About this project
We're out to create the perfect spatula. A spatula made from a single piece of silicone, heat resistant to 464°F, with weight and balance that make it easy to whip up a quick batch of pancakes, and fun to stir your grandma's spaghetti sauce for six hours on a Sunday afternoon. Nothing fancy here. No gimmicks. Just the best spatula you've ever used.
THANK YOU FOR AN AMAZING CAMPAIGN!
This was a lot of fun - thanks for the support. We're wrapping up on Kickstarter, but the GIR Spatula is here to stay! Visit our website at productofgir.com to get your hands on the Spatula and keep track of the latest from GIR.
THE STORY BEHIND IT ALL
It started with a common spatula… or more accurately, with a drawer of spatulas. For a tool that's so simple it's nearly two-dimensional, but integral to any cook's toolkit, we felt let down by every model we put in our hands.
Wooden handles burned on the edge of the pan and warped in the dishwasher. Metal handles were hot to the touch. Detachable blades and superfluous nooks and crannies trapped oil and food particles, which made cleaning a chore. Some were floppy, others so inflexible they couldn't scrape a bowl. And anything but a silicone blade had us worried that we'd ruin nonstick pans or be eating plastic out of the skillet if we turned around for more than a few seconds. Out of a collection of over a dozen, not a single one "got it right."
We figured it was time for a change. So we designed a spatula that solved every one of those problems. Our small improvements to otherwise run-of-the-mill utensils have added up to an innovative, multi-purpose kitchen tool. And after several months of testing and prototype design, we're ready to rock and happy to introduce the patent-pending GIR Spatula: a single piece of molded silicone, heat resistant to 464°, easy to clean and easy to hold, flex- vs. structure-optimized.
CORE DESIGN HIGHLIGHTS & KEY BENEFITS
SAFE & HEAT RESISTANT
The Spatula does not get hot to the touch and it does not melt or burn: its heat resistant silicone withstands temperatures to 464°F (and you can deep freeze it to -40°F if you're in the mood).
AN INCREDIBLY VERSATILE KITCHEN TOOL
The heavy-duty silicone rubber and strong but flexible blade make it easy to maneuver food, liquid, dry mixes, wet batters... you name it. Suitable for containers of all sizes: bowls, pots, hot pans, and plates.
FOR HOME & PROFESSIONAL USE
We like to think of the Spatula as the ultimate kitchen tool, friendly and approachable enough for beginners at home, as well as super sanitary and multipurpose enough to serve as the go-to tool for experienced chefs at work. Lightweight but sturdy, non-slippery with a comfortable handle and grip, the Spatula was designed with both the occasional cook and seasoned chef in mind.
CLEANS THOROUGHLY & EASILY
The Spatula’s solid body construction doesn't trap food or oil particulates. It's quick and easy to clean by hand, so you can get right back to cooking. And of course, it's dishwasher safe. We put it through hundreds of cycles to make sure it didn't degrade or wear over time. And it performed just beautifully.
ECO-FRIENDLY & LONG-LASTING
Made of eco-friendly, non-toxic material, the Spatula is designed to spend a lifetime in your kitchen.
The Spatula's novel design and construction make it a one-of-a-kind kitchen implement. So we can add another cool item to its highlight reel: Patent Pending.
WITH YOUR SUPPORT
We've come a long way. The Spatula graduated from idea to prototype, and now it's ready for the big time. We're gearing up to launch a full-scale manufacturing run, and we can't do it without your help.
So where are we now? We've:
- Finalized the Spatula's design, from handle to blade
- Tested a range of material combinations
- Built and tested five generations of silicone prototypes
- Tested a production run of units in every color
By supporting this effort, you'll be the first to get your hands on a game-changing spatula unlike any other.
We're on track to deliver the first batch to our Kickstarter backers by early December 2012. We think they belong in every kitchen in the world, starting with yours.
WHAT WILL YOURS LOOK LIKE?
We bet you have a drawer or bucket of subpar (or uninspiring) spatulas just like we did. If we may be so bold: throw them all away, and get the Ultimate Spatula. We wouldn't blame you if your next purchase was a trophy case.
Risks and challenges
We spent the better part of a year designing, developing, prototyping, testing, and beating up the GIR Spatula. If we were going to claim it as the "ultimate," it HAD to stand up to the wear and tear of daily use… as well as some more extreme treatment.
Here were some of the biggest challenges:
• Refining the design of the polymer core so that we'd hit the optimal flex level
• Selecting the appropriate food-grade silicone to use
• Running test batches of silicone in each Pantone color until they looked right
• Testing each color's durability with 7+ hours in simmering tomato sauce
• Finding a manufacturer willing to work with us to produce smaller prototype orders so that we could get our models in the kitchen and test them (and test them, and test them…)
• Destroying almost every other spatula we owned to uncover any weaknesses we'd overlooked (RIP, stainless steel pan with melted plastic spatula all over it)
What we came up with was unique enough to merit an application to the USPTO. So our intrepid little spatula is Patent Pending.
We're really proud of the amount of design, brainpower, and cooking that have gone into this project. We've put up some real investment dollars of our own to get it to this stage, and nothing would be a better reward than seeing you (and your friends) try it out for yourselves. Who knows - it could be love at first sight.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
How well does the silicone you chose hold up above 464°F? I ask because I sear my food at much higher temperatures than that from time to time.
464°F is a fairly conservative estimate on our part. The Spatula will probably do fine at temperatures higher than that -- certainly, it won't melt or go up in smoke. It may discolor around 550-570°F or so, with prolonged exposure.
Interestingly, food-grade silicone products that claim higher heat resistance are citing results of thermogravometric analysis (TGA) tests conducted in inert N2 atmosphere. The presence of oxygen (like, in earth-bound kitchens) will typically cause partial oxidation above 300°C (572°F) -- so that's about where degradation (or technically, "weight loss" as a result of depolymerization) will start to occur.
Silicone cooking tools that cite resistance to temps like 600° or 650°F are basing that claim on conditions that really can't occur outside a lab. Great for marketing perhaps, but not so good if you actually want consumers to know the product's limits for performing on a hot pan or wok! We're super comfortable saying 464°F for prolonged exposure. Truth is, you could take it higher if you're willing to test the limits, with some risk of discoloration if you're too bold and it hangs around at +550° for too long. Just don't stick it in the fire.
Additionally, because we're using a polymer core instead of a metal one, the Spatula doesn't retain much heat. We're not saying that it can't ever get hot -- stick it in a pot of boiling sauce for a few minutes and yeah, the contact areas will heat up. But it won't retain that heat for long. So if you're using it on a hot skillet and want to turn around for a minute or two, you can do so with little worry. We simply want to qualify the claim of heat resistance with a request that everyone exercises a bit of common sense when testing the limits. It's not made of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerogel ;)
Yes. We've done a lot of prep work with our manufacturers to make sure that we'll be able to get these in the mail to you before the holidays. And of course, we'll keep you in the loop as we approach our deadline. Having backed a bunch of projects ourselves, we know how awesome it is to receive something on schedule… and what a bummer it is when your mailbox sits empty. We promise to be in the "awesome" category.
We know it's a lot, especially considering that the Spatula itself isn't much more. In fact, it will actually cost us $16.95 to ship each package to Canada and overseas. We might reach some sort of economy of scale if we get enough backers, but it's really just a reflection of true shipping costs more than any sort of dig at more funds from international supporters. Sorry we couldn't do better!
We certainly hope that the added cost doesn't drive backers away. Of course, the single $15 shipping addition will cover your entire pledge. If you want to know a bit more, or just want to vent about it a little (and we can't blame you), send us a message - we'll see what we can do!
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