If you've ever tried to dish out soup with a large spoon, you know that ladles are an essential tool for every kitchen. The best ladles are heat-resistant, and the right size and material to fit your cooking needs.
The first thing to consider when buying a ladle is what type of material you prefer. Stainless steel ladles are durable, stain-resistant, and long-lasting. The downside of stainless steel is that it can easily scratch pots and can also get very hot. Plastic and wood ladles are less durable than stainless steel, but they're both great options if you are worried about scratching your cookware. If you choose a plastic ladle, you'll want to make sure that it is heat-resistant to at least 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you're a fan of a quick post-dinner clean up, you'll want to choose a stainless steel or plastic ladle, as both materials tend to be dishwasher-friendly. Wood ladles should be hand-washed, as a dishwasher's high temperatures and hot water can crack the wood.
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.
Ready to add a new ladle to your kitchen? Here are some of the best.
1. The Best Stainless Steel Ladle
Made from brushed stainless steel with a soft rubber handle, this OXO Good Grips ladle is both durable and comfortable to hold. The rubber handle offers a nonslip grip, and it has a hole at the end so you can hang it in your kitchen. And the stainless steel material is dishwasher-friendly for easy cleanup and can rest on hot surfaces without melting. While the exact capacity isn't listed, reviewers say it can hold just under a cup of liquid.
One fan raved: "I recently bought a new set of stainless cookware (through Amazon). I ended up replacing all my utensils also. This was the ladle I purchased. Very nice item. Good looking, sturdy, easy to clean, and, best of all, doesn't melt/shred like my plastic utensils did."
2. The Best Plastic Ladle
This plastic KitchenAid ladle is made from reinforced nylon, making it safe for temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a molded grip for easy holding, and it's both dishwasher-safe and safe for nonstick pots. KitchenAid's ladle is backed by a one-year money-back guarantee, and a lifetime limited warranty, if for some reason you don't like it. The capacity isn't listed, but reviewers say that this ladle is on the larger side.
One fan raved: “I make a full hot-pot of stew or soup every week. Metal ladles scratch the teflon lining no matter how careful I am. This won't. The bowl is a little bigger than I need, but that's OK.”
3. The Best Wooden Ladle
Add an aesthetic touch to your kitchen with this handcrafted teak wood ladle. It features a hole in the handle for easy hanging, and the bowl can hold around 2.4 ounces of liquid. Because it's made from teak wood, the color will likely darken beautifully over time, and it should be hand-washed.
One fan raved: “We've been looking for a wooden ladle for the longest time and finally found one that is actually functional! It doesn't hurt that it looks beautiful as well!”
4. The Most Unique Ladle
Bring some fun to your kitchen with this cute ladle from OTOTO, which has a Loch Ness Monster-inspired design. It's made from BPA-free plastic, and it's safe to use in boiling water and the dishwasher. This ladle can stand on its own, so you can rest it on a plate on your counter, or put it in the pot to make it look like Nessie is peaking out from the depths. The capacity isn't listed, but reviewers say this is slightly smaller than a standard ladle.
One fan raved: “I had this in my Amazon cart for years without pulling the trigger. I finally did it and am so glad I did! It’s the cutest display piece ever. It makes me smile every time I use it and it gets great compliments from everyone who’s seen it. I like that it can stand up in the pot too.”
5. The Best Ladle Set
With four ladles in varying sizes, this stainless steel ladle set is key for a well-stocked kitchen. These dishwasher-safe ladles come in sizes ranging from 2 to 8 ounces, and each one has a convenient angled end for resting in a pot. The 2-ounce ladle has 10.5-inch long handle, while the other ladles have 12.5-inch handles. If you don' need the variety, the brand also offers the 8-ounce ladle on its own.
One fan raved: “These are great; now I have multiple sizes of ladles to choose from. They have nice long handles for tall pots and the stainless steel is great for putting them through the dishwasher.”
6. The Best Size Range
If you know you need an individual ladle in a particular size, this stainless steel ladle is the place to start. It comes in nine different sizes, ranging from 0.5-ounce to 12-ounce options. This ladle is also dishwasher-friendly, and has an angled end for resting on pots.
One fan raved: “I needed a small ladle to spoon my homemade Ghee from a converted Olive jar, which had a small ladle, but with holes in it to capture just the olives. This works great. The 1-ounce ladle stays in the Olive jar, and is ever available to ladle out just the right amount of Ghee.”