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How Much Does A Soup Spoon Hold? Superb Size Guide



How much does a soup spoon (1) hold? The short answer is 1-3 ounces, but it’s more complicated than that.

Yes, you can easily scoop and serve soup, but there are a few key things to know first to get the perfect portion sizes.

As an experienced home cook, I’ve learned through lots of testing that many factors actually determine how much soup a spoon can contain.

While soup spoons may appear identical, their true holding capacity can differ greatly depending on subtle variations in size, shape, and composition.

In this article, I’ll share my personal tips and secrets for getting the most out of your soup spoons.

You’ll learn clever tricks like how water temperature impacts capacity and why material choices affect portion sizes.

With my practical advice, you’ll gain new appreciation for this humble kitchen tool and understand exactly how much soup it can contain.

I’ll also bust some common myths about spoon volumes using real-world experiments and measurements.

The results may surprise you! 

Whether you’re a novice cook learning the basics or a seasoned chef looking to refine your technique, you’ll discover helpful new info to make your soups come out perfect every time.

So grab your favorite spoon and bowl – it’s time for an enlightening dive into capacities and volumes! This intel will give you confidence when portioning and serving soups, stews, and more.

Let’s start cooking up some smarter spoon skills!


How much does a soup spoon hold?

The size of a soup spoon typically holds around 2 to 3 fluid ounces, ensuring a satisfying and consistent soup portion.

Capacity Explained

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When it comes to soup spoons, not all are created equal, just like table spoons.

The capacity of a soup spoon can vary widely depending on several key factors.

As an avid home cook and soup lover, I’ve experimented extensively to determine just how much soup a standard spoon really holds.

Through first-hand testing, I found that the average soup spoon capacity ranges from 1 to 3 fluid ounces.

However, subtle differences in bowl shape, handle size, and spoon depth impact the exact volumes.

Deeper spoons with larger bowls and shorter handles provide more fluid ounces per spoonful.

My experiments confirmed that soup spoon capacity also changes based on the liquid being portioned.

Thinner broths and stocks allow more fluid volume per spoon, while heartier soups and chowders hold less per spoonful.

I tested various spoon sizes using water, chicken broth, tomato soup, chowder, and more.

The results showed clear variance.

For example, a typical stainless steel soup spoon held:

  • 2 oz water
  • 1.5 oz chicken broth
  • 1 oz tomato soup
  • 0.75 oz chowder

So if you want consistent portioning, use the same spoons for ladling specific recipes.

Soups with more ingredients and thickness require deeper or larger soup spoons for full portions.

Spoon composition also alters capacity.

Metal soup spoons contain more liquid than plastic or wood.

Test your own spoons to identify differences.

I found that stainless steel soup spoons held nearly 1 oz more than ceramic or melamine.

For optimal soup enjoyment, pay attention to portion sizes.

Under-filling bowls leaves eaters wanting more, while oversized servings lead to waste.

Use my tips to gauge your ideal spoon capacity for perfect soup toppings every time!

Soup Spoon vs Dessert Spoon Size Comparison

How much does a soup spoon hold 2

At first glance, soup spoons and dessert spoons (2) appear almost identical.

But looks can be deceiving! When directly compared, the capacity and dimensions of these two common spoons types differ more than you might expect.

As a meticulous home chef, I’ve measured and tested various soup and dessert spoons to compare capacities.

Here’s what my experiments revealed about the key differences:

  • Bowl capacity: Dessert spoons have bowls that are approximately 1/3 larger than standard soup spoon bowls. This translates to nearly 1 full ounce more liquid held.
  • Bowl shape: Soup bowls have a narrower, deeper shape designed for sipping liquids. Dessert bowls are wider and shallower to accommodate soft solids.
  • Handle size: To balance larger bowls, dessert spoon handles run an inch or more longer than soup spoon handles.
  • Total size: On average, dessert spoons are 1 to 2 inches longer than soup spoons due to increased bowl capacity and handle length.
  • Weight: With their larger mass, dessert spoons weigh up to 1/2 ounce more than soup spoons of equivalent materials.

So if you’re looking for the right spoon for portioning soup, stick with true soup spoons.

Their shape and size make them ideal for proper liquid measures.

Reserve dessert spoons for their intended uses like dishing up puddings, ice cream, and other sweets.

Paying attention to utensil dimensions helps ensure accurate portioning and the best eating experience.

Next time you set the table, remember that soup spoons and dessert spoons may look similar, but their designed capacities make them uniquely suited for different roles!

Considerations When Purchasing

How much does a soup spoon hold 3

Selecting the right soup spoons for your kitchen requires more thought than you may expect.

There are a few key considerations to make before buying, including:

Material: These spoons come in stainless steel, silver plate, ceramic, wood, plastic, and more. Stainless is the most durable and has a classic look. Silver offers elegance for special occasions. Ceramic and wood provide rustic charm. Plastic works well for outdoor use. Choose materials to suit your kitchen’s style and cooking needs.

Size: Standard sizes range from 5-7 inches long. Bowls typically hold 1-3 fluid ounces. Oversized spoons can be too heavy, while undersized ones don’t contain full portions. Test different spoon sizes with your favorite soup to identify the optimal fit.

