Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Dexter-Russell Spatula with Walnut Handle. They call it a pancake turner, I am sure it works great for that but I haven’t made a pan cake in a decade or more. In the end it is a spatula, so big deal right? Hold on there, if you cook with carbon steel or cast iron you want one of these, trust me. Nothing else comes close.
I first learned about this little spatula from Paul Wheaton in what still to this day is likely the best resource article about cast iron cookware on the internet. I will admit I was skeptical but Paul really does go all in on projects so I ordered one. It to this day is my favorite spatula. I will dig to the bottom of a sink full of dirty dishes to find it before using anything else.
The key is this spatula has two features that most others don’t. First the edge itself is flat, it doesn’t have an angle or curve. Due to this it scrapes things off metal but doesn’t dig into metal. Every other metal spatula I have when you push food in a steel or cast pan you can feel it gripping into the metal. This ain’t good! We use steel and cast because as it gets seasoned it is smoother than a baby’s butt. That can’t happen if you are constantly putting minor scratches into the metal and the polymerized seasoning we are trying to develop.
The next thing is the corners, here we want them round. Why? If they are square they dig into the side walls of the pan. This seems so simple yet almost every spatula I have ever found, other than this one, fails on one or both of these factors.
Lastly, I am not a gear snob but I do like my tools to look good and this one does. Walnut handle and brass rivets just look good. And walnut property cared for will last a long time. As to proper care it is similar to knives. 1. This thing and NOTHING with a wood handle should ever go in the dish washer. Just wash it in the sink and 90% of your issues are over. 2. Wood preserved with oil lasts longer than a human life time. Wood that dries out, lasts for only a fraction there of. I simply use mineral oil on my cutting boards and all wood in my kitchen. When ever I oil one of my boards I take that opportunity to put oil on all my wood handles in the kitchen. Just rub it on with your finger and wipe off the excess and call it good.
As it stands I bought the Dexter-Russell Spatula about 6 years ago when Paul suggested it to me. I still have it, it still looks brand new and it is still my favorite spatula. Not bad for a measly 16 bucks! Sometimes it really is little things that simply make your daily life run just a little bit better. For me switching to carbon steel and this turner did that for my time in the kitchen anyway.
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