People often use the words “spatula” and “flipper” interchangeably. However, if you observe the labels of spatulas and flippers in the market carefully, you may notice that there are some distinctions between the two. Make sure that you understand the differences between a spatula vs flipper so that you won’t be mistaken the next time you shop for kitchen equipment.
Continue reading below to learn more about
– The definitions of a spatula and flipper
– The distinctive features of a spatula vs flipper
– The suitable uses of spatulas and flippers
So, let’s start from their definitions. According to Wikipedia, a spatula is a broad and flat blade that is specifically designed for mixing, spreading, or lifting materials. However, in the context of kitchen tools, a spatula usually refers to the classic spatula, which is a plastic or rubber spatula for collecting dough from a mixing bowl, sometimes also for folding or blending ingredients. See also: Rubber Scraper vs Spatula.
Of course, spatulas are available in many variants for more specific purposes. There are spoonulas, which are spatulas with spoon-shaped heads. There are also wooden spatulas, which are made from wood or bamboo, designed to be used on a skillet or wok.
On the other hand, a flipper is also known as a turner. Some people say that it is a type of spatula. A flipper is a flat object that is usually made from metal or plastic, and is designed to slide under food for easy lifting and turning.
This tool is very common in cooking. More often than not, when someone asks for a “spatula”, they actually want a flipper. To avoid the confusion, make sure to be specific about the kind of spatula that you are looking for.
Shape and Material
There are some differences between the shapes of spatulas and flippers. The head of a spatula, especially the one designed for collecting dough, is somewhat flexible. It usually has rounded edges, but it may also have a rounded edge on one side and right-angled on the other side for versatility. The head is usually made from plastic or rubber.
On the other hand, the head of a flipper is sturdier. It is usually right-angled with thin corners. This design allows the head to slip easily under the food. Sometimes, the head has holes to allow oil to drip out. Flippers for cooking usually have metallic heads with wooden or rubber handles that won’t conduct heat. Plastic flippers are not suitable for use in high temperatures, as the plastic may melt.
Classic spatulas are almost exclusively used for working with dough. They are the primary weapons of bakers. Meanwhile, spoonulas are used for collecting materials. Wooden spatulas are suitable for use on skillets and woks.
On the other hand, flippers are usually used for turning and lifting foods when frying. They may also be used in other cooking methods. You can use a flipper to lift cookies from their pans.
Spatula vs Flipper
|- Designed for folding and collecting dough||- Designed for turning and lifting food during cooking|
|- The head is somewhat flexible, made from rubber or plastic||- The head is sturdy, made from metal|
|- The head doesn’t have holes||- The head may have holes to allow oil to drip|
Spatulas and flippers are two different things. A spatula is used for folding and collecting dough. The head is somewhat flexible, usually made from plastic or rubber. Meanwhile, for turning or lifting food during cooking, a flipper is what you are looking for. A flipper has a sturdy head made from metal.