Ladles are a kitchen tool like no other. They help serve liquids, most commonly soup. However, do you ever wonder how much a ladle can hold? There must be more ladle-types that can help in serving other dishes, right? Let us take a look.
Like spoons, ladles come in different sizes depending on their use. There is the common soup ladle and much more. Each one holds a varying amount than the other. Some of the standard kitchen ladles are:
- Soup Ladle - Holds 4-8 oz.
- Gravy Ladle - Holds 1/2-1 oz.
- Wok Ladle - Holds 5-8 oz.
- Sauce Ladle - Holds 1 oz.
These are some of the cooking ladles that you may encounter in your cooking journey. Each one serves a purpose. In general, you can use them in various ways. Though, there are still more ladles to familiarize yourself with that do not hold liquids! If you would like to find out more, keep reading ahead.
The Types Of Ladles
As mentioned above, there are various ladles that you will most likely run into when cooking. If you want to familiarize yourself with their purpose, we will go over the common types.
As the name suggests, the soup ladle serves soup in varying quantities. It comes in different sizes. A standard one will hold around half a cup/4 fl. oz. What sets these apart from others is their deep bowl. Depending on the size you buy, it can accommodate from 4-8 fluid oz.
Although the name implies soup use, the soup ladle is versatile. You will primarily use it for cooking and serving. Aside from soup, you can use it to serve stews, drinks, gravies, and sauces.
The neat aspect of soup ladles is the size of the handle. Depending on what you are cooking, you might need a handle large enough to let you stir without burning yourself from the steam. In these situations, you should avoid using the standard 5-inch handle. Instead, you can search for handles that can reach up to 15 inches.
The gravy ladle is another variation that serves the purpose its name implies! Mainly used for pouring gravy, it is a small type meant to rest in a gravy boat. They are smaller in size and can hold from 1/2-1 fluid oz.
You will most likely use them during dinners. They have a small handle. So, they do not play an essential role in the cooking process. Like the soup ladle, you can use the gravy one for different purposes. Because of its small structure, you can also use it to serve condiments.
Wok ladles are a unique type with a specific design to work with woks. If you are not familiar with woks, it is a cooking pan type with Asian roots. What differentiates wok pans is their construction. Standard pans have a low wall and a flat surface.
On the other hand, wok pans have a high wall and a round surface. Of course, they do also have a flat surface variety. However, it is the round variation that created the need for a wok ladle.
Because of the round surface, they need a specific ladle to work effectively. Otherwise, you might have difficulty tossing, scraping, and moving ingredients on a circular surface adequately. Wok ladles have a shallow bowl and have an angle different from soup variations.
They can hold from 5-8 oz, depending on your needs. Like the soup ladle, the handle can get up to 18 inches. They get longer because some wok pans are large, making it harder to work with standard ones.
If you would like to know more about a wok pan, check out our post here.
The sauce ladle comes in as one of the shortest of the bunch. It holds up to 1 fl oz. Additionally, it differentiates itself from the others by coming at a length of 5 inches or less. While it might seem useless, considering you can use a gravy ladle for the same purpose, it does have its place.
Since it can hold a small number of fluid ounces, it is the perfect tool to top off dishes. In addition, it helps maintain portion sizes precisely. As some suggest, you should look for pouring lips to prevent drips when handling liquids with this ladle.
The information above covers the ladles that work with liquids. Of course, like other utensils, there are additional ones that serve entirely different uses. The other ladles you might want to know about are:
- Slotted ladle
- Pasta ladle
- Skimmer ladle
- Slotted ladle
Each function to separate solid foods from a liquid. For example, you can use a slotted ladle to separate solid food that is inside a can. Many use pasta ladles to scoop servings of spaghetti/pasta. You may be familiar with the hole in the middle of one! As some suggest, you can use that hole to measure a serving!
How Many Cups Are In A Ladle?
The amount of cups a ladle holds depends on the size of the tool. Standard ones can hold up to 4 fl oz. If we convert this into cups, it can hold 1/2 a cup. Some soup ladles have bowls that can hold eight fl oz. With this information, we can see that it can hold up to a cup of liquid.
Some other ladles can hold up to 32 fluid ounces! This amount bumps up their potential up to 4 cups. However, you will have to look out for these specific types as they are not common.
How Many Fluid Ounces Are In A Ladle?
With the information above, you might have noticed that we use oz and fl oz interchangeably. However, it is essential to distinguish the difference between an ounce and a fluid ounce. An ounce is a measure of weight. On the other hand, a fluid ounce is a measure of volume.
For ladles, you might see them labeled in ounces. While it might be confusing at first, most associate ladles with liquids. Therefore, as some suggest, fluid ounces would be the accurate label. With this information, we can infer that a ladle can hold from 1-32 fluid ounces. Of course, it depends on the size.
What Size Ladle Do I Need?
The size of the ladle depends on what you need. For frequent use, a standard one will probably be suitable. However, if you need to serve large quantities, a large ladle with a long handle will be the best.
Another consideration you may take is to buy all the necessary ones that you know you will use. A standard soup and sauce ladle will be the most you would likely need. In the end, your activities determine what size you will require.
What Is The Best Size Ladle?
Choosing the best size is difficult because of the variations these utensils come in. They can hold from 1-32 fluid ounces. While it may seem excessive, you may never know when you will need a 32-ounce serving! However, to choose the best size, track how often you cook soups along with the number of servings you would need.
In general, the most a standard person would need is a ladle with a 4-ounce capacity. To complement that, you can go for the smaller ladles to make serving sauces easier!
What Can I Use Instead Of A Ladle?
As some users have suggested, there are alternatives for a ladle when you do not have access to one! You can use a glass cup to scoop porridges. For soups, you can use a mug. If you need an accurate measure, measuring cups are also a good alternative.
Finding the right size for everyday use can be difficult. There are so many to choose from. It is no wonder we have to do our research to make a decision. We hope you found the information above insightful.
Before you go, do you also want to find out the best pot for making soup? We can offer some guidance. For more information, check out our post here. Until next time!