If you’re like me, you have tons of little gadgets in your kitchen…but little to no knowledge about what they’re actually made to do. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at spatulas…one gadget that has completely taken over my little kitchen. Not all spatulas will get your job done…so take inventory and use this list to help determine what stays in the kitchen and what can be flipped into the box marked “good will”.
CAKE SPATULA or STRAIGHT EDGED SPATULA
These spatulas look like long knives with a rounded tip at the end. They are very flexible and are long and rectangular in shape. These spatulas are awesome for frosting a cake. They are also handy to help level off ingredients in a measuring cup and removing edges of a cake from a pan.
The pie spatula looks like a triangle and is often made of very thin metal, to allow for some flexibility. They can also be made of plastic, wood, or glass, but these are often less flexible. Some may have a serrated edge to help cut through pies or cakes.
Rubber or silicone spatulas are awesome to have on hand. They come in tons of sizes and shapes and are best used to help scrape the sides of mixing bowls. They are also great for folding ingredients or mixing fragile ingredients together (folding in egg whites, for example). I also use these to mix sauces on non-stick pans to prevent scratching on the pan. They’re great for omlettes and stir fry, too. If you bake a lot, have plenty on hand, including some small ones to mix ingredients in smaller bowls.
Not to be confused with the rubber spatula, the spoonula is a rubber or silicone spatula with a concave head. This design allows for easy mixing and folding.
SLOTTED FISH SPATULA
This weird lookin’ flipper is great for controlling very fragile ingredients. While it’s designed for delicate fish filets, it can also be used for other breakable foods, like crepes, eggs, and other foods you might fry (since the slotted design allows for easy draining).
The wok spatula is specifically designed to be used with a wok. It’s rounded shovel like appearance helps keep ingredients moving fast around the big bowl and helps “shovel” ingredients out for easy serving. While it would be hard to use this spatula for much else other than wok cooking, it can be used as a serving tool for veggies, fruit, or other foods being served in bite sized pieces.
These spatulas are often wide and thin. They can be made of metal, plastic, or wood. They are designed to slide under round items, so this spatula is also perfect for making pancakes, hamburgers, fried potatoes/eggplant, onions, and so much more.
The great thing about these is that wood is a poor conductor of heat, making this gadget perfect for mixing things at very high temperatures (pasta sauces, for example…or stir fry). However, keep in mind that wood retains flavor…so keep your wooden sauce utensils far away from your wooden dessert tools. As you shop look for hardwood spatulas, like beech, cherry, or boxwood. Stay away from pine (which splinters easily) or lacquered woods.
Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips.