We called upon the skills of some of our best baking friends – Great British Bake Off contestants Edd Kimber, John Whaite and Frances Quinn – to discover the finest kitchen equipment out there. Read on to discover what you should be looking for when buying a spatula and which product is right for you…
Most kitchens will have a traditional slatted wooden, metal or plastic spatula to use when flipping ingredients or serving up dishes, but a baking spatula is designed especially for use with cake batters or whipped cream. Usually made from silicone, they’re great for scooping every tiny amount of raw mix from the bowl, plus they’re easy to clean and usually have a little hole for hanging.
What should I buy?
As you’re dealing with plastic, it’s important to buy a spatula that’s heat-resistant and won’t melt or char. Although it’s inadvisable to use them with a hot heat and they’ll usually be used during the mixing process anyway, they may sometimes be exposed to the hob, when melting chocolate for instance. It’s also important to buy a sturdy spatula that will endure being bent around corners of mixing bowls. The bakers debated over thick, thin, sharp, bendy and narrow spatulas and concluded that they all have their virtues. John says narrow spatulas are good for scraping batter from food mixer whisks for instance, while Frances would opt for a slim blade that scrapes right along the edge of a bowl.
What did we look for?
Robustness: The spatula needs to be bendy enough to flex around pans, mixing bowls and baking tins, but it shouldn’t be so malleable it may snap or be too weak to pick up thick cake batter.
Heat-resistance: If you’re prone to propping spoons up in hot saucepans, you should pay particular heed to whether or not your spatula is heatproof. Molten plastic is never welcome in the kitchen.
A well-shaped head: Thin-ended spatulas are great for scraping up every single morsel of batter or liquid, but it shouldn’t be so thin it’s at risk of snapping.
Our top three spatulas…
This plastic spoon-shaped spatula has been designed for use in professional kitchens, so it can even withstand the heat of a sizzling frying pan, but its soft plastic material means it won’t cause any scratches. Despite being able to stand up to heat, the handle remains cool, plus it has a handy hole for storage. Edd, in particular, is a fan of Nisbets products and he extols the longevity of their spatulas.
£5.99, from Nisbets
Frances was in favour of these dual ended spatulas – the thin end is ideal for scraping around whisks and other nooks. The larger end is sturdy and wide, which is great for scooping large amounts of batter or cream in one go. She also suggested using the curved ends as stencils – we like the idea of using them as a stamp to create lined designs or crimped pie edges as well.
£13.79, from Sizzle
The bakers agreed that this bright Kitchen Craft spatula had the best edge for scraping mixture and icing. It’s available in a range of pastel shades including purple, green and pink, and despite the light colour, it's made from stain-resistant material should you want to use it with cocoa or spices.
£5.99, from Sizzle
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This review was last updated in October 2015. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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