I don’t like it when I’m scooping ice cream and it’s coming out in shavings... I want to eat ice cream scoops. Is this easier to get with the ice cream scoops that have a chrome finish? Is it easier when the scooper has a pointy tip? Do you have to get one of those scoops with the mechanism that detaches the ice cream from it if you want to get perfect scoops?

  • I would not have thought this is a life hack question? More like a what is best specified tool for specified job?
    – TiO
    Jun 8, 2018 at 10:05
  • @TiO I agreed at first, but now I'm not sure. Essentially the question is "How should I scoop ice create to make the job easy and to get the best-looking scoops?" That is almost a life-hack question, but it might get better answers on the Seasoned Advice StackExchange site. That focuses on cooking and food preparation. Jun 8, 2018 at 14:40

3 Answers 3


The HACK: It ain't the tool. It's the temperature.
How to Set Your Ice Cream Freezer Thermostat to Hit the Optimal Scooping Temperature

  • Ice Cream is Best Scooped at a temperature of zero to +6 degrees F (-18 C to -14 C ).
  • Gelato is Best Scooped at a Temperature range of zero to +12 degrees F (-18 C to -11 C).
    Depends a lot on the gelato.
  • Italian Ice is Best Served at a Temperature of +10 to +18 degrees F (-12 C to -8 C).

Ice cream lover and past worker in an ice cream shop here

Some tool and comparisons:

1. Simple metal spoon

When I used to work in an ice cream shop, we had those:

enter image description here

It created nice scoops very easily. Between uses, it lays in a small container of water, to clean it between uses. I'm pretty sure that the fact it was wet helped releasing the ice cream scoop on the cone easily.

2. Metal spoon with a release mechanism

At home, I now have this type of spoon, with the release mechanism - I don't find it very useful or better compared to the previous one.

enter image description here

3. Flat serving tool

There's also the flat tool that with it you can create some forms - you can create a scoop or a cone from the ice cream, but you need a little more experience and practice to get a nice shape with that:

I'm not sure if that's exactly the one, but similar (never used it).

enter image description here

4. Plastic spoon

I find them the least comfortable, I don't like using them, not recommending.

5. Spoon with pointy tip

Never saw an ice cream shop using it, and never used it myself.

General notes:

  1. To get a nice scoop or any other shape, the ice cream must be in a good and steady shape and temperature. If it's soft - it won't work (or at least not easily). Check out Stan's answer about desired temperatures.
  2. Wash the spoon between scoops, so pieces won't pass the other tastes, and that it would be easier and smoother to scoop and release.
  3. With the 3'rd tool, it's the easiest to screw up - most of the places that I see that don't know how to serve ice cream, are using this tool without knowing how to use it.
  • There was the Midnight Scoop also. There was also a trick to place the scoop in warm water then use it on the ice cream but it melted the ice cream too much.
    – fja3omega
    Jun 11, 2018 at 3:08
  • Scoop number 1 looks like one that I used to own. It's filled with some sort of gel and supposedly transfers the heat of your hand more effectively. I can verify that it does feel extremely cold to the touch after you've done 1 or 2 scoops. They are on Amazon as "Eazi-Scoop". WARNING, do not wash in dishwasher or it will be ruined - hence I used to own one but no longer do.
    – Lefty
    Jun 11, 2018 at 19:59

Briefly dip the scoop in warm water. You want to melt a very thin layer of ice for the scoop to glide on.

This gets easier if the ice is at the right temperature. It can help to remove the ice from the freezer about half an hour before you plan to serve it (depending on your ambient temperature).

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