Many chefs and home cooks are fanatical about the fish spatula, also known as a slotted offset spatula, fish turner or flipper — or, as the British say, a “fish slice.”
While spatulas used primarily for folding and scraping are square or rectangle in shape, a fish spatula is often thinner with a front edge that is beveled and angled to slip underneath food more easily. Slots on a fish spatula also tend to be larger and longer to allow excess liquid to drain from foods.
The main use for this type of spatula is to flip delicate fish without flaking or breaking the fillet. However, it’s a multipurpose tool and may be the only spatula you need. Use it to flip pancakes, omelets, latkes and fritters, as well as burgers, chicken cutlets and vegetables.
Other ways to get the most use out of your fish spatula include transferring cookies to a cooling rack, cutting through thick brownies, draining oil from pan-fried foods and gently scraping bits of stuck-on food from the bottom of the pot or pan.
While fish spatulas typically are made of stainless steel, they also come in nylon or plastic for cooking on nonstick surfaces. However, these versions are often thicker and less flexible, making them more difficult to use efficiently. Handles range from metal and silicone to wood such as walnut and bamboo.
Look for a fish spatula with a sturdy yet slightly flexible design and a handle that is lightweight and not too bulky; these will offer the best precision and control. Some types are dishwasher safe, while those with wooden handles should be washed by hand to prolong their lifespan. Pricing is around $20 with some kinds costing less and fancier models costing more.
A Fish Spatula Is the Only Spatula You Need. Bon Appetit website. https://www.bonappetit.com/story/fish-spatula. Published September 5, 2017. Accessed February 18, 2022.
Can You Clean Wooden Spoons in the Dishwasher? Cook’s Illustrated website. https://www.cooksillustrated.com/articles/2326-can-you-clean-wooden-spoons-in-the-dishwasher. Published May 14, 2020. Accessed February 18, 2022.
Do You Really Need a Fish Spatula? The Better Fish website. https://www.thebetterfish.com/thecurrent/do-you-need-a-fish-spatula/. Accessed February 18, 2022.
Fish slice. Merriam-Webster website. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fish%20slice. Accessed February 18, 2022.
The Best Fish Spatulas (a.k.a. Slotted Offset Spatulas). Serious Eats website. https://www.seriouseats.com/best-fish-spatula-slotted-offset-spatula/. Updated January 28, 2022. Accessed February 18, 2022.
The Best Metal Spatulas. Cook’s Illustrated website. https://www.cooksillustrated.com/equipment_reviews/1913-metal-spatulas. Published November 1, 2018. Accessed February 18, 2022.