Menu
Search
Menu
Close

September/October 2016

Slotted Spoons

We rounded up eight dishwasher-safe nylon, silicone, and stainless-steel spoons, and used them to fish out green peas, poached eggs, meatballs, and jumbo shrimp from liquids in different kinds of cookware.

How We Tested

We rely on slotted spoons to remove and drain small or delicate foods from boiling water, hot oil, or sauce. To find the best model, we rounded up eight dishwasher-safe nylon, silicone, and stainless-steel spoons, priced from $6.99 to $34.00, and used them to fish out green peas, poached eggs, meatballs, and jumbo shrimp from liquids in different kinds of cookware.

The first things we noticed were the differences between handles. Long handles were better because they kept our fingers away from the heat. Additionally, we preferred rounded handles over flat ones, and we preferred handles without dedicated grips, which limited our holding options. Drainage was not an issue; despite different perforation areas, sizes, and configurations, all the spoons filtered out water, oil, and sauce equally well. While we generally preferred spoons that held more food, the depth and shape of their bowls mattered more than capacity. Shallow bowls slid under food more easily than spoons with deep bowls, and broad bowls held large, irregular foods like jumbo shrimp more securely.

The material of the spoon gave us mixed benefits. Nylon and silicone slotted spoons were lighter than stainless-steel models and thus easier to use for extended periods. Silicone spoons were easy to hold, but their tacky exterior meant that their bowls tended to catch and drag on the bottom of pans. More problematic, nylon and silicone bowls tended to be thicker, making it harder to get them up and under food in skillets and saucepans; these spoons tended to push slippery shrimp and meatballs around instead. By contrast, stainless-steel spoons were heavier but typically had much thinner bowl edges, making it easier to slide them underneath food. The metal spoons were also more durable.

Our new favorite, the Cuisinart Stainless Steel Slotted Spoon, $9.12, provided the best of both worlds. It had a wide, shallow, very thin bowl that slid under food easily, and because its comfortable, rounded handle was hollow, it was almost as light as a nonmetal spoon.

Methodology

We tested eight nylon, silicone, and stainless-steel slotted spoons priced from $6.99 to $34.00, using them to extract different foods (small green peas, poached eggs, meatballs, and shrimp) from cooking vessels of varying sizes and heights (skillets, saucepans, and stockpots). We rated the spoons on their weight, balance, dimensions, maneuverability, bowl design, handle design, durability, and stain and odor resistance. All models were purchased online and are ranked in order of preference.

BOWL DESIGN: Spoons with large, wide, shallow bowls made of relatively thin material made it easy to get under food; they received more points.

EASE OF USE: We gave more points to lightweight spoons that were comfortable to use for extended periods and didn’t drag on the bottoms of the pans.

HANDLE DESIGN: We awarded more points to spoons with long, comfortable, balanced handles without dedicated grips (which limited our hand position options).

CLEANUP AND DURABILITY: We docked points from spoons that scratched, stained, or retained odors after more than one wash.

Try CooksCountry.com FREE for 14 Days

START YOUR 14-DAY FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP

Every Recipe, Every Rating, Every Video from Every Magazine & Every Episode!

  • 10+ years of Cook's Country Foolproof Recipes
  • Complete Cook's Country TV Video Library
  • 3,800+ Equipment Reviews and Ingredient Taste Tests
  • Step-by-Step Technique Photos
  • Save Favorites, Create Menus, Print Shopping Lists

Dear Home Cook,

If we were new to CooksCountry.com, we might think, “It’s easy to get free recipes on the Internet. What makes your recipes different?” Well, unlike recipes from blogs, message boards, and other recipe sites, our recipes are exhaustively tested by our team of full-time test cooks until they offer consistently great results. That means fried chicken with a crunchy coating and moist meat, a low-fat recipe makeover for macaroni and cheese that’s as creamy and cheesy as the full-fat version, and fork-tender slow cooker pot roast.

We’re obsessive in our quest to find and foolproof the best of American home cooking, from fuss-free weeknight dinners, to updated, simplified versions of regional specialties, to slow cooker and make ahead meals. CooksCountry.com is the only place you can find every foolproof recipe published in Cook’s Country magazine since 2005, plus objective ratings and test results from both Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated for cookware and supermarket ingredients.

Let us make a simple, no-nonsense offer. Try out our website FREE for a 14-Day, No-Hassle Trial Offer. We’re pretty confident that CooksCountry.com will quickly become an invaluable resource for everything from a quick Tuesday supper to your next get-together with family and friends.

Thanks for your consideration,

The Editors of Cook’s Country

The Results

Winner
Recommended

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

$33.31*

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.