To create a picture-perfect dollop of ice cream on a cone or in a dish, you need an ice-cream scoop.
Putting aside the temptation to eat the entire carton of ice cream at once, scoops make quick work of dishing out hard ice creams. We tested to see which ones worked best on hard versus soft ice creams, plain ice creams versus those with chocolate chips, how easily ice cream slid out of the scoop and the scoop uniformity. Our testers included one 9-year-old boy and an adult man and woman with average-sized hands.
Two tips to make any scooping experience a success: Use warm water on the scoop at least once, and glide the scoop across the top of the carton at a 45-degree angle to create the most uniform and pretty scoops.
ZEROLL ALUMINUM ICE CREAM SCOOP
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Zeroll manufactures scoops in the United States in assorted sizes and types. We tested the 2-ounce scoop and found it the adults’ overall favorite. It’s made of aluminum with a heat-conductive fluid inside the handle to keep the metal handle from getting too cold and eliminating the need to keep dunking it in warm water. It slid effortlessly across the ice cream whether it was hard or soft. It struggled a bit to excise the larger chocolate chips, but not by much. It released perfectly in the dish or on a cone in near-perfect two-ounce rounds. Zeroll also offers custom engraving on the scoops. $18.50 at zeroll.com
ZYLISS THE RIGHT SCOOP
Of the four tested, Zyliss had the largest scoop, nearly one-half cup for one scoop. The handle is ergonomically designed, with a built-in thumb rest. Larger hands seemed to like the design of the handle the best, while our kid tester thought it was a bit big. The scoop worked smoothly with both hard and soft ice cream and handled chocolate chips fine. It also produced nice-looking scoops in the dish. On a cone, make sure to center the scoop properly because of the larger serving size. Dishwasher-safe, with a five-year guarantee. $10.99 at zyliss.com
OXO SOLID STAINLESS STEEL ICE CREAM SCOOP
The form of Oxo’s scoop is slightly different, with a pointed center edge and flat side edges, which Oxo says helps with harder ice creams and sorbets. The pointed edge made quick work on frozen chocolate chunks as the scoop lifted them with little effort. It was probably the best of all scoops at this chore. We also were impressed at how the flat edges picked up every morsel of ice cream on the sides or bottom of the carton. This was the 9-year-old’s favorite scoop. Scoop sizes were consistently 2 ounces. While it didn’t always make the most picturesque scoops, you could mold it to improve presentation. Dishwasher-safe. $14.99 at oxo.com
CALPHALON GADGETS ICE CREAM SCOOP
A lightweight, comfortable handle for all hand sizes, Calphalon’s scoop worked best on softer ice cream. Scoops were a little less uniform, but generally about 2½ ounces, so slightly larger than the other brands. Like those from the Oxo, the scoops weren’t as pretty on the initial release, but could be easily fashioned. It did a pretty good job at scraping all the ice cream off the sides of the carton, too. Lifetime warranty, dishwasher-safe. $9.95 at calphalon.com