The Best Soup Ladles: Tested and Approved

The Rösle Stainless Steel Ladle is a powerhouse kitchen tool

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BuyGo_DrizzleSpoon_04

The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Tested and Approved

The Rösle Stainless Steel Hooked Handle Ladle with Pouring Rim is one of our favorites for its sleek and functional appearance, plus its comfortable and careful design. And the budget-friendly Tovolo Silicone Ladle is a great option for even nonstick saucepans.

Ladles are not the most glamorous of kitchen tools—chances are you’ve never given them much thought—but the moment you try to transfer hot soup to bowls or storage containers by either pouring it directly from a heavy stockpot or endlessly going back and forth with a shallow spoon (leaving a trail of drips on your counter), you’ll quickly realize how indispensable a ladle is. And they're not just for soups and stews, either—they’re also valuable for portioning batter for pancakes or broth for risotto; doling out sauces or gravy; saucing pasta, lasagna, or pizza dough; poaching eggs; and serving drinks like lemonade, mulled wine, or punch.

To help you find the best soup ladles for all your kitchen needs, we sent top-rated ladles to our experienced product tester. Each one was used to scoop soup or a thin liquid and assessed based on efficiency. Then, the soup ladles were rated on material, design, performance, and overall value.

Now that you’ve realized how much your kitchen needs this cooking staple, here are our picks for the best soup ladles.

Best Overall: Rösle Stainless Steel Hooked Handle Ladle with Pouring Rim

4.8
Rosle Stainless Steel Hooked Handle Ladle with Pouring Rim

Amazon

What We Like
  • Pours without dripping

  • Smooth, comfortable grip

  • Sturdy and well made

What We Don't Like
  • Pricy

Who else recommends it? Food Network also picked the Rösle Stainless Steel Hooked Handle Ladle with Pouring Rim.

What do buyers say? 89% of 1,900+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

This durable stainless steel ladle has a long handle with a hooked end that can hang on a kitchen rail for neat and accessible storage. The handle is angled, making it easier to balance the ladle while serving and pouring. It has a central groove that’s designed for more comfortable handling, but our tester found it didn’t really make a difference, given where she was inclined to grasp the ladle.

The bowl has a curved rim to facilitate drip-free pouring in any direction which our tester found quite effective. The opposing hooked end can hang on the rim of a pot to avoid the ladle sliding into your soup, but the handle is long enough that there was never a risk of losing it, even a 2-gallon soup kettle. This solid, single-piece tool is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup, and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Rosle_StainlessLadle_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Material: Stainless steel | Length: 12.8 inches | Capacity: 5.4 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes

Testing Takeaway

"You can feel the quality in the weight of the Rösle ladle the moment you pick it up. It’s balanced, smooth, sturdy, and sparkling." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best Ergonomic: Oxo Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Ladle

4.5
OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Ladle

Amazon

What We Like
  • Stays firmly within grip

  • Comfortable handle angle

  • Handle base acts as spoon rest

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy and bulky

This stainless steel ladle features an angled handle for easier balancing, with a soft, comfortable, and non-slip grip that’s easy to hold even when wet. Our tester found that the ladle basin poured smoothly from either side to help both right- and left-handed cooks avoid drips and spills when pouring.

Although the handle is bulky, taking up more than its share of space in a utensil holder or drawer, it does give enough of a lip that you can rest the ladle on the edge of a Dutch oven or other wide, shallow pot. Our tester liked how the soft part of the handle was long and wide enough to fit most adult hands but ended high enough to create this spoon rest feature. The ladle is dishwasher safe, and the handle features a hole for easy hanging storage.

OXO_BrushedStainlessLadle_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Material: Stainless steel | Length: 11.75 inches | Capacity: 5.4 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes

Testing Takeaway

"The handle grip seemed quite oversized too, but I did like that it had a nice grip and that it ended partway down the handle, acting like a spoon rest in Dutch ovens and similar shallow pots." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best Large-Capacity: Winco Stainless Steel Ladle

4
Winco 12-Ounce Stainless Steel Ladle

Walmart

What We Like
  • One scoop fills a bowl

  • Stainless surface cleans up easily

  • Bulky tool can hang for storage

What We Don't Like
  • Stamped metal has rough edges

This stainless steel ladle is available in several different sizes, each sold separately, with one of the largest featuring a basin that holds up to 12 ounces (1 ½ cups) of liquid. It’s perfect for quickly serving soups or drinks or transferring leftovers to storage containers without making a mess. Our tester found that it took just one scoop to fill a soup bowl.

The ladle head features a curved rim to avoid drips, and the 12.5-inch handle is marked with the ladle’s capacity in both fluid ounces and milliliters. The handle has a central indentation for a steady grip, and a hooked end, for hanging the ladle on the edge of a pot or on a kitchen railing. The stamped metal did tend to be scratchy on the edges, which was especially noticeable when our tester lifted a full ladle. The ladle is dishwasher safe and rust resistant.

