Published November 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.
A good basting spoon can handle a number of kitchen tasks—Not just basting.
Here in the test kitchen, we reach for a basting spoon for everything from skimming fat to scooping up pan sauce or basting a turkey. We tested five models made of stainless steel, silicone, and fiberglass. Spoons with broad, deep bowls in thicker silicone or fiberglass struggled to scoop up shallow liquids, while models with shallow, thin stainless steel heads performed with maximum efficiency. Handle angles and lengths proved to be an important feature, too: Spoons that were flat from tip to head couldn’t fit into corners of pans or skim fat without forcing testers to awkwardly twist their wrists or tilt pans. The best spoons had a handle at least 9 inches long to keep our hands out of the heat (even in a Dutch oven) and a slight dip from handle to bowl. Our favorite was well shaped, easy to maneuver around every type of pan, and readily scooped up anything we wanted.