Which Spatula Should I Use?

Author: Chef Sydney

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What are Spatulas?

A spatula is a long-handled tool with a flat, usually rectangular-shaped end.  Spatulas sometimes also have one curved end and one more squared-off side to help scrape foods.  Spatulas can be slotted or have holes to drain liquids from food.

What are Spatulas Used For?

Spatulas are used for a variety of reasons.  Use a spatula to scrape the sides of bowls or hot pans, like when making scrambled eggs.  Spatulas flip foods like grilled cheese or french toast.  Certain spatulas are used to fold delicate foods like fluffy egg whites or to finish mixing a batter so it is not overmixed.  Spatulas help to lift and move food from one place to another, like from a baking sheet to a cooling rack.

Learn About Spatulas

Different colored rubber spatulas next to each other.

What are the Different Types of Spatula?

  • Silicone or Rubber
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Plastic

Silicone or Rubber: Silicone or rubber spatulas usually have one curved side and one squared-off side to effectively scrape bowls.  This type of spatula is usually resistant to heat and durable.

Wood: Wooden spatulas usually have more squared-off edges.  This type of spatula is durable and will last.  Because they are heat resistant, the handle will not heat up when the end is exposed to high temperatures.  Wooden spatulas usually do not scratch pans.

Metal: Metal spatulas come in various shapes, depending on their use.  Common metal spatula shapes include square or thin and rectangular.  Metal spatulas are often used in grilling because they can handle high temperatures and these spatulas usually have longer handles to prevent burns.  Spatulas made of metal are durable and will last.  They are more likely to scratch pans.

Plastic: Plastic spatulas have different shaped ends, like square and rectangular, but usually have one curved side and one pointed side like silicone spatulas.  Plastic spatulas are best used away from high temperatures to preserve the health of the spatula.

Recipes Using Spatulas

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Make your favorite chocolate chip cookies for any occasion. Start by preparing your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough in a large bowl. Use a plastic spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Spoon out dough and drop onto a baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are fully cooked.

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions add rich flavor to your main entree. Preheat a large stainless steel pan over medium heat. Melt butter and olive oil in the pan, then add sliced onions. Use a metal spatula to occasionally stir the onions. Sprinkle salt and sugar over the onions and incorporate. Let onions cook for about 45 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Grilled Ham and Cheese

Upgrade your classic grilled cheese with new flavors. Butter the outsides of two pieces of bread. On the inside, stack baby spinach, sliced honey ham, Swiss cheese, artichokes, whole grain mustard, and mayonnaise. Add sandwich to a preheated skillet. Use a square plastic spatula to flip the sandwich when the bottom is golden-brown. Use the spatula to transfer the sandwich from the pan to the plate when both sides are golden-brown.

Easy Marinara Sauce

Make a stellar sauce to top your favorite type of pasta. Begin by softening onions and garlic in a preheated skillet. Use a rubber spatula to stir ingredients to make sure they don’t stick. Next, pour in canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and smoked paprika. Stir with the spatula until combined. Simmer until sauce thickens. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use a hand blender to puree.

Fresh Salad

Create a delicious tossed salad as a side dish or appetizer for your next dinner. Combine romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, sliced hard boiled eggs, freshly grated carrots, freshly grated cheddar cheese, and sliced red onions in a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula to combine ingredients. Drizzle your favorite salad dressing over the top.

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