April 14, 2024

Building Unique Homes

Crafting Homes, Building Dreams

Best Ladles (2023), Tested and Reviewed

9 min read

As soon as you use it, you can tell the best ladle from all the terrible ones you’ve had in the past. You know the type: They buckle under pressure (or too much chicken noodle soup), get a very shallow scoop, spill everywhere in transit from pot to bowl, and can never seem to reach those crevices in a pot when serving soup.

A good ladle may not be something you use every single day in the kitchen, but it’s an important part of any spoon set. You may not realize how badly you need one until you’re several scoops into moving uneaten chili from your Dutch oven to a storage container using only a serving spoon (not that I speak from any personal experience at all). Ladles are also key to making sauces and stocks, portioning soup, pouring batter, and a range of other liquidy or semi-solid kitchen tasks.

Read on to find our top picks for stainless steel ladles, plastic ladles, and wood ladles, along with the specifics of how we tested each.

Table of contents

Best stainless steel ladle
Best plastic ladle
Best wooden ladle
How we tested
What we looked for
Others we tested
The takeaway

Best stainless steel ladle: Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Ladle

The two things that set the Oxo ladle apart were its size and the fact that it had pouring spouts on two sides. The spouts, along with the depth of the spoon itself, allow liquid like pasta water or soups to nestle comfortably inside with minimal spills and drips. Another plus was its rubber, ergonomic non-slip handle that has a comfortable grip and, more importantly, won’t heat up quickly if you’re working with hot liquids like boiling water. Add on top of that its very affordable price (under $13 at the time of publishing) and it earned the top spot amid all the other stainless steel soup ladles.

What we didn’t like about the Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Ladle

There were a few times the spouts and size of the Oxo worked against it, like when I was trying to get into the crevices of the saucepan to get the very last of the soup. It also poured a slightly larger pancake than I would have liked.

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Ladle

Best plastic ladle: Le Creuset Revolution Bi-Material Ladle

$30 (which is what this cost at the time of publishing) is a lot to spend on a cooking utensil like the ladle, but the Le Creuset bi-material ladle is just better than everything else I tested. It is primarily a nylon ladle, though the very tip of the ladle is silicone and it softly curves into a point. I was a little skeptical of the design and thought the silicone meant the ladle would buckle under anything heavier than water. This was not the case at all, and in fact the silicone was ultimately what made this ladle worth the higher price. Whereas other ladles made entirely of plastic or stainless steel can sometimes have a tough time working through the last dregs of stew or batter, the pliable silicone allows the Le Creuset ladle to easily get at everything in a bowl or pot —something that especially shone in the pancake batter test, when it was able to scoop up the last bit of batter to make a perfectly shaped pancake. And when it came to the soup, I was able to gently scoop almost everything out without having to tilt the saucepan at all. This offers the flexibility of a silicone ladle with the stability of a nylon ladle.

What we didn’t like about the Le Creuset Revolution Bi-Material Ladle

$30 is a relatively hefty price tag for something like a ladle, especially a plastic ladle. If you’re telling yourself it’s a bit tough to justify that purchase, I wouldn’t blame you. While I think it’s worth every penny, if you want something less expensive check out the KitchenAid discussed below.

Le Creuset Revolution Bi-Material Ladle

Best wooden ladle: FAAY Wooden Ladle

Full disclosure about wooden ladles: They don’t work as well as stainless steel ladles or plastic ones. If you’re in the market for a wooden ladle, it’s probably because you’re in the market for good looking kitchen tools. But if you’re going to go with wood, the FAAY is large and can scoop up a considerable amount of water, soup, or batter. It also is a bit easier to move through soup and batter, though I did find its curved bottom would sometimes get in the way.

What we didn’t like about the FAAY Wooden Ladle

It’s got a bit more curve to its bottom than some other ladles and that makes it quite cumbersome. Also, you’re definitely not going to be able to use this ladle to scoop up every last bit of pancake batter from the mixing bowl.

How we tested

We ran three specific tests: a pasta water test, a soup test, and a pancake batter test. With the pasta water test, we made some pasta and ladled out some of the pasta water into a bowl to assess for any spillage in transporting the liquid from one vessel to another. To further assess for spillage—along with their durability and if they buckled when dealing with weightier items—we heated up some chunky minestrone soup in a saucepan and moved every last bit of it into a bowl. To close off testing, we whipped together a simple pancake batter to see how well each ladle poured batter out into a pan.

What we looked for

First and foremost, we looked for a ladle that wouldn’t spill easily or give out if there was too much weight. We also wanted one that poured evenly and cleanly. As we tested, we also found that the ladle’s ability to move through liquids and around cookware was important—if it could deftly move around the crevices of a stockpot to scrounge up every last bit of batter or soup, or if it banged up against the sides or was too unwieldy to scrape up every last drop. Additionally we looked at heat resistance—whether that came in the form of a long handle that offered separation between hand and boiling water or perhaps a silicone-wrapped handle. Cleaning was also an important factor—we looked at if the ladle had any crevices that might prove tricky to clean and if it was dishwasher safe—and finally we assessed price. A ladle isn’t the kind of kitchen utensil you need to drop a bunch of money on (even though you can if you want), and if you are spending more than 10 or 15 dollars, it needs to be worth it.

