How we tested
Fish spatulas—elongated versions of the standard pancake flipper—are designed expressly for shimmying underneath delicate fillets. And we’ve found no better tool for extracting sticky vegetables from a baking sheet or transferring fresh-baked pastries from oven to cooling rack. That is, if you get your hands on a good one. A well-designed spatula combines ample strength for scraping up sticky food bits with enough pliability to sneak underneath delicate foods virtually unnoticed. Of the six blades we slipped under pan-fried fish fillets, glazed roasted sweet potato discs, and brittle butter cookies, two failed to pass muster. One product gawkily protruded almost 3 inches longer than most other models, making it nearly impossible to overturn one fish fillet without disturbing its neighbors. The uncomfortably stiff, flat, all-metal flipper from another model needed a good, hard push to work its way under our caramelized potatoes—and even then it stuttered and lost one to the counter. More agile blades ran a reasonable 6 ½ to 7 inches in length, sported a finely honed slant at their edges to dig nimbly under flaky fish, and curved gently upward at their tips to better cradle slippery foods. We didn’t think the blunt and flimsy handles attached to two brands' blades were deal-breakers, but it made us appreciate the ideal balance and control of our second place winner and the sleek, supportive curl of our new favorite spatula.
Wüsthof Gourmet Slotted Turner/Fish Spatula
Sturdy yet nimble, this arced blade sports a comfortable handle and is ideal for moving anything from fish fillets to vegetables and cookies.
LamsonSharp Ebony 6-Inch Chef’s Slotted Turner, Right Handed
Just a notch below the Wusthof for agility, this well-balanced turner would have been a contender for the top spot if its blade were slightly more curvaceous.
Victorinox (formerly Victorinox Forschner) 3 x 6-Inch Slotted Turner
Testers registered modest complaints about this spatula’s thick poly grip and blunt design that made fish flipping a bit more challenging but it fared well with potatoes and cookies.
Peltex Stainless Steel Spatula
Fine for tasks that didn’t involve a hot frying pan. When testers tried to turn over fish fillets with this skinny, short handle, their hands were just inches from the fire.
Kuhn Rikon Cook’s 11-Inch Flexi Spatula
An ironic name for such a rigid tool. Flexibility was at a minimum with this flat, stiff, all-metal tool that clanged every time it made contact with the pan.
OXO Good Grips Fish Turner
Absurdly large for just about any task, this near 10-inch blade was almost as awkward to wield on a baking sheet as it was in a frying pan.