On the ice cream scoops we tested, bowl shapes ranged from oval to shovel-shaped to round. The test subjects found it easier to scoop from tools with oval bowls.
An ice cream scoop should be able to dole out dairy with far less effort than a spoon. Even when plowing through the hardest pint, a good scoop won’t flex or break. Scooping the ice cream from the bowl should result in a pleasing ball as it is cut through easily. It’s not just about getting the ice cream out – you can do that with a butter knife, or by shoving your face into the pint – it’s also about molding it into the perfect shape for your Instagram-worthy sundae.
Using a scoop, you can serve consistently sized portions without the ice cream shards and massive icebergs you get with a spoon. It should release the payload without needing an excessive amount of flicking, and it shouldn’t leave chunks of ice cream behind. Digging out ice cream can be hard work, so the handle needs to be comfortable, too.
Ice cream removal tools come in three types: the scoop, the disher, and the spade. When we researched which models to test, we noticed a nearly universal preference for one-piece scoops, like our winner. It is common for reviewers to complain that disher-style designs, distinguished by the metal sweeper bar that clears the ice cream out of the inside of the bowl, are difficult to operate, and the mechanical parts tend to wear out over time.
Moreover, scoops designed for right-handed people are difficult for left-handed people to use. Generally, spades do not break down, but they have wide, flat ends that make them impractical when scooping from narrow containers. If you work in a gelato shop, serving soft ice cream from big tubs, these are better choices. We tested some dishers and spades, but we focused on scoops.
The bowl shapes we tested ranged from round to oval to ones that look like a shovel. Overall, we found that oval bowls did a better job of curling the ice cream onto itself. There were some round-bowl models that formed nice ice cream scoops, but they were uncomfortable to use because their wide heads created more resistance as you dug into the ice cream.
The handles on these tools can be solid or hollow; some are covered in grippy rubber. Our winning model is made of hollow, conductive aluminum and filled with a liquid that helps warm the bowl, which makes it easier to scoop hard ice cream. Testers also gravitated toward lightweight aluminum tools over the heavier-duty solid stainless steel models.
Scooping Ice Cream
The handle of our favorite ice cream scoop is round and comfortable. Forming spherical mounds from a variety of frozen desserts is easier with an ice cream scoop. Pints of “super-premium” chunky ice creams, such as Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Häagen-Dazs Rocky Road, and one-and-a-half-quart tubs of smoother, “premium” Turkey Hill French Vanilla and Friendly’s Chocolate Almond Chip, were used in the experiment. Ciao Bella’s Blood Orange Sorbetto was also scooped from pint-sized containers. For our scooping testing, these ice creams came in a variety of textures and densities.
Because they’re denser, “super-premium” ice creams seem harder out of the freezer than other kinds. The amount of air absorbed into the product during the churning process is referred to as “overrun” in the ice cream industry. More air is trapped in the ice cream with a higher overrun, making scooping and portioning easier. Professor Robert Roberts, chairman of Penn State University’s food science department, states that super-premium ice cream is 20 to 30 percent overrun, whereas premium brands are 80 to 100 percent.
Four testers, a mix of righties and lefties, with varied hand sizes and strengths, were lined up. Using the equipment, the testers scooped two or three times from ice cream cartons, pouring the contents into pint containers or onto sugar cones. We kept track of the shape of the ice cream part, how comfortable the handle was, and how smoothly the scoop released the ice cream while testers rated the scoops.
The one-piece scoops with oval bowls worked best and were the most user-friendly. The simple design was favoured by testers over machines that released the ice cream manually via a sweeper bar or lever. Many of the scoops included an ambidextrous handle that was convenient for both left and right-handed people.
Uniformity of the Ice Cream Scoops
The ice cream curls in on itself in an oval bowl, making a lovely spherical ball.
Of course, a scoop should be easy to use, but it should also produce round ice cream balls. We scooped ice cream from a variety of containers to see how effectively each model molded it, and we gave points to models that produced round orbs.
Using ice cream scoops with oval bowls, such as our winning Zeroll, testers had a better time making ice cream balls. The oval form helps the dairy to curl in on itself as you scrape across the ice cream, as previously described. Shovel-shaped heads performed poorly, necessitating more work to pack the ice cream into a ball.
The spherical bowls of the disher-style scoops made nice spheres, but the sweeper bar frequently left fragments of ice cream in the scoop, and some of the tools had uncomfortable grips. The Scoop That II features a round head that makes excellent spheres and a comfortable handle, but digging and tugging it across hard ice cream was difficult with its large bowl of little over two inches wide.
We then placed the scoops on typical sugar cones to examine if any of the models produced excessively huge or little servings. The majority of the scoops produced a piece that was roughly the same size as or slightly larger than the cone’s opening. Almost all of the scoops we tested had bowls that produced a two- to three-ounce piece, which is approximately the appropriate size for two or three scoops of ice cream. Many pro-style scoops, such the Zeroll, feature color-coded handles with numbers stamped on them that indicate the number of pieces the tool can make from a quart of ice cream, which can range from 100 small orbs to four large balls.
Ease of Release
A bowl that does not release cleanly can ruin a flawless scoop of ice cream. The ease with which each scoop placed the ice cream into an empty quart container was remarked by the testers. We have Reviews for the best ice cream scoop, in case you are looking for recommendation
The better models immediately release the ice cream without leaving much behind in the bowl or without lengthy shaking. It didn’t take much effort for our winning Zeroll to drop the ice cream, and it wasn’t substantially more grippier than the company’s nonstick-coated counterpart. The scoops with disher-style and shovel-shaped bowls left more ice cream behind than those with oval bowls, which released ice cream with no effort.
Handle Shape and Material
It’s not always easy to get ice cream out of a rock-hard pint, especially the first scoop. If the handle is sturdy and comfy, you’ll be less aware of the difficulty. Our test models had a variety of handles, from bare metal to hard plastic to rubbery grips around solid metal. The scoops were used by both lefty and righty testers, who rated them on comfort.
Rubber handles were considered to be comfortable by testers, however every model with a rubber handle also came with a shovel-shaped bowl, which is more difficult to use. The Midnight Scoop, the most costly model we tested, features a solid stainless steel body that is weighty and balanced.
Unfortunately, pushing the ice cream rather than scooping and rounding it is far easier. Our winner has a smooth handle with a circumference of around three and a half inches, which was comfortable for majority of the testers. The Good Cook model has a bowl that splits apart when the handles are released; while it created great ice cream balls and released them effortlessly, testers disliked having to squeeze the handles shut while scooping.
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