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A Simple but Genius Drip-Free Method for Ladling Soup

Avoid dripping on your tablecloth (and your dinner guests) with this easy soup serving technique.

Published Mar. 27, 2022.

If you’ve ever suffered the misfortune of a dripping ladle while serving soup to your dinner party guests, then this simple serving trick is something you’ll want to know.

There’s nothing worse than a soup ladle dripping thick, heavy blobs of food across your tablecloth as you serve your dinner guests. Luckily, there is a way to avoid this situation altogether.

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ATK’s Menu Cookbook has a wealth of information about dinner party hosting, from serving suggestions to quick and easy cleaning hacks, and this ingenious tip is embedded among them. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Only fill your ladle about three quarters full.
  2. Once you pull the ladle out of the soup, touch the bottom curve to the top of the soup slightly before lifting it fully out of the pot.
  3. Serve your guest!

How exactly does this magic trick work? It’s all in the science. The tension on the surface of the soup in the pot grabs any drips that might hang off the bottom curve of your ladle when you dip the bottom in the second time, ensuring they won’t fall off on the trip to the bowl.

Another ATK top ladling tip is to choke up on the ladle a little bit to ensure the most accurate handling. This lets you keep the bowl a little steadier and allow you to avoid any errant splashes or spills. Keeping your grip about halfway down the ladle is best.

Equipment Review

The Best Ladles

For soups, stews, sauces, and more, we want a ladle that can really dish it out.
Read Our Review

Of course, it also helps to ensure that you’re working with the best possible equipment, and that means having the very best ladle at your disposal. Our review of ladles looks at just how much these important kitchen tools can hold and whether they are comfortable to grip in the many positions we need them to be. 

Here’s what to look out for if you’re in the market for a ladle:

  • A gently curved pouring rim on the bowl
  • A rounded handle that is smooth but not slippery
  • A handle set off from the ladle’s bowl at a 45-degree angle—this makes it easier to scoop out liquids without exposing your hand to hot steam.

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