Have you ever been cooking pasta or boiling some veggies and realized that they’re finished but your sink is full of random cooking paraphernalia and there’s no room for a colander but, before you have time to figure out what to about it, your food is overcooked?
Or perhaps you’ve made a chunky sauce just a little too saucy and you didn’t know how to serve it without all the juice. Or maybe you wanted to deep fry a few onion rings and accidentally melted your plastic stirring spoon trying to get them out of the burning hot oil.
All of those are perfect jobs for a skimmer or strainer spoon. If only you had one in a pinch, your meals would have been saved. You won’t have to worry about future meals because we’ve got a list of the 7 best strainer spoon ladles just waiting to pay your kitchen a visit.
What To Look for in a Strainer Spoon Ladle
Not all strainer spoon ladles are made equal. Some are better for certain jobs than others, and slight differences in features can impact their kitchen convenience significantly. When you’re on the market for the perfect skimmer spoon, there are a few features you’ll want to keep in mind.
Key Strainer Spoon Features
- Material: to get the most out of your ladle, stick to high quality stainless steel or silicone that can handle high temperatures. Plastic should never be used in high heat and wood will warp and stain with continued exposure to liquids.
- Depth: Some strainer spoons are made more for skimming, and they’ll be wide and flattened, whereas others are made more for scooping and transferring and they’ll have a deeper bowl. Both are very useful, but with slightly different purposes.
- Size: The bigger the ladle, the more food you’ll be able to pick up, but the more limited you’ll be on which pots you can use it in. If you think you’ll ever need to use your strainer spoon in your small pot, make sure it can fit inside.
- Holes: Some strainer spoons have plenty of small holes, which allows for a slow drain, and others have larger holes or slots that allow a lot of liquid to drain quickly. The larger the holes are in your spoon, however, the larger your chunks of food need to be, so choose a strainer ladle appropriate for your food choices.
- Handle: Most ladles will have a long handle, allowing you to scoop deep into a stockpot. Try to avoid any wooden handles, as the wood will eventually warp with the exposure to liquids and steam, and stainless still can get very hot to touch, very quickly, so keep that in mind when shopping and handling your spoon.
The 7 Best Strainer Spoon Ladles
Without further ado, here are the best strainer spoons on the market:
|1.||Newness Stainless Steel Slotted Spoon||Stainless steel|
|2.||Stainless Steel Strainer Ladle||Stainless steel|
|3.||Chef Frog Slotted Skimmer Spatula||Silicone (BPA-free)|
|4.||Tenta Kitchen Strainer Spoon Set||Stainless steel|
|5.||Juvale Soup and Straining Ladle Spoon Set||Stainless steel|
|6.||Tenta Kitchen Strainer Spoon||Stainless steel|
|7.||KISEER Strainer Spoon Set||Stainless steel|
We’ve included a full review of each so you can make sure you’re getting the best one for your kitchen.
1. Newness Stainless Steel Slotted Spoon
This skimmer slotted spoon has enough perfectly sized holes to let you scoop up everything from peas to ravioli, and the high-quality stainless steel will make sure it lifts even your heavier food items without trouble.
- Quality is key for this product, made using a high quality stainless steel that won’t rust or bend easily and is perfectly dishwasher safe
- The handle is formed with ergonomics and safety in mind, with vacuum thermal insulation to protect your hands from heat transfer, no matter what you’re cooking
The quality of this spoon is definitely a pro but it also means the product can be a bit heavy for some preferences, and the length of the handle might make it a bit awkward to fit neatly inside a utensil tray, but it will be worth it when you’re working with a deep pot!
2. Stainless Steel Strainer Ladle with Sanding Handle
This is a fantastic strainer ladle for accomplishing a variety of tasks, from cooking with oil, to straining and serving vegetables, entrees and even desserts.
- The vacuum handle is sanded for a comfortable, non-slip grip that is heat resistant
- It’s the perfect size for scooping foods out of an instant pot
- The stainless steel won’t rust or discolor and it’s very easy to clean
The metal used for this skimmer spoon is lightweight and very easy to handle, but that also makes it easy to bend, so you’ll have to be careful not to treat it too harshly over the long-term.
3. Silicone Slotted Skimmer Spatula by Chef Frog
One of the best things about this strainer spoon is the fact that it’s made out of silicone and is therefore safe for your non-stick pans and woks, whereas a stainless steel option might scratch the thin coating on the surface of your cookware.
- Silicone is BPA-free and heat resistant to 450F
- Dishwasher safe and easy to clean and it won’t melt, discolor or warp in any way
- The lime green slotted ladle brings a pop of fun color and energy into your kitchen, making cooking just a little bit more fun
The handle is stainless steel but not insulated, so be careful about leaving it inside pots or pans because it will heat up fairly quickly.
4. Tenta Kitchen Strainer Spoon
In a world where little differences make a big impact, this skimmer spoon is slotted with long, thin slots running the length of the ladle rather than being dotted with holes. The effect and usage is the same as any other strainer spoon, but the visual appeal is sleek and eye catching.
- Simple, good looking and it gets the job done whether your frying tater tots, blanching vegetables or scooping wontons out of their broth
- The stainless steel is lightweight and elegant looking, bringing a splash of style to any kitchen
The base is a separate piece of metal that fits into the handle. The lower part is not insulated and will heat up very quickly, so be sure to only grab this spoon by the handle.
