We use our spatulas every single day. We couldn't imagine cooking without at least one, although let's be honest — even the minimalists among us have multiple spatulas in their kitchen tool jar (or drawer). And can you ever really have too many spatulas? There are so many different shapes, sizes, and materials, and each one has its own purpose.
Here are five types of spatula we can't live without.
1. Fish Spatula
Don't be put off by the name. This slotted metal spatula is good for so much more than flipping fish. The blade is thin and flexible, but still relatively strong so it won't bend under pressure. And the angled head and sharp edge make it useful for tricky turning scenarios.
Our Top Pick: Winco 6.5-inch Blade Fish Spatula, $5.35 at Amazon
2. Offset Spatula
An offset spatula is an essential baking tool, but if you're only using it for icing cakes, you're selling this kitchen utensil short. We use it for making sure cake batter gets evenly distributed and for loosening the edges when it comes out of the oven. We've used it to transfer cookies to the cooling rack and to flip pancakes in a pinch.
Our Top Pick: Ateco Medium Sized Offset Spatula, $6.40 at Amazon
3. Silicone Spatula
It's almost unfair to have just one category for the silicone spatula because it encompasses so many different options. A silicone spatula is a must for sticky bread doughs, but it's also useful if you're making soups and stews and want to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Small versions are great for digging the last bit of peanut butter from the jar, and they're heat-proof, so you can use them when making stir-fries, too.
Our Top Pick: The Ultimate Spatula from GIR, $12.95 at Get It Right (GIR)
Okay, so this is a made-up word, but we think it accurately describes what we mean. We're talking about a flat spatula, whatever the material — metal, silicone, or nylon. It's great for easing under delicate subjects, for transferring from here to there, and for smashing things down, too.
Our Top Pick: Flexible Nylon Spatulas, $8.95-$9.95 at Williams-Sonoma
5. Rubber Spatula
This one caused a bit of controversy, as rubber will get melted and mangled if you're cooking over heat, but Associate Editor Meghan makes the case for plastic: "Silicone doesn't grip egg white foams very well and makes for poor batter folding."
Our Top Pick: Rubbermaid Commercial High Heat Spatula, $7.99 at Amazon
What's your favorite spatula?