Deliciousness is just around the corner. With the right ice cream scoop, you can dish out smooth, round parcels of ice cream for the whole family, without chipping or prying and without losing your patience.
While a big spoon can scoop softer desserts, nothing works like a real ice cream scoop for cutting through frozen treats like sorbet, sherbet, and ice cream. These handheld tools feature a single handle connected to fist-size metal scooper that slices, lifts, and releases ice cream smoothly into a bowl or cone.
Ice cream scoops come in two varieties: dippers and dishers. Dippers are classic scoops with no moving parts, while dishers have a trigger release mechanism built into the handle. Whichever style you choose, the best ice cream scoops distinguish themselves for easy, perfectly proportioned scooping power. All you have to do is choose one, then dig in and enjoy.
- BEST OVERALL: Midnight Scoop Ergonomic Ice Cream Scooper
- BEST DESIGN: Tovolo Tilt Up Ice Cream Scoop, Chrome Plated
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Spring Chef Ice Cream Scoop
- BEST MULTISIZE SET: Homure H Ice Cream Dishers Scoop Set
- BEST WITH TRIGGER: ZESPROKA Ice Cream Scoop with Trigger Release
- BEST FOR HARD ICE CREAM: Wilton Summer Ice Scoop
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Ice Cream Scoop
It may be tempting to quickly buy the least expensive option, but it’s helpful to consider and compare the material, type, and other features. While you can find very affordable scoops that don’t skimp on quality materials, slightly upgraded scoops may last longer, costing fractions of a penny with each use. Keep reading to learn about some of the features that can help you achieve ice cream scoop shopping success.
Scoop and Handle Design
The design of an ice cream scoop can affect how well it scoops. Traditionally, scoop heads are round, but newer versions are oval or slightly pointed at the sides with thin edges to provide extra cutting power without being dangerous. Handle design also varies. Ergonomic and injury-reducing options include curved handles to push instead of pry ice cream loose, saving your wrists from stress. There are scoop rests to prevent drips and comfy, hand-friendly grips.
In general, classic dippers with no moving parts are best for purists. These scoops are intended specifically for frozen desserts like hard ice cream, sorbet, and sherbet. Their handles are seamlessly welded to the head for toughness.
Dishers, or trigger scoops, have a spring-release mechanism built into the handle. The mechanism helps release sticky ice cream or other foods more easily. Trigger scoops are best for multipurpose cooks and are useful for cookie baking and cupcake making as well as serving mashed potatoes, stuffing, and other favorites.
Quality matters when it comes to ice cream scoops. Made from metal, the scoop’s head is the part that actually does the scooping. There are a few different metal options, including coated zinc, stainless steel, nickel-plated metal, and aluminum. Stainless steel is a good choice for its long-lasting durability as well as its noncoated, nonstick surface. Ice cream scoops with metal-plated surfaces tend to peel, blister, or corrode more easily than stainless steel.
The handle is usually a combination of plastic, metal, or nylon. While metal handles give you good weight and leverage for prying rock-solid ice cream out of containers, they also can be cold and painful to grip when scooping a lot of treats. Handles that have built-in rubberized grips offer additional comfort and control. Some ice cream scoop handles also contain an antifreeze fluid that helps melt ultracold ice cream, making it easier to cut. However, these ice cream scoops aren’t always dishwasher safe and may not last as long or be as effective as fluid-free handles over time.
The best ice cream scoops don’t necessarily cost a lot of money. Even the very best scoop on this list costs less than $50. In general, scoops priced between $20 and $30 are made with dependable materials, have solid construction, and offer efficient, easy-to-use designs. There also are quality scoops on the market that cost less than $10. However, when it comes to selecting kitchen tools, sustainability often means a slightly bigger investment up front for durable tools that are both a joy to use and will likely save money in the long run.
Our Top Picks
Beautiful and well-designed, the best ice cream scoops have a good “hand feel,” meaning the perfect weight and balance when resting the scoop handle in your hand. The following scoops were selected based on their comfort and ease, ability to cut through even the hardest ice cream, and durable construction.
Hard, frozen treats are no match for the Midnight scooper. It’s all about pushing ice cream loose, not prying. The unique design with a curved handle offers plenty of leverage, protecting your wrists from strain in the process. The spear-shaped tip cuts through ice cream that’s frozen solid.