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The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Material: Stainless steel | Length: 14.38 inches | Capacity: 12 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes

Testing Takeaway

"The ladle hook and handle can flex, but they’re thick enough that they’re unlikely to bend out of shape from normal use." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best for Stock: Williams Sonoma Signature Stainless Steel Fat Skimming Ladle

4.5
williams-sonoma-fat-skimming-ladle

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

What We Like
  • Separates fat while still hot

  • Skims foam when cooking stock

  • Comfortable to hold and use

What We Don't Like
  • Drips when used for serving

  • Expensive

A Williams-Sonoma exclusive, this stainless steel ladle ingeniously holds back fat while pouring. It’s excellent for using stocks and broths as soon as they’re ready, without waiting until they cool and the fat separates naturally. Our tester found the pour hole partway down the ladle’s basin less ideal for doling out stock or serving a finished soup.

Our tester found it most effective to skim the fat-coated surface from the side opposite the pour spout, pour off the stock until the fat starts to creep out, and then skim the surface again, repeating several times before emptying the ladle of fat. This maximized the final stock yield, removing less than a cup of stock with the fat.

The heavy-gauge steel handle is weighted for balance and control and rounded so that it fits comfortably in your hand without sharp edges. It’s dishwasher safe and matches other utensils in the Williams Sonoma Signature Stainless Steel collection.

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The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Material: Stainless steel | Length: 13 inches | Capacity: 4 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes

Testing Takeaway

"Although a bit of a specialty tool, since large soup items could be hard to remove from the fat separator, this ladle did its job of skimming and separating fat beautifully." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best for Gravy: Buy Go! Gold Drizzle Spoon with Spout

4.5
Buy Go! Gold Drizzle Spoon with Spout

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Works as a kitchen tool and serving spoon

  • Pours precisely and evenly

  • Can drizzle a hollandaise or fill a mashed potato crater

What We Don't Like
  • Side spout may be awkward for left-handed people

This sleek gravy ladle tapers to a spout on one side for precise pouring of sauces, gravies, and creamy salad dressings. The solid stainless steel ladle has a gleaming finish in several colors, which makes it elegant enough for table serving. Our tester liked that it worked just as well when transferring gravy from a saucepan as it did when serving portions at the table. It was easy to control how quickly the gravy poured and where it landed, keeping it off other items on the plate. It wouldn’t be our tester’s tool of choice for soups and stocks, but it would work better than a rounded spoon when drizzling a balsamic reduction over fish or a chocolate sauce over poached pears.

The gently curved handle is comfortable in your hand and has a hole at one end for easy hanging storage. The ladle is dishwasher safe.

BuyGo_DrizzleSpoon_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Material: Stainless steel | Length: 8.5 inches | Capacity: 1 ounce | Dishwasher safe? Yes

Testing Takeaway

"The accurate pour spout lets you put a sauce exactly where you want it and to drizzle if evenly." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best Plastic: Westmark Germany Non-Stick Thermoplastic Soup Ladle

4.3
Westmark Germany Non-Stick Thermoplastic Soup Ladle, 12.4-inch (Red/Black)

Westmark

What We Like
  • Safe for nonstick pans

  • Lightweight yet sturdy

  • Heat resistant to 410 degrees

What We Don't Like
  • Hard to gather a pot’s final scoops

While stainless ladles are shiny and durable, you’re asking for damage if you use them in nonstick cookware. This BPA-free, heat-resistant plastic ladle is less likely to scrape the finish off nonstick and coated pots, even after repeated scooping and pouring. Our tester liked that it was lightweight but not flimsy and felt it would hold up to daily use. It’s more expensive than some plastic ladles, but it also didn’t feel like it would break quickly. It cleans up quickly and is dishwasher-safe.

This ladle is sold individually, so you can buy it without purchasing a full set of tools you might not need. But if you like kitchen gadgets that match, Westmark’s Gallant line includes everything from spatulas and potato mashers to peelers and ice cream scoops, all with the same handle design.

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The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Material: Polyamide plastic | Length: 12.4 inches | Capacity: 4.5 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes

Testing Takeaway

"Most plastic ladles feel like they’ll break in a couple of months, but this one felt sturdy despite its light weight and flexible material." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best Nylon: Joseph Joseph Elevate Nylon Ladle with Integrated Tool Rest

4.5
Joseph Joseph Elevate Nylon Ladle with Integrated Tool Rest

Joseph Joseph

What We Like
  • Oval ladle shape

  • Easy to pour left or right

  • Thick nylon won’t scratch pans

What We Don't Like
  • Smaller head than many ladles

Most round-headed soup ladles can’t gather the last scoops from a deep pot. The oval shape of Joseph Joseph’s Elevate nylon ladle let our tester remove more soup before she had to tilt the stockpot and grab a rubber spatula. That shape also kept egg noodles from escaping and poured easily in either direction, although the shallow bowl holds less per scoop than many other ladles.