Other ladles we tested

All-Clad Cook Serve Stainless-Steel Ladle

Although this ladle is small, it’s mighty and its distinctive shape featuring a slight dip to help any liquid its scooping settle nicely. Its size also allowed it to move around cookware with an ease that was lacking with bigger ladles. But size was ultimately what worked against the All-Clad as well, specifically when it came to the pasta water test. It’s short length meant there was less distance between my hand and the boiling water.

All-Clad Cook & Serve Stainless Steel Ladle

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Ladle

The Cuisinart very nearly beat out the Oxo for best stainless steel ladle. With a dramatically curved handle that’s elegant and also nice to rest on the side of a stockpot, the Cuisinart could scoop a lot of liquid with minimal spillage, moves remarkably deftly through a saucepan to scrape every last bit of minestrone soup, and an incredible job getting the last of the batter for a pancake (something the Le Creuset ladle also performed especially well with). The only thing keeping out of a top spot was that it was slightly more expensive than the Oxo.

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Ladle

Rösle Stainless Steel Hooked Handle Ladle

The Rösle was also a top contender for the best stainless steel ladle. Like the All-Clad, the spoon of the Rösle is designed with curved shape that helps minimize overflowing and a pouring rim that facilitates exact pouring. Like the Cuisinart, it also moved with a certain amount of deftness but even that didn’t justify a price that was close to three times the Oxo.

Rösle Stainless Steel Hooked Handle Ladle

Williams Sonoma Signature Stainless Steel Fat Skimming Ladle

While logically I knew the pouring spout on this ladle was meant for removing fats from liquids you’re dispensing, in my mind I thought it might also work to improve other ladle uses. I had visions of perfectly round batter pours and seamlessly transporting soup from pot to bowl. That was not the case. Rather the spout proved more of an obstacle than anything.The ladle was susceptible to spilling through the spout during the pasta water test, and simply didn’t work with the pancake batter. Instead of providing a clear pathway for the batter to go from ladle to hot pan, it ended up slowing things down and created an uneven blob of a pancake. You can pour from the front or opposite side of the ladle with better results, but using this ladle at all requires a bit more thought and feels less intuitive. We didn’t have any tests with gravy or stock that would take advantage of this very specific design, but in terms of basic ladling, this Williams Sonoma option might not be the best option.

Williams Sonoma Signature Stainless Steel Fat Skimming Ladle

Ototo Nessie Ladle Spoon

While this ladle does certainly score points for cuteness and unique Loch Ness Monster shape, the aesthetics don’t make up for what this ladle lacks. It’s not flimsy per se, but it doesn’t feel as stable as some of the other plastic ladles. While it scooped everything sufficiently, I did notice it felt slightly more cumbersome moving through batter and soup—especially when both were running low. The otherwise cute legs could also get in the way sometimes and prevented it from scraping up every last bit of liquid the same way other ladles would. What ultimately set it back though was that the Nessie doesn’t actually stand up like you’d think. The legs that keep it upright are slightly uneven in the front, which can cause it to tip forward or backwards when you put it down.

KitchenAid Classic Soup Ladle

If you’re looking for a much more affordable plastic ladle than our top choice, then the KitchenAid is your best bet. The handle has a nice weight to it, especially up near the top, making it comfortable to hold. The spoon is also designed so it dips in the middle, where the water or liquid can enter, before curving back up to prevent spilling. It can’t navigate cookware crevices the same way the Le Creuset could, but if you’re not up for spending $30 on a ladle (understandable), this is an excellent budget option.

KitchenAid Classic Soup Ladle

HYQO Large Wooden Ladle

The HYQO performed similarly to the FAAY, although the FAAY is a bit larger and less cumbersome to use. Ultimately, while the HYQO has a pleasant curve on the handle and a nice flattened bottom that sometimes allowed it to move a bit easier, it was just a bit too thick and the cup was slightly too shallow.

The takeaway

Despite it’s somewhat unwieldy size, the Oxo Good Grips is the best stainless steel ladle you can come across. It’s got a nice ergonomic handle that stays cool to the touch and seamlessly scoops whatever you might be serving. For your plastic ladle, the Le Creuset is worth every penny thanks to a pliable silicone tip (which also comes in a variety of different colors) that seamlessly fits into corners and crevices of any pot, pan, or bowl. (And if you don’t want to drop $30 on this one piece of your utensil set, opt for the KitchenAid Classic ladle.) If you’re looking for a ladle that’s more about aesthetic and less about function, then a wooden ladle might be for you—in which case we’d recommend the FAAY wooden ladle.


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