April 17, 2024


Cooking Is My World

The Best Offset Turners of 2022

The Best Offset Turners of 2022

A good offset turner is a tool that you’ll find yourself reaching for again and again. While you might associate them with a short order cook using one to flip plate-size hash browns, they also come in more compact sizes for the home cook—and they’re mighty useful. They can transfer cookies to a cooling rack, serve up clean slices of casseroles, flip pancakes, smash burgers, and more.

So what exactly is an offset turner? It’s a spatula, usually made of metal, with the express purpose of turning food while cooking, such as burgers or pancakes. Almost all of them have two bends in them (i.e. the offset part): one bend down where the handle meets the blade, and another one where the blade flattens out to create a level surface.   

We put a variety of metal offset turners—big and small, squared-off and rounded, long and short—to the test, sussing out which ones flipped, scraped, smashed, and served with ease.

The Winners, at a Glance

The Best Overall Offset Metal Turner: MÄNNKITCHEN Professional Grade Stainless Steel Spatula

Mannkitchen Professional Grade Stainless Steel Spatula

Also available at MÄNNKITCHEN.

This model was the only one to ace all three of our tests, easily flipping pancakes, smushing smash burgers, and serving lasagna.

The Best Offset Metal Turner for Burgers: Dexter Russell Offset Hamburger Turner

Dexter Russell Offset Hamburger Turner

Also available at Walmart.

For effortlessly smashing, flipping, and removing burger patties from a cast iron skillet in one clean go, no other model came close. If you’re looking for a longer, heftier turner with more surface area, this is the one.

The Tests

Serious Eats / Eric King

  • Pancake Test: For each turner, we cooked four, 1/4-cup-size pancakes in a large cast iron skillet, using the turner to flip them and transfer them to a plate. We noted how well the turners slid under, lifted, and flipped pancakes, and whether they bumped into other pancakes.
  • Smash Burgers Test: We cooked two, 2-ounce ground beef patties in a cast iron skillet “smash burger” style, pressing them with the back of each turner, then scraping them up and flipping them. The turners were evaluated based on how easy it was to fit the spatula in the pan, how much effort was required to smash the patties, and how well it picked up the burgers.
  • Lasagna Test: We baked a family-size lasagna and, using only the turners that performed well in at least one of the previous tests, served two pieces with each. We paid attention to how well each turner angled into the pan, slid under the lasagna piece, and picked up and transferred it in one piece.    
  • Cleanup Tests: Over the course of testing, we evaluated how easy each turner was to hand-wash with warm, soapy water and a sponge.

What We Learned

What Size Turner Was Best?

Serious Eats / Eric King

We included a large range of sizes in our testing, with turners measuring 10.5 to 15 inches long. The turners that performed well in both the pancake and lasagna tests were all shorter than 12.5 inches, with blades narrower than three inches wide. Models with wider blades, such as the Dexter Russell, were excellent at flattening meat patties for smash burgers. However, this feature hindered them when attempting to angle under a single pancake without disturbing the others, and when we tried to use them to pick up a slab of lasagna; the width of the blade was too big to easily maneuver in the pan.

That being said, some of the smaller turners failed to smash burger patties thin enough in one go. And because of their more narrow blades, we couldn’t scrape the wide patties off of the skillet while keeping them in one piece. But, again, their more compact frames also made them a delight to use for other applications like flipping small pancakes and serving delicate pieces of lasagna. 

We found that the size of our winner, from MÄNNKITCHEN, was just right at 2 7/8 inches wide and 11.5 inches long; it was nimble yet sturdy and wide but not too much so. 

Blade Shape Made a Difference

Blades with a flat front edge and squared-off corners were much better at sliding under pancakes and scraping up burger patties than those with rounded edges.

Serious Eats / Eric King

Blades with a flat front edge and squared-off corners were much better at sliding under pancakes and scraping up burger patties than those with rounded edges. This is probably because when working with a rounded edge, only one point of the edge is touching the skillet at an angle, meaning less of the turner is in contact with the food at once. With a flat edge, you can ensure the turner’s entire front edge is flush with the skillet, and it has a better chance of sliding cleanly under the pancake or scraping up the burger in one piece.

What Angle(s) Made for A Good Offset?

