The Best Ice Cream Scoops

The best ice cream scoop for your needs awaits. Because whether you’re a nightly indulger or just an occasional partaker, you really need something that can do the job with ease and grace. After all, ice cream cravings wait for no one.

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There’s never been a better time to be an ice cream lover. We consider ourselves novelty frozen dessert connoisseurs, and few food trends over the last decade have brought us as much satisfaction as the explosion of quality artisan ice cream.

No longer are the days of choosing between only Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s (don’t come for us, we still love them). The 2010s brought a groundswell of craveable new offerings in ice creams (Jeni’s, Salt & Straw, Coolhaus, the list goes on), gelato (Talenti and Revolution), low-calorie options (Halo Top), and plant-based alternatives galore (Arctic Zero, Ripple, SO Delicious). And there’s no shortage of pint-of-the-month clubs who will deliver innovative ice creams from all across the country to your doorstep.

Unfortunately, we entered this artisanal churning renaissance woefully unprepared for the toll this would take on our dinner spoons, which were NOT equipped for this much scooping. Artisanal ice creams have higher butterfat contents, meaning firmer ice creams and heartier mix-ins. After having discarded enough bent spoons for a found-art sculptor to craft their magnum opus, we knew it was time to up our game. If you’re looking for a scoop that’s as robust as your undying love for homemade ice cream, here are our favorites.

The No-Frills, No-Nonsense Choice

Don’t let the playful pop of color deceive you: these scoops mean business. Some metal ice cream scoops only have metal scoop ends fused to a plastic handle, and if you’ve had one of those snap in half on you when you’re digging into your go-to flavor, that’s the culprit. Not so with this one, featuring full stainless steel construction with a BPA-free rubber-coated handle for better grip. In fact, they’ve never heard from customers of a single one snap.

The chisel-pointed tip is perfect for digging into firmer churns and can even be color-coordinated with SUMO’s rectangular ice cream containers, one of our favorite ways to store our homemade creations.

The Multi-Tasker

Many of us are loathe to add more clutter to our kitchens and refuse to welcome one-trick gadgets into our drawers. Thankfully, that can’t be said about this spring-loaded wonder from Norpro. First, it creates perfect mounds of ice cream thanks to the metal arm that dislodges scoop after scoop with ease and precision.

Better yet, its 1/4 cup volume is the perfect size for so many other kitchen tasks, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one. We find the scoop is exactly what we need for easily portioning out consistent doses of cupcake and muffin batter, meatball mixture, cookie dough, pancake and waffle batter, even cooked grains and mashed potatoes.

The fully 18/8 stainless steel body can go straight into the dishwasher (although if any batter dried on the mechanism, you may need to first let it soak in warm water for easier cleaning).

The OG

Similar to a Le Creuset Dutch oven or traditional white French porcelain, this classic will never go out of style, having been around since 1935. These Made-in-the-USA scoops distinguish themselves by being a unibody aluminum scoop that’s been hollowed out and filled with a heat-conductive liquid that channels the heat of your hand into keeping the scoop warm enough to glide through ice cream. We promise it’s unlike anything you’ve ever used before and it’s very hard to go back to any other scoop once you’ve tried this one.

Also, what gives ice cream its volume is the air trapped during the churning process. Most traditional scoops, including those above, can compress the ice cream, forcing the air out. The design of this scoop helps roll the ice cream into perfect rounded portions and reduces compression, which can actually lead to more scoops per gallon of ice cream (read: fewer calories per scoop)! Whatever you do though, don’t put this in the dishwasher, as it will destroy the seal and cause all the liquid to leak out. Hand wash only.

© 2021 Jack Van Amburg. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.