You might think one ladle is pretty much the same as the next. But after we had dunked eight stainless steel models (plastic stains and can melt on the stovetop) into pots of chicken noodle soup and hearty beef stew, scattered puddles on the test kitchen countertop made it clear that not all ladles are ergonomically equal.
Ladles with handles shorter than 9 inches simply sank in deeper pots; what's more, their small bowls were better suited to sauces than soups. However, more than 10 inches of grip proved cumbersome to maneuver, as did their lack of offset handles. Without some slight bend in the handle, cleanly transferring the ladle's contents into a bowl is nearly impossible.
A handle that bends too dramatically, however, makes it difficult to dip the ladle into a tall, narrow stockpot. All of these concerns left one model that worked very well. It had a hook handle and a drip-prevention pouring rim, which kept even wiggly noodles intact all the way to the bowl.
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasn’t sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|Recommended with Reservations|
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.
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