The Only Spatula You Will Ever Need

All your other ones can go swim with the fishes

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fish holding a fish spatula jumping from water

The Spruce Eats / Michela Buttignol

Don’t be misled by the name, the fish spatula does more than first impressions might suggest. In fact, it’s the tool I reach for most often in the kitchen—after my microplane. Sure, the very design makes her a pro at flipping delicate fish filets, but her grace and flexibility means she also plays  well with others. A spatula is an extension of your hand when dealing with hot food, so I need one that is just as sturdy and nimble as my own paws.

What Is a Fish Spatula?

A fish spatula is outfitted with a thin metal blade and an angled end, making it adept at slipping under delicate items. The metal blade also has slats cut out, yielding a lighter and more nimble tool than a typical spatula.

Spicy roasted cauliflower recipe

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Why I Love My Fish Spatula

The fish spatty shines with sheet pan cooking. That surface area and flexibility let me flip generous swaths of potatoes or Brussels sprouts halfway through roasting without needing to take the pan from the oven. Cookies (especially delicate, fresh from the oven, shortbread or oatmeal lace) have never once crumbled when I use this spatula, despite my tendency to bring Bull-in-a-China-Shop energy to my baking endeavors. 

Three pieces of French toast cooking in a pan

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

When I’m making pancakes or French toast, the fish spatula lets me ease my way under the half-set cakes or jiggly, custard-soaked brioche thanks to its slight bendability. The larger-than-average surface area means I can get a steady hand for successful flips. 

I swear by cooking in my cast iron, and the top metal edge of the fish spat helps me break up ground meat as it sautées the way that no floppy plastic spatula ever could. It’s also ideal for burger flipping, since the slots in the spatula allow the extra rendered fat to drip quickly from patty into pan, all nice and ready to receive the other patty side for maximum Maillard browning. And when it’s time to clean up, I’ve used the spatula to assist in scraping off stubborn browned bits from my cast iron and Dutch ovens.  

Best Brownies on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

I’ve also used the fish spatula to cut up brownies in the pan, holding the spatula vertically, using the rigid metal top to cut, and then the slightly bendable spatula surface to extract those perfect corner brownie bites.

My Favorite Fish Spat

The fact that the fish spatula can do all of this, and rings in at under $10, means it’s by far the cheapest cost-per-use item in my kitchen. There are plenty of options that are double or triple the price, but this same Winco fish spatula has seen me through five years worth of cooking as a food stylist on photo and video shoots, plenty of catering gigs as a chef before that, and still stands proud in the utensil crock next to my stove today.