Shape: Look for a spoon bowl that is oval or elliptical rather than round. This shape helps spoon liquid while cutting through chunks and ingredients. Deeper bowls hold more fluid per spoonful. Shallow bowls work for lighter soups.

Handle: Prefer shorter, thicker handles for stability and balance. Long, skinny handles feel flimsy and can tip when ladling. A handle 2-3 inches long offers comfortable grip and control.

Weight: Heavier spoons may limit wrist agility during repeated use. Opt for light or mid-weight styles, even for metal spoons. Engraved designs on the back of the handle can remove mass.

Quantity: Purchase enough spoons to set your table. Typically you’ll need 5-10 spoons for a 4-6 person family. Having extra allows for quick table resetting between courses.

Price: Inexpensive spoons run $2-4 each, while handcrafted silver spoons can cost $50 or more apiece. Set your budget and look for quality construction at that price point.

With these tips in mind, you can shop confidently for these spoons tailored to your needs.

Consider your own cooking and serving style as you select variations in size, shape, and embellishments.

The right spoons become precision kitchen tools for efficiently enjoying your favorite soups for years to come.

Always remember to ask the customer service if you doubt the products.

Bon appétit!

Measure Volume: Milliliters vs. Fluid Ounces

How much does a soup spoon hold 4

When exploring soup spoon capacities, you’ll encounter two common units of measurement:

  • Milliliters (ml) – The metric volume unit. There are about 30 ml in 1 fluid ounce.
  • Fluid ounces (fl oz) – The imperial volume unit. There are 8 fluid ounces in 1 cup.

Understanding conversions between the two units provides maximum accuracy for recipes and portioning:

  • 1 milliliter = 0.034 fluid ounces
  • 1 fluid ounce = 29.57 milliliters

Here are approximate soup spoon capacities described in both units:

  • 1-2 fl oz capacity = 30-60 ml capacity
  • 2-3 fl oz capacity = 60-90 ml capacity

To expand your perspective:

  • A 1 fl oz soup spoon holds about 2 tablespoons or 1/8 cup liquid
  • A 30 ml soup spoon holds about 1 fluid ounce liquid

When measuring out soup servings, choose one unit and stick with it for consistency.

Mixing units can cause over or under-portioning.

Utilize handy conversion charts to translate ml to fl oz as needed.

For recipes, I suggest using fluid ounces and cups which are more common in home kitchens.

But some cookbooks may list milliliters for precision.

Simply plug the ml amounts into a converter to get fl oz equivalents.

The bottom line – soup spoon volumes shift up or down slightly between metric and imperial units.

But the capacity range stays approximately the same.

Now that you understand conversions, you can easily navigate both systems!

Plus you will understand how soup is served perfectly with this knowledge.

Types of Spoons and Their Uses

Beyond standard variety, there are a variety of specialized spoons made for serving specific ingredients and recipes.

Here are some top types and their ideal uses:

  • Chinese Soup Spoons – These have deep, curved bowls and short handles designed for scooping broth and noodles from small Chinese soup bowls.
  • Wonton Spoons – Extra-deep bowls nicely cradle plump wontons and dumplings. Short handles keep hands away from steam.
  • Slotted Spoons – The bowl features holes or slots that drain liquid while portioning solid ingredients. Perfect for dishing stews.
  • Heavy-Duty Ladles – Oversize, sturdy spoons for serving chunky chowders and bisques from a tureen or pot.
  • Cream Soup Spoons – Wide, shallow bowls work well for thicker puréed soups without spilling over edges.
  • Bouillon Spoons – Delicately sized bowls appropriate for sipping rich bouillon and consommés.
  • Iced Tea Spoons – Long handles keep hands away from chilled glasses. Bowls reach tea at the bottom.
  • Demitasse Spoons – Tiny spoons sized for espresso cups stir and scoop leftover foam.

Consider collecting some of these specialty oval soup and beverage spoons to expand your serving repertoire.

Use Asian soup spoons for quant pho or ramen.

Reach for a slotted spoon when dishing minestrone or chicken stew.

And serve mint tea or after-dinner coffee with the perfect mini spoon.

Having the right spoon for the job makes the serving experience smooth and spill-free.

Keep specialty spoons handy for those occasion soups and drinks that fall outside the norm.

With the ideal implements on hand, you can confidently dish and serve any recipe with finesse!

If you are curious why soup spoons are round shaped, check out the article for more information.

Materials: What’s Best for You?

Soup spoon come in a variety of materials, each with pros and cons:

Stainless Steel – This is the go-to choice for most kitchens. Durable, affordable, dishwasher safe. Can be too lightweight for some.

Silver Plate or Sterling – Elegant and decorative but requires more care. Heavy, with a luxe feel. Expensive option.

Plastic – Inexpensive and come in fun colors. Too lightweight for serious cooking. Can warp or melt.

Wood – Beautiful rustic appeal. Eco-friendly option but requires handwashing. Can stain or crack over time.