We found offset turners with more extreme angles were better at maneuvering in and out of skillets and pans.

Serious Eats / Eric King

We found models with larger offsets, like the MÄNNKITCHEN (which had a 155-degree offset angle near the handle and a 125-degree offset where the blade flattens out) were the easiest to maneuver. The design made it a cinch to angle under a single pancake without smashing the others. Plus, its highly-angled bends made it super easy to position it flat in a cast iron skillet, helping us smash burger patties without too much effort and without burning our hands on the skillet. 

The Criteria: What to Look for in a Good Offset Turner

Serious Eats / Eric King / Grace Kelly

In some ways, what makes a good offset turner depends on what you want to use it for. Some turners were suited for more delicate work, like flipping pancakes, while others excelled at smashing and scraping burger patties. But here are some design differences we found we preferred no matter what the task was. 

We preferred a squared-off blade to a rounded one. This feature made easy work of scraping up super thin burger patties in one go without tearing—and also made it easier to scrape up debris off the skillet for cleanup. Some models had a square shape with slightly rounded corners, which we found was okay as long as there was a totally flat edge at the front of the blade. 

For tasks beyond smashing and scraping up burgers, we found a smaller profile was better as larger turners brought a lot of collateral damage to the pancakes they weren’t flipping; they were also way too big to serve a normal-sized piece of lasagna. 

We also preferred spatulas with a more severe offset. This made angling to get under a pancake or a slice of lasagna easy. And when making smash burgers, it helped the handle avoid hitting the side of the pan, also making it less likely to burn your hand on the side of the pan. 

Our winner, the MÄNNKITCHEN, boasted all of these qualities. It was small enough to flip one pancake without disturbing others in the pan, with an offset severe enough (and handle long enough) that we could flatten the burger patties at the right angle—without much effort and without burning our hand on the side of the pan. Plus, it has the advantage of a flat, squared-off front edge on its blade. 

The Best Overall Offset Turner: MÄNNKITCHEN Professional Grade Stainless Steel Spatula

Mannkitchen Professional Grade Stainless Steel Spatula

Also available at MÄNNKITCHEN.

What we liked: This turner held up in all the challenges we put it through. It seamlessly slid under pancakes and flipped them with precision and control. The super angled handle got you low enough to get under food items without straining and without worrying about burning your hand. While the blade doesn’t have the surface area of the bigger models, it was still pretty good at totally flattening smash burger patties, requiring only a few extra presses and smears. This model is also the perfect size for serving lasagna; it had no trouble cutting through layers of noodles and sauce, getting under a slice, and lifting it all to the plate in (mostly) one clean piece. It also had a sturdy stainless steel blade, so you don’t have to worry about it bending out of shape. We also liked how, unlike any of the other models, all three edges of the blade are beveled, which made scraping and sliding under food from any direction that much easier. 

What we didn’t like: We wish the blade was just slightly wider. If it was, it could have scraped up the smash burger even better—although it performed well in that test nonetheless. While its sturdiness is a boon, a bit more flexibility in the blade would have made it easier to “smear” the burger meat into the skillet, as well as make it easier to bend to get the perfect angle under pancakes and lasagna slices. Also, because of  the wood handle, it’s not dishwasher-safe. 

Price at time of publish: $24.

Key Specs:

  • Materials: Stainless steel blade, wood handle 
  • Offset angles: 125-degree angle where blade flattens out; 155-degree angle where blade meets handle 
  • Dimensions: 2 7/8-inch wide blade; 5-inch long blade; 11.5 inches total length
  • Weight: 6.46 ounces
  • Cleaning: Hand-wash-only

Serious Eats / Eric King

The Best Offset Turner for Burgers: Dexter Russell Offset Hamburger Turner

Dexter Russell Offset Hamburger Turner

Also available at Walmart.

What we liked: In the smash burger test, this model pressed the patties flat in one swift motion and scraped them up perfectly. Because of this model’s large surface area, it was easy to transfer food—  you could even pick up two pancakes or burger patties at a time. The blade’s edges are very straight and sharp, so scraping up the smash burgers was a breeze—it left almost nothing behind. This also made scraping up the debris in the pan easy. Plus, the bend between its handle and the blade fit perfectly into a cast iron skillet. This angle design also helped us smash burger patties completely flat and level without much fuss and, more importantly, without burning our hand on the side of the pan. 

