Pros: Flexible heads; sturdy ergonomic steel handles; won’t discolor; heat resistant; spiffy colors; dishwasher-safe
Cons: Steel core in heads keeps the smaller spatulas from being quite as flexible
Rating: 5 out of 5
First published 1/18/2005
Review item courtesy of Cuisipro and Jardina Communications
I’ve always liked heat-resistant, flexible mixing spatulas–in theory. We’ve gone through a handful of them. Dust sticks to them and doesn’t like to come off. They discolor easily. One of them even ripped. I didn’t necessarily expect the Cuisipro spatulas to be all that different, although I was looking forward to finding out.
First, the obvious differences. I have to note that Cuisipro’s spatulas come in nifty colors, not just white. Red, green, yellow, blue, even clear. The handles are made of steel instead of wood, plastic or nylon; they’re also ergonomically shaped to better fit your hand. They come in three sizes, both in terms of length and in terms of the size of the spatula head. The spatula heads themselves are a bit narrower than I’m used to seeing, and the steel handle extends up through the head. In the wider spatulas it’s along one side; in the narrower ones it’s right up through the middle. The side of the spatula head is curved slightly, which adds to the spatulas’ ability to perfectly scrape a bowl clean.
The handles are quite light for steel; they have a fantastic satin finish, so they’re very smooth to the touch. There are no hard edges to dig in if you’re stirring heavy batters for a while, which is particularly nice on my tendonitis. They have small hanging hooks in case you want to hang them up and out of the way. The spatulas are also entirely dishwasher-safe, and we haven’t noticed even a tiny bit of rust after running them through the dishwasher (isn’t it disturbing how many supposedly dishwasher-safe things come out of the dishwasher with rust on them?).
The fact that the handles extend so far into the spatula heads is partially a plus–it’s sturdy, and helps to reinforce the silicone. It’s also a minus, however, as it negates some of the flexibility of the silicone heads that allows you to do things like perfectly scrape down the curve of a bowl. This isn’t a real problem with the largest of the spatulas; its head is large enough that the handle ends up being mostly along one edge, so you just use the other edge. The smallest of the spatulas, however, really isn’t very flexible. There are still plenty of things it’s useful for, however; some jobs work better with a less flexible spatula.
The silicone of the heads is remarkably sturdy for being so flexible. I’ve noticed no discoloration from spicing, and the material seems unlikely to tear so far. It’s also relatively “non-stick”–by which I mean that dust doesn’t seem to collect on it as easily, and dough and batter don’t seem to cling to it as much as they do to a spoon or different sort of spatula. We put the famed heat resistance (they’re supposed to be heat resistant to 750 degrees F/400 C!) to the test by using them in a recipe that involved boiling water, steaming, and roasting at 450 F, and they looked the same after we were done as they did when we started.
This is the fourth review I’ve done of a Cuisipro product, and I’ve noticed something. Each time I’ve reviewed an item that is a fairly standard kitchen item–tea infuser, dish rack, mixing bowls, spatulas. Each item is something that, design-wise, hasn’t changed much over the last couple of decades, and you’d think we were running out of ways to improve on these things. Yet in each case Cuisipro has found ways to make each thing better than previous versions that I’ve used. In this case, I was surprised to find that the spatulas were far more efficient than spoons at mixing batters and doughs together, particularly when combined with Cuisipro’s mixing bowls. The Irish soda bread rolls we made came together in just a few strokes, and when you’re making that sort of dough it’s imperative that you don’t overmix.
At this point I wouldn’t hesitate to try pretty much anything by Cuisipro. I don’t know how their designers do it, but they keep coming up with new and clever ways to improve on old and well-established designs.