The key design of this ladle is its built-in spoon rest with a weighted handle to keep the ladle’s head elevated. It worked well until our tester used the ladle to scoop a roasted squash soup: The thick puree coated the ladle enough that when she set it on the counter, the ladle’s head teeter-tottered onto the worktop. Still, the ladle has enough going for it—BPA-free nylon, comfortable grip, durable construction, and functional design—that it’s a great option for all types of cookware.

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The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Material: Nylon and silicone | Length: 11 inches | Capacity: 3 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes

Testing Takeaway

"It was easy enough to hold that I didn’t mind a few extra scoops, and I did prefer its oval shape." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best Silicone: Tovolo Steel, Deep Spoon with Reinforced Silicone Ladle with Stainless Steel Handle

4.9
Tovolo Steel, Deep Spoon with Reinforced Silicone Ladle with Stainless Steel Handle

Tovolo

What We Like
  • Safe for nonstick pans

  • Smooth yet graspable stainless steel handle

  • Heat resistant to 600 degrees

What We Don't Like
  • Dishwasher may leave water spots

If you’ve invested in nonstick pans, you want to use tools in them that won’t scratch their finish. That’s the top reason our tester liked this silicone-headed ladle. It whispered across the pot’s surface while scooping stock or gravy, and the nylon core beneath the silicone held more than 1/2 cup of soup steadily without flexing. That silicone overmold also makes the ladle highly heat resistant, so you don’t have to worry if you forget it in the pot when you sit down to eat.

This ladle is free of BPA, PTFE, and PFOA, so you can feel safe using it with hot stew or iced punch. The stainless steel handle is thin enough to take up minimal space in a utensil holder but stout enough to hold easily. It has a slight contour that keeps the ladle level as you move from pot to bowl.

Tovolo_SiliconeLadle_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Material: Silicone and stainless steel | Length: 12.25 inches | Capacity: 4.6 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes

Testing Takeaway

"This ladle slides gently across all cookware surfaces and neatly scoops stock, soup, and more, in its reinforced silicone bowl." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best Wooden: FAAY Hand-Carved Teak Ladle

4.8
FAAY Hand-Carved Teak Ladle

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Eco-friendly and all natural

  • Functional and attractive

  • Lightweight and comfortable to hold

What We Don't Like
  • Small capacity

We tend to think of wooden kitchen utensils as flat, but this teak ladle is all curves. Our tester found the shape pleasing to use and hold. It’s effective in the kitchen but also looks lovely in a serving bowl. Thailand-based Faay works with local artisans to create its products. Because its kitchen tools are handcrafted from teak, each ladle has a unique grain and color tones. Glues and lacquer aren’t needed since it’s made from a single piece of wood, and teak naturally resists heat and moisture.

Faay says it treats this ladle with coconut oil to prevent it from drying out or cracking, and this care tip is a good one for home use. Our test washed the ladle by hand as recommended; by avoiding long soaks and drying the ladle when finished, it saw more than a dozen uses and cleanings before she felt compelled to oil it.

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The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Material: Teak | Length: 12 inches | Capacity: 2.4 ounces | Dishwasher safe? No

Testing Takeaway

"It felt good in my hand, and I felt good knowing it's supporting artisans and is made sustainably." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best Set: HeroFiber Soup Ladle and Ladle Spoon Set of 5

4
HeroFiber Soup Ladle and Ladle Spoon Set of 5

HeroFiber

What We Like
  • Sizes are clearly marked and accurate

  • Easy to hold and pour

  • Work well in deep pots

What We Don't Like
  • Stamped-metal handles feel coarse

This handy set of stainless steel ladles includes five sizes: ½ ounce (1 tablespoon), 2 ounces (¼ cup), 4 ounces (½ cup), 6 ounces (¾ cup), and 8 ounces (1 cup). The volume capacity of each ladle is clearly etched on its handle, so these are great as a combination ladle-measuring cup for portioning out batter for pancakes or crêpes or gradually adding broth to risotto. Our tester found the marked volumes to be quite accurate.

The ladles feature a curved lip for easy pouring, a long handle for use in even deep stockpots, and a hooked end for storing the set on a kitchen rail or hanging each ladle on the edge of a pot without the risk of it slipping in. The stainless steel ladles are heat-proof, stain-resistant, and dishwasher-safe. They’re identical in design to the Best Large-Capacity ladle in this roundup, so you can easily expand the set.

