Types of Spoons – Styles for Every Different Occasion, Dish & Drink
Kitchen experts and food enthusiasts know that there are different types of spoons that are rightfully made and used for eating and service as well as different types of food for baking and measuring.
Spoons have been around for a long time, event during ancient times.
They date back as far as the first knives and during prehistoric civilizations; they would be made out of wood, bone, rock, gold silver, and ivory:
And with the advancement of the world, spoons became more of a status symbol – specifically in countries like Egypt and UK.
By the 1700s, the modern look of our spoons was finally introduced.
Over time, spoons of all different sizes and materials were made and used for different purposes.
Humans manufacture spoons that are made out of metal, wood, plastic, ceramic, or maybe even a combination of them.
However, the most popular material that’s more universally used is stainless steel.
And if you’re a spoon hobbyist and collector, you would consider visiting the Lambert Castle Museum in Paterson, New Jersey.
The museum displays the largest and most varied spoon collection with a whooping 5,400 spoons!
If that stirs curiosity in you, here are the 29 types of spoons that should be part of your silverware collection.
We will group them according to type, material, and some special features.
Types of Spoons
Tablespoons are the most common type of spoons seen on our dining tables and kitchen.
In the photo above, the table spoon is the larger of the three.
Tablespoons are typically larger than a teaspoon and is an essential part of your dining collection.
It’s used for both measurement and a utensil during meals.
Ideally, as a utensil, adults are more likely to use them as they are larger in size making them easier to use during meals.
There are some people that think that tablespoons were perfectly designed for soups, but there is actually another type of spoon that’s specifically made for that dish – we will talk about that later.
Teaspoons are smaller than tablespoons and almost look like a baby spoon.
Fun fact: teaspoons have a similar size to the measuring teaspoons people use for measuring ingredients, cooking, or baking – but they are actually smaller!
So if you use a teaspoon for measuring ingredients, it will not be an accurate measurement unless you use a specific measuring teaspoon – good to know!
If you’re a coffee addict, you should be using this type of spoon as it is a great choice to use if you’re stirring sugar, cream, tea, and juice.
This also comes in handy as it can be used for feeding your kids.
Once your babies have reached adolescence, you may use this silverware as a replacement for baby spoons.
It allows your kids to use this silverware as it looks close to a tablespoon but smaller in size.
It makes them more comfortable to eat in smaller sizes plus without making a terrible mess.
Teaspoons are also often used for appetizers and/or desserts.
Sugar spoons or commonly known as “sugar shells” “sugar shovels” are utensils that are designed to use to serve sugar at the table.
While these types of spoons look like a teaspoon, they care designed with deeper bowls for more sugar to hold in.
And if you would notice, sugar spoons have round edges along the bowl making it easier to serve sugar.
These are easy to spot as they have been shaped like a shell.
Although you can use any kind of spoon to serve sugar, sugar spoons are advisable to be used especially in a formal setting.
Tea party anyone?
As mentioned earlier, there is a specific spoon that is used for its purpose – that is the soup spoon.
There are people that use a tablespoon as a utensil for eating soup, but a soup spoon is specifically designed for that dish.
It is a bit deeper in shape making it easy and comfortable for a person to scoop the soup without making a mess.
There are also two types of soup spoons, differentiating from their size and styles.
The two main variations are the British and Chinese soup spoons.
It’s easy to distinguish both as British spoons are small and the bowl is circular in shape.
On the other hand, Chinese soup spoons vary in size from small to extremely large ones.
They have an odd look handle that is thick and extends from the bowl.
Most Chinese soup spoons are made of ceramic but you can also find some that are made from different materials.
Dessert spoons are not the typical spoon that you can find in your collection set.
While it isn’t as common as a teaspoon, a dessert spoon is still essential for your silverware collection.
This may not be used every day by all people, dessert spoons are commonly served during formal settings.
It usually comes in with the dessert itself or is placed separately from the other utensils on the table.
These types of spoons have a more pointed shape compared to tablespoons that are rounded.
While it can be used to eat types of dishes, dessert spoons are generally designed for desserts.
If you’re preparing a drink for your guest, beverage spoons are widely used to stir your drink to perfection.
Beverage spoons are easily identifiable by their extremely long length of handle.
The handle is longer than the most common type of spoons as its main purpose is to stir glasses with drinks in them.
Not only does they vary in length, but they also differ in shape as its bowl is incredibly smaller than the normal size making it odd looking with the length of its handle.
Because of its length, beverage spoons are perfect to use even when stirring full glasses of drinks and tea as you’re sure your fingers don’t get wet.
Besides stirring drinks, beverage spoons have no other specific applications but you cannot miss out on this for your collection as they are still ideal to have, especially when hosting a cocktail party or pool party.
