How we tested
Serving soup seems straightforward—until you try to do it with a poorly designed ladle. Our favorite won our top spot a few years ago for its long, offset handle, a 5.4-ounce bowl with a pouring rim, and a hook for resting on the rim of a tall pot. But almost $35 is a lot to spend for easy drip-free serving, so we rounded up four new, cheaper models to see if any could match it. The critical factor turned out to be the angle of each ladle’s offset handle. Some, like our favorite, were deeply bent, offering a better grip and maximum control. In the end, our old winner kept its first-place status, but we did find a worthy Best Buy. While its handle nearly matches our winner's 45-degree-angled handle, it is 1/2 inch shorter, making scooping broth out of a tall stockpot more difficult. Still, it’s a solid bargain alternative.