If you want to add a ladle to your collection of utensils, you should probably think about the size that is going to be most useful in your kitchen. Here we will look at the various sizes of ladles available and what they are best used for.
What is a Ladle?
A ladle is a kitchen utensil that is most often used for serving hot liquids such as soups and broths. A ladle will typically be made from metal, though you can also find plastic ladles. It will have a long handle and a deep cup-shaped scoop at the end.
This helps to ensure hot liquids can be served safely because the cup part of the ladle is far away from the handle where the user’s hand would be during use, therefore preventing the user from getting burned skin should any spillages occur.
Ladles not only make serving hot liquids safer, but they also make it quicker. If you try to serve a sauce by spooning it out with a teaspoon or tablespoon, then you are going to be there for quite some time. Instead, with a ladle, you can scoop up significant portions in one go, ready to serve right up.
The ladle’s ability to hold a generous amount of liquid also means it helps to reduce the likelihood of spillages and a mess being made, as you won’t need to fill the ladle right up to the brim that gives you some leniency when transporting liquids from one pot to another.
A mini ladle is not really a kitchen utensil at all and is more of a cute serving accessory. These small ladles resemble soup spoons but have a more decorative look. They have a deep rounded or oval cup at one end and a handle that can vary from 4 to 10 inches long.
The handle will typically curve away from the cup end, giving it a more interesting look and allowing it to rest more easily on the edge of a plate or bowl. These mini ladles will usually hold between 1 and 2 ounces of liquid, and they are commonly used to serve sauces.
If you want to impress guests at a dinner party, lay your sauces out in individual pots or ramekins on the dinner table and pair each one with a mini ladle. Mini ladles can also be used as soup spoons; this is commonly seen in Asian cuisine, where mini ladles are used to eat broths with.
A standard ladle, or your average-sized ladle, will have a handle measuring between 10 and 15 inches in length. These ladles will have a generous-sized cup at the end that holds around half a cup of liquid, the equivalent of about 4 ounces.
This is the ideal size of ladle for serving up portions of soup, with two scoops of soup being the right amount for one adult portion. These ladles make it much easier to scoop hot liquids without spilling them and making a mess or causing injury to yourself or others.
They are also handy for portioning food, with one scoop being a good portion size for a child and two scoops being a good portion size for an adult. You can use a ladle to portion out meals, even for foods that are not easy to spill, such as mashed potatoes.
Large ladles are those that have oversized cups, though the handle will be a similar length to standard-sized ladles. These large ladles are, of course, designed to hold more liquid at one time in the region of one cup that is the equivalent of 8 ounces.
These types of ladles are useful for serving liquid food that is chunkier than soups and broths, such as casseroles, chowders, and curries.
A larger serving cup helps to catch more of the meatier parts of the food so that you don’t end up with just the gravy or sauce for your meal, and instead, you will get all of the components in one portion. These meals are usually served in single-cup portions, so with a large ladle, you can give one ladle serving for each person.
Slotted ladles are exactly as they are described a ladle with slots in. The slots can come in the form of perforations or long and slender slits across the length of the head. These slots are designed to allow liquid to drain away while the ladle holds onto the food.
This type of ladle can be useful for a range of scenarios in the kitchen, such as scooping pasta out of the boiling water or removing fried foods from hot cooking oil.
If you don’t already own a slotted ladle, then after buying one, you will soon wonder how you ever coped without it.
These are great for quickly scooping vegetables such as broccoli, sliced carrots, peas, and boiled potatoes out of boiling water, with no need to carry a heavy pan of boiling water over the sink to be tipped away. It also means you can re-use the boiling water that is still in the pan to cook something else, for example, a hard-boiled egg.
The slotted ladle can once again be used to remove the boiled egg from the water without the risk of getting your fingers burnt or from cracking the egg by trying to get it out with an inadequately-sized spoon.
Slotted ladles will have handles measuring between 12 to 15 inches in length and a head with a diameter of between 5 and 7 inches. The heads on these utensils are not always as deeply cup-shaped as ordinary ladles and sometimes have a more spoon-like shape. The best type of slotted ladle is one that has a very long handle, as this will ensure your hands are at the furthest distance possible from hot oil or boiling water.