The 10 Best Ice Cream Scoopers
This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in February of 2016. If you have the discipline to eat sensible portions rather than simply gorging yourself straight from the tub (like we do), the right tool will let you do so without hurting your hands or making a mess. Whether you're filling ice cream cones for the kids, or serving a pristine gelato at a dinner party, one of these scoopers will get the job done -- just don't forget the hot fudge. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best ice cream scooper on Amazon.
The Scoop: A Brief History Of Ice Cream
But it wasn't until 1660 that it was readily available to the public for a steep price at Cafe Procope in Paris.
We take it for granted now, but freezing technology is a relatively recent phenomenon. Before humans figured out how to make ice on our own, we relied on Mother Nature to do the dirty work for us. This meant that refreshing, slushy cold treats were a rare luxury reserved for the richest members of society.
If you roamed the markets of Athens, Greece in 500 B.C.E, you might taste a sample of snow mixed with fruit and honey. A century later in Persia, you may have run into an early version of Faloodeh, a sorbet-like dessert that consisted of chilled rose water and vermicelli. The Chinese liked to mix frozen milk and rice together, and the great Roman emperor Nero served mountain snow topped with fruit and honey to lucky guests at his lavish banquets.
There are plenty of historical legends that attribute the origin of a delicacy called cream ice to the royal courts of Italy, France, and England in the 1500s. But it wasn't until 1660 that it was readily available to the public for a steep price at Cafe Procope in Paris. By this time, recipes for the sumptuous treat had evolved from just sweet syrups and ice; they now involved ingredients such as milk, cream, eggs, and butter.
Ice cream continued to flourish among the wealthy elite, making its way into the homes of the luminaries in the New World. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Dolley Madison, the wife of U.S. President James Madison, are examples of notable enthusiasts. By the mid-1800s, certain ingredients and technologies became cheaper for the masses. This paved the way for inventions like hand-cranked churns, ingenious little contraptions intended for home use, much like the ultra-convenient machines we use today. Once we nailed down the refrigeration technology that made ice cream purchasable in parlors and soda fountains, we saw the introduction of novelties like Eskimo Pies and Dixie Cups. The industry snowballed from there, continuing to modern times with no signs of slowing down.
A Perfect Circle
For as long as ice cream has existed, people have been serving it to themselves and each other. The capacity in which you choose to enjoy this delicious treat will have a huge impact on what makes a particular scooper the best one for you. As you consider the items on our list, think about which features will suit you in your everyday life.
The best option here would be something with a comfortable grip and aluminum construction, preferably containing a heat-conducting fluid.
Since the first mold popped up back in 1878, subsequent scoopers have more or less been modeled after the same design. They consist of a round or flat head attached to a handle that you press into your favorite frozen treat. It seems simple, but it's actually more complex than that. For example, if you run a specialty dessert shop, factors like price, durability, and uniformity will be extremely important to you. You'll want a tool that not only goes easy on your employee's wrists, but one that lasts a long while so you won't have to replace it. Ideally, it would dole out the same amount each time, serving a perfect portion that can satisfy both the customer's appetite and your bottom line. The best option here would be something with a comfortable grip and aluminum construction, preferably containing a heat-conducting fluid. A scooper with these qualities can help keep your costs down, and you'll thank yourself when the afternoon rush hits.
Perhaps you simply like to enjoy a personal pint at home on occasion. For days when you don’t want to deal with the carton, you’ll require something effective, easy to clean, and small enough to fit into your cutlery drawer without overcrowding it. If you have kids, you need a quick and efficient instrument that isn’t too sharp. Plus, after spending a long summer day topping off homemade ice cream cones with a generous scoop of everyone’s favorite flavor, you’ll be glad to toss that sucker into the dishwasher.
Do you entertain often? Seasoned hosts and hostesses know that elegant, high-quality utensils can elevate any dinner party. If you’re plating your famous sorbet or gelato in front of onlookers, you may want to opt for a sophisticated serving tool. Attractive, ergonomically designed scoops with non-stick surfaces will ensure you get it right each time without becoming fatigued. Another aspect to consider is your personal aesthetic. Whether your kitchen skews rustic or industrial, you’ll probably pass on the dinky plastic piece and look for something a bit more charming. You can’t go wrong with materials like stainless steel, aluminum, or bamboo, all of which are as functional as they are fashionable.
It may seem silly, but you can actually injure yourself if you scoop the wrong way. Repeated impact on your shoulders, arms, and wrists can eventually lead to issues like carpal tunnel or tendinitis. Activities such as gardening, excessive typing and yes, scooping ice cream, can all contribute to unwanted pain. Simply opting for an ergonomic design is an easy way to stay on the safe side.
More Than Meets The Eye
If you're a consumer who values versatility in your products, then it makes sense you'd want your purchases to do double duty. Thankfully, ice cream scoops are dynamic enough to perform a host of tasks within your home.
Keep one handy for when you need to gut foods like squash or pumpkin. Use it to portion out cookie dough for perfectly circular drop cookies or to fill a cupcake tin with just the right amount. You can also dish up stunning spheres of mashed potatoes or make perfect melon balls. They’re excellent for ensuring you have consistent servings, whether you’re making meatballs, muffins, or stuffed bell peppers.
It doesn’t end with culinary tasks either — a durable scoop can be a superb gardening companion. You can easily create uniform holes in which to plant seeds, or add fresh soil to a houseplant. You could even toss one in your beach bag and let your little ones use it to build sand castles — the opportunities are endless.
Statistics and Editorial Log