A Hot Scoop Will Actually Ruin Your Ice Cream

Everyone is familiar with this universal dilemma: you buy a pint of fresh ice cream and stick it in your freezer, only to pull it out a few days later and find it rock hard. While you may already know that microwaving your pint creates a melted mess, you might be tempted to turn to another alleged hack — heating up your scoop to soften the ice cream and quickly carve out your treat. While this may seem less risky than other shortcuts, doing so will actually harm your remaining ice cream by permanently changing its texture.

Heat is ice cream's worst enemy. Using a hot tool is a fast way to scoop out the ice cream you want to eat right this minute, but it also rapidly melts the ice cream left behind during the process. This may not seem like a big deal — you're putting the pint back in the freezer, so it will go back to the way it was, right? Unfortunately, that's not the case. When melted ice cream re-freezes, it forms a network of ice crystals that turns its texture from smooth and creamy to crunchy and unappetizing, and once the damage is done, there's no going back.

The best way to scoop ice cream

Unfortunately, patience is the key to getting a good quality scoop of ice cream fresh from your freezer. Softening ice cream gradually will prevent excessive melting and keep your pint in the best possible condition, so it's best to simply wait a few minutes and then serve yourself using a room-temperature scoop.

Investing in a high quality ice cream scoop and using good scooping technique will also help to get your ice cream quickly without damaging the rest. Professionals will slowly swivel their wrist back and forth as they pull the scoop toward them in order to easily create a full, round scoop of ice cream. When it comes to equipment, we recommend looking for a scoop with an ergonomic handle for maximum leverage. You can also select a tool that uses the body heat from your grip to warm the scoop slightly, giving you some softening power without going overboard.