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I never really thought much about spatulas. Growing up, I’d simply use the one that my mom kept in a stand with the other utensils. It wasn’t until I moved into a college dorm with a kitchen that I realized I was at a loss without this particular spatula. My roommate’s plastic one just wasn’t doing the trick when I needed to flip pancakes or eggs. And the wooden spatula I had didn’t totally get the job done. It became evident immediately: I needed the OXO Stainless Steel Turner, the spatula that I had come to love and cherish years before at home.

I don’t remember when my mom procured her own OXO spatula, but I do know that as I entered an intense phase of at-home cooking experimentation just before my sophomore year of college, I used it all the time—lifting freshly baked cookies effortlessly off their tray, flipping frittatas without breaking a sweat, and tossing vegetables to sauteed perfection. I assumed all spatulas performed these functions with such grace and efficiency; I was wrong.

While lesser models may do a fine job of scooping up flapjacks and slices of frittatas, I’ve found that they often do so in a way that can make a mess. In contrast, OXO’s turner is super thin and flexible, allowing it to slip under cookies that seem impossible to pry off a baking sheet and crusted-on remnants in my beloved cast-iron pan. That’s right: This spatula also comes in handy when I need to clean, thanks to its ability to scrape food off of nearly any flat surface.

Like any much-loved cooking tool, I never place it in the dishwasher; I use it far too often to even stash it away for 90 minutes. Nothing in my kitchen has been quite as reliable in my cooking routine, whether I’m on an intense meal-prepping kick that involves trying several different recipes or I’m simply making the baked tofu that I tend to whip up every week. It’s even useful when I’m making a weeknight favorite of homemade fried rice, helping me scoop every grain of rice out of my skillet and into my bowl.

If my love for this cooking tool seems simple, that’s because it is. Turning over a fried egg or scooping up a bunch of roasted sweet potato cubes should be perfectly easy, and it is thanks to this spatula. Really, try it out for yourself—you’re gonna flip.

Kitchens photo
Stainless Steel Flexible Turner, OXO ($10)

See more kitchen tools: It’s Time This Forgotten Kitchen Tool Gets the Spotlight I’ve Never Cared Much for Plates Until I Found These These Tiny Knives Will Make Your Life Butter—I Mean, Better