Learning the difference between a spatula and a turner can help you become a pro in the kitchen. While both of these tools seem very similar, they are not interchangeable. There are three key differences between a spatula and a turner. These include the uses, materials, and heat resistance of both.
Both turners and spatulas are quite similar. Some people swap both terms for one another, yet each has a specific purpose.
This article will explore each difference in depth, what each tool is, and whether or not one can substitute a turner for a spatula or a spatula for a turner. Let's dive in below.
Spatula vs. Turner: Differences & When to Use Each Kitchen
While some people confuse the names spatula and turner with one another, a few key differences set these two apart.
Is There Really a Difference Between a Spatula and a Turner?
It is possible that you are asking yourself right now: wait, aren't a spatula and a turner technically the same thing? You are, in fact, right. Technically, a spatula is an all-encompassing term that covers several types of kitchen tools. In fact, a turner is actually a type of spatula.
A spatula has a long handle and many different shapes. The shapes and material of a spatula will determine what its uses are. A few different types of spatulas are:
- Fish spatula
- Flat head spatula
- Scraping spatula
- Spoon scraper
- Palette knife
- Sandwich spreader
- Turner spatula
With all the different types of spatulas on the market, it is not surprising that the difference between a turner and a spatula can be confusing. For this article, we will explore the differences between the spatula turner and the most common, scraping spatula.
While the scraping spatula is not the only type out on the market, it is the one that many are referring to when they say the name spatula. Now, let's take a look at the differences below.
Difference Number One: Material of Each
The first difference between a spatula and a turner lies in the material of each. Most of the time, a spatula will be rubber or silicone. This makes it easier to scrape and mix food, especially batter.
Turners, conversely, can be silicone, but most of the time, they are metal, steel, or plastic. Turners are popular when grilling and frying. Therefore, the material needs to be able to withstand heat.
Difference Number Two: Uses of Each
Perhaps the most telling difference between a spatula and a turner is in their uses. While in the kitchen, many people will use spatulas and turners interchangeably. After all, turners sometimes carry the label spatula turner in the store. Additionally, turners can still be useful for mixing and scraping, and people often use a turner to scramble eggs or stir food on the skillet.
However, the actual use for a turner is to do precisely what the name suggests, turn food. The wide-slotted or solid end makes flipping foods like pancakes and burgers simple. This is a task that a person cannot quickly do with a spatula.
That may be due to the shape and design of a turner.
A spatula has a multitude of uses. These include scraping the sides of a bowl or saucepan, mixing ingredients, and spreading batter across a baking dish. It is possible to flip with a spatula. However, it doesn't come quite as easily as a turner.
Difference Number Three: Heat Resistance
Turners are typically stainless steel or metallic. This is because of their need to be heat resistant. The tool will sit on a hot pan longer than a spatula; therefore, the specific material that a turner is should have higher heat resistance.
A spatula can also be heat resistant, depending on the material. However, the need to be heat resistant is less crucial than a turner.
What is a Spatula?
Often, the terms spatula and turner are confused with one another. A spatula is a utensil with various uses, thanks to its design. These uses include scraping, flipping, spreading, and mixing ingredients.
A spatula has a flat blade, typically made of rubber or wood, but can also be metal. The blade is also thin and wide.
Types of Spatulas
When choosing a spatula, there are a few different ones. These include:
- Icing spatula
- Fish spatula
- Scraping spatulas
- Wood spatulas
- Metal spatulas
- Plastic spatulas
- rubber spatulas
The different types of spatulas have their uses and purpose. Rubber spatulas are flexible and great for scrapping pans. On the other hand, plastic spatulas are easier to clean, but wood spatulas are eco-friendly. As you can see, there are many options to choose from when picking the right spatula.
It is important to note that a turner is a type of spatula. Yet, it has its specific purpose: turning the food.
What is a Turner?
A turner is a tool that is explicitly for flipping food. This tool is perfect to use while grilling or frying foods like burgers or pancakes.
Turners have long handles and a slanted end, making it easy to push under food to flip.
Turners are also an excellent tool for removing food from a hot pan.
Types of Tuners
Turners also have a variety of types to choose from. These include:
- Slotted turners
- Solid turners
- Hamburger turners
- Small turners
- Pancake turners
These are only a few of the many choices of turners to choose from. Whatever you prefer, it is a great idea to have various turners in your kitchen.
Can You Substitute a Spatula and a Turner
Many people use a spatula as a turner or a turner as a spatula daily while cooking. While this makes sense and is possible, a turner is a type of spatula; their differences set them apart.
A turner can be used to mix and scrape. Nevertheless, the specific material may not be as flexible or scratch resistant as a spatula. A turner's primary purpose is to flip food items with ease. At the same time, a spatula has a variety of uses. Which one you use is really up to personal preference; however, having a combination of kitchen tools on hand will make your life easier in the kitchen.
- Turners can be made of silicone, but are usually made of metal or plastic. Spatulas can be metal, but are usually made of rubber or silicone.
- Spatulas can be used to flip things, like turners, but are more commonly used for scraping bowls and mixing ingredients.
- While some spatulas are heat resistant, it isn't as necessary for them to be as it is for turners.
In conclusion, these two kitchen tools are excellent at making cooking with ease a possibility. Whether you want to whip up a quick cake for the night or flip hamburgers on the grill, a spatula, and a turner are great kitchen items to have on hand. The main difference between a spatula turner and a scraping spatula is in the materials, uses, and heat resistance. With all the many uses, having a variety of types of both is a great idea!
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