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Why do we need ice cream scoops, anyway? Doesn’t a big spoon work just as well? The most important way a scoop can be more useful than a spoon is that it’s designed to avoid hand and muscle strain. This makes life much easier, and really, nothing to do with ice cream should be difficult or tiring at all!
Scoops are also designed to shape the food they’re being used for, whether it’s ice cream, muffin batter, cookie dough, or meatballs. And they also save time since the struggle of plowing a regular spoon through hard ice cream does take a lot of time, and these scoops are built to minimize that time and effort.
When looking for a great scoop, take into account features like: spring release levers, curved edges, ergonomic handles, materials that either do not conduct heat or cold, or, alternately, work to reduce the freeze on the surface of the tool, and spade-like scoops that work with sharp edges that can cut into hard ice cream.
Here are the best ice cream scoops to have in your kitchen drawer.
Best Overall: Sur La Table Stainless Steel Ice Cream Scoop
What We Like: Stainless steel design, spring lever release, consistent measurements
What We Don't Like: One size
Sur La Table is known for carrying high-quality kitchen tools and appliances, and this dishwasher-safe ice cream scoop is no different.
Designed to last for years, this ice cream scoop is solid stainless steel with a spring lever release. All you have to do is scoop out your ice cream then press the lever, and it's released in a perfect round ball shape. These easy-to-use lever scoops used to be more available in the market than they are currently, so it’s great to see this upgraded, excellent quality tool available now. The bonus of a spring-loaded scoop is that it works really well with all kinds of ice creams as well as scooping batter for muffins, meatballs, and cookies.
Best Overall, Runner-Up: Midnight Scoop Stainless Steel Ice Cream Scoop
What We Like: Solid stainless steel, ergonomic design, dishwasher safe
What We Don't Like: Pricey
A lot of attention was put into making this ice cream scoop easy to use, and it shows! In 2017, it was featured as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” and for good reason.
The handle is slightly curved and fits everyone perfectly. The solid stainless steel design also doesn’t have any potential breakage points. The scoop itself works to create beautifully round scoops of ice cream or any other food. The idea behind the design is to reduce stress on the hand and wrist while scooping. Instead, it's more evenly distributed up to your arm and into your shoulders, which helps immensely. Additionally, there's a lifetime warranty available, and it's dishwasher safe.
Best Budget: Presto Ice Cream Scoop
What We Like: Stainless steel design, curved tip, hanging hook
What We Don't Like: Hand wash only
This is a no-nonsense tool that does its job well! Presto's stainless steel ice cream scoop works well for all ice creams, frozen yogurts, sorbets, and budgets.
The scoop's curved tip and rounded edges work to make the sleek oval or round scoops easy to release. The con to this shape is that the scoop size can slightly vary, which is important for consistency with baked goods. It can be stored in a drawer or on a wall with its hanging hook and comes with a 12-year warranty. Hand-wash only.
Related: The Best Ice Cream Makers
Best Design: MoMA Dip Ice Cream Scoop
What We Like: Playful design, made from aluminum alloy
What We Don't Like: Hand wash only, pricey
Designed by award-winning team Arulinden for the Museum of Modern Art's design store, this ice cream scoop is quite different from the others.
To start with, it’s shaped like an actual ice cream cone, which fulfills the designer’s goal of the product having “an unexpected magic.” It’s made of cast aluminum alloy, a material that does not conduct heat or cold and gives it a different surface than the traditional stainless steel. It’s totally chic and truly capable! It's recommended that you wash this by hand.
Best Weighted Handle: Spring Chef Ice Cream Scoop
What We Like: Well-balanced weighted handle, available in various colors, dishwasher safe
What We Don't Like: Slightly heavy
Weighted handles mean you’ll have an easier job when you’re scooping hard ice cream. And this 8-ounce ice cream scoop will cut through that ice cream like butter.
The design is closer to a spade than a rounded scoop, with edges that are thinner than the center of the scoop. This translates to less strength needed to cut through solid ice cream and scoop it out. Made of zinc alloy—which won’t transfer heat or cold—and a rubber handle, it’s a heavy-duty tool. It’s available in nine gorgeous colors and offers a lifetime warranty. It's also safe to put in the dishwasher, an added bonus.
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Best Pointed: Balci Heavy Duty Ice Cream Scoop
What We Like: Rubber grip, pointed tip, dishwasher safe
What We Don't Like: Heavy
The most interesting thing about this ice cream scoop is its pointed tip, which is also somewhat spade-shaped rather than being more rounded.
It's made of solid stainless steel, including the handle, covered with rubber for comfort. The weight is well-balanced, the pointed spade powers smoothly into hard ice cream, and the solid strength makes scooping easier. The rubber grip is available in six colors, and the whole thing is dishwasher safe.
Best Anti-Freeze: Norpro Nonstick Anti-Freeze Ice Cream Scoop
What We Like: Unique anti-freeze design, ambidextrous
What We Don't Like: Hand wash only
Surprisingly, the idea of an electrically heated ice cream scoop hasn’t really come to fruition, though there have been attempts to create one. Somehow, they never really work right.
Norpro's Anti-Freeze ice cream scoops are the closest thing we have available, and this model works well. The smooth, solid handle is filled with a liquid that defrosts the outer surface of the aluminum scoop, making it easier to spoon out cold ice cream. The nonstick surface allows the ice cream to slide off into your bowl. It's recommended you hand wash only.
Related: The Best Blenders
The Midnight Scoop Ergonomic Ice Cream Scoop (view at Amazon) is your best bet if you have to scoop a lot of ice cream or if you’re working on trying to keep your lifestyle as ergonomic as possible. Meanwhile, the MOMA Dip Ice Cream Scoop (view at Food52) is useful, interesting, and beautiful.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Karen Resta is a NYC-based writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, restaurants, and particularly ice cream. A former executive chef who began her professional journey as a pastry chef, she travels around the globe as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic food and pastries along the way. She spends a lot of her free time in her kitchen and is passionate about finding quality within your given budget. Having the right tools and knowing how to use them makes all the difference in baking, cooking, and eating and she curated this list with that in mind.
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