The Best Spatulas

We spent over 40 hours researching and testing six different types of spatulas—including fish, plastic, silicone, metal, wood, and offset spatulas—to come up with the best in each category. We came to these conclusions after speaking with magazine test kitchen editors, chef instructors, and restaurant pros. If you could only have one all-purpose spatula, we’re confident that the Victorinox Chef’s Slotted Fish Turner is the best for your kitchen. It has the perfect combination of flexibility and strength to tackle everything from turning delicate fish in a pan to flipping pancakes. If you want to fully equip your spatula arsenal, we also suggest the GIR Ultimate 11-Inch Flip Spatula for nonstick cookware, the GIR Silicone Spatula for scraping bowls, and the Winco TN719 Blade Hamburger Turner for the griddle or grill. We also recommend the Artisanal Kitchen Supply Olive Wood Turner for scraping up fond on the bottom of a pan as well as the Ateco (#1387) Natural Wood Medium-Sized Offset Spatula and the Ateco (#1385) Natural Wood Small-Sized Spatula for applying frosting to cookies, cakes, and cupcakes.

If you’re an avid baker, the Ateco (#1387) Natural Wood Medium-Sized Offset Spatula is the best tool to use for everything from frosting cakes to removing cookies off of a crowded pan. Our testers preferred the comfortable angle of the offset blade, which provided more leverage than much of the competition. The Ateco 1387 was the only offset spatula we tested that had a slick mirror finish, which enabled the blade to slide under delicate items without causing damage.

The sharper angle to the offset blade made frosting cakes easy on the wrists and provided enough clearance so our knuckles didn’t mar the surface of the cakes. Due to its shiny finish and thin blade, the Ateco 1387 slid effortlessly under warm, delicate cookies better than the competition. Our testers found that the flatter angle of the OXO Good Grips Offset Icing Spatula and the Wilton 13-Inch Angled Icing Spatula didn’t allow as much clearance as the Ateco 1387. The wood handle is lightweight and easy to hold, so our wrists didn’t tire even after frosting several cake layers.

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If you bake a lot of cakes, nothing does a better job at applying frosting than the Ateco (#1387) Natural Wood Medium-Sized Offset Spatula.

If you bake a lot of cookies or cupcakes, the small 4.5-inch Ateco (#1385) Natural Wood Small-Sized Spatula is the best tool for the job. It had the shortest blade out of all the mini offset spatulas we tested, which made it ideal for detailed decorating tasks. It’s so small it easily fits in a kitchen drawer.

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If you frost a lot of cupcakes and cookies, the Ateco (#1385) Natural Wood Small-Sized Spatula is the best tool for the job.

The shorter blade on the Ateco #385 allowed us to have better control as we frosted cupcakes and easily maneuvered around a crowded cookie sheet. Like the larger Ateco 1387, the mirror finish on the blade enabled it to slide seamlessly under fragile baked items. Our testers also liked the Ateco 1385 for its ease of spreading even layers of mayonnaise and mustard on sandwich bread.

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The Ateco (#1385) Natural Wood Small-Sized Spatula has a short blade that makes it ideal for frosting cupcakes.

There are some drawbacks to the Ateco 1387 and 1385: they’re not dishwasher-safe and don’t come with a warranty. However, Sweethome writer and test kitchen manager Lesley Stockton has been using her wood-handled Ateco spatulas for at least 10 years and reports that they’re still going strong.

The competition
We liked the Ateco (#1307) 7.75 by 1.25-Inch Medium-Sized Blade Offset Ultra Spatula, which performed similarly to our top pick. However, the handle is heavier and the blade isn’t as slick as the Ateco 1387.

Though we liked the thumb dimple on the handle of the Wilton 13-Inch Angled Icing Spatula, its blade was thicker than our top pick and it didn’t slide under freshly baked cookies as easily.

The grippy handle on the OXO Good Grips Offset Icing Spatula was very comfortable to hold, but the angle of the blade wasn’t as steep as the Ateco 1387, which made frosting cakes more difficult.

The Wilton 9-Inch Angled Icing Spatula had the thickest blade and the largest handle out of all of the mini offset spatulas we tested, which made it more awkward to use than our main pick.

Our testers found the grippy handle on the OXO Good Grips Small Offset Icing Knife very comfortable to hold but ultimately found its longer blade wasn’t as easy to use as the Ateco 1385’s.

Care and maintenance

While we didn’t do lengthy tests for stains or smells on silicone spatulas, Pim Techamuanvivit of Kin Khao suggests using separate spats for strong-flavored foods. She told us, “I have certain types of spatulas I use only for my jams. Those are not allowed to have any contact with those that I use when I make curry or stir-fry. I keep them separate because it doesn’t matter how many times you wash a silicone spatula that touched a curry paste—it’s going to smell like curry paste, and it’s just going to transfer.”

If you’re worried about scraping off the seasoning on your cast iron pans when using a fish spatula or metal turner, don’t be. The Lodge Cast Iron website says, “any utensils, including metal, are okay on cast iron and seasoned steel cookware.” However, the site does recommend using wood, silicone, or nylon utensils with any porcelain enameled products.

Over the years, we’ve nicked the tips of our spatulas by scraping down the bowl of a food processor fitted with a sharp stainless steel blade. To avoid damaging the head of your silicone spatula, try to remove the blade attachment before scraping, if possible. Not only will you avoid ingesting small bits of silicone—you’ll also extend the life of your spatula.

Wood turners and spatulas with wooden handles can crack from excess moisture after hand washing with soap and water. To avoid cracking, Emma Christensen from The Kitchn suggests, “once a month or so, rub in a little [food-safe] mineral oil with a soft cloth. This will restore the warm polished look and keep the wood in good condition.” Don’t be tempted to use olive oil on your wooden utensils, as it can go rancid and possibly transfer off-flavors to your food. Also, avoid running any utensils containing wood through the dishwasher.

When storing offset spatulas, avoid cramming them in a crowded kitchen drawer; they can get bent out of shape. Once bent, they’re nearly impossible to flatten out again, which can be annoying when trying to create a smooth surface on a frosted cake.

Regardless of material, avoid placing spatulas on a screaming hot pan or too close to your heat source.