I can’t say I ever gave too much thought to the grace of a spatula before I started making piles of pancakes.
Did you know that there’s an entire subset of “lifting” spatulas made especially for flipping (as opposed to spreading, or mixing, or wiping, or frosting)?
… Or that within the “lifting spatula” family, there’s a whole other group of spatulas with rounded paddles made just for pancakes?! (Okay, they’re equally useful for burgers, but are sometimes specifically branded as “pancake flippers.”)
… Or that the late ‘80s Weird Al movie UHF ran a commercial for a magical place called Spatula City, where families and doting boyfriends can buy spatulas of any shape, color or size for their adoring mothers and lady-friends?
Since all I had was a nonstick skillet, I used a plain old wooden spatula to flip my flapjacks this week, which seems rather dull after all this spatula lore. I have to say it did the trick just fine.
It seems like the favorite among expert pancakers has to be thin and slotted like this stainless one or this silicone one, which are agile enough to slide under without any scrunching. I’m not sure how essential the slots really are, though.
Other members of the lifting spatula clan include the ultra-thin type used for delicate foods like eggs and crepes (and useable, but a bit too flexible for heartier pancakes) and offset spatulas, which offer some leverage to work your way underneath and are also often used for smoothing batter or frosting cakes.
If I’d been working with a cast iron, I would’ve loved to get my kitchen mitts on this bad boy, which is stainless steel, big, round, perfectly shaped for pancakes AND a tad offset, for the best of all worlds. Its technical name is a “turner,” close relative to the flipper.
And lift! And flip! And turn! Gotta love the graceful kitchen ballet of the spatula.
Durand, F. (2009, May 6). Good question: What is the best pancake spatula? The Kitchn. Retrieved from http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/good-questions/good-question-what-is-the-best-pancake-spatula-083935
Wickford, H. (2011, October 12). What are the different types of cooking spatulas? Livestrong.com. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/546881-what-are-the-different-types-of-cooking-spatulas/