A Grapefruit spoon is a lesser known spoon but these are the type of spoons that are designed to help people eat citrus easily.
It has some similarities to a teaspoon such as its size and shape but the edge of the spoon is serrated which helps you eat citrus with no hassle.
Just a caution, if you are using this type of spoon or wanting your child to use it, be extra careful as the edges are sharp enough to accidentally cut or scratch you.
Another uncommon type of spoon is the absinthe spoon and only those that drink absinthe will definitely love this utensil.
The spoon is unique in its shape with a flat bowl and cuts in between making the absinthe allowable to flow through.
Unlike the common curved and deep bowl spoons, absinthe spoons are exactly the opposite in style.
There is also a notch in the handle for the spoon to be properly placed on the rim of the glass.
Absinthe spoons are used to help people who drink this with their rituals.
Caviar spoons used to be made out of wood, mother of pearl, gold, and animal horn.
People say that caviar spoons shouldn’t be made and served out of metal and ceramic as this may cause you not to get the full taste out of the caviar.
Its shape and size have different variations which can be as small as three inches up to five inches.
In addition, its bowl is shallow and small that makes this spoon perfectly used to scoop small bits of caviar.
These kinds of spoons are very rare to use aside from serving caviar mainly because of their tiny size and shape.
A common utensil that’s found in the household kitchen is the ladle.
Its primary use is to serve food that contains liquid such as soups and stews, letting you avoid making a mess while serving a scrumptious meal.
This kind of spoon is generally large in size with an elongated handle and a big and deep bowl attached to it.
Common ladles have the bowls attached straight with the handle, but there are others that are attached to an angle that makes lifting food from the pot a lot easier.
Other ladles have a pointed edge that makes it also easy to pour the liquid out of the utensil.
A slotted spoon is a type of large utensil used during food preparation.
They are intricately designed with holes, slots, and openings in the spoon allowing liquid to flow through smoothly when preparing food or serving.
The openings of the spoon allow larger bits of the food to remain on top of the spoon so that they can be served, while excess liquid flows through the slots or holes.
For large slots, they are best used for separating food from a cooking pot while smaller ones are ideal foods that are contained in the juice.
Standing by the name itself, a baby spoon is perfectly used for babies.
Once parents choose to transition from feeding their children liquid food to solid food, baby spoons are ideal as their size is small enough for a baby to swallow small pieces of food without risking the child’s safety.
Not only is it formed in small sizes and shapes, but they are also coated with silicone or soft rubber to make sure the child doesn’t accidentally get injured while eating.
Baby spoons are made from different materials but traditionally, there are families that keep heirloom spoons and pass them on to the next generation.
Other baby spoons are designed to have rubber tips in order for them to change the texture to know if the food served is no longer too hot for the baby.
After all, the last thing you’d want for your child is to get accidentally hurt while eating a delicious meal.
Risotto spoons are purposefully created to stir risotto and other sauces and creams.
Uncommon to most, risotto spoons have large holes in the middle of the utensil making a vortex in the pot.
With this, it ensures that food and ingredients in the pot are well-mixed.
Opposite to other wooden spoons, a risotto spoon doesn’t compress the ingredients once you batter, on the contrary, it makes everything lighter after stirring them.
Coffee Measuring Spoon
Coffee addicts, enthusiasts, and brewers should have this in their collection set as they will benefit from having this measuring spoon as part of their kitchen utensils.
If you want to brew a consistent taste of coffee, having a coffee measuring spoon would make an amateur barista be the best there is in their own household serving great cups of coffee.
The shape and size are deep in its bowl with measuring coffee grounds as its primary use.
It isn’t typically used for serving and eating, but if you want to be excellent in creating do-it-your-own coffee, better have one.
Named and known as the “espresso spoon,” the Demitasse Spoons size is smaller compared to ordinary ones.
The purpose of this is mainly to be used for espresso cups which are generally half the size of regular ones.
Materials used to manufacture these types of spoons are often gold, silver, and polished steel which makes the utensil very delicate and extremely durable at the same time.
It may vary in size but more often than not, its average is from three inches to four inches.
Last but not least is the serving spoon.
To make serving food at the table look more spectacular and clean, it’s highly important to have a serving spoon as one of your pieces of utensil collection.
Serving spoons are larger compared to regular tablespoons that are also used for eating.
These kinds of spoons are larger in the depth of bowls and longer handles, making it easier to serve the food on the table.
If you’re considering keeping some in your utensil set, get a variety of shapes and sizes for serving different dishes.
Spoons by Material
To do away with washing utensils, plastic spoons are also manufactured as a single-use utensil.
However, there are other plastic spoons that are more durable in material as they can be washed and reused as well.