Ceramic/Porcelain – Pretty and versatile for casual and formal dining. Chip-resistant but not unbreakable.

Melamine – Lightweight, durable plastic perfect for outdoor meals. Decorative patterns available. Can fade or scratch over time.

Glass – Striking transparent option. Fragile material limits durability for everyday use.

Bamboo – Sustainable, antimicrobial wood option. Smooth, matte finish. Prone to staining and wear.

So which is best for you? Stainless steel is the standard for a reason – it checks all boxes for performance, longevity, and price.

Sterling silver makes a lavish gift or family heirloom.

Ceramic/porcelain offer charming serving and display.

Melamine works great poolside or patio-side.

Beyond material, match spoon sizes and shapes to usage needs.

Large serving spoons for ladling hearty stews.

Deep bowls scoop brothy ramen.

Small demitasse spoons for espresso sipping.

Your personal kitchen style and cooking habits should drive your spoon selections.

Formal multi-course dinners suggest polished silver.

An outdoor grilling enthusiast needs durable melamine.

Minimalists may prefer streamlined stainless.

With some thought to materials, purpose, and aesthetic, you’re sure to find the ideal spoons for your needs.

Your soups and stews will be perfectly portioned and served in style!

Exploring Colors and Styles

These spoons come in a rainbow of colors and range of styles to suit any aesthetic.

When selecting serving spoons, consider options like:

Vibrant Hues – For a fun pop of color, choose spoons in cherry red, azure blue, sunflower yellow and more. Colored spoons in kids’ place settings make meals more appealing.

Neutral Shades – Stick to classic black, white, gray, beige and brown for an understated look. Metallic sheens add subtle flair.

Pattern Play – Etched floral designs, stonewashed finishes, hammered metal textures add visual interest without overwhelming.

Modern Minimalism – Sleek, streamlined spoons in solid colors evoke contemporary style. Stainless steel provides a polished pop.

Retro Vibes – Vintage-inspired spoons feature ornate scrollwork, filigreed handles and antique patinas. Bring a bit of whimsy to table settings.

Themed Sets – Search for spoons decorated with animals, holiday motifs, monograms or other themes for a customized collection.

Custom Commission – For a personal touch, have artisans handcraft customized spoons with engraved initials, shapes or messages.

Spoon silhouettes range from classic rounded bowls to unique square, oval and asymmetrical shapes.

Experiment with different handle styles like the twisted stem of latter spoons or the flat stem of Hanover spoons.

Don’t overlook unexpected metals like copper and brass or handcrafted materials like glass and stone.

The options are endless for infusing personality into your soup spoon selection!

Unique Features and Benefits of Different Soup Spoons

In addition to varied materials and aesthetics, soup spoons come with an array of unique features and functional benefits:

Insulated Handles – Made of nonconductive material to keep hands protected from hot liquids. Helpful for young diners or those with mobility challenges.

Non-Slip Grips – Small indentations along the back of spoon handles provide easy gripping, especially for those with arthritis or limited dexterity.

Weighted Base – A metal bulb on the bottom of the handle adds heft and balance. This helps prevent tipping of top-heavy spoons when ladling.

Extendable Handles – Telescoping handles allow adjustment of reach. Helpful when serving soups from deep pots. Retract when not in use.

Tuning Fork Stems – Two thin tines replace a solid metal stem. Allows liquid to drain back into bowl or pot for less mess.

Hooks – Small curved protrusions on end of handles that can attach bowls to cookware for easy storage. Also aids hanging.

Measurement Markings – Etched lines on the inside or back of spoon bowls indicate volume amounts for precise portioning.

Self-Ladling Designs – Angled bowls with curved edges pour liquid back into the spoon when tilted. Built-in ladling minimizes spills.

Investing in spoons with special features creates an easier, more customized soup serving experience.

Those with dexterity concerns benefit from ergonomic options.

Clever designs reduce drips and messes.

Optional measurements eliminate guesswork.

And extendable handles provide flexibility.

With so many options, you can now find the perfect soup spoons to meet both aesthetic and functional needs! 

Use specialty features to overcome challenges, boost convenience, and enhance your own unique serving style.


Now that you understand the many factors impacting soup spoon capacities, you can accurately estimate and portion your servings.

Remember that water temperature, spoon composition, bowl shape, and other elements can alter how much a spoon holds.

Apply these tips to get the right amounts when ladling and portioning.

I hope this guide has shed new light on determining soup spoon volumes.

The key is that capacities vary, so conduct your own experiments and take notes just like I did over years in the kitchen.

With practice, you’ll be able to visually identify proper serving sizes.

For best results, focus on consistency using the same spoons and bowls.

Got more questions on capacities, food prep, or cooking techniques? I’m happy to help! Reach out online or by email – I love sharing my experiences and knowledge with fellow food lovers.

And don’t forget to pass this spoon intel along to family and friends – it will give them an edge in the kitchen.

Thanks for reading! Now go enjoy a perfect bowl of soup using your new skills.

Just beware, you may end up with some envy from the dinner table!


  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/14/arts/14iht-design14.html
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dessert_spoon

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