Bonnie: The easy way to remove the fat from any homemade soup is first to refrigerate it, so that fat solidifies in a layer at the top. Just scrape off and discard. But that’s not always possible, when you’re making a soup to serve immediately. Another method is to use a plastic fat separator that looks like a liquid measuring cup with a long spout: You pour soup into it, the fat rises to the top and you pour out the liquid from the spout with none of the fat.

That’s all well and good, but this new Fat Skimming Ladle from NexTrend is even easier. Just dip the ladle into the soup and tilt it back (see the cute little illustration). Because fat sits on theLadle_NexTrend_Function surface, the soup pours back into the pot, leaving just the fat. Just discard and repeat.

Of course, the Fat Skimming Ladle can also be used as a regular ladle for serving soup. Easy to store, easy to clean.

Bryan: Today’s company, NexTrend Products, is the outcome of one man’s passion to develop new kitchen tools that are both simple in design and amazingly functional. Beginning in 2002, NexTrend Products hit the market with its first (and most important) product to date; the innovative gadget was the Garlic Twist, and the introduction changed the landscape of garlic gadgets, launching NexTrend onto the housewares scene. The Garlic Twist has won an unprecedented six industry awards for excellence, and NexTrend focused the first seven years of its company on this bestselling first product, but now, NexTrend has started to develop and produce several other groundbreaking kitchen gadgets that are quietly making a major impact.

The newest kid on the block is NexTrend’s Fat Skimming Ladle, a truly revolutionary product that makes removing the fat from the stocks and broths quick and easy. At first glance, the ladle seems just like any other, but that’s where the similarities end. The experience begins when you dip the ladle into your simmering broth; once you’ve scooped up a full helping, simply lift the ladle and tilt it back. Fat is less dense than the surrounding liquid, and therefore floats on the surface. The unique design of the skimming ladle allows you to tilt it back, pouring your broth through the back spout, leaving only the fat remaining in the ladle. Throw out the fat and continue to repeat as necessary until your broth gets closer and closer to “fat-free.”

The ladle also works fine as a “normal” ladle, so why not get twice the functionality out of your next houseware purchase? Some gadgets are more than meets the eye!

Eric: Some design team at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is certainly wondering how this idea from NexTrend got past them; it seems that the simplest changes to the most commonplace problems are often the most effective.

The Fat Skimming Ladle is one of those kitchen tools that will stand the test of time, and as my brother previously noted: Why not get twice the functionality out of your next kitchen utensil?

NexTrend is certainly one company to keep your eye on. Improving on a fundamental utensil isn’t easy, yet they’re continuing to push the boundaries. Next up: the fat free fork?

The NexTrend Fat Skimming Ladle is available at the Bite of the Best shop