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Have you ever heard of a 'spoonula'? I'm a professional baker, and this $13 multitasker is my new favorite find

With the GIR Spoonula in my kitchen, I can stir, scrape and scoop without having to dig out (and clean) multiple tools.

The moment the word "spoonula" entered my consciousness was akin to when I was a kid and learned that jars containing both peanut butter and jelly did, in fact, exist. "Why didn't I think of this magical concept?" I asked myself. After all, I'd worked as a professional baker and had experienced the limitations of spatulas and spoons firsthand — combining the two was nothing short of brilliant. (Not to mention, this invention would've come in handy during my Smucker's Goober Strawberry-eating days.)

I immediately bought myself the GIR Spoonula (Giada De Laurentiis is a fan of the brand), and while I'll probably always lament that I didn't come up with the idea first, I'm forever grateful someone thought of it. Now I can stir and scoop without dirtying up an extra utensil, and for just $13 at Amazon? I'm tempted to get one in every color.

It's a spoon! It's a spatula! It's a very-smart-invention-that-sadly-won't-pay-for-my-retirement-because-it-wasn't-my-idea! That said, it's quickly earned a permanent spot in my kitchen arsenal. 

  • Thin and flexible enough for getting into the corners of bowls
  • Has a spoon-like shape for scooping
  • Heat-resistant and dishwasher-safe
  • Won't scratch pans
  • The larger size is a little thick for cleaning beaters and whisks
  • Some reviewers say it has a strange taste if you sample foods directly from it
$13 at Amazon
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$13 at Macy's

When I'm making cake batter or cookie dough, I'll opt for a silicone spatula over a wooden spoon any day (it gets into the corners of the bowl better for more effective mixing). That said, I prefer a spoon when I'm stirring sauces and soups, since the divot allows me to scoop some up to taste for seasoning.

What makes this spoonula so genius is that it actually does work equally well as a spatula and spoon. I'll admit, I'd assumed it would score high marks in the spoon department but was less confident in its scraping abilities as a spatula. Well, the folks who developed this product at GIR proved me wrong; the edges are thin and flexible enough that they'll fit into the crevices of my bowls, but sturdy enough that the head isn't flopping around as it navigates its way through thick mixtures. And because it's shaped like a spoon, tasks like, say, filling cupcake liners is easier because I can just scoop out the runny batter rather than precariously holding up the bowl and scraping. (See it in action below.)

The only issue I've come across? When using my KitchenAid stand mixer, I have to scrape down the beater and whisk attachments, and because the spoonula is thicker than a regular spatula, it doesn't get in between the tines as well. That said, I own the largest size (11 inches), and I'm sure the mini 8-inch version would be able to handle the job like a champ. Better add it to my cart now...

Author photo of the lavender spoonula holding cake batter over a mixing bowl
Batter up! Thanks to my new favorite spoonula, I can scrape and scoop while I mix. (Britt Ross/Yahoo)

Aside from baking, I find that the spoonula comes in handy when you want to scoop something out of a jar and spread it on a piece of bread. A stiff butter knife will only do so much when you're trying to get the last bit of jam or peanut butter (apparently I have PB&J on the brain), but the spoonula's curved shape allows it to clean out the bottom of the jar. So satisfying.

Stirring on the stovetop has become a delight as well. Even if I forget and leave the spoonula in the pot, it's never too hot for me to hold onto and I don't have to worry about it melting (it's heat-resistant up to 550°F). It's also soft enough that I can use it on any piece of cookware I own without scratching.

As important as functionality is, I'd be remiss not to mention how aesthetically pleasing this tool is. It comes in 20 colors (and three sizes/styles) — I opted for lavender, which I keep in a utensil holder on my counter to add a little brightness. I've only had it for about a month, so while I can't speak to how it'll hold up long term, I'll say that it looks exactly the same as it did on day one: no staining, no warping. No, I have not yet exposed it to turmeric, but tomato-y sauces are no match for it thus far. (I've only ever washed it by hand, but it can go in the dishwasher.)

A blue spoonula being used to mix a chocolate mixture / a yellow spoonula being used to stir chopped vegetables in a pan
From sweet treats to savory meals, the spoonula can do it all. (Amazon)

By now I hope I've inspired you to join me on Team Spoonula, but if you're still on the fence, perhaps some of its Amazon admirers can convince you.

"I prefer this kind of spatula because it's one solid piece of silicone," explained one happy home cook. "There isn't a crevice between the handle and the spatula head, where food can get trapped and harbor bacteria. These spatulas can go in the dishwasher, but I find if I wash them in hot, soapy water myself, they will last longer. Tomato sauces won't stain them, either."

"It absolutely will not burn or char in the hottest of pans!" raved another. "I have had this item for two years now, and though it is used daily, it still looks brand new!"

"I never thought I'd be this excited about a spatula!" exclaimed a third. "I got a second one. It really has the right consistency ... it isn't too soft like some others. It doesn't get hot if left on the pan while cooking — that's a first for me."

According to one reviewer, you might not want to eat from the spoonula directly. "Worked reasonably well when cooking and baking, but left an odd taste on the tongue when testing/sampling items," they wrote.

"Wish they were one inch longer, would make them easier to hold," said a final fan (about the longest size). That said, they added, "I have two of these ... and use them every day."

Once you realize how often you're reaching for this little doodad, you'll ask for a new color every time your birthday rolls around. 

$13 at Amazon

Another must-have in my kitchen? This is the Cadillac of zesters, in my opinion.

Box graters are, well, "grate" if you have a large block of cheese to shred. But when it comes to zesting lemons, limes and oranges or shaving some Parmesan over a plate of food, this handheld gizmo is where it's at. It gives me so much more control, which in turn means I nick myself far less, and it's a gentler tool, allowing me to remove the flavorful citrus peel without the bitter pith coming along for the ride. 

Check out my full Microplane review for more. 

$18 at Amazon

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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.