Spatulas are an absolute essential in any kitchen, and you'd be hard pressed to find a kitchen that doesn't have at least one!
But with so many different types of spatulas, it can become rather confusing trying to work out which one fits your needs.
Read on to find out which spatula is best for you...
The 3 main types of SpatulasThe real source of confusion is that, for most of us, what we think of as a 'spatula' is in fact not a spatula!
1) The Turner
If you have a utensil in your kitchen that has either a solid 'base' or a slotted one, and you use it for stir fries, for turning burgers, flipping omelets, in fact anything in a pan, then chances are, you call this utensil a spatula.
Guess what? So do we!
But it seems that the food preparation police don't call this essential item a spatula. In fact, they call it a turner.
Please keep this in mind! You don't want to buy a spatula thinking it is a turner and, when you receive it, you realize that it's another spatula type that is not he at resistant.
You will not be able to use these other spatulas on a hot stove (making them rather useless for your needs).
2) The 'Real' Spatula
According to food aficionados, the real spatula is a frosting spatula.
This is a utensil designed to help you spread frosting and sauces over food.
Frosting spatulas have a thin, solid base, which resembles a blunt knife.
As you can imagine, getting this spatula mixed up with the turner can cause problems.
As this utensil is only used to spread foods, and not used in hot pans, it may not be able to handle the heat from a hot stove, or inside a pan.
Plus, the thin base makes turning foods difficult (and impossible with delicate foods, such as crepes and omelets).
3) The Scraper
Another utensil that adds to the confusion is the Scraper, which is used to scrape mixing bowls to get every last drop of cake mixture, batter or sauce out.
Again, as these are not designed to be used on the stove, or with any kind of heat, they are usually not made from heat resistant material, and using one in a pan may cause it to Melt!
Which spatula is right for me?
For everyday use on the stove, for flipping and turning foods, you need a turner. Ideally, you should have both a solid and slotted version, as each is designed to help you turn different foods.
Our 2 Piece Kitchen Spatula Set is designed for turning foods on hot stoves and pans.
If you love baking, then a scraper is a great utensil to have. No spoon or knife can get every bit of cake mixture out of a bowl the way that a good scraper can.
These are always solid (no need to have slots). Make sure you choose one with very thin edges which will help you lift out the last bit of cake mixture from your mixing bowl.
And if you really fancy yourself as a bit of a professional in the kitchen where everything has to look perfect, then the frosting spatula is for you.
The frosting spatula will allow you to smooth on tomato sauce over a pizza, or frost a cake, so much more evenly than a standard knife ever can.
As you can see, each type of spatula has some great uses in the kitchen. But make sure you buy the one that suits your needs, and avoid melted utensil nightmares!