Because of their delicate material, most plastic spoons are easy to bend and break if you’re not careful with them.
More often, plastic spoons are perfect for outdoor activities like picnics and camping as they are lightweight and easy to throw away.
However, if you’re about creating a greener and cleaner environment, you may do away with this kind of spoon.
Copper spoons look beautiful aesthetically, especially if you have pots and pans made from the same material.
While copper is a durable material to be used, a point to consider is to make sure not to use highly acidic food with this material as it can damage the copper itself.
For washing purposes, it’s much better to hand wash copper spoons if you don’t want to risk the danger of damaging them rather throwing them in the dishwasher.
Spoons made out of wood have more advantages than those that are not.
Its incredible length in handle makes it more comfortable and safer to use to avoid getting accidentally burnt by the high heat from the stove.
Plus, because it is not connected to any other material, it prevents you from worrying about burning your hand at some point because the material itself will not heat up.
Unlike metal spoons that react to acidic food, wooden spoons make the ideal type of spoon for cooking especially for pasta.
It’s highly important to remember not to wash wooden spoons in the dishwasher if you don’t want to damage this kitchen utensil.
More common now in the modern age, are stainless steel spoons.
The only downside of this material is to be watchful not to accidentally get burnt as they can get very hot.
If you’re not careful, stainless steel spoons may also cause scratches and damages to your pots and pans with their hard surface so you will want to be careful when using them to mix foods.
Another type of spoon that’s more durable than others is spoons made of food-grade silicones that could withstand extreme heat without risking damaging the utensil, despite leaving it in the pot for a longer period of time.
Additionally, what makes this kind of spoon popular is that silicone spoons are stain-resistant.
This means that they can withstand the odor and colors without getting stained.
The best part about silicone spoons is you don’t have to get worried about scratching the surface of your pan.
In fact, you can scrape every bit of sauce from the pan because of its material and just quickly throw them into the dishwasher if you’re ready to wash them.
Another type of spoon that has growing popularity now is the bamboo spoon.
Unlike wooden and plastic spoons, bamboo spoons are more durable and extremely flexible, and lightweight.
An advantage of this spoon is that it gets away with the bad smell from the spoon because it resists the stains that get attached to it.
Compared to other materials, bamboo spoons last longer than others which earns you more financial savings in the long run.
Porcelain spoons are commonly found during formal occasions only.
Due to its delicate and sophisticated material, it is very unusual to find this in ordinary or household gatherings.
Porcelain or ceramic spoons are looking very attractive and they are wonderful to use on special occasions.
Generally used for serving or as a sugar spoon, this is not an everyday utensil for meals.
Spoons with Special Features
If you’re thinking of sending a gift to a friend or a loved one, giving a customized engraved spoon will definitely stand out.
It’s a perfect gift idea to celebrate or remember a special event like a wedding or anniversary.
Also, it can be a fun gift choice for people that enjoy eating desserts.
If you’re beginning to find an interest in collecting spoons, purchasing a collection set would be a good way to start with.
A collection set makes your spoons look all the same and it would look very fancy and attractive if you start using them for ordinary gatherings or formal occasions.
A side-notched spoon is a larger kind of spoon with a notch attached to it making it easy to balance or placed on the side of the pot or pan.
The main purpose is to have it placed on the pot if you’re not actively stirring or cooking your meal.
It’s a thing of beauty since this prevents you from making a disastrous mess by accidentally spilling the food from the pot.
Hanging spoons are often used to scoop sticky substances, such as honey so that you won’t make a mess on your table.
The crooked handles are designed so that they can hang on the honey pot, preventing sticky substances from dripping.
Flat End Spoon
Dessert lovers would consider having a flat end kind of spoon mainly because it’s used to scrape even the bottom part of the dessert bowl.
It’s often found in restaurants and cafes, but if you’re having a sweet tooth, this utensil can be bought for your home kitchen utensil set.
Its tiny round shape is ideally created only for ice cream and other desserts only and not suited for other food.
Your dessert is all for you to enjoy!
If you want to express yourself in a fun and different way, buying a uniquely shaped spoon is one that you want to consider.
These shaped spoons are not as common as the round bowls, but they are a fun way to express your personality in making your meal for interesting.
It’s also a great gift idea that you want to give to someone and express how you feel about them.
If you want to show how much you love or care about them, a heart-shaped spoon is one that you want to give.
As you can see there are so many different types of spoons and they all have t heir place and purpose in your kitchen.
Perhaps you already have most of these or maybe there are a few that you had and didn’t know what they were used for.
With your new knowledge of spoons, you can take your baking, cooking and entertaining to the next level!
Check this list out if to see if your silverware collection is complete and what’s essential for your cooking needs.