When professional baker and cookbook author Erin McDowell is in what she calls “serious baking mode,” you can expect to see her most useful kitchen tools nearby. Her favorites include a bench scraper (“I throw flour everywhere”), really sharp scissors (“I like to use Joyce Chen ones”), pre-cut parchment paper (“because nobody’s got time to tear things off a roll”), and her beloved collection of GIR silicone spatulas, which she uses for everything from scrambling eggs to perfecting recipes for her upcoming pie cookbook.
McDowell owns an estimated 25 GIR spatulas, ranging in size and color, spread across two kitchens at her home in New Jersey. “I’m nerdily in love with these,” she says of the spatulas, which come in 16 colors in mini, skinny, ultimate, and the 16-inch pro size (good for when McDowell makes a giant pot of chili). “When I have a kitchen tool I really love, it acts like an extension of the hand,” she says. “This is a legit love story — I’ll shout it from the rooftops.”
For McDowell, who’s also a recipe developer and food stylist, the perfect spatula should meet the following requirements: First, it must be easy-to-clean. “Other spatulas have a handle with a head that comes off, and you’re just begging for gunk to get in between,” she says. Second, the spatula should have “that perfect level of bend.” The flexibility of the GIR spatulas means that McDowell can use GIR’s mini to scrape out every last morsel of jam or mayo from a jar. Third, the spatula shouldn’t chip easily. “We’ve all had spatulas where chunks have come off,” she says. “I use mine to clean out the food processor where the blade is, and even when it’s gotten nicked, it doesn’t break off.”
But perhaps one of McDowell’s favorite features of the GIR spatulas is how easy they are to organize. “When I was growing up, my mom used to write in Sharpie on the handle of the spatula, ‘sweet’ or ‘savory. But that gets worn off with time,” McDowell says. “You only need one time of having garlic whipped cream to not ever want that again.” In McDowell’s kitchens, the sweet spatulas are gray and the savory are black. For photoshoots, McDowell’s go-to is white. “I fully acknowledge that it’s super boring, but I use them in photographs and white goes with everything,” she says. But one day, you might just spot a pink spatula in one of her books. “I’m such a fan.”