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Spatulas and food turners are often considered synonymous with one another, when in fact there is a concise difference between the two. Spatulas are primarily made with silicone or rubber heads that have a curved angle. This allows it to easily scrape, stir, or spread creams, glazes, custards, and more from bowls and pots. You may be wondering, are rubber spatulas safe to use? They are specially tested for safety before mass production in any scenario and rubber itself does not present any health threats. Rubber spatulas are optimal to use for spreading creams on cakes or other pastries since they can be sensitive to heat (this is why they are also referred to as cake spatulas). Ensure your rubber spatula is heat-resistant before using it to stir a chocolate glaze over the stovetop. Are silicone spatulas safe to use? They have been tested to show no signs of toxicity in either warm or freezing temperatures, making them perfectly safe to use in the kitchen. A rubber spatula is just the tool you need to gently fold ingredients into a baking mixture.
Kitchen food turners, on the other hand, are relatively flat and thin to allow seamless gliding under food such as patties, pancakes, omelettes, and more to move them out from a hot pan. Food turners are also referred to as flippers sometimes. Keeping this in mind, many people consider turners as a subcategory of spatulas. When asked about the different types of spatulas, items that fall under that category are flippers or food turners, scrapers, and spreaders. The latter two are more related to baking and are also called cake spatulas. Scrapers and spreaders are both a type of silicone spatula or rubber spatula.
Kitchen food turners, in their turn, come in a few distinct types as well. The main types of turners you must know about upon purchase are solid and slotted turners. The former is completely solid and flat while the latter has either slits or slots across the surface. This is done to allow grease and oil to easily slip through the openings when lifted which is useful for frying patties and fish. In instances where you’re making pancakes or hotcakes, you can easily opt for a solid turner since it doesn’t require any grease to be drained. Kitchen food turners can be found either from steel or softer material such as silicone and it’s best that the material of the turner compliments the cookware you will be using it with. It’s recommended to pair silicone turners with non-stick cookware and leave the steel turners for cookware that isn’t as sensitive to scraping.
The next time someone asks you what is a spatula and what is a turner, you’ll know all the differences down to a T.