What we didn’t like: Its large size made precisely targeting just one pancake without damaging others difficult—this also hurt its ability to flip pancakes with accuracy. When serving lasagna, it was just too big to maneuver well, failing to smoothly slide under and lift a normal-size slice. Because of the finish on the stainless steel, this turner had a slight stickage problem. For example, once or twice a pancake wouldn’t slide off easily—and a small amount of meat stuck to the bottom when smashing the burgers. Also, it’s not dishwasher-safe thanks to its wood handle.

Price at time of publish: $31.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Stainless steel blade, wood handle 
  • Offset angles: 115 degree angle where blade flattens out; 135-degree angle where blade meets handle
  • Dimensions: 3-inch wide blade; 6.25-inch long blade; 12.75 inches total length
  • Weight: 6.56 ounces
  • Cleaning: Hand-wash-only

Serious Eats / Eric King

The Competition

  • OXO Steel Lasagna Turner: This was a model that was extremely comfortable to hold thanks to a silicone ribbed handle. It precisely flipped pancakes, and, as its name suggests, scooped up and served neat slices of lasagna. Overall, this turner’s stubby handle and blade let it down in the smash burger test, failing to really get the patty flat after several attempts and tearing the burger when it was time to scrape it off and flip. That said, if you want a nimble turner for less hefty tasks, this is a great choice. 
  • OXO Good Grips Restaurant Turner: Like its brother, this model performed well at lifting and flipping pancakes (although one or two did slide off) and also worked just as well in the lasagna test. Its very slight offset made it difficult to smash burgers—no matter how you maneuvered it, it could never lay flat and level in the pan. However, its larger blade was better than the lasagna turner at flattening the whole patty.  
  • Sabatier Triple Rivet Turner: This was a larger model that failed to easily lift up pancakes; instead, it smushed them into each other, hitting other pancakes in the process. It flattened the meat patties well, but, thanks to its rounded front edge, it failed to scrape them up in one piece. Its long and wide blade made it awkward to angle under and pick up a normal size piece of lasagna.
  • Lamson Rectangular Turners with POM Handle: This was a very elegant, thin and flexible model that flipped pancakes well, but thanks to its angle, which barely puts the handle higher than the blade, it was difficult to position under food items. However, the blade’s flexibility helped it smash the meat patties well.
  • Norpro Stainless Steel Turner with Wood Handle: One of the longest models, this turner was no good at flipping pancakes, but its large size and severe offset helped it fit perfectly into the skillet to press down burger patties. However, because of its rounded front edge, it failed to scrape up the burgers in one piece, leaving behind a lot of meat. 
  • Mercer Culinary Hell’s Handle Heavy Duty Turner: This was a heavy, bulky model that lagged behind in every test. Its only positive feature was the ultra-wide and sharp front blade that was perfect for scraping up burgers. 
  • New Star Foodservice 36299 Wood Handle Heavy Duty Hamburger Turner: This huge, industrial-size turner might be good at flipping burgers and serving-tray sized pancakes on large flat-top, but it was way too big and bulky for a home cook. Plus, it only has one bend, not two, making it awkward to hold. 


What’s the difference between an offset turner and a spatula? 

Spatulas can take many shapes: there are rubber spatulas that are perfect for making scrambled eggs or folding flour into cookie dough. There are offset spatulas, which, like offset turners, have bends between their handle and blade, making it easier to get the blade flat and level for getting super smooth frosting on a cake. There are fish spatulas, which are slotted, super-thin, and flexible, and also slightly angled at the end of their blade. And then there are the normal, ubiquitous spatulas you know and love that might be slotted, but usually only have one bend. Offset turners, on the other hand, are made specifically for the purpose of turning things (burgers, pancakes, etc.), and their two bends provide a better angle to slide under food items. 

Do I really need an offset turner in my kitchen?

In many cases, an offset turner might be good enough to replace a normal spatula (excluding the ones made of silicone for use on nonstick pans). For tasks like flattening and flipping burger patties for smash burgers, there really isn’t a better option (unless you want to invest in a plastering trowel). If you need more convincing, read Associate Commerce Editor Grace Kelly’s love letter to her offset lasagna turner spatula, and why she thinks everyone should have one.