If you want to really flesh out your arsenal of kitchen utensils, it’s important to remember that there’s more than just one type of spoon. Yes, the standard fare is great for transferring fluffy rice onto a plate or drizzling dressing over a luxe salad, but when it comes to retrieving submerged foods, it does a less than stellar job. While you could fish blanched vegetables out of simmering water with a fork, why go through all the trouble and mess? Get yourself a slotted spoon.
There are countless styles of this functional design. Some have well-perforated heads while others rely on a series of slits to promote proper drainage. Whichever the case, the scale of those openings makes a meaningful difference: too large and you risk having small foods like peas drop straight through, too small and rapid, efficient drainage becomes impossible.
To help you sort through the countless iterations, we’ve curated our top four picks available on Amazon.
1. Tefal Comfort Touch Slotted Spoon
Tefal’s unique design shows just how many forms this humble spoon can take. Made from lightweight and heat-resistant plastic, its well eschews the normal perforations or parallel slots and replaces them with concentric circles of slots instead. This allows it to catch even small foods while still allowing water to rapidly fall away. Its wide, shallow silhouette is ideal for skimming things right off the surface, such as the unwanted foam that often emerges when producing broth or stock. In that particular instance, this utensil allows you to do so without wasting any of the unctuous liquid.
2. Wan Huilai Large Scoop Colander
Straddling the line between a slotted spoon and a mini colander, this model is unique on our list. Rather than slits, its well is thoroughly dotted with perforations. This style is superb when draining delicate things, like dumplings frying in hot oil, or especially small foods, like orzo pasta. It has tough stainless steel construction meaning that it can stand up to high temperatures without fear of melting as can be the case with some other materials. It’s also dishwasher safe so you can save on cleanup time.
3. StarPack Premium Silicone Slotted Serving Spoon
StarPack’s cheery design is one of the most traditional curated on our list. Made from heat-resistant silicone, it can easily withstand temperatures up to 600-degrees Fahrenheit and has a classic silhouette with a slotted well. Its well is also slightly deeper and more narrow than others on our list making it ideal for scooping up things like hearty stews or fluffy piles of fried rice. However, because it has fewer slits than some of our other picks, it may not be as efficient at straining water or oil away from food. On top of being a functional workhorse in the kitchen, it also comes in a bright hue that makes preparing any dish that much more pleasing to the eye.
4. KitchenAid Slotted Spoon
Molded with an especially deep well, this model is among the best on our list for scooping and serving. Four wide slots provide ample drainage but may be too large for some foods (peas anyone?). But that shouldn’t make you overlook it. Constructed with a comfortable ergonomic handle, it makes cooking to your heart’s content sans fatigue easier than ever. It also has a minimal look that’s versatile enough to suit just about any kitchen decor. Even if you’re not using it to cook per se, try putting it on the buffet line during your next gathering where guests are sure to enjoy it just as much.