This heavy-duty stainless steel scoop is dishwasher safe, and it won’t rust with proper care. It’s also a beautiful gift, engineered with heirloom quality in mind. A bit pricier than standard ice cream scoops, the Midnight is crafted from solid stainless steel and comes in an elegant, gift-ready box.
With ice cream scoops, it’s not just about delivering ice cream into a dish; it’s also about the presentation of the scoop. With the Tovolo Tilt Up scoop, enjoy beautiful, restaurant-worthy treats. This scoop is designed to create perfect cones and bowls of gelato, sorbet, and of course, ice cream. The tapered end gives you a strength advantage and prevents ice cream from chipping off. Instead, enjoy smooth, complete scoops that are attractive to look at and fun to eat.
With a zinc alloy body, plated with chrome, the Tovolo is also built to last. Zinc retains heat, making cutting through solid ice cream even easier. It also has a built-in scoop rest to keep drips off your countertops. The comfy, ergonomic handle is made from BPA-free nylon for a firm, safe grip.
Spring Chef makes a solid, no-nonsense ice cream scoop. There are no moving parts to break, just a dishwasher-safe tool that effortlessly cuts through ice cream. It has a spade-like shape and a heavy-duty handle, which comes in six colors. Each scoop creates perfectly proportioned curls, and the handle has a built-in notch to help you lift container lids without straining. It also has a gentle weight, a comfortable grip, and a no-metal handle, which won’t freeze your hands. Spring Chef’s classic scoop is easy for kids and adults to use.
Homure H’s bright multipurpose set is perfect for just about any food that can be scooped. The three scoops come in small (1.6-inch), medium (2-inch), and large (2.8-inch) diameters, and are made of food-grade stainless steel to prevent corrosion and metallic aftertaste. The handles are sturdy plastic with grooves for a better grip. Each handle is also equipped with a trigger system, which releases any food lodged within the scoop.
In addition to serving just the right amount of ice cream, rice pudding, or mashed potatoes, you can also use Homure H’s scoops for baking cookies, making cupcakes, and cooking meatballs. The scoop works for both right- or left-handed users.
Crafted from heavy-duty zinc with a rust-resistant finish, Zesproka’s ice cream scoop is a classic with a twist. Its ergonomic handle is intended to reduce hand fatigue, and the ultrathin scooping edge cuts through even the hardest ice cream without effort. The spring-loaded thumb press operates with a gentle squeeze, so it won’t hurt your palm after multiple uses.
The Zesproka ice cream scoop can be cleaned in the dishwasher, and its smooth, nonstick surface will rinse clean easily. A helpful addition to any kitchen, the Zesproka scoop can be used for portioning out cookie dough, meatballs, mashed potatoes, turkey stuffing, and more. The loop hole in the handle makes storing easy.
If you have a super-efficient freezer, resulting in superhard tubs of ice cream, the Wilton scoop was made for you. The scooping edge is engineered to give you maximum leverage and cutting power, while the handle is the ideal weight for slicing through ice-hard desserts. Wilton’s handle is sturdier than many scoops and offers a nonslip grip for cushioned control. However, it’s the scoop head that really stands out: oblong, with slightly pointed sides, the scoop cuts cleanly and easily through ice cream, delivering beautifully shaped scoops every time. With no movable parts, this kitchen helper works well thanks to solid materials and a great design.
FAQs About Ice Cream Scoops
If you still have a few questions about ice cream scoops, the following helpful answers to frequently asked questions may help.
Q. What is an ice cream scoop called?
In restaurant parlance, a traditional ice cream scoop is simply called a scoop or dipper. Trigger scoops are called dishers. And there are also wider-mouthed scoops, called spades, which are best for gelato and creamier desserts.
Q. How does an ice cream scoop work?
A classic scoop works by pushing or prying hard ice cream loose from the container, which you deposit into a bowl or cone using the solid handle. A trigger scoop works similarly, but also contains a built-in mechanism that helps release ice cream or other food from the scoop’s head into the bowl or plate.
Q. What size is an ice cream scoop?
A standard ice cream scoop holds between 2 and 4 ounces.