HeroFiber_LadleSet_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Material: Stainless steel | Length: 11.4-13.8 inches | Capacity: 0.5-8 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes

Testing Takeaway

"I suggest using the larger sizes for scooping stocks and soups and the smaller sizes for drizzling salad dressings and serving sauces." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Most Fun: OTOTO Nessie Ladle

4.5
OTOTO Nessie Ladle

Amazon

What We Like
  • Cute in a saucepan or on the counter

  • Smooth in the hand and against the pot

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Small overall

“Fun” is not the first word that comes to mind when thinking about ladles, but this quirky and playful kitchen utensil from innovative design studio OTOTO is just that. Inspired by the legendary Loch Ness Monster, the cute Nessie-shaped tool stands upright on her four legs on your kitchen counter or in a saucepan of soup. The short handle and small capacity make it ideal for serving just a couple of people but harder to use when dishing out to a crowd from a stockpot.

Made of BPA-free, heat-resistant nylon, the curved ladle is dishwasher safe and fits comfortably in your hand. Our tester liked the smooth finish that didn’t scratch her nonstick pots but was grippy enough that the handle didn’t slip through her fingers. It’s available in three bright colors: lime green, turquoise, and magenta.

Ototo_NessieLadle_HeroHoriz

The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Material: Plastic | Length: 9.6 inches | Capacity: 3.5 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes

Testing Takeaway

"This ladle put a smile on my face every time I used it. If you make small-batch soups on cold, dark days, this ladle will brighten your meal." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Final Verdict

For an elegant, high-quality stainless steel ladle that’s as functional as it is sleek, the Rösle Stainless Steel Hooked Handle Ladle with Pouring Rim may be worth the price. For a more affordable ladle that will scoop smoothly from all of your cookware, even nonstick saucepans, consider the Tovolo Silicone Ladle.

How We Tested

Our selected soup ladles were tested for hours by our product tester for the most authentic results. We paid close attention to each ladle's design and performance, assessing how well they scooped up liquids and/or separated fat. We also made note of the material of each ladle. Each soup ladle was given a rating for material, design, performance, and overall value.

What to Look for When Buying a Soup Ladle

Material

Soup ladles are made from many different types of materials, including plastic, wood, silicone, aluminum, and stainless steel. Some kinds of materials will eventually discolor depending on what foods you use the ladle for. Other materials, like wood, require a bit more care and cleaning. Metals, like stainless steel, are easy to clean. 

Design

When ready to serve soups, stews, or drinks, it's handy to have a ladle that was designed with a hooked end on it. That way, the ladle doesn't fall into the pot and is readily available for the next serving round. A ladle with a spout can make it easier to pour liquid. When choosing a ladle, try to think of all you will, or could be, using it for before you buy one.

BuyGo_DrizzleSpoon_03

The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

Features

Ladles can have features including being heat-resistant, stain-resistant, dishwasher-safe, and rust-resistant; some come with a lifetime warranty. These can be great features for a ladle to have. How many of you can relate to having a ladle, or another kitchen utensil, that once upon a time was a gorgeous shade of light blue, for instance, until you dipped it into a tomato-based sauce? That's why the stain-resistant feature should be on your checklist. There are even ladles that have marked measurement amounts, so you know the volume of whatever is in your ladle. Decide what all you need, take note, and check it off your list.

FAQs

What can soup ladles be used for besides soup?

Soup ladles are not just for serving soup. Go ahead and use them for serving soup and other liquids, but ladles are also great for stirring liquids during cooking, putting liquids into containers for freezing, and skimming off the fat when making gravy, too.

Rosle_StainlessLadle_03

The Spruce Eats / Julie Laing

How do you clean and care for a soup ladle?

Check the manufacturer's instructions, look on the ladle itself, and see if it's marked as dishwasher safe. Some are, and some aren't. If handwashing, you can wash your ladle with liquid detergent and hot water.

When were soup ladles created?

No one knows for certain, but it is thought that soup ladles originated sometime in the 1800s.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

This article was written by Danette St. Onge, formerly the Italian Food Expert for The Spruce Eats and a features editor at Cook’s Illustrated magazine (part of America’s Test Kitchen). An avid kitchen appliance and utensil junkie, she spends hours combing the internet, comparing options, reading reviews, and testing to find the best tool for every job.

Julie Laing has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years and published her first cookbook, The Complete Guide to Pickling, in 2020. Besides ladling pickle brine into jars, she regularly grabs a ladle when making cheese, stock, salsa, jam, and of course soup. Julie personally tested 15 of the ladles for this roundup.

Updated by
Sharon Lockley
Sharon Lockley
Sharon Lockley has over 20 years of experience as an editor and writer and has been contributing to The Spruce Eats since 2019.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Food and Drug Administration. Bisphenol A (BPA): Use in food contact application.

  3. Radulovic L, Wojcinski Z. PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene; Teflon®). Encyclopedia of Toxicology (Third Edition). 2014; 1133-1136. doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-386454-3.00970-2

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