If it’s confession time, I don’t think of myself as someone who treats her kitchen utensils particularly well. I’ve accidentally tossed wood-handled whisks into the dishwasher, mistakenly slammed metal serving spoons in the drawer enough times that the handles warped, and have definitely left porous ceramics soaking too long in the sink.
What I’m most guilty of: Leaving my spatula perched on the rim of a hot pan, melting a shameful divot or searing a burn mark into its handle. I have a mini-graveyard of unsightly plastic spatulas and kitchen tools shoved in the back of my drawer, marred by my carelessness.
Silicone spatulas have been an absolute game changer. Their durability, functionality and ability to withstand high temperatures—and my negligence—has made all the difference in my cooking. The best silicone spatula is the GIR Ultimate Spatula, and it’s among my most-used pieces of cookware.
It can take the heat
The Ultimate Spatula is made of a single piece of pharmaceutical grade, BPA-free silicone, ensuring that every last inch is high heat resistant. For most home cooks, this will be the spatula you reach for everyday, whether you’re sautéing or baking or getting every last bit of sauce out of the pan. It measures 11 inches long and just under 2 inches wide at the head, comes in a rainbow of different colors (including the exuberant “sprinkles”), and is dishwasher safe.
Why silicone? With my older non-silicone spatulas, if I left one sitting on the rim of a pot or pan it would be a death sentence, resulting in melted plastic and a gluey residue. With my GIR spatula however—which, according to their website, boasts heat resistance up to 550 degrees—I have yet to encounter any warping or melting, even as I’m scraping away at the bottom of my nonstick pan. It’s durable enough that after eight months of use, it looks as good as new (which can’t be said for the ones relegated to the back-of-drawer spatula graveyard).
It’s easy to clean
If you’ve ever used a spatula that has a wooden handle and a silicone head, you know that attempts to clean it can lead to unsightly surprises like mold trapped beneath the silicone or neglected nooks and crannies with remnants of crusted brownie batter. Even some spatulas that have an all-silicone one-piece design can have crevices you can’t wipe clean easily. The GIR spatula is sleek, smooth, and a cinch to clean—even when hand washing. And as someone who cooks with a lot of turmeric, it’s remarkably stain resistant in a way my other spatulas haven’t been. It has a comfortable, ergonomic grip and pleasantly velvety feel, unlike some of the stickier ones on the market.
It’s both sturdy and flexible
A pet peeve of mine: working a mixing bowl full of a stiff dough (like, say, the base for these Salted Coconut Ladoos, or the batter for this Blueberry Muffin Cake) with a flimsy spatula that isn’t up to the task. The GIR Ultimate spatula hits that perfect sweet spot of sturdiness and flexibility, able to hold up to tougher bake jobs, but bendy enough for scraping bowls and getting at every bit of batter or dough—a rarity in the silicone spatula world.
Stock up on other sizes
The Ultimate is the model I reach for the most, but there’s a GIR spatula for every occasion. The Skinny Spatula is the jar spatula of your dreams, thin (just 1.5 inches wide) and agile enough to scrape the bottom of peanut butter containers and chili oil bottles, leaving no corner untouched. It’s also especially ideal for when you’re hurriedly scrambling a single egg in nonstick cookware or toasting spices in a tiny pan.
BA contributor Carey Polis loves this small spatula so much that she gave it out as a party favor at her bachelorette weekend. At 8.3 inches long and 1.4 inches wide, the GIR Mini Spatula is just-right sized for scraping tiny saucepans and frosting cupcakes (especially if you have little hands helping you).
A budget-friendly option
If the GIR spatula feels like too much of a splurge for a singular cooking utensil (at $13 for the Ultimate spatula, it’s definitely not the cheapest you can find), this Oxo Good Grips set can get you more bang for your buck, with a bundle of three for $21. Chris Morocco, our food director, is a fan of the trio’s versatility. “I like that these are somewhat stiff but not unforgiving,” says Morocco. “The fact is, silicone stuff doesn’t last forever so you shouldn’t plan to spend loads on it.” But as someone who has gone from needing to replace her spatula every few months to having one hold true for months on end, the GIR spatula has my heart.