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Rubber Spatulas


GlorifiedRice
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http://tinyurl.com/c26lpw

^^can you fine cooks and chefs tell me what these are for?

I have a huge pet peeve in watching cooking shows and seeing chefs/cooks use rubber spatulas to stir things in pots and pans. Rubber spatulas to ME are for scraping down bowls of batter or getting the last bits of mayo or peanut butter out of jars. They just seem awkward in stirring in pans, especially since the tip is so soft and wont get up crispy brown bits and things can burn.

Is it just me?

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I love my silicone spatulas, with stainless steel handles, for all sorts of savory cooking. Silicone takes great heat and steel handles take a lot of abuse; and the flexible head gets everywhere in the pan, unlike wooden spoons.

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

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http://tinyurl.com/c26lpw

^^can you fine cooks and chefs tell me what these are for?

I have a huge pet peeve in watching cooking shows and seeing chefs/cooks use rubber spatulas to stir things in pots and pans. Rubber spatulas to ME are for scraping down bowls of batter or getting the last bits of mayo or peanut butter out of jars. They just seem awkward in stirring in pans, especially since the tip is so soft and wont get up crispy brown bits and things can burn.

Is it just me?

here in spain its prohibited to use wooden things to stir with,thats why many chefs use plastic spoons and spatulas(especially when you have people watching you cook).

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http://tinyurl.com/c26lpw

^^can you fine cooks and chefs tell me what these are for?

I have a huge pet peeve in watching cooking shows and seeing chefs/cooks use rubber spatulas to stir things in pots and pans. Rubber spatulas to ME are for scraping down bowls of batter or getting the last bits of mayo or peanut butter out of jars. They just seem awkward in stirring in pans, especially since the tip is so soft and wont get up crispy brown bits and things can burn.

Is it just me?

I don't have a problem if other people use rubber/silicone spatulas to stir with. I typically use them in the manner you describe, but if they have something on them from cleaning out a pot or can, then they do get dipped and stirred into whatever I'm making, ostensibly to clean them off.

here in spain its prohibited to use wooden things to stir with,thats why many chefs use plastic spoons and spatulas(especially when you have people watching you cook).

Out of curiosity, why is there a prohibition on using wooden utensils (I'm guessing for public consumption) in Spain? This prohibition doesn't extend to home kitchens, does it?

Tracy

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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http://tinyurl.com/c26lpw

^^can you fine cooks and chefs tell me what these are for?

I have a huge pet peeve in watching cooking shows and seeing chefs/cooks use rubber spatulas to stir things in pots and pans. Rubber spatulas to ME are for scraping down bowls of batter or getting the last bits of mayo or peanut butter out of jars. They just seem awkward in stirring in pans, especially since the tip is so soft and wont get up crispy brown bits and things can burn.

Is it just me?

I don't have a problem if other people use rubber/silicone spatulas to stir with. I typically use them in the manner you describe, but if they have something on them from cleaning out a pot or can, then they do get dipped and stirred into whatever I'm making, ostensibly to clean them off.

here in spain its prohibited to use wooden things to stir with,thats why many chefs use plastic spoons and spatulas(especially when you have people watching you cook).

Out of curiosity, why is there a prohibition on using wooden utensils (I'm guessing for public consumption) in Spain? This prohibition doesn't extend to home kitchens, does it?

Tracy

its more difficult to keep of bacteria from wood i guess,but nothing can beat a good wooden spoon when making risotto,now we work with metal spoons and my hand is all burnt.

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From the illustration: http://tinyurl.com/c26lpw, the third spatula - largest and only one with one concave side - is my favorite type of silicone spatula. Better at scraping out a bowl / pot etc, and generally a more robust design. They get use in my kitchen, and another set get used in my studio for scooping paint etc.

They excel at the tasks they are designed for, and are not too bad as large general purpose spoons.

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I use silicone spatulas all of the time. In fact, the various sizes and shapes all have different functions in my kitchen. I understand the original premise, and there are things I can only use wood/bamboo for such as roux, but with many other things I am able to get a better scraping of the surface with the silicone.

And I used to use the ones with metal handles, but have stopped now that many of the silicone spatulas have more sturdy/durable handles that can be placed in the microwave.

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It all depends. If you're dealing with a pan that actually needs deglazing, then you're right; a soft spatula will have a hard time scraping hard things off the pan. In those cases I like flat bamboo spatulas. For stirring things that don't brown onto the pan, silicone is a bit more efficient. It works like a squeegee and really keeps food moving off the surfaces.

I love my silicone spatulas, with stainless steel handles, for all sorts of savory cooking.

Nancy, where do you get these? They sound pretty deluxe.

Notes from the underbelly

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Has anyone run into problems with discoloration? I was making a lot of chocolate roux last week, and two silicone spatulas emerged from the process with a distinct brown cast. I was using Prudhomme's high-temp method, but it's unlikely that the mixture got higher than 500 F (for reasons that I won't go into, I was tracking the temperature pretty closely), and these, from Le Creuset, are rated to 800 F.

Is that all the change is -- discoloration -- or does it indicate impending failure of some sort?

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Has anyone run into problems with discoloration? I was making a lot of chocolate roux last week, and two silicone spatulas emerged from the process with a distinct brown cast. I was using Prudhomme's high-temp method, but it's unlikely that the mixture got higher than 500 F (for reasons that I won't go into, I was tracking the temperature pretty closely), and these, from Le Creuset, are rated to 800 F.

