do seep into wood, but wooden spatulas are perfectly fine for use in the kitchen. Wash your wooden utensils right after using them and be sure to use very hot water along with soap to clean them. Dry wooden tools thoroughly and never run them through the dishwasher.

Q. I have limited space in my kitchen and don’t want to store multiple spatulas. Which type is the most versatile?

A. A heat-resistant silicone turner is an excellent option if you don’t want to purchase multiple spatulas. If you often cook delicate foods, a fish spatula is another reliable, versatile tool.

Q. Can I use a metal spatula with my cast-iron cookware?

A. Yes! Well-seasoned cast iron is incredibly durable, and your metal utensils won’t cause damage. Avoid using metal implements on enameled cookware though.

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