Kitchn Love Letters

I Never Knew I Needed a Mini Spatula Until I Got One — Now I Think It’s an Ideal Stocking Stuffer

published Dec 8, 2022
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someone mixing dough with rubber spatula
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

I am an avid home cook and even spent a couple of years working as a catering chef, but I’m also an aspiring minimalist, so I’ve always prided myself on having a well-stocked, but not over-equipped kitchen. That also makes me a hard person to buy gifts for — especially in the kitchen department.

So, when my husband gifted me a pair of mini silicone spatulas from Sur La Table for Christmas a couple of years ago, I’ll confess that I didn’t think I needed them. Like many kitchen-related gifts, I imagined they’d be headed to the donation pile before the year’s end. However, these small spatulas quickly became the handiest little tools in my utensil drawer.

I use my mini spatulas daily most often to scrape the last little bits out of some jar or tub (think: jam, yogurt, and nut butters), but my tiny spatulas are also called into service for plenty of other tasks.

Obviously, a mini spatula is a great baking tool. I use one to scrape a perfectly measured half-cup of batter into a muffin tin or to get the last ribbons of chocolate cake off of my KitchenAid beaters. I also use them for cooking small amounts of food on the stove, say if I’m reheating a little bit of something for my son’s lunch or scrambling just an egg or two. (Parents: They’re also great for mixing homemade slime.)

However, not all mini spatulas are created equally. When I raved about mine to my mother, she pulled one out of her drawer, but hers was just a regular spatula with a mini head — not nearly as nimble as mine. There are also ones with a wooden handle and silicone spatula head, which some Kitchn editors love, but in my opinion is far inferior to the single-piece design: The wooden handle inevitably gets grungy, especially if you’re not careful to let it dry thoroughly after washing and it’s not dishwasher-safe. And if you still run it through the dishwasher, you risk melting the glue that secures the two pieces together, as well as causing mold buildup.

The minimalist in me resists the idea of buying a pair of anything, but I’d still recommend gifting a set of two mini spatulas as a nice stocking stuffer — I use my mine often and tend to throw them right into the dishwasher, so it’s nice to have a second waiting in the wings if I haven’t run a load yet. To make this an even more affordable gift, you could buy a pair and split them into two gifts. Whichever way you go, make sure to buy ‘em in red for all the festive vibes.