Is that all the change is -- discoloration -- or does it indicate impending failure of some sort?

I use mine for chocolate mostly - they do eventually discolour, but it doesn't seem to make them any more likely to start falling apart. I have others that are one piece silicone, with metal within the handle and the body of the spatula - those I use for other things such as roux and they also have discoloured towards the end, but are as flexible as they ever were.

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http://tinyurl.com/c26lpw

^^can you fine cooks and chefs tell me what these are for?

I have a huge pet peeve in watching cooking shows and seeing chefs/cooks use rubber spatulas to stir things in pots and pans. Rubber spatulas to ME are for scraping down bowls of batter or getting the last bits of mayo or peanut butter out of jars. They just seem awkward in stirring in pans, especially since the tip is so soft and wont get up crispy brown bits and things can burn.

Is it just me?

There needs be a little clarification.

Rubber.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, there were rubber-based spatulas - used for scraping out all the cake mix or whipped cream or whatever from mixing bowls. Or as you say, getting the very last out of jars. These tools were not designed for 'hot' use.

Tools for that job migrated first to plastics, and nowadays to silicone.

However, just as there are different plastics, so too are there different silicones.

Some (but not all) silicones are excellent for high temperature use.

Check the label carefully!

I have a couple of different-sized spatulas by Chef'n. (Amazon are one source here in the UK.) They are excellent for hot and cold use. I also have an (unbranded) chunky spoon, which, while not really much use as a spoon, is an excellent stirrer, with a bottom 'lip' that, while flexy enough to wipe surfaces effectively, is stiff enough to 'unstick' things like roast potatoes.

I stress the importance of checking the labelling for the tool's acceptable temperature range because the set of 'silicone' tools that I bought and then returned after I'd read their instructions specifying 'not for use on the stove' --- looked very much like the one's in the linked picture...

"Read the instructions for a Spatula? Me?"

Yes, it is worth checking.

Really!

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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[here in spain its prohibited to use wooden things to stir with,thats why many chefs use plastic spoons and spatulas(especially when you have people watching you cook).

Does that mean they don;t serve the baby eels (elvers ?) anymore with the wooden fork, that is broken when you're done eating? I have alwasy wanted to try them, darn it! Too late now I guess. :sad:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I, too, love heatproof silicone spatulas for cooking. I have two sets, one for savory food, one for sweet, so my custards don't end up tasting like garlic. The best ones I have at the moment are Kitchenaid ones with wooden handles. I have several Le Creuset ones (there's a Le Creuset outlet store nearby), also with wooden handles, but the heads are a little softer than I like and they slip off the handles. Gfron, do the RSVP ones have that problem?

I do miss the old Rubbermaid heatproof spatulas. They didn't last forever, but they had the perfect texture. I used to stock up when I found them, but I haven't seen them in years.

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Has anyone run into problems with discoloration? I was making a lot of chocolate roux last week, and two silicone spatulas emerged from the process with a distinct brown cast. I was using Prudhomme's high-temp method, but it's unlikely that the mixture got higher than 500 F (for reasons that I won't go into, I was tracking the temperature pretty closely), and these, from Le Creuset, are rated to 800 F.

Is that all the change is -- discoloration -- or does it indicate impending failure of some sort?

I have had a couple of my silicone spatulas discolor with tomato products, but that's it. But others that I've used with tomato products have not discolored, so I'm not sure what the deal is.

Tracy

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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  • 8 months later...

Those are low-heat spatulas. For hot foods, you will need high-heat spatulas, e.g., Traex, Vollrath SoftSpoon Spatulas. I do not recommend Rubbermaid spatulas. Matfer Exoglass spoon :cool:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I picked up a few Chef'n spatulas at TJ Maxx or some other discount joint, and they are much firmer than the other OXO, Kuhn Rikon, and Hoffritz spatulas I have. As a result, they're very good for scraping the crusty stuff from the sides or bottom a pan while you're cooking.

Chris Amirault

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I love the Trudeau spatulas! :wub: I have dozens of them (yes, at least three dozen of the larger orange ones and lots of the medium red ones and just a few of the small yellow ones) - since I share space with a catering company, no one can mistake them for one of theirs, the dishwasher knows that they are mine, and I can use them for scraping batter, making curd, or caramel ....

They will break, however, if you don't load it in the dishwasher properly :wink: - it got bent under a pan or mixer bowl or something and while I tried to straighten it, it eventually broke anyway.

I buy them whenever I see them at Home Goods. I wonder if there's an online source for them; I know my restaurant supply place doesn't have them....

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I've bought all of mine from Amazon. I bought them all when they were on a 4-for-3 special, which they are again right now.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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As far as high-heat cooking goes, the only thing I use a rubber or silicone spatula for is occassionally making slow cooked scrambled eggs. And even then, it's only if I can't find my Rachel Ray plastic spatulas (they're a godawful orange, but boy do they work great).

Other than that, I agree with GlorifiedRice, silicone spatulas like that are for scraping bowls and folding together light and airy things with more dense things.

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

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I use silicone spatulas or wooden spoons for everything - in fact, I just bought my brothers one of each for stocking stuffers because all they have are cheap plastic spoons that look like they will melt if they get within 10 feet of the stove. But I don't worry too much about the technical properties of each - unless I'm scraping a bowl for batter or somthing I don't find my needs suited to one or the other too specifically.

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