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Kitchen spoons and ladles are an essential part of kitchenware, especially if you make soups, broths, chowders, and sauces often. Kitchen ladles are also commonly referred to as soup ladles. Besides the spoon that you eat your favorite soup with on a cold, winter day, there are a couple of other more specialized spoons to have at hand. This includes a ladle, a serving spoon, and a slotted spoon. They are similar, yet carry out different functions in the kitchen. Let’s dive into all the specifications of slotted spoons, serving spoons, and ladles.
The difference between a spoon and a ladle is that a ladle is essentially a type of spoon but differs from flatware spoons. A ladle is a bowled spoon with a long handle that is typically curved at the top and has a chain or hole for easy storage in the kitchen. Ladles are used to reach into large pots and stir, fill, and pour the liquid contents with. Ladles are more often used for serving soup and other liquid dishes from the pot into the bowl, which is why you may hear them being referred to as serving spoons. The confusion between a serving spoon and a ladle may also come from not knowing the difference between a serving spoon and a ladle. A serving spoon resembles the traditional flatware spoon as we know it, but is larger in size. Kitchen ladles come in a range of sizes that vary with the capacity of liquid that the ladle can hold. The size of the ladle also helps narrow down the task it is used for. Smaller ladles are typically used for sauces while the larger ladles are ideal for pouring full portions of soup into bowls.
What are the best kitchen ladles? Most cooks favor either stainless steel or silicone ladles which is why they are the most common type you’ll find in every kitchen supply store. Silicone ladles are best when dealing with non-stick cookware to avoid damaging the surface, such as when pouring pancake batter into a pan. What makes an ordinary ladle different from the best kitchen ladles, though, is the quality. If you’re opting for a stainless steel ladle, the higher quality of food-grade steel it is, the better quality of ladle it is. A better quality of steel will be less prone to rusting than a cheaper kitchen ladle that is made of steel. Another characteristic of the best kitchen ladles is their attention to detail. You’ll find that the ladles commonly ranked and reviewed as the best kitchen ladles have comfortable handles, a special rim for pouring, and a feature that allows them to be easily hung by the edge of the handle.
Serving spoons and ladles are commonly made of stainless steel, but they can also be found in a few other materials as well. Wooden spoons are by far a favorite and have been for a long time. Wooden spoons, in contrast to ladles and other spoons, are much flatter and dip straight down without a curve. They also do not have the capacity to carry much liquid since the head of the spoon itself is quite hollow. What are wooden spoons used for in this case? To start, they are great for stirring and tasting food without conveying much heat to what is being cooked or scratching the surface of the pot or pan. Wooden spoons are also used for serving and tossing salads right at the dinner table since they are functional and aesthetically pleasing as a tableware component as well.
Last, but not least, there are slotted spoons. These resemble regular, tableside spoons the most and are primarily made of stainless steel or fiberglass. The slots on the spoon vary from brand to brand and can be anything from small ellipses to circles or slashes. As long as it has an opening on the head of the spoon, it qualifies as a slotted spoon. These are used for filtering solids from liquids during cooking, such as when you want to fish out bay leaves from your broth without gathering any of the liquid. The slots allow for the liquid to easily spill back into the bowl, pot, or pan without interfering with the process of collecting the whole ingredients.
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