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A Spatula Worth Flipping Over

I once watched a friend, very good cook, sauté Dover sole fillets for dinner. Gorgeous, delicate pieces of fish these were—sliced from sole straight off the boat, totally worth the premium he paid. He took care to cook them quickly so they wouldn’t dry out. But when he went to turn them in the pan, he reached for a grill spatula. Which is like bringing a bazooka to a squirrel hunt. And so in the course of flipping these thin fillets, he mangled and maimed them. I turned away in horror.

Point is, even a good cook needs the right tools to be successful. In this case, a fish spatula would’ve done the trick. Fish spatulas—known to some as fish slices—are thin, slightly flexible, and slotted, making them perfect for turning fragile items like fish fillets. But they’re not relegated to fish alone. Use them to lift items out of a pan while keeping liquid inside—when handling meats in this way, they’re easier to wield than a slotted spoon and won’t damage the meat like tongs can. The fish spatula’s practicality makes it a staple piece of equipment in restaurant kitchens, but the well-equipped home cook needs one on hand, too.