What are Different Types of Spatulas?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

The common spatula is a tool that is used in a wide range of tasks and activities. While there are over 70 types in use in one field or another, the main role of spatulas continues to be found within the preparation of food.

More narrow spatulas are better when dealing with small amounts of food or manipulating tight spaces.
More narrow spatulas are better when dealing with small amounts of food or manipulating tight spaces.

Perhaps the most common of all spatulas is the common slotted lifting spatula. This versatile kitchen tool is idea for lifting foods off cooking surfaces or from liquids. Often coated with a silicon facade that makes it ideal for use with nonstick cookware, spatulas of this variety work very well when turning meats in a pan, or when frying eggs.

Narrow spatulas are good for lifting small amounts of food.
Narrow spatulas are good for lifting small amounts of food.

Narrow spatulas are ideal lifting tools when dealing with small amounts of food. These usually have a width that is somewhere between 0.25 and 2 inches (0.635 and 5.08 cm). Available in both angled and straight versions, this type of spatula may include a metal or plastic blade. One common application for this tool is in the application of cake icings or to arrange a topping on a dessert.

The serving spatula gets to leave the kitchen and move to the table for meals. Spatulas of this variety usually have a decorative handle and a metal blade that may be blunted or tapered in appearance. They may be used to slide under the cut of meat on a serving platter and move the food to a dinner plate. This form is also handy for serving slices of pizza as well.

There are other types that are helpful for special food preparation. Crepe spatulas feature a long and narrow blade that will easily turn crepes while browning them in a pan. Chinese spatulas are curved and slotted, making them ideal for turning and mixing vegetables in a wok. This type also works very well with large and deep frying pans, making it ideal for the preparation of all sorts of vegetable combinations. Baking spatulas have thin, flexible metal blades that ideal for serving slices of cake and pie. Those for grilling feature larger blades and longer handles, making them ideal for cooking in the backyard. For just about every task associated with food preparation, there is a tool that will help with the process.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


I like to bake and decorate cakes so use different kinds of spatulas quite often.

The best way to get all of the batter out of a bowl is to scrape it with a spatula. A spoon will work, but just doesn't work as well.

I also love using long icing spatulas when I am frosting a cake. This allows me to reach across the whole cake and I feel like the icing is distributed evenly this way.


I have been to several Pampered Chef parties and they have many different sizes of spatulas. Many of my friends often comment how they don't like to take their Pampered Chef spatulas to other places because they are afraid they will lose them.

They have one small spatula that is perfect for lifting bars or brownies out of a pan. This is the perfect size - not too small or too big.

Of all the different spatulas I have, this is the one I would miss the most if I misplaced it.


I really like using the new silicone spatulas that are available. You see more silicone utensils in the stores all the time.

At first I wondered how they would hold up to the heat, but once I started using them, I went out and bought several more.

They come in fun, bright colors that I enjoy using in my kitchen. I really should get rid of all the other spatulas that are taking up space in my drawer because I never use them anymore.


Even though I have a drawer full of different kitchen spatulas, I have my favorites ones that I always use first.

For example, when I make scrambled eggs, there is one spatula I have that just seems to work better than the others. This is probably the oldest spatula I have in my drawer, but the one that gets used most often.

Many times if it is dirty, I will wash it to use, instead of using one that is in the drawer and already clean.

I had never really thought much about all the different uses and kinds of spatulas there are. I would imagine most every kitchen has a drawer full of different kinds for different purposes.


I prefer a spatula with a thin edge. It is much easier to slide it under a pancake for example. Of course it also has to have slots so liquid can run through if needed.

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