What’s a Frying Ladle, and How Is it Used?

There are a ton of different ladles out there, so it’s easy to get confused about which one to choose. This article will shed more light on ladles, particularly frying ladles. Frying ladles are specifically …

cooking potato fries using slotted frying ladle

There are a ton of different ladles out there, so it’s easy to get confused about which one to choose. This article will shed more light on ladles, particularly frying ladles.

Frying ladles are specifically made for frying. They are significantly longer and are used to turn or scoop fried foods.

What are the different types of ladles, what are their uses, and what should you consider when buying one? We’ll answer these questions and more below!

What Is a Frying Ladle (Including Deep Frying Ladles)?

Frying ladles are specifically designed for frying, especially deep frying. Their purpose is to handle food cooked in hot oil or water, especially in deep cookware. 

Before we dive right more into frying ladles, let’s first discuss what ladles are.

making donuts using frying ladle

A ladle is basically a deep spoon with a long handle. It is used to scoop and serve liquid food items such as sauces, marinades, or soups.

Back in the day, ladles were made with bamboo and wood before they were made with metals (iron, bronze, silver, etc.). Today, they are still made of these materials, but in a more refined form. Others are also now made with stainless steel and aluminum. 

The word ladle originates from the word hladan, which in Old English is interpreted as “to load”. 

There are many ladles today, but the most popular – and arguably the originator of all ladles – is the soup ladle. This ladle was created in the 1800s (source: Ten Random Facts).

However, this is not the earliest record of the ladle. The clay ladle is 6 millenia old – so old it had to be reconstructed by scientists! It believed to have been used in stews or soups back in the Neolithic period (source: Taste History).

This was followed by a hemispherical bronze ladle with a gold inscription from China, which is dated 61 B.C.E during the Western Han dynasty. Today, it is in the National Museum of Asian Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC (source: Smart History).

cooking medu vada in a pan using mesh ladle

There are several types of ladles, each with a particular use. Here are some of them:

  • Soup ladle – the most versatile of all ladles, used for sauces, soups, stews, and more
  • Wok ladle – similar to soup ladles, but narrower in depth
  • Gravy Ladle – usually paired with gravy boats, the gravy ladle is small and used to directly serve the gravy with its spout
  • Punch Ladle – characterized by its long handle, used to serve punches or drinks from a deep bowl
  • Pancake ladle – looks like a typical ladle, designed to scoop the batter from one container and pour it into the frying pan
  • Crepe ladle – similar to pancake ladle
  • Sauce ladle – also known as a drizzle spoon; used like a gravy ladle without its own boat
  • Salad dressing ladle – specifically designed to be small and for use in salad dressings 
  • Skimmer ladle – typically shallow and has a mesh or holes to skim off the fat from food, usually stews or soups
  • Straining ladle – mostly used to easily scoop pasta out of water
  • Frying ladle – used for frying, and especially deep frying 
  • Slotted ladle – usually used to scoop fried food; has holes to drain the oil or liquid

Today’s frying ladle is pretty much the same as the modern regular ladle in terms of its basic style. However, there are significant differences, especially when it comes to structure and function. 

Most frying ladles today are made for deep frying. They are made with stainless steel and have long handles to prevent you from getting in close contact with hot oil or water (source: Miss Buttercup).

Even more advanced frying ladles are designed with ergonomic handles to prevent your hands from burning while handling hot food items.

Uses for Frying Ladles 

If you search online, you will see different types of frying ladles. Based on our research, there are three main types of frying ladles:

  • Mesh ladle

This ladle is basically a shallow strainer attached to a long handle. It either has a mesh or a wire-like structure. This is used to scoop out fried food and remove a considerable amount of oil.

Example of food application: Donuts

cooking potato fries using slotted frying ladle
  • Slotted ladle 

This is a narrow and shallow ladle. It is used for easy-to-scoop food items but will not be able to hold a lot. It either has round holes or long holes. 

Example of food application: Fried Chicken

  • Flat ladle

This ladle is flat and square and is more for turning fried foods than scooping them out. This ladle can also have holes or none at all. Skimmer ladles also belong in this category.

Example of food application: Stir fry  

What’s the Best Type of Frying Ladle to Use?

The first thing to consider when buying a frying ladle is its use or application. What will you most use it for?

If you want an all-around versatile ladle, we recommend a slotted stainless steel ladle like this one: Zulay Kitchen Professional Skimmer Spoon

Not only is this versatile, but it is also durable, heat-resistant, and has an ergonomic handle for comfort. It drains oil and water fast and is easy to clean.

We hope you found this article helpful!