How Do You Use A Fish Turner?

A fish turner, or a fish spatula, has a longer and broader head with widely-spaced slots and a slightly curved end. Such a design makes it an excellent choice for flipping fish when frying, grilling, or roasting it. The head is long and wide enough to cradle an entire fish or a fillet of fish without breaking it during the flipping process.

How do you use a fish turner? ? It can be used like any other kitchen spatula! Just slide its thin, curved end underneath the fish, check that most of the fish is cradled on its slotted head, and flip the spatula along with the fish.

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Read on for more tips on using a fish turner and the best turners we’ve used so far.

Techniques In Using A Fish Spatula

Of course, there are specific techniques that will make the use of a fish turner more effective. By it, we mean the fish doesn’t break up into several pieces when it’s being flipped.

  • Hold the fish turner by its handle with a firm yet comfortable grip. Too loose, and the spatula can slip from your hand. Too tight, and your wrist will be too tense to make an easy flip.
  • Slide the head of the spatula slightly angled from the side instead of straight underside the fish.  Your wrist should be nearly sideways in its angle of attack.
  • Slowly but steadily slide the spatula underneath the fish until the latter is nearly centered or centered in the former’s slotted head. The amount of fish centered on the spatula’s slotted head depends on its size. Your aim at this point is to get much of the spatula covered by the underside of the fish.
  • Slightly lift the spatula so that it’s a couple of inches or so away from the frying pan, grill or griddle. Avoid lifting the spatula higher than three inches (or four inches but not more than that in case of a large fish). The higher distance between the spatula and pan, the higher the chances for the fish to break in two pieces. 
  • Don’t hold the spatula with the fish on it in the air for too long as well. Otherwise, the fish can break in two. Do the transition to flipping as quickly as possible, perhaps 5 seconds or less.
  • Quickly turn your wrist so that it faces downwards and, thus, also flipping the spatula with the fish on it. The fish should then be on its other side with that side ready for frying, grilling, or roasting.

A fish turner can also be used in another way when cooking fish. Press down on the filleted fish so that its edges don’t curl up and it cooks evenly on all sides. Plus, it will result in a crispier skin when you firmly press down on it for 10 seconds or so.

Tips On Frying Fish

In terms of the level of difficulty, frying fish is among the easiest cooking method. But it has its challenges, too, that make it a tad daunting for beginners.

With these tips, fortunately, frying fish becomes easier:

  • Thaw it for a few hours if it’s been in the freezer for a day or two. But just let it thaw on its container instead of dunking it in a container full of water.
  • Drain excess water from the fish by placing in on a kitchen towel before frying it. When hot oil and water mix, there can be plenty of splatters that can cause slight skin burns.
  • Be careful about placing the fish into the hot pan with hot oil. Use a fish spatula for this purpose. Place the fish gently on the oil instead of plunking it in.
  • Let the pan heat up first for a minute or two before adding the oil. Then let the oil become hot, too, before placing the fish on it. The hotter the oil, the less likely the splatters, the less likely the fish will stick to the pan, and the crispier the fish’s skin will be.
  • Fry the side with the skin first.
  • Give the fish sufficient time to brown on its surface. The fish is ready to flip when it’s brown on its surface, and it doesn’t stick to the pan when a spatula is placed underneath it.

Also, don’t place too many fish on the pan. Otherwise, the fish will not cook properly since the oil’s temperature will be significantly decreased. Plus, you will need enough wiggle room to flip the fish with your spatula.

Three Best Fish Spatulas

We have chosen these fish turners based on their large and full slotted heads, sturdy materials, and durable build. Remember that the best fish spatula should be thin enough to slide under the fish but strong enough to support an entire fish or a sizable fillet.

We also chose only stainless steel fish turners because these meet the abovementioned criteria and are safe to use in high heat conditions.  While heat-resistant silicone plastic can be used, it isn’t strong enough for the purpose.

OXO 1130900 Good Grips Fish Turner

How Do You Use A Fish Turner?

With its oversized stainless steel head, this OXO fish spatula can be used for cooking both whole fish and filleted fish, even seafood cakes, pancakes, and crepes. Its head has widely-spaced slots that allow more grease to drain, too. Its non-slip handle is just the right length to flip fish from a comfortable distance.

Sabatier, Black Flex Turner

How Do You Use A Fish Turner?

Its durable stainless steel head has a brushed finish that protects its surface from hundreds of exposure to hot oil. Afterward, you will be able to use this Sabatier fish spatula for a few years, at least. Its thin yet sturdy head can also cradle most fish that can be fried on a standard-sized pan.

Winco FST-6

How Do You Use A Fish Turner?

With a combination of brushed stainless steel and wooden handle, this Winco spatula is form and function combined. Its slotted head can easily slide underneath fish as well as cut through filleted fish like a knife if needed.


To conclude, when you buy a fish turner, you will likely not need other spatulas in the kitchen! You can utilize it for a wide selection of food, aside from fish, which means that you can receive the best value for your money.  You will also learn to use it well on your first try because it’s as easy as 1,2,3!