Cooking For Engineers

Equipment & Gear

GastroMax Slotted Turner (Spatula)

by Michael Chu
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These days when I reach for a spatula to turn food in a pan, I've been finding myself grabbing the GastroMax Slotted Turner more often than not. Tina bought this spatula for me after months (or maybe years) of listening to me complain about our various spatulas. After buying the GastroMax Turner, my complaining has stopped.

My previous go to spatula was the Matfer Bourgeat Exoglass Pelton Spatula (what a mouthful!) which I still find to be very useful. The Matfer spatula has a very thin edge that curves up to the main thickness of the spatula (like a fillet edge instead of a chamfer edge) and is a little flexible/bendy which allows it to curve under delicate items like fish fillets. There is almost no angle between the blade of the spatula and the handle which is my chief complaint. Technically, the front 1.5 inches of the blade are angled at 10°, but the rest of the blade is completely in line with the handle. Because there isn't really an angle, scooping under something delicate is harder and potentially limited by the angle with which the sides of the pan allow. Sure, since the spatula is a little flexible, I can press down with some force to cause it to bend a bit more, but when working with delicate food (and over a flame) applying unnecessary force to cause a utensil to flex seems like more of a design flaw than anything else. Also, because of the angle which I have to slide the spatula under the ingredient, sometimes I can't get more than an inch and a half of the ingredient onto the front of the spatula (due to that small 10° angle that starts at that point in the blade) and when I attempt to turn it, the food will slide off either by itself or because the spatula flexs a little. Don't get me wrong, the Matfer spatulas are great (I still use them to flip pancakes and turn delicate fish filets - mine are bright blue), but I like the GastroMax Slotted Turner quite a bit more. Tina and I also use our Matfer spatulas for rapidly transfering food from a pan or sheet pan because it is wider than the GastroMax.


The GastroMax Slotted Turner is a bit more rigid than my Matfer spatulas which comes in handy when picking up more weighty ingredients. Since it is rigid, there isn't the flex and bounce that can cause the food to fall or slide off. Perhaps most important is the fact that there is an offset and 27° angle between the blade and the handle which allows me to come in at an extremely shallow (or even flat) angle and slide nicely under the food. The entire blade slides nicely under the food since the blade itself is almost completely flat. The edge of the spatula is very thin (1/32-in) and chamfered (a straight slope from the edge to the thickness of the blade of the spatula [1/16-in]). The slope is also at an extremely shallow angle (less than 5°) and seems to accidentally catch on food less than my other spatulas (often I can get a spatula under some food because the edge is so thin, but where the spatula thickens it will catch on the food and either tear it or make it difficult to get the rest onto the spatula - with the GastroMax this problem doesn't seem to exist). The turner is also heat resistant up to 500°F (260°C).


The only real drawback for the GastroMax is that the turner is relatively narrow at 2-1/8 inches at its widest. With a 5-1/2 inch blade, the spatula is long enough for most applications, but wide floppy things (like large or normal sized pancakes) will probably need something a little wider.



The GastroMax Slotted Turner is available in white, black, and grey. For those few of you who are curious, Tina bought me a grey one.


Written by Michael Chu
Published on May 22, 2016 at 12:21 AM
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1 comment:(Post a comment)

On September 17, 2016 at 06:17 AM, John mondin (guest) said...
Subject: Great Article
I'm trying to find the Pelton Spatula in Hong Kong. Any idea where to buy it?

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