We’ve all been there; you’ve got a piping hot pot of homemade soup, and a bowl nearby ready and waiting to hold the yummy contents. Without a ladle, getting your concoction from one point to the other–without spilling it all over the place–is going to be challenging, to say the least.
I recently realized just how much I took my ladle for granted; I recently accidentally melted my almost-decade old plastic ladle (ooops). This kitchen tool enables you to seamlessly pour leftovers into bags for freezing, portion out the right amount of food into serving containers, and generally keep a kind-of-klutzy person (like me) from sloshing hot contents everywhere.
Without a ladle, I’m useless in the kitchen. After my mishap, I immediately ordered a metal ladle on amazon, and have never looked back.
Look: If you make soup, chili, stew, or anything even remotely liquid-y, it's time to buy a soup ladle.
Soup and stews are just the beginning, though. A soup ladle will be a lifesaver when it comes to pancake-making, drink-serving, meal-prepping, and everything in between. If your boat springs a leak, you could probably even use your ladle to get water out and maybe even plug the hole. Moral of the story: Travel with your ladle—you never know when you're going to need it.
Just... Get Yourself a Ladle
I get it: ladles aren't exactly the most glamorous of kitchen tools–chances are you've given ladles very little thought. But, the second you try to transfer hot soup to a bowl or storage containers, you’ll quickly realize how indispensable a ladle is.
Now that you’ve realized how much your kitchen needs one, here are some of the best soup ladles available:
Soup Ladle FAQs
What is a Soup Ladle?
A ladle is a type of serving spoon with an extra-long, straight handle and a large, cup-shaped bowl at the end. It's an excellent (super-helpful) kitchen tool for serving liquid and semi-liquid dishes. The term ladle comes from the old English word, ladle meaning "to load."
Fun fact: a ladle is also known as a Hannah dipper in several parts of the world.
What Are the Different Types of Ladles?
Yep! There are basically three main types of ladles used in the kitchen.
- Sauce Ladle
A sauce ladle is shorter than normal soup ladles. Sauce ladles are usually around 5 inches, or shorter. A sauce ladle is a must in the kitchen, because it makes serving sauces and soups so. much. easier.
It's important that your sauce ladle has pour lips on both sides; this helps prevent spills and drips.
- Soup Ladle
A soup ladle looks similar to a sauce ladle, but with a longer handle and sometimes a larger bowl. A soup ladle can be used to serve items that can be served with sauce ladle as well, but a soup helps portion out bowls and serving sizes more easily than a sauce ladle.
- Slotted Ladle
An essential (but often overlooked) kitchen item, the slotted ladle is a very versatile tool, allowing for the convenient draining/removal of things from your soup/sauces. You can use a slotted spoon for removing hard-boiled eggs from hot water, sifting Bay leaves out of chili, and so many other nifty uses.
What to Look for in a Good Soup Ladle
The first thing to consider when buying a soup ladle is what type of material you prefer.
Stainless steel soup ladles are typically more durable than their counterparts, they're stain-resistant, and they tend to last longer. The downside is that they scratch more easily, and the handle tends to get hot.
Plastic and wooden soup ladles are less durable than stainless steel, but they're both great options if you are worried about scratching your pots and pans. If you opt for a plastic soup ladle, make sure that it is heat-resistant to at least 450°F.
Finally, you'll want to think about what size ladle you need. The average ladle will not always be labeled with an exact size, but they tend to hold around 6 ounces, which works well for serving out soups. However, smaller ladles can be useful for tasks like canning jams, and larger ladles are more convenient for things like serving punch.
When it comes to soup ladles, do your own research to figure out just which kind will work best for you. You can't really go wrong, here.
Do you have a favorite type of soup ladle? Have a story of that one time a soup ladle saved the day? Tell us all about it below.
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