Tools of the Trade: The Spatula

What’s the best spatula or turner for the job? When is it time to cut your old spatula loose? Mysteries of the spatula world revealed. And what is a turnatula?
Old Spatula

I’m not a gadget geek. I don’t have single purpose items,
like garlic presses. I use a rolling pin instead of a pasta machine.  I like to knead my bread. OK, we’ve
gotten that out of the way.


I have a really old spatula; it’s gotten bent in strange
ways, was purchased in the last millennium and is a source of frustration. Too
stiff to flip an egg, too bent to lift out a slice of pie, too wide, too dull.
You get the picture and you’re wondering why I didn’t pitch it out years ago.
I’m just used to it, what can I say? 
Husbands can also be a source of frustration, they can get too wide and too
dull, but that's not a reason to pitch them out either. (And for the record, my husband is
anything but dull or wide.)


Then one day, I get an email from the very nice folks at and they’d like to know if I want to review any of their products
and my thoughts turned to a recent battle with said spatula so I jumped at the


Who knew there were so many kinds of spatulas?? I seriously
need to get out more often.  The
first thing I discovered is that there is controversy and confusion in the tool
world: was I looking for a spatula or a turner? In some corners, a spatula is
rubber, in others a spatula is a long, narrow tool used for spreading, and the
tool that turns things over, is a …turner or a flipper or a spatula. The terms
all seem interchangeable, and a shout-out thank-you to the folks at Lamson
Sharp for their input on this controversy.


I picked two very different turnatulas (that’s my new word,
enjoy it free of charge). One is a true turner; the other is a lifter-outer


1) The Lamson Sharp, Right Handed 3” x 6” Angled Turner.Lamson Sharp Angled Turner

What it’s good for: turning things that are being
fried.  I think the reason a turner
or spatula has holes or slots is to allow oil, or moisture to stay behind as
you turn something over, which is a good thing.

It’s also good for eggs, and its better than those super
thin spatulas that seem like a good idea but don’t really work.

It would probably be good for cookies, if I ever made cookies,
again because it slides right under things.

Drips Thru lamson sharp turner Why is my tuner right handed you may ask? Because of the
angle of the dangle. How critical is that? Not very. The angle is nice because you can slide under the food a
little easier, but it’s not a deal breaker. If you are left handed, you could:
practice with your right hand or get a non-angled turner.  I know;  the world isn’t fair to lefties.

 Bonus Points: *Feels good in my hand.

*Its high-carbon stainless steel so it won’t bend out shape
unless you jam into a drawer and then slam the drawer shut really hard.

*Lamson Sharp is the oldest cutlery maker in the US and they
are environmentally responsible.

They also answer email inquiries about lame stuff like
spatula v. turner.


Not flexible 2) All Clad Flexible Spatula

 I have no idea why it’s called flexible; it’s very rigid.

What it’s good for: lifting pieces of stuff out of pans or
roasting dishes. That sounds silly, but with this gadget you can lift out the
first piece of lasagna without a qualm. It holds jiggly pieces of tiramisu very
steady and you can slide it right onto a plate. The ‘backstop’ that’s the square
angle by the handle is more useful than I ever thought it would be.

The handle: my first reaction was uh-uh, no likey. But then
when you use the spatula and realize that your thumb fits into the groove and
anchors everything, it all becomes clear.All Clad Flexible Spatula


What did I learn from all this turnatula research?

I really should get over it and throw out my old

Having two spatulas that do two very different
things is really kind of nice. Its way better than one old spatula that didn’t
do anything very well.

I’m still going to call these things spatulas, although I like the sound of turnatula.

4) There are some seriously
strange spatulas out there…an asparagus spatula?? It looks like a hammerhead
shark. You would have to have some serious drawer real estate before this would
ever seem like a good idea.

 Now it’s your turn.  Do you say spatula or turner? And if
you were about to be shipwrecked on a desert island, what turnatula would you
want to have on hand?

P.S. The folks at just sent me a note that they've now opened up  a cookware shop in the UK, which should be good news for all of our friends and fans in  Britain.

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