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The Best Slotted Spoons

We rounded up eight dishwasher-safe nylon, silicone, and stainless-steel spoons, and used them to fish out green peas, poached eggs, meatballs, and jumbo shrimp from liquids in different kinds of cookware.

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Last Updated Aug. 4, 2023. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 8: Bistro Steak Dinner

Update, August 2023

After learning that our favorite nonstick-safe slotted spoon was discontinued, we tested several intriguing models. The Cuisinart Curve Handle Line Curve Nylon Slotted Spoon is our new favorite nonstick-safe model. 

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

We rely on slotted spoons to remove and drain small or delicate foods from boiling water, hot oil, or sauce. To find the best model, we rounded up an assortment of eight dishwasher-safe nylon, silicone, and stainless-steel spoons, and used them in different kinds of cookware to fish green peas and poached eggs out of simmering water, meatballs from tomato sauce, and jumbo shrimp from garlic-butter sauce.

The first things we noticed were the differences between handles. Long handles were better because they kept our fingers away from the heat. Additionally, we preferred rounded handles over flat ones, and we preferred handles without dedicated grips, which limited our holding options.

Drainage was not an issue; despite different perforation areas, sizes, and configurations, all the spoons filtered out water, oil, and sauce equally well. While we generally preferred spoons that held more food, it was possible for a spoon to be too big. One spoon had an extra-long bowl, and its nose bumped against the inside of pots and skillets as we tried to delicately scoop up food. For the most part, however, the depth and shape of their bowls mattered more than capacity. Shallow bowls slid under food more easily than spoons with deep bowls, and broad bowls held large, irregular foods like jumbo shrimp more securely. 

There are a few trade-offs when it comes to the material of the slotted spoons. Nylon and silicone slotted spoons were generally lighter than stainless-steel models and thus easier to use for extended periods. Silicone spoons were easy to hold, but their tacky exterior meant that their bowls tended to catch and drag on the bottom of pans. In general, we preferred models with thin bowl edges. Nylon and silicone bowls tended to be thicker than metal models, making it harder to get them up and under food in skillets and saucepans; these spoons tended to push slippery shrimp and meatballs around instead. By contrast, stainless-steel spoons were heavier but typically had much thinner bowl edges, making it easier to slide them underneath food.

Many of us prefer metal slotted spoons, not only because they’re thinner but because they’re more durable than silicone or nylon models. But if you’re concerned about scratching your enameled or nonstick cookware, it might still be worth getting a silicone or nylon spoon. These materials will be gentler on any surfaces they touch, though they’re a bit thicker and can melt if exposed to high heat. 

Our all-around favorite, the Cuisinart Stainless Steel Slotted Spoon, provides the best of both worlds. It has a wide, shallow, very thin bowl that slid under food easily, and because i...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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