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
Pours without dripping
Smooth, comfortable grip
Sturdy and well made
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.
Price at time of publish: $39 for Pouring, 5.4-Ounce (Hooked)
Material: Stainless steel | Length: 12.8 inches | Capacity: 5.4 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes
"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
Stays firmly within grip
Comfortable handle angle
Handle base acts as spoon rest
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.
Price at time of publish: $25 for Ladle
Material: Stainless steel | Length: 11.75 inches | Capacity: 5.4 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes
"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
One scoop fills a bowl
Stainless surface cleans up easily
Bulky tool can hang for storage
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.
Price at time of publish: $16 for 12-Ounce
Material: Stainless steel | Length: 14.38 inches | Capacity: 12 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes
"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
Separates fat while still hot
Skims foam when cooking stock
Comfortable to hold and use
Drips when used for serving
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.
Price at time of publish: $48
Material: Stainless steel | Length: 13 inches | Capacity: 4 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes
"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
Works as a kitchen tool and serving spoon
Pours precisely and evenly
Can drizzle a hollandaise or fill a mashed potato crater
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.
Price at time of publish: $11 for Gold
Material: Stainless steel | Length: 8.5 inches | Capacity: 1 ounce | Dishwasher safe? Yes
"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
Safe for nonstick pans
Lightweight yet sturdy
Heat resistant to 410 degrees
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.
Price at time of publish: $16
Material: Polyamide plastic | Length: 12.4 inches | Capacity: 4.5 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes
"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
Oval ladle shape
Easy to pour left or right
Thick nylon won’t scratch pans
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.
Price at time of publish: $10 for Ladle
Material: Nylon and silicone | Length: 11 inches | Capacity: 3 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes
"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
Safe for nonstick pans
Smooth yet graspable stainless steel handle
Heat resistant to 600 degrees
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.
Price at time of publish: $13 for Chop N Spin Mini Chopper
Material: Silicone and stainless steel | Length: 12.25 inches | Capacity: 4.6 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes
"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
Eco-friendly and all natural
Functional and attractive
Lightweight and comfortable to hold
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.
Price at time of publish: $17 for Original Ladle
Material: Teak | Length: 12 inches | Capacity: 2.4 ounces | Dishwasher safe? No
"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
Sizes are clearly marked and accurate
Easy to hold and pour
Work well in deep pots
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.
Price at time of publish: $22
Material: Stainless steel | Length: 11.4-13.8 inches | Capacity: 0.5-8 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes
"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
Cute in a saucepan or on the counter
Smooth in the hand and against the pot
Easy to clean
“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.
Price at time of publish: $16 in Green
Material: Plastic | Length: 9.6 inches | Capacity: 3.5 ounces | Dishwasher safe? Yes
"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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
3 Best Ladles 2022 Reviewed. Food Network. https://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/packages/shopping/product-reviews/best-ladles
Food and Drug Administration. Bisphenol A (BPA): Use in food contact application.
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