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

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