5. Juvale 2-Piece Stainless Steel Soup and Straining Ladle Spoon Set
This set is designed for each utensil to perfectly complement the other, and it works perfectly. The ladle is fantastic for scooping and serving sauces, gravy or broth while the slotted spoon delicately transfers bite sized morsels into the serving dishes with no muss and no fuss.
- This is a smaller than average set, with each piece measuring only 10”
- They’re made from high quality stainless steel, making them durable and dishwasher safe
- They fit nicely inside of your drawers because of their shorter length, but they hang just as nicely if you prefer
This set is small, which is just as much a benefit as a drawback, depending on circumstances. If you’re working with a big stockpot full of soup, this might not be the set for you, but for one or two people, or for smaller jobs like gravy, they work perfectly.
6. Tenta Kitchen Stainless Steel Strainer Spoon
This brand has a collection of strainer spoon ladles that range in size from 12cm to 18 cm, with two of the largest options being shaped more like a basket than a spoon, giving you more of a colander effect.
- This unique design pairs a single piece of stainless steel with a colorful ABS plastic handle on one side to give a comfortable grip and heat safe handle
- The manufacturer has a special punching process that leaves the ladle holes smooth and safe to touch without any sharp edges
The plastic handle is a great feature for comfortable use, but is plastic, so be careful about resting the handle against the hot edges of your pots and pans to make sure you don’t melt or warp it.
7. KISEER Stainless Steel Strainer Spoon
The design of this set is really quite pretty, with a comfortable groove along the back of the handle that makes them easy to hold onto and also lovely to look at, because of the attractive engraving.
- The set includes 1 Soup Ladle and 1 Strainer Ladle to fit all your straining and serving needs
- They’re small enough to fit nicely in your drawers while still being large enough to effective serve soup and strain pasta or any other foods you’re cooking up
Their size is designed for primarily for serving purposes, rather than large scale straining or transferring of foods.
10 Secret Strainer Spoon Hacks
Strainer spoon ladles are designed to help you out in the kitchen, making cooking, transferring and straining foods cooked in liquids easy and mess free. But they can do so much more than just pull your food out of a pot of boiling water or oil.
The following is a list of secret hacks that will but your strainer ladle to good use, every day. Just be sure to carefully mark them for specific uses if necessary, especially if you decide to try out #9 or #10 for yourself.
- Aside from using your spoon to lift food out of hot liquid, you can also carefully use your spoon to hold chunky food pieces inside a pot while you pour hot liquid out.
- Add flavor to your sauces or broths by placing bay leaves in a skimmer spoon and letting it simmer without getting lost in your dish so that it’s easy to remove before eating. You can also slip lemongrass through the holes and then tie them together. Let your skimmer spoon rest in the sauce or broth and use it to stir to spread the flavor, but easily remove the grass before serving.
- Use your strainer spoon to blanch vegetables quickly before freezing them. Simply place your vegetables in boiling water for approximately 2 minutes and then use your strainer spoon to quickly transfer them to an ice bath. This will not only cleanse them from any remaining dirt or debris, but it also helps them maintain their color, texture and flavor.
- If you’re deep frying a small amount of food in a small pot or frying in a small pan, flip your skimmer spoon upside down and lay over the edge to act as a splatter guard.
- Separate eggs using your skimmer spoon by simply setting your spoon inside a bowl, cracking your egg over top of it and gently lifting the spoon. The white will seep through the holes and the yolk will stay in the spoon.
- If you’re decorating a cake but aren’t particularly artistic, you can use your strainer spoon to either press “bubbles” into your icing, or carefully dust colored sugar through the holes making pretty little dots on the surface of your icing. Just be careful to do only a few at a time and move your spoon strategically so as not to smudge your hard work.
- Make a pot of tea or coffee by placing some cheesecloth over top of your spoon, adding your loose-leaf tea or coffee grounds and slowly pouring water over your spoon and into a cup or pot.
- If you’ve got an extra strainer spoon, consider lining it with cheesecloth, adding a bit of soil and small rocks, a succulent or two and hanging it beside your kitchen window for some lovely greenery to enjoy while you cook.
- Buy an extra on purpose if you happen to have a cat as they make quick work of litter box cleaning and most have holes in the handle to make it easy to hang right next to your cat’s toilet.
- Children love to dig in sand and dirt, and with a strainer ladle, they can effortlessly create designs out of their sand as it sifts through the holes in snakelike designs.
What is the difference between a ladle and a spoon?
A ladle is essentially a type of spoon. An average spoon is generally designed for eating with, whereas a ladle’s purpose is to dish out and serve liquids, such as pancake batter.
Rather than having a shallow dip for a single mouthful of food, a ladle has a deep bowl as well as a long handle made to scoop food such as soup out of a deep pot in order to be transferred to a serving dish or directly to an eating bowl.
What is a spider skimmer?
A spider skimmer is a shallow mesh basket attached to a handle that’s designed to remove solid food from hot liquids, allowing the liquid to drain through the mesh but the food itself to stay inside the strainer.
They’re frequently used in Asian cuisine to remove cooked foods from a broth or oil and is also used commonly when deep frying foods without using a specific deep fryer.
What kitchen utensils are most important?
This question is difficult to answer because it will depend on what type of food you most enjoy cooking and eating, but our advice is to have at least one really great:
- chef’s knife,
- a silicone spatula or two,
- a flipper,
- a strainer spoon,
- a ladle,
- and two wooden or bamboo spoons that are great for mixing or used as salad spoons.
There are so many more wonderful utensils, but you can cook and almost anything with the above if necessary.