The Extremely Simple Hack To Prevent Ice Cream From Melting Too Fast

Even in the dead of winter, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone refusing a bowl of ice cream. But unlike a chocolate bar or a slice of cake, it's nearly impossible to slowly savor a scoop of your favorite ice cream. The minute you take the ice cream out of the freezer, you're in a race against time to gobble it up before it turns into a puddle or starts dripping down your cone.

While there are numerous techniques to freeze whole pints of ice cream or uphold ice cream's scoopability, the simplest way to prevent a single serving of ice cream from melting too quickly is by freezing the plate or bowl you use to receive a scoop. A crash course on the second law of thermodynamics reveals that the heat from hotter objects will send thermal energy to colder objects to create thermal equilibrium. So, when ice cream touches a room-temperature bowl, the bowl will begin transferring heat to the ice cream, causing it to melt. However, if you put ice cream on a frozen plate, the two objects are already at the same temperature and thus in equilibrium which will prevent melting. 

Of course, you have other elements to contend with, like air temperature, humidity, and fat content in your ice cream. Still, serving ice cream on a frosty plate will give you a few extra minutes of solid ice cream bliss.

Tips and other hacks

While freezing ice cream bowls is a simple, foolproof hack for keeping ice cream from melting, it requires a significant waiting period, which means you'll need to anticipate when you'll be eating ice cream to ensure that your bowl is as frozen as your ice cream is. You'll need at least an hour to get a glass bowl cold, but the longer it sits in the freezer the better. For optimal results, you should plan on putting a bowl in the freezer for at least four hours. Using metal spoons will also help slow the melting process, especially if they've also been chilled.

Another pro hack is to pre-scoop ice cream balls into individual bowls before placing them back in the freezer. This is especially helpful if you're serving a large party. You won't have to spend half of the dessert hour scooping ice cream onto plates, and each guest will receive perfectly intact ice cream balls in frosted bowls. And if you really want to wow guests, you can up your game from pre-scooped ice cream balls to fancy rolled ice cream.